What Does It Cost To Decorate A Party?

Party decorating costs can always surprise people if they havent planned a party before. What does party & decorating really cost? Without sounding smart the short answer is whatever you have the budget for. If you can only afford $500 for decorating then that’s what it will cost. Obviously, the more your budget is the more hire equipment and decorations you will get. You may find you don’t get much if you have a lower budget.  Additionally, you most likely won’t be able to create your ideal party atmosphere with a budget lower than $3000 to $5000.

How much you should spend on your party decorating all comes down to what sort of atmosphere you want to create. If you want to transform your party venue and change how your guests feel you would need at least $10,000 to $20,000 plus in your budget.
You should also decide in the beginning if you want to create a decoration display or a fully immersive experience for your guests. A party venue that changes how your guests feel when they enter the space will be alot more memorable.

There is so much confusion around what it really costs when it comes to decorating a party. There are obvious costs of actually buying or hiring props or decorations. However, there are also a lot of other costs that are associated with this. In this post, we break down all the costs involved in hiring a party decorator and decoration costs.

If you are on a tight budget the best way to save on decorating costs is to do it yourself. If you have the skills and the time you can simply hire the decorations you need and do all the set up and pack down yourself. There maybe some restrictions with this though as you may not be able to hire all the decorations you want to DIY. Not all event hire companies will allow you to hire whatever you want as you may need special skills to set up certain hire items.


What Does It Cost If You Want To Hire A Party Decorator

Party decorators depending on their skill level can charge anywhere between $50 – $100 an hour in Melbourne. Size of your party , how many decorators are required and the time frame you have to decorate the space will all impact total cost. In some cases you may need a team of 10 decorators to decorate your event. These times the hourly rate can add up quite quickly.

At Feel Good Events we have a minimum hire charge of $2,000 nonpeak season and $4,000 in the peak season  – November and December. This minimum is on-hire equipment only plus any extra delivery and labour or decorator costs. So if you are hiring $2,000 worth of equipment, by the time you add on any delivery and set-up costs you are usually up to around $2,500. 

This will vary depending on the type of equipment and location of delivery. If your budget is a lot bigger and you require mood boards, design and floor plans, custom decorations made, and possibly site visits etc, the costs can go up quite quickly.

If your budget is less than this then maybe a DIY (do it yourself) hire option would be better. There is no minimum spend in most cases and you can hire just a few items if that’s all you need. You do have to pick up and set up the equipment yourself with this option but DIY is great if you are on a tight budget.

Unfortunately Feel Good Events does not offer DIY on any of our equipment but there are multiple places in Melbourne that do.

If you are wanting full-room theming or decorating, the size of your venue will greatly affect the cost. At Feel Good Events for a function room that holds approximately 100 people to decorate well you can be looking at anywhere between $20,000 and $40,000. There can be many variables in this and the level that you want your venue decorated will change things dramatically. For some of our larger events with full room decorations that create the wow factor, you can be easily spending up over $50,000.

This may sound like a lot but by the time you add in furniture, dance floors, lighting, draping, props, florals, table decorations, and labour costs the price can add up quickly.

Party Decorating Costs Broken Down

Below are a list of the main products categories used to decorate a party so that it creates a better party experience. The combination of all these product types will create a party atmosphere that makes your guests feel good. This information will give you general ball park pricing for each type of product for a function space that would fit approx 100 people.

Draping – 

Draping is quite often used to change the whole look of the room or to cover up areas or walls you dont want to see. It can also be used to make larger venues smaller so that your guests stay more connected.

Velvet Drape cost approx – $170 per 3 metres wide x 4m high. This includes the rigging to hang drapes from but doesnt include set up costs.
Chiffon Drape – $150 per 3m wide x 3m high. This includes the rigging to hang drapes from but doesnt include set up costs.
Metallic drapes – $200 per 3m wide x 4m high. This includes the rigging to hang drapes from but doesnt include set up costs.
Sequin Drapes – $200 per 3m wide x 4m high. This includes the rigging to hang drapes from but doesnt include set up costs.

