ELEGANT WEDDING CENTERPIECES & BEING FRUGAL

Rose buds and foliage spill around the centerpiece.
Rose buds and foliage spill around the centerpiece. | Source
Inexpensive urns filled with fall flowers and little fruits. We found these beautiful leaves in a park.
Inexpensive urns filled with fall flowers and little fruits. We found these beautiful leaves in a park.
pony pacs of flowers arranged in baskets for an inexpensive garden centerpiece.
pony pacs of flowers arranged in baskets for an inexpensive garden centerpiece. | Source
Plastic food container covered with polka dot paper, for a pansy garden theme.
Plastic food container covered with polka dot paper, for a pansy garden theme.
Glass beads and tiny orchid blooms scattered around the centerpiece.
Glass beads and tiny orchid blooms scattered around the centerpiece.

Because of the quantity centerpieces for your wedding can be the most expensive part of your floral budget. For a florist to arrange them in a vase it is going to cost at least $30 to $35. That won’t get you much but a few greens and a few low cost flowers. Centerpieces are labor intensive, so much of the cost if for labor.

The alternative is to make your own. I was shopping in Wal-Mart yesterday and went into their garden section, which is just now being set up after the holiday inventory. I was searching for low cost containers for a wedding I have coming up soon. They have terra cotta saucers that go under the big garden pots and the seven- inch saucers are $2.50. The larger ones are $3.50 and I think the larger are better. These make shallow, inexpensive bowls for floating flowers and you can paint them a color if you wish.

Floating flowers is certainly something you can do yourself. You will want to choose large blooms, like sunflowers, large gerberas, or open roses. You can extend the look of these and cut down on the quantity of flowers by buying a bunch of lemon leaf from your florist and arranging the flowers on the lemon leaves.

I think the most important thing to remember when you are creating a centerpiece is size, possibly more important than the centerpiece itself. Many of the banquet tables are 60 inches in diameter and placing a little tiny bowl on such a big table is not very effective. If you are creating a fall centerpiece and it seems too small then gather some fall leaves and arrange them randomly around your centerpiece. You can do the same with little fruits, roses and flower petals. Try to keep it in proportion with your table.

I had a customer that wanted a Tuscany theme and found some unfinished plaster urns for her centerpieces and they cost $1.00. She used 2 colors of brown paint to make them look old then we filled them with bright flowers and fruit.

You want to add color and excitement to the table. A large collection of candles is dramatic and perfect but of course check with the venue about their restrictions on lighted things. There are candles that are actually wax that have tiny little lights inside and they even flicker, and glass votives are usually sufficient to meet the lighting requirements. You can buy inexpensive glass hurricanes for larger candles.

One way to add color and excitement to your table is with runners. This also makes the centerpiece much larger in appearance. For long banquet tables you can run a long runner down the middle of the table that reflects the colors and theme of your wedding. Or if the table is over 8 feet it is better to lay your runners across the table, perhaps at each end and in the middle. This will create a perfect place for a bowl of flowers.

For round tables you can make table squares from interesting fabrics. Keep in mind the weight of these runners and table squares. A soft chiffon fabric overlay is very pretty but some of them bunch up every time you move a fork and that is not attractive. I love the site: housefabric.com. They have hundreds of fabrics and you can order samples. These are designer fabrics and wide enough to make a nice table square.

Using the same fabric as your runners you can cover containers and tie a ribbon or strand of raffia around them and add flowers. Arranging flowers in a round bowl is much easier if you use some floral foam in the bottom. That gives you the same benefit as an old-fashioned flower frog. Fresh flower foam is called Oasis and you can buy it at Michaels.

In the spring the nurseries and garden centers are flooded with containers of pansies, marigolds, violas, phlox and colorful things. You can take these pony packs and arrange them in a basket; cover the dirt with some moss (Michaels again) and add some birds or butterflies and make a cute garden centerpiece a few dollars.

If you have a nice yard of interesting bushes you are in luck. Boxwood, ferns, lemon leaf, rhododendrons and ivy all have great color and texture. Fill a vase with greens, let it spill down the side of your container, then add just a few flowers for color.

I’m amazed at the creativity of many brides. If you start early it will give you time to perfect your centerpieces, collect vases, order fabrics and take advantage of sales. One bride collected a big variety of containers from every antique and junk shop she visited. It was an eclectic and interesting grouping of several on each table, with only a few blooms in each container and pulled together with colorful table squares.

 

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