An Event Planner's Guide to Christmas Decor

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Event Planner's Guide to Christmas Decor

Your Go-To Guide for All Things Christmas

Deck the halls - and hotels, restaurants, churches, and other venues - with sparkling boughs of holly to turn your holiday events into a glittering winter wonderland. Whether you're planning a winter wedding or decorating a hotel lobby for the holiday season, you need attention-getting ideas to impress your clients.

Our guide to decorating for Christmas can give you a big assist. It covers topics such as decorating Christmas trees on a budget, using string lights and mercury glass, and creating one-of-a-kind Christmas centerpieces and providing practical decorating ideas you can implement quickly and easily. You'll find out how to buy Christmas decor for events that pull your vision together and produce stunning results.

The Perfect Christmas Party Decor Ideas for Event Planners

Event planning requires so many aspects all coming together into one coordinated period of fun, and it takes a lot of work to get to that result. When you're managing everything from the caterer and the entertainment to the decorations, you may not have time to sort through the latest trends to figure out what will work for your event.

Making the most of your time and budget lets you fashion a memorable display of Christmas pageantry this holiday season. Even if you're working within a budget, focusing on a few key elements in your holiday decorating scheme transforms the venue into a beautiful backdrop and turns a memorable event into something much more magical.

Chrismas Decor For Events

When planning your Christmas event decor design, several factors come into play. Identifying them early in the process helps you make decisions as your decorating plans take shape. Keep the following things in mind as you plan your party decorations:

  • Budget
  • Venue type
  • Venue size
  • Architectural elements in the venue, such as fireplaces or columns
  • Number of guests
  • Type of event
  • Style of the event
  • Theme of the event

Start Planning for Your Event With Our Christmas Decor Guide

Jamali Garden is your go-to source for products and inspiration. Our selection includes the Christmas supplies, lights, wreaths, trees, and other materials you'll need to get your event decorations rolling. As a wholesale source of supplies for event planners and other professionals just like you, Jamali Garden delivers quality products in the quantities you need without exceeding your event budget.

Christmas party event planning just got so much easier. By using our suggestions, you can spend less time searching Pinterest for the latest holiday trends and more time working on your event, so everything goes off without a hitch. Dive into our Christmas decorating guide to explore our best Christmas decor tips for event planners.

Chapter 1: How to Decorate A Christmas Tree on a Budget

Designer Christmas trees deliver the dazzle you aim for with each event you plan, but elegant decorating ideas can quickly eat up your event budget. It’s possible to decorate a full-size tree for under $100 if you get creative. Being resourceful with your Christmas tree decor for events means you can organize a striking tree or grouping to serve as a decorating cornerstone while leaving money in the budget for other things.

Decorating A Christmas Tree on a Budget for Event

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree Professionally

No holiday season is complete without the presence of a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, but decorating it goes far beyond adding lights and ornaments. Getting into the Christmas spirit requires excitement and creativity.

If you need to decorate a professional-looking Christmas tree for your wedding reception or corporate holiday event, here is a compact list of ideas and trends you can use to inspire your dazzling creation. Let's get festive!

1. Identify a Theme or Color Scheme

Before diving into a needlework or knitting project, you have a step-by-step guide to follow. When you're cooking a meal or preparing a dessert to bake, you use a recipe to work through. Dressing up and decorating a Christmas tree is no different. Before you begin, you need to make a plan that will shape the look of your tree.

Some professionals will choose to emphasize two or three colors throughout their decorated tree. This isn't difficult in the holiday season as there are many associated colors, such as white, light blue, red, green, silver, and gold. Highlighting these colors is achievable through ornaments, garland, lights, and decorative elements surrounding and framing your Christmas tree.

Other designers focus on a theme to illustrate their holiday tree. "Memory" trees work well for events that are customized for families or a specific group of people — using photographs or documents that allow guests to relate with one another and relive shared memories. Color-centric themes such as metallic and monochromatic emphasize multiple shades and hues of colors to coordinate and complement designs throughout the entire event.

Other commonly used Christmas tree themes include coastal charm for tropical or beach-front areas, angels, winter wonderland, rustic for country-dwellers, and romantic love.

