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Wedding Centerpieces

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As most of you know, planning a wedding can get expensive, and wedding centerpieces are a great place to cut costs. In an effort to be traditional, many couples spend unnecessary amounts of money on flowers, when they could actually save money by using non-traditional centerpieces that are unique and are just as beautiful. Below, I've listed some ideas to help inspire you on your big day.

Wedding Favors

  • For this idea, your wedding favors can be easily accessible to your guests and they help you cut costs elsewhere.
  • Buy lots of mini vases and place a couple flowers and some peacock feathers in each. Bunch together in the middle of the table or arrange into a specific shape (like a heart) and have the guests take one home at the end of the party.
  • Alternatively, arrange a vase in the middle of the table and place brightly colored and folded hand fans inside. Decorate with a few colorful flowers.
  • For a holiday themed wedding, purchase mini Christmas trees and hang with shiny ornaments. For an extra touch, place a picture of your guest inside these pretty hanging frame ornaments to serve as a personalized wedding favor. Place some pillar candles on either side and surround with tinsel to reflect the light.

Nature

  • If you still want flowers, but don't want to spend a fortune on the florist, incorporate some other elements into your centerpieces. For example, place a few carefully selected flowers and then add ferns, tree branches, wheat stalks, berry branches, or any other plant you can think of. Along that vein, there are many other plants that are pretty and will not hurt your wallet as much.
  • For a desert wedding, place some cactuses onto the center of your table. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and some even have pretty blooms.
  • For an Asian inspired reception, place a bamboo plant in the middle of the table and surround it with various pictures of the couple glued onto wooden hand fans.
  • Another idea is to grow your own flowers in pretty ceramic pots of different shapes and sizes, and place these in the center of your table. Accent them with some mini watering cans that can double as favors.
  • For a beach wedding, scatter some sand in the middle of the table and complement with a variety of seashells. Another possibility is to include a mini beach pail, complete with shovel and mini beach ball.
  • Fall weddings can provide you with a plethora of ideas. You can place some pumpkins in the middle of the table with the leaves still intact, or create a romantic jack-o-lantern with heart or flower shapes and place a candle inside. Another possibility is to create your own cornucopia. Grab a basket and fill with some dried corn, mini pumpkins, squash, and zucchini. Scatter some maple leaves or acorns and pinecones on the table to accent. Finally, place a seasonal vegetable or fruit to serve as a place card or fall wedding favor to complement your centerpiece.
  • For a garden or spring wedding, grab crystal bowls and jars of all shapes and sizes and fill with brightly colored fruit, such as lemons and limes, strawberries, oranges, bananas, or berries. Alternatively, skewer some pieces of fruit and place inside of a vase. Complement with a couple flowers and prepare to amaze.

Candles

  • Candles serve a dual purpose. They add a touch of elegance to a dusk or an evening reception, and you can buy these in advance because they won't wilt like flowers tend to do. There are many things you can do with candles, and here are just some ideas:
  • Get candles of varying sizes and bunch in the center of the table. A variation of this would be to grab candleholders of varying sizes. Place these on top of a mirror base for a soft glow.
  • Place a large crystal or wooden bowl filled with water in the center of the table. Add some floating candles and some rose petals to create a pretty centerpiece.
  • Top a variety of wine bottles with these wine cork candles.
  • Fill a clear vase with coffee beans and top with a candle.
  • For the literary types, stack a few of your favorite books and tie with a ribbon, then top with a few pillar candles.
  • Purchase metal lanterns and place a small candle surrounded by a slight bit of sand and seashells inside.
  • For the DIY-ers, this idea was inspired by Mamma Mia! the movie: Line the outside of some small, clean jars with tissue paper (any color), and place tea lights inside. Attach a wire onto the jar to make a handle, and for an extra touch, attach some wire butterflies or any other shape onto the handle. Then, arrange a vase with some sturdy and cleaned tree branches, and hang your mini lanterns onto them.
  • As with anything, the details are what make your centerpieces special. To add that extra touch, surround them with some smooth stones, leaves, sand, or even a few flowers (no stems) or flower petals depending on the theme of your wedding. Always make sure that nothing is in the way of the flames to avoid a crispy reception.

Dessert

  • For those couples opting out of a wedding cake or adding some extra sweets, place the desserts in the center of the guest's tables instead to make a mouth-watering centerpiece.
  • Purchase a cupcake holder of your choosing and make those beauties the center of attention or alternatively use monogrammed petit fours or any other mini dessert.
  • Make a colorful dessert, such as trifles or Jello using mini martini glasses, shot glasses, and wine glasses as the display. Arrange in the middle of the table.
  • Place a vase with some sturdy branches and hang some personalized cookies or custom fortune cookies packaged and tied with a ribbon from the ends. This idea works with other goodies as well like little packets filled with colorful candy.
  • Speaking of candy, this one is sure to be a hit at the kids table: Buy a variety of jars and vases and fill with brightly colored candy. Some ideas include conversation hearts, gumballs, M&Ms, jelly beans, Skittles, Hershey's kisses, saltwater taffy, or pillow mints. Insert some oversized, colorful lollipops inside for a yummy flower-alternative.
  • These are just some ways to add something different to your wedding and still save money. Consider these ideas as starting points and mix and match to create some truly unique centerpieces. As with anything else, inspiration can come from anywhere, so get out there and get those creative juices flowing!
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