"Please Don't Pick the Flowers" Cost-Saving Alternatives to Floral Centerpieces
As any bride knows, flowers can quickly make your wedding budget bloom to gigantic proportions. But who said that centerpieces had to be floral? Here are some creative alternatives to flowers, most of which you can do yourself and save beaucoup bucks, especially if you take advantage of party favor and supplies discounts online!
It may be obvious, but the classic beauty of candles will never go out of style. Gather a collection of candles in various heights, along with a few glass hurricanes, and this could be all the décor that your tables need for an understated elegance. If you want to add a bit of color to the look, fill the bottoms of the hurricanes with dried lentils or colored popcorn before securing the candles inside. Or, you might opt to purchase a few bags of tea lights and a box of blank CD's. Center and secure a single tea light to each CD, and the décor is certain to reflect the beauty of your day for all to see. Scatter framed pictures of the two of you on each table for an added personal touch.
Fruits and Veggies
The USDA recommends that you have at least seven daily servings of fruits and vegetables, but does that suggestion hold true on your wedding day? Well, it may depend on how many tables you have. Fresh fruits and vegetables can make a gorgeous alternative to traditional arrangements. Brighten your tables with a large bowl of green apples, or create a pyramid of clementines on a cake platter, and scatter a few loose flowers among the pile. Or, for a fall wedding, you might opt for a selection of pumpkins, pomegranates, grapes, baby eggplants, and squash to adorn your tables in a cornucopia of colors.
You'll save a mint with this idea. Pick up a collection of potted herbs from your local gardening store, tie a bit of ribbon around the pots, and voila!—you have a collection of centerpieces that doubles as favors for your guests. If you have a lot of extra “thyme” on your hands (and a green thumb), you might even consider potting and growing the herbs yourself.
Oil and Vinegar
Here's another all-in-one idea for your centerpieces and favors. Fill glass bottles of different shapes with an assortment of olive oils and vinegars. These also make the perfect fall wedding favors. Add a bit of accoutrement from the grocery store (fresh herbs, dried orange or lemon peel, chiles, etc.) to each one. Place the collection of bottles in the center of your table, and you may have found one place where oil and vinegar mix very well!
Seashells and Sand
Hold a beautiful seashell to your ear, and you may hear the ocean offering up the perfect décor for your wedding by the shore. First fill a collection of glass containers with some sand, and then begin your hunt for seashells and starfish. To make it extra special, place personalized seashells in the containers and invite guests to take them home as keepsakes. Top each container off with a sprig of beach grass, and you have a centerpiece that is certain to last long after the tide rolls in.
Sticks and Stones
There are no bones about it—nature is the perfect designer. Take a walk around your home (or your wedding site) in search of rocks and branches, and you just may find ingredients for the most zen of centerpieces. Scatter a few soy pillar candles among the natural décor, and you've also found the perfect compliment to your eco-friendly wedding.
Make words the center of your wedding—literally. If you're the literary type (or even if you're not), stacked books make a centerpiece that is both thrifty and elegant. You could theme each table after a writer (adding a framed quote from the writer nearby), or you might choose to scatter books around the room that hold a special significance to you both as a couple. Tie each stack with a gorgeous satin ribbon. Your guests won't be able to turn a page on this lovely décor—unless the books become their favors at the end of the evening.
They say that there's an artist in all of us, so why not test this theory on your guests? Fill your glass vases with crayons, markers, and colored pencils in a variety of colors (or choose only the colors that match your theme). Place white butcher paper over the linens on each of the tables and you've created the perfect way for your guests to draw out the evening. Their table décor could even become a unique memento for your wedding scrapbook.
Here's a fun way for the evening to play out: Dig up that collection of old board games from your parents' basement and scatter them among the tables. In doing so, you create a retro-fun way to entertain your guests. Hungry, Hungry Hippos will double as a conversation piece, preventing any awkward silence among your guests before their own dinner is served.
What could be sweeter than this idea? Fill a collection of glass bowls, aluminum pails, or planting pots with jelly beans, lemon drops, Tootsie Rolls, Red Hots, or personalized M&M's, and stick a few personalized lollipops right in the middle. This decorating idea doubles as a favor—and is sure to satisfy a guest's sweet tooth long before he reaches the center of a Tootsie Pop.