dinosaur jar centerpiece DIY

My best friend is an offbeat bride and she's planning an awesome personality-filled offbeat wedding for October.

There's a problem though — centerpieces.

We're trying to find something that's DIY, doesn't cost much, and doesn't involve flowers. Yikes.

Any suggestions? —Miranda

Centerpieces are tough. They can end up being a TON of work or more involved and expensive than you expected. That said, cute and funky ideas to adorn your table centers are a click away, if you've got the patience to do exhaustive internet searching. Fortunately, we have gathered some downright fab ideas for you, so rest those little phalanges and browse away!

Any suggestions?! Even though we skipped centerpieces all-together at our wedding, I inhaled dozens of ideas online during the planning process. Here are a few of my favorites:

Stones and Rocks

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Photo by Brian Tao

Oonagh and Dylan went centerpiece mad with different styles on different tables! This one is charmingly sweet and simple with their names hand-written on them.

Centerpiece
When combined with other natural elements, as shown here at Kate and Eli's wedding, rocks can make for a nice organic feel to a table.

Sticks and Branches

Center pieces.
This particular skull-themed concept is brought to you by Tribe member Shellbelle.

Again: easy, natural, cheap. Bonus points if you make 2D bird-shapes out of felt or add little fake birds (woodland forest theme?)!

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Critters abound in Kimi and Paul's table number centerpieces. These branch-like twiney-vineys definitely have an organic vibe with those faux flowers.

Leaves

leaves
Dude, I'm totally sticking with my hippie theme here, aren't I? But check out this simple concept: vase, fall leaves, candles. Tada!

If you're looking for a bit more interest with the leaves, consider pulling them from local trees, framing them on some nice card stock and adhering a label naming what type of tree it dropped from. Guests could also take them home as a souvenir! Great for a fall wedding.

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Photo by Brian Tao

Here's another centerpiece from Oonagh and Dylan. This time they combined sticks with paper flowers and cut-out leaves for some origami-esque chic.

Lanterns

lanterns
Photo by Amber Zagorski

With a little creativity, latnerns could be applied to almost any theme. Check out these battery-powered options of the paper variety.

Another interesting option would be to do metal and glass lanterns, like the one above from Jen and Mike's Harry Potter-themed wedding. They would be stunning for a nighttime wedding where a little romance is involved. For a homespun country-style wedding vintage lanterns would really set the mood.

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Photo by Tao Nguyen

I love this two-sided lantern idea from Gloria and Pete's wedding. It somehow looks totally zen with a little bit of nautical thrown in.

Books

centerpieces
Photo by Jacob Bauch

Dude, I am in love with this concept from Michele and Matt's wedding. This idea is an obvious fit for academic/literary types, but could be extra funny with cheap romance novels and pulp fiction, which you can get for pennies at any second-hand store. Stack 'em and wrap 'em in ribbons — suddenly trashy fiction becomes an entertaining conversation piece. Stick a wedding-branded bookmark in 'em and they're kitchy favors! Like Muglies, only readable.

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Photo by Type A Images

This is cheating since I'm pretty sure this is solely a cupcake stand. But does it have to be? I love the creative book stacking and wonky angles. This could become a pretty amazing centerpiece if you had the books for it.

Table
Photo by Becca Scheiblauer

Ribbon-tied books, candies, and candles make for a sweet and stylish centerpiece. Makes me thirsty too. I wonder why.

Medical Glassware

medical centerpiece 061211 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
I've never actually seen this done, but the idea of Erlenmeyer flasks or Volumetric flasks is SUPER way cool. Add some colored water and candles on a clean white table cloth and you've got a geeky, colorful, UNIQUE centerpiece!

Some other filling options could include M&Ms or other colored candy, semi-transparent beads, marbles, or dry ice!

James & Melissa's Pi Day wedding
Photo by Megan Finley

James and Melissa used glass beads in a medical beaker (with flowers, don't tell anyone) in their scientist-themed centerpiece. You can barely tell it's medical glassware until you look closely. Sneaky and cute!

Here are some other non-floral centerpiece inspiration posts and DIY tutorials to peruse:

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Comments on Non-floral wedding centerpieces

  1. so totally not as impressive/original as these, but we have a million old mismatched vases (actually left over from a death in the family). so we’re sticking them on tables with short pillar candles in them and tying ribbon around the vases. bootleg, but we think successful.

  2. I’ve been to a wedding with peaches in vases in the middle of tables, and I’m thinking about doing the same with apples for mine.

