Inspiration from MSW: 50 Great Wedding Centerpieces

Martha Stewart Weddings has an interesting slideshow up: 50 Great Wedding Centerpieces.

I was pleased there were a fair number of non-floral options.  As any budget-conscious bride knows, flowers will really kick your budget out of whack.  Some of my favorite non-floral options were:

  1. Tea Cup Centerpiece – I’m a sucker for tea cups, and I think this would be a really sweet centerpiece for an afternoon reception, especially in a garden setting.  This might be because I’m obsessed with Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking-Glass, but I think this would be really adorable.
  2. Wine Bottle Centerpieces/Table Numbers – I really like this and might incorporate it into my tables.  Some friends of mine did something similar at their reception, placing a bottle of champagne on each table so it was a self-serve toasting situation.  I really liked it and have been considering doing the same thing – it was a quick ice-breaker at our table as we all passed around flutes to pour our drinks.  This does the same thing, but adds the table number to the bottle so it can do double-duty.  Brilliant!
  3. Citrus Arrangement – I like this, though it’s something I often do in my kitchen, which makes it seem informal in my head.  However, done properly, I think it could be really lovely.  And isn’t the smell of citrus just one of the best things ever?
  4. Tapered Candle Centerpiece – This is similar to what my MOH is planning for her wedding, and I think it’s a lovely and elegant alternative to traditional centerpieces.  It doesn’t block guests’ views across the table, it adds an ambiance and romance to the room, and it’s easily done within any budget.  Complete win.

Some options that were a huge miss to me all featured the same problem: the Maple Tree and Yellow and Black centerpeices are the traditional huge flower centerpieces.  I know that people think these add drama to a table, but as a guest who has experienced them, let me tell you how much I hate them.  You can’t see around them, which means you can’t talk to the people sitting across from you and you feel cut off from half the conversation.  If the centerpiece is between you and the dance floor, you can’t see the couple’s first dance, etc., without standing up (which then makes you feel like your blocking other people’s view and, if you’re in ridicheels like most women at weddings, you’re standing in shoes you really would rather be sitting in).  If the bride makes the double-whammy-mistake of using heavily scented blossoms, the smell becomes overwhelming and makes your food taste funny.

Seriously, if you insist on having flowers, consider that your guests are going to have to sit around them, eat around them, and chat to strangers around them.  Make them something a person can live with for 3 hours.

A final idea I really liked was the Tea Tin Centerpiece.  I keep seeing ideas like this on blogs and in magazines and it is really adorable.  However, a problem that you would need to address (and this probably goes for the tea cup centerpiece, above) is getting your hands on all these tins.  I suppose you could find them online, but the price would get pretty high, and what would you do with them after the wedding?  Resell them online?  In South Jersey, I would recommend searching the flea market at the Berlin Auction, and I’m sure there are similar flea markets in other parts of the country.  But flea markets, yard sales, etc., are pretty hit-or-miss, so you’d have to have plenty of time to search before the wedding.

Of course, what to do with centerpieces is always a problem.  No one wants to take home 10 floral arrangements, but you don’t want to leave them at your reception site.  My MOH and I are counting on some people wanting to take one of the centerpieces home (free Ikea serving bowl, yay!), but we might get stuck with one or two, which means I’ll be selling them on eBay.

I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I come to it!



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