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Unique Wedding Centerpiece Ideas

Updated on July 18, 2010

Looking for something a bit different than the traditional floral centerpiece? Want to express you and your future spouse in every detail of the wedding in a way that people will remember? Take a glance here!

When my husband and I were planning our wedding, we wanted it to be different from everything we've seen, and really show who we were as a couple. We're both romantic and outdoorsy, and so we decided on a sort of enchanted forest theme. Lanterns, branches, river rocks and flowers lent a wonderful ambiance to our wedding, and people are still talking about it years later.

our wedding centerpieces.
our wedding centerpieces.

The Lantern

We found hanging lanterns that we bought in bulk on ebay. The base was comprised of a foam raiser and an "oasis," or a piece of foam that retains water so you can stick flowers right into it. We glued live moss onto the base, then filled it in with fresh flowers and a few unique items like artichokes and grapes. Our colors were deep plum, lavender, chocolate brown and a sage or moss green.

Tip: Choosing your colors with flexibility brings more depth to the whole arrangement of the wedding. Rather than sticking with just a red and black, allow a range of oranges and peaches, or go the cool side and allow more purples and blues. Sticking resolutely to your one or two colors can make your bouquets, invites, etc. look 2 dimensional.

To the side of the hanging lantern we wired twigs and berries, and the whole effect was gorgeous.

My best friend loved the idea, but her wedding was more of a fire/Moroccan theme with colors of the sunset. She found lovely Moroccan lanterns, and as her wedding was outdoors she allowed the moss to drape onto the tablecloth more--bringing the surroundings onto the table if you will. Peach roses, pomegranates, and an amazing ribbon woven through the whole scene added pop to the piece and sent the guests talking about it all night!

You can use a lantern to match the theme of your wedding--an old kerosene lamp, cute garden lantens, Japanese paper lanterns, hurricane lanterns, pagoda style lanterns or you could go really creative and have Aladdin's lamp!

The Fishbowl

Another great idea I've heard of is using a fishbowl with live fish as your centerpiece. You can choose a single beautiful beta fish, or have a fish "couple" of goldfish or another of your choice. Goldfish are pretty hardy and that's why I recommend them.

The options for décor are nearly endless. Floating flowers, floating candles, fun glass beads instead of gravel, seashells, or if the couple are into scuba diving maybe a fun diver or mask figurine. You can surround the base with flowers, fabric, ornamental grass...the list goes on!

Here's a practical guide to creating your own floral base for a goldfish bowl.

A fishbowl is also a great way to bring a unique feel to your table without the fish, too. Circle grasses or lilies inside, stack limes and lemons for a fun feel (you can even fill that with water and use as a base to a floral arrangement), or use it as a windshield for pillar candles.

Go Zen

If less-is-more is more your thing, go for a simplistic style.

A solitary pillar with a few river rocks, an interesting piece of (clean!) driftwood on a base of fabric, a base holding a few floating lotus, or even a mini sandbox for your guests to play with. For a whimsical feel, try a small wind chime on a stand. Some might even find a battery operated fountain, which in addition to alcohol could help relax any anxious parents or antsy guests. (just kidding...kind of)

The Plant

If you want a simple yet impressive centerpiece, consider a live plant or unique plant parts. No not the cheesy ivy you see in a hospital gift store. Think of something a bit more unique. First, consider the season.

Spring is a great time for flowers and buds. A cherry blossom branch surrounded by candles makes a nice display. Or a small pot of gerber daisies, tulips, or daffodils makes a cheerful focal point. Even a pot or ornamental grasses makes for a soft and unique display. Get creative with the container and use a galvanized pail, a rustic basket, a twiggy nest or whatever suits your style.

Summer can bring fun vegetation such as lemon and limes, sunflowers, or miniature roses. While a bit pricey, a dwarf citrus tree would make an adorable piece. Wrap pots in flowy gauze, simple ribbon or burlap. Blueberries also work for a floral base. For a throwback, pile a mini Radio Flyer red wagon with oranges and flowers, or even the guest favors.

