What is an event decorator called?

Event decorators, also known as event stylists or event designers, are professionals who use their creative talents to transform event spaces through décor. They meet with clients to determine the theme, style and overall vision for the event then bring that vision to life through elements like lighting, furniture, linens, floral arrangements and props.

What is an event decorator called?

Key Responsibilities of an Event Decorator

Event decorators handle all aesthetic details of event spaces. Their key duties include:

Planning and Conceptualization

  • Meet with clients to discuss their needs and ideas for the event
  • Determine an overall vision and theme to guide the decor
  • Develop a decor plan, floor plan and timeline

Design and Styling

  • Select linens, furniture, lighting fixtures and decorative elements to match the event theme
  • Incorporate the event colors and styles into the decor
  • Arrange for rental of decor items as needed

Setup and Installation

  • Oversee delivery and event load-in
  • Style all elements of the space like tables, stages, lounges etc.
  • Direct any additional decaling, draping or lighting installations

Supervision and Teardown

  • Manage event staff during setup/teardown
  • Oversee strike and pack out all decor items
  • Ensure proper handling of rental items

Budgeting and Vendor Relations

  • Create estimates for clients and manage project budgets
  • Maintain relationships with rental companies and other vendors
  • Negotiate vendor contracts and agrees on timelines

Skills and Qualifications

To be a successful event decorator requires a blend of creative vision and business savvy along with physical stamina.

Creativity: Event stylists have a strong aesthetic sense to dream up concepts that align with clients’ preferences. They know how to use decor to create exciting, welcoming event environments.

Project Management: Juggling supplier needs, rental logistics, client expectations and staff coordination comes with the territory. Strong multitasking abilities, communication and negotiations skills allow them to pull everything together seamlessly behind the scenes.

Physical Strength: Long days on their feet and lifting/moving furniture, fabrics, floral arrangements and more equipment is physically demanding. They have the energy and endurance for an active job.

Attention to Detail: Decorators must notice fine details and craft polished looks through careful precision with placement, alignments, fabric draping techniques and creative accents.

Resourcefulness: Creative problem solving and quick thinking allows decorators to work through unexpected challenges, last-minute changes and venue issues smoothly.

Types of Event Decorating Specialties

Event decor styles span a wide spectrum. Most full-service firms offer versatility across many genres. Popular specializations include:

Wedding Design: From chic hotel ballrooms to open-air tents, wedding designers use lush florals, ethereal lighting, glam lounge furniture and elegant extras to create dream wedding environments couples have imagined since childhood.

Corporate Event Décor: Captivating stage sets, inspiring reception areas, clever product showcases and smart breakout spaces drive messaging for corporate groups. Technology integrations add extra wow-factor.

Non-Profit Galas: Bringing warmth and hospitality to cavernous banquet halls through soft draping fabrics, sparkling chandeliers, candlelight and invigorating accent colors helps charity functions feel festive and welcoming.

Ceremony Décor: Milestone events like sweet sixteen parties, bar/bat mitzvahs, quinceañeras, debutante balls plus award ceremonies, fundraisers and holiday celebrations all benefit from transformative lighting, fossils, lounge seating, dramatic floral installations and photo-worthy focal points.

Average Salary

According to Indeed.com, the average national salary of an event decorator is $48,594 per year. Salary typically corresponds to factors like years experience, reputation, clientele size and geographic location of the business. Top designers in major metropolitan markets catering to luxury clients earn substantially more.

Industry Outlook and Job Growth Trends

The event planning industry has grown exponentially over the past decade. As corporate events, weddings, private parties and nonprofit galas continue expanding in scale and spectacle, demand for creative visionaries who can make event dreams a reality also intensifies.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts event planning industry employment to grow by 11% through 2026, above the national average. This increase extends to specialty decorating professionals as well.

While competition is strong for top jobs at elite decor firms, high energy entrepreneurs can also thrive by starting their own companies. Savvy leverage of social media platforms for showcasing work helps tremendously in building distinctive brands and strong client rosters.

Educational Background

There are no mandated credentials to become an event designer. Relevant education and training programs provide advantages breaking in and expanding skills. Useful backgrounds include:

Event Planning Degrees: Hospitality, business or communications programs with concentrations in meeting/event planning offer critical insight on industry operations.

Interior Design Degrees/Certificates: Coursework exploring spatial design, color theory, architectural detailing, furniture styles and lighting concepts translates in event décor work.

Floral Design Programs: Many stylists have strong botanical talents for choosing and arranging living floral elements. Formal training is incredibly helpful but not required.

On The Job Internships: Hands-on assistant roles under a creative director provide direct career training opportunities not matched in classrooms. Internships allow aspiring decorators to learn best practices while building professional networks.

Key Takeaways

  • Event decorators use aesthetics, style and technical skills to visually transform event spaces through creative décor elements.
  • Their work entails collaborating with clients to determine a vision, managing intricate logistics and providing inspiring design environments.
  • Specialties might focus on weddings, corporate events, ceremonies, nonprofit galas or other specific needs.
  • Strong growth within the event industry signals prosperous prospects for qualified professionals able to meet intense creative and organizational demands.


