Right after you’ve locked down your venue, you’ve probably graduated to finding a photographer and a decor company.

Decor is really several different categories rolled up into one. We’re talking floral arrangements, centrepieces, archways and for our Indian couples – mandaps. If I’m being honest, we could write a book about all the pieces that need to come together. Needless to say, it can be a tough decision, especially when budget is the primary concern.

Here are some of the questions I sought answers to and essentially how I selected my decor company:

1. Are they available on the day of my wedding? Obviously.

2. How do they price their services? In my experience, a lot of Indian decor companies tier their pricing. So you can go with the really expensive, hugely grand mandap/stage or you can go with something simpler, more minimalist for 1/3 the cost. If you prefer silk or other types of draping, you can get away with a sweet price!

3. What services do they provide in their package? Ideally, I liked companies that wrapped mandap/stage, centrepieces, entranceway, cake table, and dancefloors into one. Because my wedding will have the ceremony and reception on the same day, I also looked for a company that could “flip” the ceremony decor into a more nighttime appropriate design for the reception. Being without a Wedding Planner, I’m leaning on my decor company to wrap everything together and create a unified vision. There are so many moving pieces, it pays to hire someone who a) has been in business for a while and b) is good at mapping everything out so it ties together.

4. What does their payment schedule look like? Do I pay them before or after the services are provided?

5. Are they the preferred decor company for the venue and does that amount to any additional savings?

6. How do they visualize the design? Are they working from pre-existing concepts or will they custom-make something for you?

7. How do you get to contribute to the design from now until the actual wedding?

8. How accessible is your decorator? Are they easy to reach via phone or email?

9. How much time do they require to set up/take down and will they be able to coordinate with the venue without your assistance?

10. How many times did they say “something can’t be done” when you provided your ideal vision? Nothing frustrates me more than someone who tells me something is impossible. They should be able to name a price and have you agree or disagree to move forward.

Ultimately, it comes down to whether or not you like their work and whether it’s in your budget. I decided on Dream Party Decor (ask for Raj!) because they were super easy to interact with and never once did he indicate that something wasn’t doable. He has a down pat process for making the dream come to life and his work truly speaks for itself. You can find him at almost all of the big Indian wedding shows and his stages are frequently featured in Indian wedding magazines like Lavish Dulhan and Suhaag.

Best of luck, as always!

Photo via Dream Party Decor