Fall has more options than you may think. Mums, apples, winter squashes, branches, brightly colored leaves are just a few options. A bundle of wheat or grains tied in an antique ribbon can be a different sight as well. And just because it's fall doesn't mean you're stuck in the orange/red color scheme. We were married in November and went against the flow.

Winter can be a bit tougher, especially in the reaches of the hemisphere where the world waits under a white blanket. But as Frank says in Father of the Bride, "Tank goodness its vite, yuu know? It vorks!" Look for berry branches, cranberries, pine cones, or even a mini Christmas tree (or rosemary plant, the needles on those minis can be vicious!). Look around where you live for a better idea of what's available, or talk to the employees at your local nursery.

Bamboo is usually available year round.

Check out The Wedding Greenhouse for more ideas.

The Interactive Centerpiece

Want to get your guests involved? Try an interactive centerpiece! Have a vase filled with branches and have them hang their well wishes on ribbon. Or if you're having a Christmas tree centerpiece, have guest favors of ornaments hanging on it for them to take home. If you have the resources, having a polaroid camera at each table and allowing them to create their own scapbook page can help fill in some gap time as guests are waiting for the bridal party to arrive. You could even arrange elements of a centerpiece in the middle of the table and allow the guests to arrange it--with a prize going to the best table!

Final Thoughts

Try to be considerate of the environment, and consider recyclable items or items you've salvaged. Living plants create a lasting memory of your wedding for those who keep them. Think about the fuel wasted and costs involved with flying in your tulips from New Zealand.

Tip: All your centerpieces do not have to be identical. You may fall in love with the fountain idea, but not be able to find 20 matching ones. No big deal! Get different ones on ebay, craigslist, or even thrift stores for an eclectic look that will make your guests want to visit every table and fight over the centerpiece before they leave!

Finally, whatever you do, make sure your centerpiece reflects who you are as a couple. Our big thing was balancing the masculine and feminine aspects of our wedding. Flowers were balanced by river rocks, ribbons were balanced by tree branches. My husband felt he was as involved in our wedding as I was. In fact, it was a total collaboration to come up with our centerpieces. And remember...have fun!

If you need more ideas for a wedding theme, flavor or ideas, check out my hub Finding Your Wedding Theme.



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    • erorantes profile image

      Ana Maria Orantes 4 years ago from Miami Florida

      Miss. Solorya I like your center pieces article. they are beautiful. thank you for showing them.

    • DIYweddingplanner profile image

      DIYweddingplanner 7 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Nice job, love the colors in your centerpieces. You make a good point about the colors. I would love to see brides choose at least three coordinating colors, two is so flat!

    • HollyJ profile image

      HollyJ 8 years ago from Boston, MA

      i absolutely love the fishbowl centerpiece idea. how cute. people can even take them home as a wedding favor. i have some interesting floating flower centerpieces on my hubpage if you would like to check them out!

    • profile image

      Maid Of Honor Toast 8 years ago

      What a great group of ideas for the centerpiece! Thank you for the informative hub on this.

    • profile image

      With This Favor 8 years ago

      We tried to do the plant with the Radio Flyer wagon for our wedding but could not find the wagon anywhere for a good deal. I didn't realize at the time how much the Radio Flyers cost! These were a dime a dozen 20 years ago... Thank you so much for the great post and unique ideas for centerpieces.

    • Solorya profile image

      Solorya 8 years ago from Oklahoma

      thanks! I've seen the fishbowl done with betas and it was a really cool effect!

    • profile image

      mp 8 years ago

      WOW... great hub... so many creative ideas... the fishbowl one is very cool (as long as you can keep the kids out of them lol)

    • lyla profile image

      lyla 8 years ago from India

      WOW! great centerpieces!I particularly loved your color combo..deep plum, lavender, chocolate brown.Its indeed unique.thanks for sharing!:)