Total cost of drapes would depend on the length and amount of walls you want to cover. To do a 10m x 15m size room in velvet drape ,cost of drape alone not including labour would be approximately $2550.

illuminated LED dance floor at ZINC event

Dance Floors

The dance floor is a must if you want your guests to dance and have fun. There are various types of dance floors to hire and cost will depend on size. For 100 people you would usually want no less than a 6m x 6m dance floor. This size will fit approx 50 -60 guests.

Parquetry Dance Floor – 6m x 6m – $850 this includes set up but not delivery.
Black or White Dance Floor – 6m x 6m –  $1500 this includes set up but not delivery.
Illuminated Dance Floor – 6m x 6m –  $3250 this includes set up but not delivery.

illuminated furniture


At most parties you usually need a mixture of different types of furniture. A mix of both cocktail and lounge furniture is usually a good idea. If you are having a sit down dinner function you may also need tables and chairs for this as well. The good thing about hiring furniture for your party is you can usually find furniture that will match your theme or style. 

If you are having more of a cocktail style party enough furniture for about 30% – 40% of your guests is a good idea.

Bar Tables – Price range from $25ea for very basic to $150 for very luxe or larger bar tables. Plus delivery costs.
Bar stools – Prices range from $15ea for very basic to $80 for very luxe stools. Plus delivery costs.
Bar – Prices range from $150ea for a basic Bar to $500 for very luxe bar. Plus delivery costs.
Sofa furniture – Prices range from $150ea for a 2 seater basic style sofa to $600 for a 3 seater deluxe style sofa. Plus delivery costs.
Ottomans – Prices range from $20ea for basic single ottoman to $500 for round or long ottomans in a deluxe style. Plus delivery costs.
Round dinner Table – $30 to $50ea for a standard banquet table seating 8- 10 people. Plus delivery costs.
Trestle tables – $20 -$30 for basic plastic trestle seating 6 guests to $100 each for more luxe timber trestle seating 8 guests.
Chairs – $5ea for basic folding padded to $50 for luxe style banquet chair.

Blue Uplights Winter Wonderland Entrance Silver Stanchions


Lighting can make such a big impact on your party and your guests moods and it doesnt need to cost that much. The type of lighting you choose and the colours you choose will all have an impact on the party experience.

In most cases you will always need a mixture of both party and mood lighting for different times of the night. If you party is more of a low key event with no dancing mood lighting is still very important.

Mood Lighting – Prices range from $25 – $60ea light. If you are doing up lighting around the walls in your venue that fits 100 guests you would usually need at least 10 to 15 lights. These lights would cost around $60ea. This will create enough light so that it is moody but not too bright or too dark.

Party lighting – Basic party lights are approx $20 to $40 each and you would usually need 3 or 4 of these to create a good party atmosphere for dancing. If you want something more professional moving head lights would be best and range from $100 to $150ea. 6 to 8 of these lights at least programmed to do certain patterns and colours would be suitable for 100 people. Lighting programming would be approx $300 – $600 for something not to complicated.

Lighting Rigging – To make sure your lights are effective you would also need lighting stands or rigging to hang your lights from. $25 for a basic lighting stand which would hold up to 4 basic party lights. Trussing would be required for moving head lights and is approx $80 per section per light. Set up cost for truss would also be added on top of this pricing.

Special effects – If you are wanting your lighting to look better a smoke or haze machine is a must. Price range from $40 – $150 for these.

Large Themed Props

If you have chosen a certain theme for your party you will definitely need to hire or buy some themed props. If you are on a tight budget you can usually purchase disposable party props at low cost. To create a more professional looking party theme then hiring larger party props and decorations is the way to go.

As each party theme has very unique party props your hire costs for these type of things really vary. Smaller props could be as low as $100ea right up to a $1000ea or more depending on size and uniqueness of items. $1000 to $2000 on party props will usually get you a few decent items to set the right mood for your party theme.

Popular themed props may include –

Light up numbers and letters 
Animal Props
Party Theme Props
Inflatable Props
Themed Backdrops
Red Carpet & Bollards

Styling Decorations

If you are choosing more of a certain style for your party and not a particular theme you will still need certain items to help decorate. Again you can either buy these types of party decorations or hire them depending on budget. One of the down falls of buying these types of items is you may never use them again and end up with alot of party styling products you dont need.

