Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Non-Designer's Guide to Designing the Perfect Event, Pt.3

I touched on the subject of budget briefly in yesterday's post, and today I want to bring it front and center. Clearly, budget will play a role in any event design. And clearly, many brides and hostesses have had to cut back given the current economic roller coaster we all seem to be riding.

If you can't afford to hire an event designer, or rent fancy schmancy linens - take heart. Nowadays there are so many resources out there for guys and gals just like you. Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Costco -- although I avoid this behemoth of bulk goods come the weekend, if you plan a trip during a weeknight, you're more likely to avoid the crowds. Costco has an amazing selection of fresh flowers, and they take special orders. In addition to floral, check back often for their ever changing selection of table accessories. A friend of mine had her heart set on silver chargers, but couldn't afford to pay what her reception venue was charging. At that same time, Costco just so happened to be offering the very same silver chargers. She found another girlfriend who was also getting married who also wanted silver chargers and they went in on them together. Great idea for brides who have friends getting married -- if your styles are similar in any way, consider going in on some of those little accessories to save big.
2. Craft Stores -- do not overlook your local craft store, or even the big box chains such as JoAnn's or Michael's. Many of these places offer coupons when you sign up for their mailing list or e-newsletter. Think of all the supplies you can get, many times at a 40% savings or more. Ribbon, craft punches, fabrics, and gift bags to name a few.
3. Home Goods -- ahhhh, Home Goods. Have you been? If not, you must. Aisle after aisle of every accessory for the home you can imagine. This might not be the place to go if you're planning a large wedding, but for smaller events this is one of my favorite places. You'll find picture frames for your table numbers, glass jars for your candy bar and other odds and ends at crazy reasonable prices. Virtually every display table I have ever worked on included a trip to Home Goods.
4. IKEA -- you had to know it was coming, right? You know all the obvious reasons to go -- candlesticks, vases, blah, blah, blah. I also love IKEA because they now carry a great selection of fabrics. If you're crafty, consider hitting up IKEA's textile department for DIY table runners.
These are obviously just a few ideas and anecdotes to help prepare a stylish soiree. Great design can be found at the grocery store if you look hard enough. So get out there and look! And tell me where you went--I'm always on the lookout for a great source of inspiration.

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