Wedding planning is all about the details and designing the right centerpieces is no exception. It's the biggest party most couples will ever plan and typically there is a budget and theme to keep in mind when planning out the aesthetics. Wedding centerpieces pull together the look for every table at the reception and they are the main focal point for seated guests.
Centerpiece Ideas on a Budget
Here are wedding centerpiece ideas for the budgeted couple:
- Make the ordinary extraordinary. Display baskets, tea service trays, charger plates and mint julep cups can all be re-purposed as part of a creative and unique centerpiece. Consider using these elements to dress up the design of your centerpiece rather than spending a lot on perishable flowers.
- Choose seasonal decorations. Using in-season items is a good way to reduce costs for creating your centerpiece. For example, you can use roses in the summer, pine cones in the fall, gourds in the winter and tulips in the spring. Flowers, fruits and vegetables that are in-season are not only cheaper, they are also more colorful, more eco-friendly and will bring a decorative seasonal element to your wedding reception.
- Pick or buy your own flowers. Having a florist do your flower arrangements will significantly increase the cost of your centerpiece. Instead, pick your own, or purchase them in bulk at a local market or grocery store. Your arrangement can look just as beautiful and professional as a florists for a fraction of the cost, and you can have some fun with it, too!
Creative Wedding Centerpiece Ideas
There are many creative ways to create a unique centerpiece. The most important thing is that the bride and groom are happy with the look and feel that it reflects their personal tastes. Here are some elements you may want to incorporate into your centerpieces:
Flowers and Foliage
Most brides and grooms consider flowers on the tabletops to be an absolute necessity at their wedding reception. You can contract with a florist to acquire beautiful flower arrangements, or you can create your own flower arrangements. For tightly budgeted weddings, consider using a few dozen roses or lilies and a case of bud vases. A single flower on the table can have quite an impact. Or, rent some pedestal bowls and fill it with water to create a floating blossom centerpiece.
Candles create romantic and elegant lighting at a wedding reception. You can put a single candle on the table in a candle holder, or rent a set of candelabras, or candlesticks, that will hold multiple lights at a time. To make your candelabras centerpiece even more striking, purchase a flower adapter bowl that will turn the top candle-holder into a vessel for holding flowers or brightly colored fruits. Other unique candle options include floating candles and hanging candle arrangements.
If your venue space or outdoor area has restrictions on open flames, you can use flickering LED tealights along with your candle holders to create almost the same effect as a genuine candle. Flameless candles are reusable and convenient as they eliminate the need to clean up melted wax after the event.
Fruits or Vegetables
Wedding centerpieces that feature fruits and vegetables are not only unique, they are also symbolic of fertility and happiness. Furthermore, they can bring a wonderful scent into your reception space. Here are some specific ideas on how to use fruits and vegetables in your centerpiece:
- Make a candle holder out of an artichoke for summer weddings, or out of a pumpkin for fall or winter weddings.
- Use grapes as an embellishment to candles or lights.
- Fill a clear vase with whole or sliced citrus, then place just a few tall-stemmed flowers in it. It will be a more colorful vase and save you money on flowers. It will also fill the room with a refreshing citrus smell.
- Use a fruit tower to create a colorful, tall pillar of fruit at the center of the table. This type of arrangement can rival flowers in color, shape and scent.
Shells can make a great addition to an ocean-themed or beachside wedding reception. They are easy to find on many beaches, and they often have pink or white tones that match well with many wedding color schemes.
Rocks and Crystals
Use shells, polished stones or crystals at the bottom of vases or surrounding candles to give your centerpiece a sparkling, gem-like effect. Budget-friendly stones that sparkle and work well for this include quartz, fool’s gold (a.k.a. pyrite), mica flakes, obsidian, sea glass, calcite-rich limestone and greenish turquoise. These kind of rocks can be found online, at gift shops near mountains or volcanoes, or in many kids’ rock collections, although that is not to say you should steal them from children.
Display Stands & Bases
You can use display risers or tiered display stands to elevate your candle, fruit and flower displays. Elevating the display will bring a more balanced look to your décor. It makes the centerpieces a more prominent feature of the reception. You can also use mirror trays as a base for your centerpiece. This will reflect the light and color in your centerpiece and increase the visual impact.
Mix and Match Centerpiece Ideas
The most unique centerpieces happen when two or more of the above elements are incorporated into one piece. Here are some examples of how you can mix and match these items:
- Use a squat vase and a few small stakes to create an arrangement of gourds, flowers, and apples for an autumn wedding masterpiece.
- Place a pedestal bowl on a plate, add floating candles, and cover the plate in grapes, shells and flower blossoms.
- Place some pillar candles on a plate or tray and surround them with green foliage and dried roses or fake lilies.
- Create submerged flower centerpieces by taking orchids, tulips, cherry blossoms or other flowers and sinking them in a clear vase. You may have to use polished stones or crystals to anchor the flowers to the bottom, so they do not float. Put an LED light in the base of the lamp. Or, you can place floating candles on top or surround the vase with tealights to create a glowing lamp of flowers.
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