These items are usually alot cheaper to hire and can range from $20 – $200 depending on the items. If you allow $1000 t0 $2000 on these items you can usually make a big impact.

Popular Party Styling Products Include – 

Plants and Greenery
Plinths / Pedestals

Photo Backdrops / Media Walls

At least 90% of the parties we do at Feel Good Events have some kind of photo backdrop or media wall for guests to take photos in front of. Whether they are a ceratan themed style backdrop or mare custom personalized backdrop they are always popular. Backdrops can range from $200 for something very basic up to $2000 for something more custom.

Types of Backdrops – 

Entrance Banners
Birthday Backdrops
Media Walls
Greenery Walls & Flower Walls
Glamour Backdrops
Mesh Screens

Dusty Pink Floral Centrepiece

Table Decorations

If your throwing more of a dinner party then table decorations are a must. Even if your party is a cocktail style and you only have small coffee tables you may still require some smaller table decorations. Total cost for your table decor will depend on number of tables and amount of table settings required for your guests.

Popular items you will need to decorate your table settings –

Tablecloths – Black or white are popular or you can hire linens with prints to suit your party style – Price range $25 to $50ea

Centrepieces – These will vary in size and price and can also be custom designed to suit your theme – Price range $40 – $150ea

Table Runners$10 to  $20 ea

Table Overlays $25 to $50ea

foxy evergreen floral arrangement

Fresh Flowers and Floral Decorations

Fresh flowers and artificial floral decorations are super popular at most parties even if it is on a small scale. Typically fresh flowers will cost more and you can also be restricted by whats in season. The quality of artificial flowers is getting better and better and in most cases apart from the smell you really cant tell the difference. If you have a bigger party budget over $20,000 , large scale floral installations will really create the wow factor.

Pricing for florals really is a difficult one but we have listed some popular floral arrangements below in fresh flowers.

Posies and Bouquets – Price range from $100 to $250ea

Frees standing florals on stands approx 1.5m high – $500 – $650ea

Arch floral garlands – $300 – $600ea

Floral table runners – Approx $100 per metre

Signage florals – $100 – $250ea

Hanging installations – Basic $800 – Luxe – $1500 approx 2m long

Artificial flowers and plants vary depending on type and size – Click here for more pricing.

70s silver disco theme balloon garland

Balloon Garlands

In recent years balloon garlands have become a big trend with alot of clients using balloon garlands as there only form of decorations. When done on a large scale or using better quality balloons they really can create the wow factor. Add in some mood lighting and you are nearly half way there with your party decorating.

Pricing varies due to size and types of balloons used but in most case a balloon garland will usually cost approx $150 -$200 per metre. Delivery and installation costs would be extra.

setting up gold sequin drape

Factors That Influence Your Party Decorating Costs

To give you a better idea of what costs are involved we have broken down each area below. This will hopefully give you a better understanding on what cost factors are involved when it comes to decorating your party or wedding.

Hire Product Costs

There is always the obvious cost of the actual hire products you want and how many. The number of people you have may affect this cost or the size of your venue if you need to decorate a large space.

To get an idea of product costs click here to view our large range of party and wedding hire products.

Labour Costs

Labour costs really can shock some customers and it really is a case-by-case basis. The type of decorations you want and how much labour is involved to set them up are the main cost factors. There can be a lot of man-hours that go into decorating an event and a lot of clients don’t often realize this. Some events can take our team a whole day or multiple days in some cases with 10 or more people working on one event. If you are just hiring simple things like furniture that don’t really require any set up the labour costs will be lower. If you are wanting large floral displays or full-room theming that requires hours of setting up the labour costs can be high.

Things that may influence the labour charges:

The set up of your hire equipment and decorations.
The pack down of your hire equipment and decorations.
Preparation of your hire equipment.
Custom-built props or decorations.
Time of the day when equipment is required to be set up or packed down.
The day of your event and if it’s a public holiday.
If there are stairs or poor access to the venue.
Location of venue.
Type of equipment you hire and how much work there is to set up each item.

