When your guests walk into whatever venue you've chosen for your reception, you want the wedding centerpieces to elicit gasps of admiration. But you also want to make sure those admiring glances last through the entire reception, not end up leading to irritation or problems by the end of evening. Sadly, it has happened to more than one bride who has selected over-the top centerpieces that ended up as distractions instead of decorations.
How do you know when a wedding centerpiece is "just right?" These guidelines will help you choose wisely:
1. Keep the size of the tables in mind
If you are using small tables with conversational groups of six or eight at each, you should keep the centerpieces correspondingly smaller. After all, you don't want to take up so much space that the place settings are crowded out. With round tables you have less space to work with than with square ones, so keep shape in mind as well.
2. Mirrors can add impact
Most rental companies and florists can provide small square or round beveled mirrors that you can place under your floral arrangements or centerpieces to double their impact without making them larger. This increases their "presence" without taking up additional table space and adds light and sparkle to the room, especially if there are candles on the table or in the centerpiece. This is easily one of the most economical and romantic ways to add real "wow" to your centerpieces.
3. Avoid too much height
The tall, elegant candelabras with trailing flowers and ivy that you see in pictures running down the length or a table may look lovely, but they aren't practical. On a bridal table, they prevent guests from seeing the bridal party clearly and on guest tables they block easy conversation when guests have to constantly bend around the distracting candle holders. Don't put anything on the tables that will be at the same height as your guests heads - it will be an annoyance, no matter how beautiful they are!
4. It doesn't have to be about just the centerpiece
If the rest of the tabletop is lovely, you can spend less on the centerpieces themselves. Try sprinkling a dusting of delicate confetti or glitter in your wedding colors across the tablecloths. With coordinating place cards and linens, your tables will be well on their way to looking lovely and will require only simple centerpieces to be complete.
5. Variety is the spice of life
To add interest, choose two or three closely related styles for your centerpieces and use them. Your tables don't all have to look exactly the same. This will not only add interest, but can also keep the cost down. Try varying the color balance as well - if you are having a fall wedding, try mostly oranges on one table and predominantly yellows on another.
6. You don't have to say it with flowers
While the traditional centerpiece is usually a floral arrangement or flowers and candles, nothing dictates that you must do this. Be creative - do you have a hobby or interest that you share with your spouse? Something that you collect that could become the theme for your centerpieces? One couple who were avid baseball fans used their collection of baseball memorabilia (bobbleheads, signed baseballs, etc.) as centerpieces, putting them on reflective mirrors. They were great conversation starters !
7. Try framed photos
If you have assigned tables, indicate this with centerpiece photos such as "Table Eight - David and Susan in Australia" - and have a lovely framed photo of your vacation in Sydney as a centerpiece (perhaps with a boomerang next to it!). Another one might say, "Table Two - Our Third Year at University" - and a framed photo with a college pennant or fraternity pin. These are also great conversation starters for your guests, guaranteeing fun and reminiscing!
Further Reading On Wedding Centrepieces:
75 Ultimate Centerpiece Ideas by UltimateWedding.com
Beautiful Reception Centerpiece Ideas listed at YourWeddingCompany.com
DIY Wedding Centerpieces The Basics: by TheKnot.com
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