2. Find the Right Type of Christmas Tree

Choosing the right tree for your event all comes down to how much maintenance you're willing to give as well as the space and set-up of your venue. A real tree can make your Christmas tree feel more professional and authentic, but artificial trees can be decorated to achieve a stunning display that isn't always an option with real ones.

You can also select a tree based on its frame and shape. Find a tree with fuller branches to allow for colorful garland or lights to be strung. You might also opt for a slightly thinner tree that can give you more room to hang and display ornaments. Bare, pre-lit, snow-tipped, or acorn-ridden — all of these and more are the perfect foundation for decorating a Christmas tree professionally.

3. String Lights Throughout Each Branch

String Lights for Christmas Tree

It's possible that you grew up running around the perimeter of your tree, laying and filtering your stringed lights on the outside branches. While this is a typical method that consumes very little time, it doesn't create as stunning of an effect in a larger space. Professional-looking Christmas trees utilize many lights to illuminate and attract attention.

For a show-stopping Christmas tree, try stringing warm white or multicolor lights twice along every individual branch, starting from the trunk out to the tip and back in. Layering lights like this, once under and once over each branch, adds brilliance to every aspect of your tree and can create a fuller, more astonishing display. A reasonable estimate for the number of lights you need is a total of 100 mini lights per foot of the height of your tree.

4. Use Garland

Garland is a fun accessory that can add color, design, and texture to your Christmas tree. Beaded strings of garland emphasize color schemes and reflect the lights throughout the tree. Pine-covered garland with LED lights attached adds depth to your tree, filling out the branches while also illuminating the design. You can also add texture and detail to a Christmas tree with garland decorated in berries or pine cones.

5. Balance Ornaments of Multiple Sizes, Shapes, and Colors

Adding ornaments to a Christmas tree is where your color scheme or theme really gets to shine. The best way to create an eye-catching display is by adding variety while developing a complete and uniform look.

Play up a winter wonderland design by adding snowflakes, acorns, and glitter-covered birds to emphasize your theme. Create a romantic and love-filled tree display with words of the season and large red hearts.

Go for a classic Christmas tree design with red and green bulbs, red berries, and die-cut snowflakes. Maybe your venue is a little more modern, and you want to step away from the traditional aesthetic. Opt for silver and gold colors, a blackened pine garland, and pointy starburst shapes to dazzle your branches in a unique and innovative way.

Assorted packs of glass ornaments can help you add texture to your professionally-designed Christmas tree and encourage guests to look more closely. Snow and twigs can both cover and fill clear ornaments for a rustic-themed tree. Variously-shaped ornaments following the same color scheme will also ensure your tree doesn't become too bland or standard. Jewels, an openable keepsake globe, and pearlescent teardrops can create an elegant, sophisticated, and professional look.

While decorating with ornaments is often fun, it's important not to go overboard and add too many. A good rule of thumb is to utilize 10 large ornaments for every foot of your tree. For example, if you're decorating a 7-foot tree, you would want 70 large ornaments surrounded by smaller-sized pieces. You also don't want to clutter your tree with too many features. Keep in mind your tree will also be filled with lights and garland. A professional-looking Christmas tree equally balances all of these accessories for an aesthetically pleasing display.

6. Consider Visibility and Focal Points

Don't let the task of decorating your Christmas tree become a distraction to what your result should be — a display that sets the atmosphere for your venue and delights guests. There's no point in spending time and energy decorating a tree that will hide from the view of your guests and party-goers.

From the very beginning, you should know exactly where your tree is going to be set up. Large ballrooms can fit a Christmas tree directly in the center, but the corners of rooms work exceptionally well for focusing the attention of guests. Knowing which side or angle people will be viewing your tree from allows you to decorate key areas.

Knowing how guests will view your tree also helps in the event of a sparse or balding real pine tree. You can hide these "sore spots" from view by keeping them flush against a wall and decorating and expanding outward. Make sure what guests see is what's most visually appealing. If there isn't anything exciting at first glance, it's possible your tree won't be closely looked at throughout the event.

It's also important to identify the focal points of your tree. Typically these areas include a height at eye-level, the base of the tree, the narrowed top, and the side of the tree that greets approaching guests. Use these spots on your Christmas tree to add your most exciting ornaments or most meaningful designs. If you have a color scheme for your tree, make sure it's easily identifiable.

