Creating Stunning Centerpieces on a Budget

Centerpieces can really make a reception hall look stunning, but you’ll be surprised to hear what some of those tall, gorgeous, floral centerpieces cost to make. Take a look in a typical bridal magazine, and you’ll find that some of the showcased centerpieces cost more than $100 – for just one! Now times that by 20 tables and that’s a real budget-breaker. But you can create stunning centerpieces on a budget if you think outside the box or are willing to compromise on your “dream centerpiece.”

The first inclination when trying to save money on centerpieces is to skip flowers. It’s true that flower centerpieces can cost an arm and a leg, but they don’t have to. For example, if you have a minimal centerpiece, such as single blossoms placed in thin, clear vases – which can be found at thrift stores or discount store for a couple dollars apiece, and grouped in the center of the table, you can choose a high-quality, more expensive blossom.

If your heart is set on bouquets in the centerpiece, there are ways to keep the costs down. An expert floral designer can create arrangements that mix a few more expensive types of flowers with moderately priced blooms. The final product will look expensive and beautiful.

If you’re willing to forgo flowers, it’s also a great way to save money – but don’t think that just because there’s no foliage on the table that you’re getting off easy. Non-floral centerpieces can be just as expensive as the flowers, so make sure you price everything out to ensure that you’re saving money.

A way to save money on centerpieces is to think double-duty. A recent trend is to place mini-cakes in the center of the tables, which serve six or eight pieces. They’re not only serving as centerpieces, but it’s dessert for the guests, too. Another option is to place the favors in the center of the table – aesthetically arranged, of course. For a Christmas-time wedding, fill up a clear vase with beautiful Christmas ornaments (which can be bought at a heavily discounted price at post-Christmas sales the year before). Surround the vase with small votive candles, the light from which will bounce off the sparkle of the ornaments, creating a stunning effect. Make sure your guests know that the ornaments are theirs to take home to adorn their own Christmas tree.

Additionally, don’t think all your centerpieces have to be one and the same. Sure, identical centerpieces can create cohesiveness, but as long as they’re not all a mish-mash of random items, you can get the same feel with a unique twist.

Choose a theme and a few different ways that theme can play out. For example, a wedding at a winery could go a few different ways for centerpieces: 1) a cluster of wine glasses filled halfway with glass beads and topped with a tea candle, 2) A bottle of wine (empty, unless you want them to feel free to open it up!) artfully arranged inside an ice bucket that was found at a thrift store, or 3) wine-colored floral centerpieces – a merlot color and a champagne colored flower, clustered tightly together in a vase. One of these centerpieces might be more expensive than the other, but because you’re pairing it with less-expensive arrangements, it will cut down on overall cost. Another upside to this is that it provides something for your guests to look at as they wander around the reception hall.

A stunning wedding centerpiece can be created easily by scouring thrift stores, collecting coupons for DIY stores such as Michael’s – just sign up for their e-mail list, and you’ll receive a 50 percent off coupon – and starting early. If you’re engaged for a year and a half, starting collecting centerpiece items instantly – it’s a lot easier on your wallet if you buy things in stages instead of dropping all the money at once.

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