Wedding centerpieces are a key component of any wedding reception. They set the mood for the event as soon as the guests walk through the door and are by far the most memorable wedding decoration. Naturally, the wedding industry has capitalized on the importance of centerpieces and now you may find yourself paying in the hundreds and thousands for just the right creations.
Beautiful wedding centerpieces don’t have to be expensive, however. By using a little bit of creativity and investing just a bit of hands-on time, you can create amazing and memorable centerpieces that will delight your guests without emptying your wallet. All you need to do is remember the simple rules of good centerpieces and start thinking outside the box.
There are five simple rules to creating a beautiful wedding centerpiece:
1. Variety is eye pleasing. Remember to try to incorporate a variety of heights, widths, materials, and colors in your centerpieces. A collection of different sized candles in shades of blue is much more striking than a collection of the exact same candle in one size and one color, even if the candle itself is beautiful. Keeping variety in your centerpieces will make them more interesting and memorable, which means they’ll have a bigger impact at your reception.
2. Let there be light! The best centerpieces have some sort of eye-catching illumination, whether it be candles, crystals, or just a little bit of sparkle. This is particularly true for indoor receptions at night, where the glimmer of your centerpieces will ground the whole event and make each table feel a little more festive. If you’re having a day reception or an outdoor reception, including a little bit of sparkle or shine in your receptions will draw the eye to them and highlight the centerpieces. Remember: sparkle is not the same thing as glitter! Adding light to your reception could mean candles, Christmas lights, lanterns, shimmery ribbon, crystal pendants, glass beads, or the ever classic silver and gold. The sky is the limit…just remember that light is key!
3. Reflection makes a big impact. If you’re trying to stretch your centerpiece investment, the easiest way to double the impact is to add mirrors. Mirrored chargers under a large centerpiece make the centerpiece more interesting and more memorable. Small mirrors can also be placed under candles or lanterns to double the illumination. Other creative ways to include mirrors in your centerpieces include using small mirrors scattered like confetti to catch the light or adding mirrored ornaments to any tall centerpieces you may have.
4. There is more to centerpieces than flowers. Flowers are the most traditional wedding centerpieces, but they can be expensive, even if you use artificial flowers. Don’t feel trapped into sticking with greenery! You can make beautiful centerpieces by grouping any like items together, such as candles or objects made out of a common material such as wood, silver, gold, or glass. If you want to add a touch of nature to your tables without splurging on flowers, consider using branches or produce. Branches can be put in large vases (save money by finding these at thrift stores) and if you want to dress them up a little you can adorn them with garlands, ornaments, lanterns, or lights. Produce, such as a large basket of bright fruit or harvest vegetables, can be recycled into take-home gifts for your guests or post-reception snacks.
5. Make it personal. You can spend triple digits on a centerpiece and have it be completely forgettable if it makes your reception look like any other wedding. Your guests are at your event to celebrate the two of you and your joy in sharing your life together. Why not incorporate that into your centerpieces somehow? The addition of framed photos or objects that represent stories and aspects of your lives can create great talking points as guests wait for the meals to be served or might introduce them to a part of your lives that they hadn’t shared before. This is a cost-efficient but truly special way to make your centerpieces a memorable part of your event.
Keeping those rules in mind will help you as you start to think about what you can do to create a beautiful but inexpensive centerpiece. Just think outside the box, brainstorm stores that have inexpensive materials you can use, and remember that the most beautiful decoration any wedding can have is a happy bride and groom.