a journey toward non-traditional wedded bliss, with style

Centerpiece Ideas August 6, 2009

It’s always funny to look at your blog stats – for example, my post on Blue Orchid Centerpieces is by far the most popular just because that particular phrase gets searched for so often and my blog article is the first that pops up. So, it seems that lots of you out there are still on the lookout for creative centerpiece ideas. I understand because flowers can be incredibly expensive and centerpieces are such an important statement that can really help set the mood of your reception. Here are a few of my favorite tips that I learned from planning my own wedding.

  • Never underestimate the power of food coloring and a little glycerin. Dying the water in clear vases makes an otherwise simple arrangement really pop!

colored water

yellow daisies blue and pink orchids multicolored tulip

  • Use alternative materials in your centerpieces. Rocks, feathers, paper, fruit, cupcakes, corks, buttons…the list goes on and on. Not only are these cheaper than flowers, they don’t die after the wedding!


lemons paper lace cupcake bouquet

  • Use alternative materials to hold your centerpieces. Wine bottles, vases, mason jars, tin buckets, lanterns, pitchers etc. Even tin cans can make a gorgeous statement. These can be items you would have thrown away or recycled or you can get them from thrift stores or budget friendly stores like Ikea!

vessels copy

black bottles cans for vases citrus bottles tea tins

  • A little paint goes a long way. Our florist painted the curly willow at our wedding and the metallic shades made a big difference. Curly willow or other branches are a great and inexpensive way to give your centerpieces some height too.

curly willow

white and pink natural curly willow blue room


Centerpiece Sneak Peek June 23, 2009

So far I only have one picture of one of three types of centerpieces that we had at our wedding (thanks to my fellow teachers!) but I couldn’t resist a sneak peek. I can’t even begin to say how much fun I had working with Dee and Amanda at Petals & Leaves. I’m sure that I’ll continue to rave about their work when I get the detail shots from our photographer, but for now I’ll just say that I went to them with all sorts of crazy ideas (because that’s what happens when you’ve been reading wedding blogs for a year right?) and not only were they supportive and enthusiastic but they took my thoughts to the next level. This custom designed screen you see behind us with damask elements and orchids strung through it began as a vague thought about a “screen of flowers.” It turned out so well, even though we ended up inside instead of outside. In fact, I think it juxtaposed even better with the classic vintage appeal of Derby Court, giving it that modern twist we were going for.


And here is the shot of centerpiece one: a tall hurricane vase turned upside down with uplighting from the bottom, moss, flowers, green apples, and metallic curly willow spraying out of the top. I was blown away when I saw them! They were the one type of tall centerpieces we had, and they definitely added dimension and visual interest in such a huge room. Plus since the vases were thin and clear, people could still have conversations through them which was one of our main priorities. I’ll add pictures of the rest of their fabulous floral details as soon as I have them!



Pink, Green, and White Wedding December 2, 2008

I had to share these pictures from a wedding featured on Weddingbee because they have some of the most innovative centerpieces I’ve seen yet, cute & spunky details, and a gorgeous bride in an Enzoani dress. Enjoy!

I absolutely love these, the apples in water are simple and graphic, and the calla lilies wrapped around the vases with rhinestone brooches are so pretty.

The bold letters and star details are adorable.


Wheatgrass Table Decor August 21, 2008

My first experience with wheatgrass was rather traumatic. One of my friend’s extremely health conscious mothers thought that wheatgrass was like Windex in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” – it cures everything. So without any explanation I was handed a shot glass full of pulpy, foamy green liquid and expected to toss it back like a Washington Apple. I could come up with some long and fanciful description of exactly how horrible it tasted, but really, it just tasted exactly like it looked. Green and gross. I’ve heard all about the fantastic health benefits, but since then I’ve avoided wheatgrass like the plague. Until now.

This table decor is chic and fresh without being overdone, mostly thanks to the darling wheatgrass centerpieces. And as long as the wheatgrass stays in the dirt, with no convenient comments like, “I just bought you a juicer, and it’s right over there in that giftbox!” we should be good.


Lampshade Centerpieces July 16, 2008

So this post is going to require a little imagination and a lot of patience for my Photoshop skills. Flipping through the channels the other night, I saw a snippet of a wedding reception where the centerpieces featured lampshades. I couldn’t find the picture online, but I figured this was too good of an idea to pass up. Everyone knows by now that I love unconventional materials in centerpieces, and this is another option that is unexpectedly stylish and possibly very budget friendly too. In this very basic example the lampshades are from Urban Outfitters and the vases are from Target, but really you could do some very creative variations of this idea. Funky mismatched antique lampshades, candles in the vases for soft light, and flowers coming out the top of the shades are just a few…I would love to see a bride take this concept and make it her own!


Recyclable Chic June 17, 2008

While I knew paper was cheap, recyclable, and readily available I had no idea it could be such a versatile decorating tool. These two pictures of receptions with centerpieces are both fabulous, but at totally different ends of the spectrum.

This set up is all about elegance. The muted color palette is gorgeous and the paper flowers are incredible works of art. Even though they aren’t real, they make the table look lush and full and they can be used again or saved which is a definite perk.

This table setting blew me away because it manages to make crumpled up newspaper look posh and avant garde. While the overall effect is still refined, I think this look would definitely get your guests talking! I’m intrigued by this whole idea so I’ll be on the lookout for more paper wedding decor…


Blue Orchid Centerpiece Ideas June 12, 2008

One of my fellow teachers who is getting married in July asked me for some centerpiece ideas for her reception which will be at a gorgeous venue in downtown Columbus. Not only am I flattered because we’ve spent a lot of time sharing wedding details at work and she has fabulous taste, but I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to post some more floral inspiration since I think she is facing a dilemma that brides often struggle with.

After sticker shock at the florists, which is something I totally understand, she decided to use other more inexpensive materials to dress up her tables. Her original plan was to use blue orchids wrapped around the inside of a fishbowl filled with water and a floating candle on top, but something about the design just didn’t look right.

Without seeing it, I’m guessing that all the elements are competing with each other. A fishbowl is such a simple shape that usually only very minimalist flowers are used along with it, and the floating candle might seem out of place. I love the basics of the idea though, so here is a collection of ideas that will hopefully help reduce her last minute planning stress. I can’t wait to attend the wedding and post what she decided! I have no doubt the whole affair will be absolutely gorgeous.

Idea 1: Change the container shape

I think the fishbowl shape, while pretty is somewhat hard to work with. Cylindrical vases like these wouldn’t be much more expensive and are really elegant and streamlined with floating candles on top. You could either do a collection of different heights, or just one or two and scatter flowers on the table for more visual interest.

Idea 2: Use colored water

This would be incredibly inexpensive and I think the burning candle inside the turquoise water is a really cool effect. The website includes instructions on how to easily create the centerpiece yourself, and you could also add flowers either floating on the water or in between the two vases to incorporate the orchids.

Idea 3: Add branches for height

Another possible reason the fishbowl centerpiece wasn’t working could be the lack of height. Tall centerpieces definitely create more of an impact, although you do want to be aware that they can block conversation if you aren’t careful. Curly willow is a good element to use since you can get it cheaply and see through it enough to talk to the person across from you. I love how in this picture orchid blooms have been attached the the willow so it looks like a blooming branch. The advantage to this look would be you could really use any type of glass container as long as it was deep enough to hold up the willow.