7. Enhance the Area Around Your Tree

Professionally decorating a Christmas tree is more than just filling the branches with ornaments, garland, and lights. You need to consider the entire scene you're setting up as well. This includes the top of your tree as well as the area below.

Find a tree topper that aligns with your theme, has personal meaning to you or your event, or beautifully captures attention. You can keep it traditional with an elaborate star or angel, or go for a more modern twist. Attach a few woodland creatures to the top for a rustic or natural Christmas tree. Create a cluster of lights to dazzle the top section and ultimately replace a star fixture. For a wedding or work event, you could add group photos or personalized snapshots to complete your tree's decoration.

Another creative idea is to gather a few Christmas picks together to intertwine into the top branches of your tree. Add holly and berries, acorns, gold poinsettias, and so much more for a non-traditional display.

You can also continue setting the festive scene around your professionally decorated Christmas tree with items underneath. Position some gifts below and wrap them in a paper that matches your garland or chosen color scheme. Encourage fun and engagement for children by adding a train set to run its course around your tree. For themed displays, you can also add some fake snow or wrap some extra light strands on the ground, adding texture to your arrangement and also capturing attention.

8. Purchase Your Items in Bulk

If you're expected to professionally decorate a Christmas tree for a holiday party, event, or reception, you'll most likely be going through hundreds of ornaments, lights, garland, and other decorations. Why waste money and time buying each piece individually when you can purchase your features in bulk?

Jamali Garden offers bulk pricing for many holiday essentials. You can buy a pack of cool white LED lights to wrap within your tree, saving you up to 15 percent total. You can also find ornaments in multipacks, giving you more designs to choose from at better prices.

With Jamali Garden on your side, your professionally-decorated Christmas tree can be unforgettable. Take a look online today and find all the necessary products you need to inspire great events.

Creative Ways to Decorate a Christmas Tree on a Budget

A little imagination gives you the tree decorating supplies you need for a superb display without spending your entire decorating budget. You can often find things you already have on hand or repurpose items for an unusual Christmas tree display that people stop and take note of. Decorate a Christmas tree for under $100 with these tricks.

1. Buy Wholesale Christmas Tree Décor

As an event planner, you can maximize your budget when you buy modern and traditional Christmas tree décor wholesale. The lower price lets you get more for your money and fill out the tree. You can also buy in bulk to fill out the tree while saving more money by purchasing the larger quantities.

At Jamali Garden, we sell many ornaments in sets of six, for less than $10 per set. Combine a couple of those with one higher-priced statement piece and a bunch of inexpensive ones, and you can stay well within your spending limit.

2. Use Personal Items

Found items from your client add a personal touch to the display while keeping the costs low. Small framed pictures work well, especially for events like winter-themed weddings or anniversaries. Try other small keepsakes or personal items if they fit the concept of the tree.

3. Decorate With Non-Traditional Items

You don’t have to stick to items labeled as Christmas tree ornaments to get amazing results. Find something that fits your scheme even if it isn’t an ornament. You can showcase a small lantern, for example. You may already have some of these items around your office from previous events. Even if you buy new pieces, you can use them throughout the year at other events instead of only pulling them out at the holidays.

4. Choose Prominent Pieces Carefully

Pick a few focal pieces on the tree and fill in the rest with inexpensive ornaments. Those focuses might be large or intricately detailed ornaments, or you can leave a big impression with something unexpected, like a few snowy pine cone wreaths or colorful cardinal figurines. Your focal points draw attention to the gorgeous tree, and you save money by using inexpensive fillers.

Overall, that can be less than $100 spent on Christmas tree décor — and chances are you will have enough to decorate more than one tree.

Christmas Tree Theme Ideas

A theme for your tree ties together all the elements for a cohesive, professional design. You can also whittle down the number of ornaments and other decorations to ensure everything fits. Think about the inspiration for the event or the tone your clients want. Consider these for your next holiday event.

Christmas Tree Theme Ideas

1. Memory Christmas Tree

Mark a wedding, anniversary, or other special occasions with a tree dedicated to the past. This option keeps the costs down because most of the decorations are personal items from your client. Place personal photos in mini frames with ribbons as hangers to decorate the tree. You might also include things like photocopies of handwritten notes or items special to the couple. Mix in the personal items with simple ornaments and garland to round things out and fill in blank spaces.