Event decorators occupy a vibrant niche intersecting design, hospitality and celebrations. Blending artistic talents with logistical dexterity, they build dreams into reality through decor details leveraging illumination, textures, furnishings, botanicals and clever accents tailored to each occasion’s unique style. It is a rewarding yet challenging career path well-suited for creatively inclined professionals who thrive on transforming spaces into special event environments celebrating life’s magical moments.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What education or training is required to become an event decorator?
    While no mandated credentials are required, having a degree or background in event planning, interior design, floral design or hospitality provides helpful knowledge. Many decorators learn through on-the-job internships as well.
  2. What is the work environment like?
    Decorators spend extensive time on their feet setting up events, which can be physically demanding. The work usually requires long hours including weekends and nights depending on client needs. Peak seasons generate intense schedules leading up to big holidays or summer wedding months.
  3. What qualities make a successful event decorator?
    Creativity in envisioning aesthetics, flexibility dealing with unexpected changes, physical stamina, project management competency, communication skills, acute attention to detail and manual dexterity for working with small items all come in handy.
  4. How do I start my own event decor firm?
    Begin networking with venues and vendors in your area to offer decor services while building a portfolio. Reach potential private and corporate clients through social media and digital ads showcasing your distinctive style. Consider an internship at an established decor company first to learn best practices before going independent.
  5. How much do corporate event decorators charge?
    Rates vary based on designer’s experience, event scale, geographic region and specific decor complexities involved. Typical corporate event planning budgets devote 10-20% solely to décor elements. New designers often charge $500-1500 consulting fees plus materials costs while top NYC firms charge $100,000+ for large-scale corporate decor packages.
  6. Can I work as an event decorator without formal training?
    Yes. Exceptional creativity, resourcefulness and gradual experience developing skills on your own or through on-site internships can position you for success without earning a design degree first or attending trade school. Be prepared to start small though and build confidence over time.
  7. Will I need to carry liability insurance as an event decorator?
    Yes. Reputable professionals carry liability policies protecting themselves and clients in the event of personal injuries or property/rental item damage occurring under their supervision during event load-ins or strikes.
  8. What is the difference between an event designer vs event planner vs event decorator?
    Event planners handle all coordination, schedules and logistics. Designers focus more on overall aesthetics and creative vision. Decorators specifically oversee the physical setup, styling, tear down and décor elements but often help advise on creative plans as well. Roles often blend together in smaller firms.
  9. What skills from other fields transfer well into a career in event decorating?
    Backgrounds in interior design, visual merchandising, production design, horticulture, fabrication or custom woodworking lend relevant talents. Event planning, marketing and hospitality management skills also provide great foundations to excel on the operations side.
  10. Can I teach myself floral design skills without taking formal classes?
    Yes! Practice key techniques by watching YouTube tutorials. Recreate inspirational centerpiece examples while carefully observing how the pros build interesting textures, shape floral frames and incorporate foliages/fillers to create full, balanced arrangements. Study color harmonies, plant care best practices and how to incorporate seasonal blooms as you experiment.
  11. Should my event decorating business charge clients sales tax?
    Charging state sales tax on rentals depends on state laws where your business is located and whether you purchased items outright or subcontracted rental items through hospitality vendors. Consult an accountant or attorney to ensure you meet requirements.
  12. How often do corporate event themes change?
    For annual meetings and national conferences that rotate locations, themes typically change each year to keep things sounding fresh, relevant and aligned with current initiatives. Regional events and local functions may repeat broad concepts but vary specifics year to year.
  13. What’s an average table decor budget for a 100-person wedding?
    An average range would be $25-$45 per guest for all table decor like linens, runners, chargers, centerpieces, votive candles, table numbers etc. This equates to $2,500-$4,500 total for a 100-person guest count. Luxury weddings may invest more for extravagant floral designs.
  14. What safety practices should event decorators follow during set up and tear down?
    Use proper lifting techniques when moving heavy objects. Wear closed toe shoes onsite and avoid loose clothing that could catch on ladders or scaffolding. Ensure exits remain accessible during load-ins. Provide work gloves for handling floral thorns, branches or scratchy fabrics. Assign spotters when moving large set pieces through crowds and train all staff on safety.
  15. What’s better for an event decor business: niche specialization or broad services?
    Early on, offer versatility showing range. Once established, niche subgroups like weddings, galas or custom fabrication allow focusing on higher dollar services aligned with peak talents that keep a firm less reliant on competing for every random corporate seminar.
  16. How can I get creative event decor inspiration outside the traditional wedding vocabulary?
    Look at runway fashion shows for avant garde styles. Study trade show booth designs for clever sculptural ideas translating to receptions. Follow museum exhibit artists and visual merchandisers on Instagram. Note color themes in beautiful boutique hotels, hip bars and quirky retail shops that could feel fresh within an event space.
  17. How much do freelance event decorators earn compared to in-house designers with hotels or corporate planning firms?
    Freelancers set their own rates so pricing freedom and flexibility in schedule offers alluring perks for talented designers able to build an elite clientele roster quickly. Those choosing security of steady hotel jobs may sacrifice income potential in the short term but gain valuable training, exposure and built-in vendor relations that support launching their own businesses down the road.
  18. Is it better to charge event clients hourly fees or fixed project quotes?
    Fixed quotes provide accuracy for the client. But unexpected issues or overages might mean going over budget. Track hours early on to determine realistic pricing for custom décor projects and art installations based on realistic scope for future quotes.

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