What Does An Event Decorator Do?

Let’s be candid here; many people don’t know what a professional event decorator does. We don’t blame them, though! When you hear that magical job title, you’re probably imagining someone standing on a ladder, hanging a banner up on the ceiling. While you will find yourself stepping in to help out here and there with table settings and floral arrangements, that’s not what you’re really hired to do. Simply put, your value lies in a far more difficult task: coordination!

Clear as mud? Don’t worry, we’ve got you. Keep reading to find out what an event decorator really does!

Job description of an event decorator

As the event decorator, you’re responsible for the overall atmosphere of the event. Event decor is more than simple decoration. How guests feel when they walk into the venue will affect their overall experience, and afterward, how fondly they remember it.

table setting is left to the suppliers that the event decorator oversees

This is a highly creative field, but just having an expert eye for color or a sixth sense for finding vintage treasures isn’t enough. Any event decorator worth his or her salt will be a master of planning and coordination. Over the course of many consultations, you’ll work with your clients to develop and bring their vision to life. Each design element must make sense when brought together to achieve the overall theme and mood. Your clients’ goals and interests must be considered alongside the physical logistics of each event component. You wouldn’t push baseball-theme decor for your clients’ 50th-anniversary celebration, would you?

Your toughest task will be creating and executing a cohesive event that balances the interests of both your client and your many suppliers. Your client’s goal becomes your goal, but you don’t want burn any bridges with your suppliers through the planning process. To manage your relationships and learn valuable soft skills, you should consider taking a course! This leads us to our next point…

What your event decorator classes should teach you

Diving headfirst into the business is possible but not recommended. How would you know what to do or what’s expected of you without any proper training?

Earning a professional event decor certification gives you a solid foundation of technical skills while allowing you to command a higher salary when you enter the field. Beyond learning the intricacies of each design element, you’ll also learn professional skills to enable you to work closely with clients and other professionals. And if you take a certification course with business training, you’ll even know how to start and run a successful business!

hanging lights from a decorated arch

While you won’t be physically bundling the baby’s breath with the hydrangeas on the table, you will still need to know your stuff when it comes to each decor element. Just knowing that you should be using flowers isn’t going to cut it! You’ll need a working knowledge of each element so that you can communicate your clients’ wants and needs in a professional setting.

It will be your job to oversee the following event design elements:

Your event decorating classes will teach you how to speak confidently to your suppliers about what your clients want. No supplier, no matter how much experience they have, can deliver if they don’t know what you need. Be explicit about the decor style you want to achieve and tell them exactly what would work best. Do you want a posy vase or a handkerchief vase? Would your event benefit from kinetic lighting or the soft focus of cheaper string lights? How extensive do you want your floral design to be? Even if your suppliers don’t have what you need, they’ll be able to pitch something else that’s similar.

Remember that your suppliers aren’t in contact with one another. You’re the central touch point with all the logistical information. Each supplier has no idea what arrangements you’ve made with the others. They’re relying on you to tell them how much of everything you need and where to put it! If you don’t oversee each element carefully, you risk overloading a small space with too many decorative pieces.

expand to event planning services and plan it all from beginning to end

Opportunities to expand your event services

As an event decorator, you have two primary pathways available to you should you decide to grow your business. Being immersed in the same wedding timelines as the event planners and suppliers provide you with insight into those careers, too. As you do more and more decorating, you’ll see the aspect of the event planning process you enjoy most to dip your feet into. Here are two sample paths.

Become a decor supplier and coordinator

As it turns out, you love draping tables and implementing the little details. As such, you may wish to dive into the nitty-gritty of the decorating realm. When you’re not simply coordinating suppliers anymore, you’ll want to hire more hands. Not to mention having to come up with a solution for how you’ll stock your event decor inventory!

Become a full-service event and wedding planner

As an event decorator, you’re managing many different suppliers for the big event. But when you dive into the world of event and wedding planning, you’re expanding your duties to coordinate vendors, too. Sticking to your client’s budget, coordinating with other parties, and working closely with your client to achieve their vision… does this all sound familiar?

event table decor

Throughout your decorating career, you’ll develop relationships with some vendors on certain elements of design. You may, for example, have a client ask you to apply a Disney theme for a child’s birthday party, right down to coordinating with the cake vendor. If you couple your good vendor relationships with strong professional training, there’s no telling how far you’ll go in your career!

Did we miss any crucial information? Let us know in a comment!

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9 responses to “What Does An Event Decorator Do?”

    workingpanel says:

    Nice article.Really useful information.

    Wendy Richards says:

    Thank you for the knowledge I’ve received from this article. It will definitely be applied in my business

    Olawunmi IBIFIRI Ekine says:

    Great article

    Lucy Achieng says:

    Very educative thank you so much for the information

    Sarah-Lynn Seguin says:

    You’re very welcome, Lucy. Thanks for taking the time to read it! 🙂

    Nicole says:

    Great read! I can honestly say that there is sooo much more to event decorating than I originally thought. Having the knowledge of the differences between lighting, floral and decor options can make or break an event planning business. Event decor truly creates the events atmosphere and ambiance and I think it is important to have the educational background to be able to advise your clients appropriately.

    Sarah-Lynn Seguin says:

    Hi Nicole,

    There are plenty of people out there who aren’t actually familiar with the full responsibilities and job duties of event decorators! It’s a common misconception that event decorators and event planners are always one in the same, but in many cases, they aren’t. And, of course, there’s SO much more involved in an event decorator’s responsibilities – most people wind up being pretty surprised when they find out the full scope of this profession!

    You’re completely right, though: event decor plays SUCH a fundamental part of the overall celebration. Stellar decor can make all the difference between a run-of-the-mill event, and a truly special, personalized one. <3 For planners who wish to expand their business and offer additional services to clients, we ALWAYS recommend looking into event decor training! 🙂

    All the best,
    The QC Team

    Shawniece says:

    Over the years as an Event Planner, I’ve worked with “decorators” that thought that the job of an Event Decorator was to source “pretty” items and set them up, however, as wedding professionals we know that is far from the truth. I love how this article points out not only the differences between an Event & Wedding Planner, but also the actual job description of an Event Decorator. I am currently enrolled in the Event Decor course and I am learning so much! Even though I have been in the industry for over 10 years, I am learning so much from taking this course.

    Sarah-Lynn Seguin says:

    Event decorating is tricky, because many clients will automatically assume that their wedding or event planner is synonymously an event decorator, too. While this IS true in plenty of cases, it’s also important to understand that not all event/wedding planners are decorators, and vice versa. There’s a lot of time and training that needs to go into event decorating, which is why we feel it’s so important to devote an entire course to this profession. We’re thrilled that you’re taking it, and even more excited to know that you’re finding the course content so informative thus far. Thank you so much for reading and commenting! xx

    All the best,
    The QC Team

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