Purchased Products

This could be the cost of disposable party or wedding decorations if you decide to go down this path. Even with disposable products, the costs can go up quickly if you have a large number of people or a large venue.
Fresh flowers would also fall under this category and can be quite expensive if you are going for larger floral displays. Even if you are opting for more conservative floral arrangements for tables, costs can add up. Depending on how many tables you have and the type of flowers you use cost may add up quickly.

Other purchase costs could be for items that are required to build custom props and decorations.

Delivery Costs

The main factors that affect delivery costs are how much equipment you require and how far your venue is from our warehouse. The delivery cost also factors in road tolls, the loading and unloading of trucks both at our warehouse and at your venue. Access into your venue and if the equipment needs to be delivered to high-rise buildings will also add extra costs.

Design Costs

Design costs are usually for larger events that have lots of detail or cover large spaces. These costs usually include site visits to your venue, mood boards, floor plans, and research to find the products and decorations you may need.

Damage Waiver –

Some decorators and hire companies charge what’s called a damage waiver. This can be anywhere between 7% and 10% on top of the total price. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that this is for any breakages that may happen to the equipment you have hired for your event. Unfortunately, this is not the case and unless the damage is very minor you would still have to pay for any damaged equipment.
What the damage waiver really covers is just general wear on the equipment you use as it is used for hire purposes. Not all companies charge this but it pays to ask the question so that you don’t get a bill shock when it is added at the end.

Installation Equipment

In some cases, there may be extra equipment required to install your decorations that a typical decorator wouldn’t have. This could be things like scissor lifts to access roof areas for decorations or generators if there is no power. Depending on the size of the event and venue these costs can vary.


Some of the larger function venues are getting stricter with any decorators or suppliers that come into their venues. In some cases, venues are asking for police checks and/or inductions. Each supplier must complete these prior to working in the venue. You, the hirer, will often have to cover these costs.

event staff setting up a wedding

How To Make It Quicker And Easier To Get An Accurate Quote

So how do you make it easier to find out party and wedding decorator costs? When it comes to getting an accurate quote and quickly information is key. It is very hard for your party or wedding decorator to just pull a figure out of the sky on what your decorations will cost. To make the whole process easier the more information you can supply at the beginning the quicker and easier it will be. If you are just wanting to hire equipment that doesn’t require any set up then the process will be a lot easier. If you require set-up and delivery then there will be more information needed to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Below is a list of typical things that we would need to know to put together an accurate quote. There can be lots of variables in this depending on what equipment you want to hire. However, lots of information definitely helps!

Factors Influencing Your Quote

Date Of Function.
How many people are at your event?
Cocktail style or sit-down function.
Types of equipment required: this could be general but the more specific the better.
Theme or Style you are wanting: Is it a certain theme or more of a basic style?
Approximate Budget: This will determine what equipment you can hire, and how much.
Event Location address.
Delivery time required.
Pick Up Time Required.
How long do we have access to the venue for set up.
How long do we have access for pick up.
Is the function space on ground floor.
If not on ground floor is there a lift.
How big is the lift? This will determine if the equipment will fit in it.
How far from the drop off area to the function space is it to get equipment in.
Photos of function space to see layout.
Measurements of function space.

If you don’t know a lot of this information then giving you an accurate quote can be very hard. It would really be just a rough estimation, to begin with. 

The good news is if you don’t want all the stress of finding out all this information, we can help. If you are not sure about these things we can organize possible site visits or meetings. This will help to slowly put together everything we need. Site visits and contacting your venue to get more details may cost extra but this will save you a lot of stress.

stress free event planning melbourne


As you can see from the above, there are a lot of factors that can influence the costs of decorating. If you use an experienced party or wedding decorator a lot of these things will be quick and painless. If you choose to DIY you will have a lot more work to do. It can also mean that things may not always go to plan.

The good news is that if you don’t want to do all the work mentioned above you can hire Feel Good Events to do all the work for you.

Some people might ask if is it worth all the stress and money to decorate your event. I would say absolutely! The memories and experience that a well-decorated party creates, undoubtedly outweigh the costs.

Click Here to contact our office today if you require decorating help for your party or wedding.