2. Metallic Glory Christmas Tree

A metallic theme boosts the dazzle of the tree. Purchase a variety of ornaments and decorations in a metallic color. Stick with a specific color, like gold or silver, or mix the two. Silver glitter pine cone ornaments are just one example of fun décor. You can also rely on metallic garland to boost the glimmer. Naked wire lights work seamlessly because the wire disappears into the tree.

3. Coastal Charm Christmas Tree

For a beach-themed event or a holiday event in a coastal area, center the tree additions around ocean elements. Tuck seashells and starfish between the branches. This conveys a casual vibe and summery feeling even in the middle of winter.

4. Jewel Tones Christmas Tree

Jewel tones pop against the tree and add a richness to the design. Include various jewel-toned ornaments and ribbons as garlands. Hawaiian blue shiny glass ornaments add the jewel tone color with the dazzling effect of the shiny finish. Add diamond bead lightbulb ornaments for a fun twist on the tree. Turquoise crystal ornaments give a modern look to tree decorating.

5. Monochromatic Christmas Tree

For a subtle approach, opt for tree decorations in a single color for a beautiful monochromatic design. White is a classic that works well for winter. Pull in a variety of decorations using that color. For a white theme, check out the frosted acrylic drop ornament, white glitter mushroom, and white glass balls. Round out the look with snowball garland.

6. Americana Christmas Tree

Show a patriotic side with an Americana-themed tree. Stick with a red, white, and blue color palette with your decorations, lights, garlands, and other accents. Red ornament options include red hearts, red stud bows, and shiny red plastic balls. Pull in white with LED lit snowballs or matte pearl glass balls. White bead star ornaments add to the patriotic theme. For a touch of blue, add shiny blue plastic balls to the tree. Tuck mini flags into the tree branches for patriotic flair.

7. Mittens and Ice Skates Christmas Tree

Take a more general winter approach with a mitten and ice skates theme. Decorate the tree with mittens — either real or mitten ornaments. Shop at thrift stores for assorted mittens to keep costs low if you prefer the real thing. Add ice skating-themed ornaments to round out the design.

8. Gifts Christmas Tree

Instead of only stacking gifts under the tree, put them on the tree for a bold statement. Wrap empty boxes of varying sizes, and add ribbons and bows for a cheap decoration. Buy a single type of wrapping paper, or mix papers with a common color or design element.  

9. Winter Wonderland Christmas Tree

Drape the tree in white, snowy decorations to emphasize a winter wonderland theme. Clear ice drop picks add texture and a reflective quality to the wintery look. Spray some snow blast spray on the branches for additional snowy fun.

10. Rustic Christmas Tree

Capitalize on the natural wonder of a Christmas tree with a rustic decorating theme. Buy a mini pine cone and acorn garland in place of traditional tree garland. Red plaid accents work well, as do ornaments shaped like animals.

All You Need Is Love Christmas Tree

Embrace a love theme for a winter wedding or anniversary. Start with a white tree, and cover the tree in red decorations like heart-shaped glass ornaments, red ribbon, and red bows.

Tips on Decorating a Christmas Tree for Your Client’s Event

You’ve decided you want a Christmas tree in your client’s holiday event décor. You’ve chosen your theme, and you’ve started gathering the decorations. Keep these tips in mind when putting together your Christmas trees:

  • Don’t get too caught up in how to decorate a perfect Christmas tree. It’s more art than science, and there’s more than one way to decorate a beautiful tree. Follow your instincts, experiment, and go with what pleases your client.
  • Size the tree based on the venue size. A towering tree in a low-ceiling room seems out of place. Likewise, a 4-foot tree gets swallowed in a venue with high ceilings or in an expansive hotel lobby.
  • Stagger trees of various heights for a strong visual impact.
  • Think about scale and balance. It’s okay to have a few larger decorations if they aren’t too overwhelming for the size of the tree. Balance what the eye sees.
  • Decorate around the base of the tree with artificial snow and presents. Wrap empty boxes as faux present accents. If you’re going for a classic Christmas feel, add a toy train around the base of the tree.

Christmas trees give you a lot of bang for your buck when you rely on thrifty yet gorgeous techniques to decorate them. Position decorated trees strategically throughout your event venue to wow everyone who walks through the doors.