Friday, April 2, 2010

Tent Decorations

So we went out to Irvine a few weeks ago to check out a wedding they were setting up for, and to talk about some other stuff, like day-of logistics (for example, I was thrilled to find out there are 2 other potential rooms to get ready in, so we can use the one I was thinking to use for our hors d'oeuvres stations instead).

We stood in the tent and I looked at the roof of the tent and contemplated my vision. I could say "our" vision, but I really don't think Mark cares all that much. I debated how many paper lanterns we could possibly need running along the frame of the tent, and how we would get them up. Ladders. And people that aren't afraid of heights. On the day before, after the rehearsal, because we are the only wedding our wedding weekend currently booked at Irvine. (They have their big gala event on Friday night, so I don't think they will book anything on Saturday.)

So right now, the plan is as it has always been - paper lanterns. Some with LED lights in them, but probably not that many, since the tent has lighting around the edges that seems fine. The only things I don't know right now are how many lanterns we need, and how I can possibly justify spending $100 on paper lanterns when I won't spend that on, well, pretty much anything else.
I took this picture from the video on the Irvine Website, and you can clearly see the frames of the tent could use a little bit of decoration. The biggest question for me now is whether I should just go ahead and order the paper lanterns because I know I want them, or wait until August because 1) spring wedding brides will be selling theirs on Craigslist and 2) we don't have that much room to store them. I'm just starting to get really concerned about how much I'm leaving on the to-do list until August/September.

Although it occurs to me in writing this that we will probably move in July or August and I for one do not want to move 20 paper lanterns, even if they do fold flat. So I think that answers my question, although I may start stalking Craigslist for them in May.

Do you start stockpiling wedding stuff early, or are you waiting until the last minute (or at least closer to the time)?


  1. We did a bit of both. Our wedding was in Indiana (far away from our home in Denver), so we saved a lot of things for the last minute. We bought all the candles for the altar, all the gifts for our wedding helpers, printed the programs, and did lots of other things when we arrived in Indiana, about a week before the wedding. It wasn't too stressful. However, we also had to lug a TON of stuff from Denver: my dress, his outfit, the paintings we hung in the was a pretty hilarious road trip.

  2. I'm a total stockpiler. My bedroom seriously is beginning to look like a storage closet!

    The purpose behind this is that our budget strategy is to pay for as many things ahead of time (and in installments) as we can, so that we minimize having as many last-minute expenses as possible. We've already invested $1,500 into our reception venue, paid off our ceremony venue, and invested $400 into our photographers. It's so necessary for us to work ahead, which is why I find myself at Hobby Lobby at least twice a week, buying more and more stuff.

  3. we've been stockpiling. i'm a thrifting maniac (seriously, i rarely buy anything new) and we ride bikes for transportation, so any time we have a car rental or borrow from a friend, i grab whatever i can! i've been trying to pack and label boxes very carefully and store them in the garage... but there's still stuff everywhere in our apartment as well!

  4. We've been waiting to the last minute for the most part. We're only now just starting to make the big purchases that will take up tons of space... like paper lanterns, which just arrived last night.
    In regards to your dilemma, I think you could probably wait a bit. If you're worried about transporting them, then wait until after you move. We ordered ours from and they were able to be shipped from California, across customs, to us in Canada within 2 weeks. And although I'm totally biased, I think any sort of decor (especially lanterns or pompoms) that will have a big impact in the reception tent is worth the money. Not a ridiculous amount, albeit, but in my opinion, $100 is more than worth the photos you'll get out of it. Plus, like you said, you might be able to get them from another bride. And even if you buy them new, you'll probably be able to re-sell them because they're usually pretty in demand.

  5. I bought stuff over time. It made it less painful financially and emotionally. Financially, it was nice to pay for things slowly, which is a must when you are paying for it our of your own money. I bought many things when I saw them on sale. Emotionally, I usually like to procrastinate, but I did not want the stress of doing everything at the last minute. A corner of my living room because the wedding crafts/wedding storage area. It was worth it in my mind because the last couple of weeks were just full of all the stuff you cannot do in advance.

  6. I think we'll be stockpiling once we move. I'm trying to get started on our lanterns soon... I'm hoping to make something similar to this:
    Good luck with yours!

  7. Good question! We don't know! We stocked up on milk glasses, but haven't thought about anything else. I have a feelings we'll be waiting until the "last minute," but for an August wedding can June be considered last minute?