Composing Creative Centerpieces
Who knew there was so much involved in planning a wedding? And now you’re trying to figure out what to put as centerpieces on your guests’ tables. Below are some imaginative and affordable ways to decorate the dining tables!
Mankind has been looking at nature for inspiration since their inception, so why not you? Consider the season of your wedding. Chilly winters with stuffy indoors and outdoor storms may seem drab, but not if you think of setting evergreen twigs decorated with berries or maybe even some small tokens of affection from the bride and groom. For a Christmas-y feel, consider placing the guest favors on one big decorated pine tree, or smaller versions on each table. In the spring, the weather can be wonderful or wet, but either condition is easily overlooked when the guests realize that their dinner tables are sporting lovely painted ornate eggs and delicious candy (a special hit with younger children, but adults love them too!). In the summer heat, keep your guests thinking of the sea with glass containers filled with sand, seashells, sea glass, or maybe even place a few cute wooden lighthouses on display. Autumn brings spectacular colors and other noble gestures from nature, so why not use those very expressions? Use bright leaves and bare branches to decorate, and maybe place some miniature pumpkins (carved or un-carved) on the table. Your invitees will be wowed by your unique centerpieces and entertained, making your wedding the relaxed, enjoyable experience you dreamed of.
Edible & Eatable
It doesn’t have to be spring to give your guests a treat! Food is a very social and bonding experience for people, and the two aunts from either family can find infinite topics of conversation after noticing that they have a weakness for the same kind of frosting! Placing cupcakes or small cakes in the center of the table appeals to everyone’s sweet tooth, and to encourage intermingling try placing different flavors on different tables, so that a cousin from the groom’s family who wants vanilla can take her pumpkin flavored cupcake to another table and meet the cutie on the bride’s side. Candies and cookies can easily be wrapped or dyed to match wedding colors, and giving each guest a small bag to choose their own favors will ensure that everyone is satisfied and content. Always be mindful of diabetics, Celiacs (gluten allergies) or peanut allergies in your group – no one likes feeling left out!
Pictures of the Past
One treat that can be enjoyed by everyone is the sweetness of a memory. Inexpensive frames, with pictures of the bride and groom and family and friends will be admired and adored by your guests. If possible, take a little extra time and match the photos with the seating arrangements, so that each person at your wedding remembers their special bond with you and can tell a story – touching, funny, or embarrassing! – to their table about how and when that picture was taken.
These are only a few general ideas to make standout centerpieces, but there are many other inspirations to consider. Look to the interests of the bride and groom themselves – are they a bookish couple? Try decorating the tables with famous titles, first lines, or covers, and maybe theme each table with a different genre. Is the couple into sports? Plush balls are a safe and fun squishy toy to include in each table’s centerpiece – with hundreds of different sports to choose from to theme each setting! Are the intended an old-fashioned pair who likes to watch old black-and-white movies? Photos of old actors and actresses, famous lines, and other iconic scenes and words are easy to find and easy to scatter across the reception room. Themes and ideas are easy to discover while considering the hobbies and interests of the soon-to-be couple.
In general, there are a few rules that apply to all and any centerpiece ideas:
a) Keep an eye on the budget. One little thing may seem inexpensive, but multiply it by the number you’ll need for your guest list and it might suddenly seem exorbitant. Be a smart shopper – look for buy in bulk deals and other good prices to help stay within budget and keep your wedding bill from overshadowing the ceremony.
b) While centerpieces are meant to be admired, they should not take up the whole table – remember that guests should be able to speak to each other, so make each decoration either short enough for guests to see over or tall and thin enough for guests to see around. Conversation is stunted when you can’t see who you’re talking to.
c) Centerpieces are only for decoration; the real reason your guests are sitting at tables is so they may eat. Avoid putting decor that will interfere with eating and appetite, such as scented potpourri or molting feathers.
d) Stay away from the temptation to place your grandmother’s beautiful diamond necklace on the arrangement. It might be the perfect touch to your centerpiece, but placing dear items on arrangements puts them at risk for being taken home by guests, mistaken for fakes, or lost. Keep your valuables and treasures safe at home; if possible, you can substitute a copy or close replica to get the effect you want without the risk.
It’s easy to be creative with the center arrangement on your guests tables. And once that’s out of the way, you can concentrate on other things, like invitations, the gown, the venue, where are you going to put your mother-in-law…at least, with these suggestions, there will be one less item on your plate to worry about while making your wedding perfect!