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How much to charge for decorating a wedding reception

Posted by on Jan. 12, 2011 at 9:28 AM
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Looks like I have a new calling, or so my relative-to-be thinks so. She would like me to make the decorations which also includes help with the invitations and decorating the reception room. This I know, will entail quite a bit of time and the wedding is about 3 months away.

The problem is, I'm not sure how much to charge. She wants to pay me, in fact, she told me she wants to. I feel funny about doing so since she will be my relative soon but it will take time away from my own arts/crafts business (and my kid).

I really can't charge how I operate my own business because it's just not the same and she's purchasing the supplies. I have gotten responses from other family members who have said about $15-$20/hr. Isn't that too much? The part I feel less guilty about charging is the part where I've gone and done research for her and am responsible for the set up at the reception.  Thoughts?

by on Jan. 12, 2011 at 9:28 AM
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by on Jan. 12, 2011 at 11:01 AM

I wouldn't do a relatives wedding. Ever see the show Bridezilla? Some brides really hold a grudge if things don't turn out the way exactly they want it. And it makes for an awkward start to a family relationship.

But if you do, GOOD LUCK!

by on Jan. 12, 2011 at 4:40 PM

I have done weddings, family weddings too. I would charge by the hour and sit down with the bride and work out a game plan. Write everything down and create an agreement before you start anything! If she wants to pay you for the items you'll be using thats a great start, then keep track of your time and then go from there. Here are some pictures of the 2 family weddings I help create...Good Luck!

I did the sewing of all the chair ties and table covers @ this one...hard work but my cousin loved how everything looked!

This wedding I decorated the whole room, but had help with family on the flowers and I didn't sew these table covers...thank goodness!! This wedding was a wine theme at a vineyard, just beautiful!

This wasn't a wedding but the Alumni for USC, thought you'd like to see it for any ideas you need.

More sewing! All the pink was my work...crazy because that pink still haunts This was in such a beautiful place!

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me!

by on Jan. 12, 2011 at 10:38 PM


by on Jan. 12, 2011 at 10:41 PM

Beautiful work. I don't sew. Thank goodness....looks like a ton of work. I was looking at how much an hour to charge.  I'm not to scared about doing anything for family but I have in the past been overlooked as far as pay goes. Not this time- this time I'm doing it right. Thanks for the lovely ideas.

by on Jan. 13, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Hi Philly

I take it your in Philly.hensing the name.. 10 TO 20 an hour does sound alot Can i ask what your arts and crafts business consist of?? I ask this for a reason? your location and what you do depends on what to charge.

if you already do bows and things you know the making of certian decorations

First make yourself a detail diagram of what you will need for each section of the wedding

church -decoration - set up

hall -decoration - set up 

Example chuch- decroration -PEWS: bows /tulle/pew clips. Sancuary: floral baskets /ceremony arch

now if you do bows you know it can take you less then half hour to make 10 big bows if shes buying the materials thats one less expense you will be making so charging an hourly wage isnt to smart the set up shouldnt be no more then an hour as normally you can only decorate a chuch about an hour pryor to the wedding so lets say it takes you an 5  hours to make the decor for the church and an hour to set up you will be charging 60 dollarsif you charge 10 an hour

If its an outdoor ceromony its still not alot depending how you break up the time

shes still buying the supplies so all you would have to do is put them together alot of the break down is depending on you this is a good time to add family to help you if its outdoors

Same with the hall again its the break up of what your doing

decorating the hall all you have to do is find a person for table cloths and the decor of the chairs: slip covers and bows if your making the centerpieces give a flat rate lets say your making 50 table centerpieces. again shes buying the supplies , average out what you can do in an hour EXAM. 5 centerpieces an hour -you need to make 50 thats 10 hours unless there fresh flowers you can break those 10 hours up and make them when you have time ,just start early so make a chart on your time spent.. a florist and a designer will charge alot and we know how to make the arrangements in no time as family and shes puting in the supplies  its alot different .

by on Jan. 13, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Hi Philly me again lol I just saw the reply postings i still hold what i comment about WOW what hemimom did was alot of work with the sewing  and so beautiful. putting on the table cloths and decorating the chairs will take you alot of time  find someone who rents them normally the tables cloths will run you about 2 dollars each and the chairs about .50 or a $1 each chair and who ever rents them will put them on for you, along with the slip covers as for the decorating of the whole room?/ what did you decorate the room looks beautiful normally a hall or location will set the table of dishes all you do is put the centerpieceswork with the location dont ask say can you have the dishes on so the arranger can come set the arrangments.. again make your self a chart and start from there

by on Jan. 14, 2011 at 9:08 AM

 I don't think $15-$20 an hour is too much to charge at all.  Good luck!

by on Jan. 14, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Hmmmm....with careful consideration, relative-to-be or not, this task is going to be a lot of work.  No, I'm not a seamstress but I'm a decorative painter who also sculpts and the bride-to-be knows this and loves my work. Point in fact, that's why she picked me to help her out. 

If this were a mural, I would charge $10-$15 for simple or $20 per sq. ft. plus all the other hoopla that's involved. Time is money. I thank Mrs. Pool2Be for answering the question as to how much and everyone else's help and time put into this post....thank you and wonderful ideas!  This isn't my first rodeo, so I know what I'm in for. LOL.

by on Jan. 15, 2011 at 8:05 AM

$10 tp $15 an hr is not too much at all.  If she got n outside company to do it they would cahrge at lest that much.  Just go over the estimate ahead of time so she is not surprised at the end fo the day. 

by on Jan. 15, 2011 at 1:08 PM


Quoting Mrs.Pool2Be:

 I don't think $15-$20 an hour is too much to charge at all.  Good luck!

 I agree. I 've done flowers and decorations for weddings and a 50th wedding anniversary, flowers, cake and decorations for free and I have decided no more. People start to take advantage. One wedding, non-relative told me they would pay me for the supplies at least and I to this have never seen a dime. Therefore, if I do it again I will charge a percent down or present the receipt for all the supplies ahead of time and if they don't pay up front they will not use my services. I have got stcuk with things to many times.  

Deb J Owner/Administrator

Moms in the Middle- Raising Children, grandchildren & Caring for Parents

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