    • Apples sound fun! I want to do vases with lemons & limes…I that it can add some funky fresh scent too =)

  3. Nice, Rachel! Yeah, it seems like all manners of fruit can make great centerpieces — bowls of cherries can be really striking.

  4. Great ideas! I made decoupage wine bottles for centerpieces for my wedding– just put them on some pretty fabric with candles. I spray-painted the wine bottles and gued on romantic pictures and sometimes quotes. I also used them as favors for important people in the wedding party. They looked really nice.

    • Can you post a picture of this? I am trying to convince my fiance to do this and I think he is having a hard time picturing it. What kind of candles did you use? (Tea lights, votives, etc.)

    • Priscilla, I love this idea. I’ve been wanting to do something fun and creative. Our wedding is in Costa Rica, so I think it would be a great way to incorporate phrases that Costa Ricans say on the wine bottle. Do you have pics you can post?

    • what a fantastic idea! i would love to do something like that for my wedding as well!

  5. I agree! Fruit and veggies. Very stiking if each table is a single variety with contrasting votive candles tucked in amongst the produce.

  6. This would require a lot of photo frames, but I love the idea of a large candle as the centrepiece with 3 or 4 photo frames with different photos of the couple grouped around the candle so that no matter where you’re sitting at the table you can see at least one or two pictures. Bonus – this will get your guests to mingle a bit as they check out the different photos at different tables!

      • We did this for a fundraiser a few years ago: make a triangle out of three wooden picture frames. You can tape or use hinges. Print pictures on vellum, and put a candle in the middle of the triangle. The light shines through the vellum, illuminating the pictures. Beautiful! You can get even cheaper and use cardboard picture mats in place of the frames.

    • I’m planning to do something like this…but using wedding photos of all my guests. Making the prints in sepia tone unifies the look and then placing them in various frames found at yard sales and thrift shops.

  7. Ahh the non-floral centerpiece: How do I love thee? Here are a few:
    -Simple wood/terra cotta containers (can be stained or painted to match palette) filled with wheatgrass or baby tears moss – you can ‘nest’ candles here or any number of fun creative things.
    -Edibles: Coffee beans, and in fact dried beans (lentils are a lovely bright green, for example) of any sort look fab in a clear vase with a candle in the middle and are v. cheap.

    You can also go sweet like some of my couples have and do candy (I don’t suggest chocolate, it melts and looks a mess in the least bit of heat) such as jelly beans (all kinds of colors) sour balls, peppermints (wintery) or any of the millions of other sorts. You can do lollies/suckers sticking out as non-floral ‘flowers” or get really creative with it.

    -Interesting found china, wood or silver (eBay, thrift stores, borrow for deals) such as footed bowls look great with floating candles in them. Make sure they are waterproof first!

    On the book bit: Bookends or architechtural finials are often really neat and interesting to look at – they can be painted, textured, etc and put flat-side down with candles, maybe some moss and make a great talking peice.

    Cheers! Maya

  8. My idea for my own wedding, since Henry and I met on flickr, was to print out tiny versions of pictures we took early in our courtship, then pick up a bunch of those photo holders that have clips attached to tall, skinny springs and put those around the room (we’re not having a formal sit-down dinner thing).

  9. i am currently conducting a scientific experiment with old jars, potting soil, and seeds. the idea is to figure out what does well and how long it takes and do it for our center pcs. but there is a lot of room for catastrophe, so it might not be worth it if you have a weak heart, or don’t have a back up plan for the jars…

  10. We created very simple and inexpensive centerpieces for a budget wedding. Granny Smith apples in a low bowl, a few cybidium orchids on top, and some glycerized birch leaves. The apples were the small, bagged apples you get at the supermarket for $3.99. The most expensive item was the bowl. They looked great and were relatively inexpensive. They could be made by almost anyone with a little time.

  11. I am having a fall wedding as well and will be decorating the buffet tables with long willow withes and scattering leaves.

    Do you really need centrepieces? I find they get in the way of people talking across the table. Keeping it low with braches etc creates impact without impasse! And, tree bits are free!

    • Mari and I went to a wedding of our friends, and there was a huge column vase of beautiful flowers at our table…that blocked our view of the dance floor and the people sitting across from us.

      Centerpieces should not come up to above shoulder-level when the guests are sitting, imo.

  12. I’ve done it! I’ve found the perfect centerpiece for our Pagan Handfasting.

    Start with 4 kinds of 2.5″ herb starts. I choose Thyme, curry plant, purple sage, and rosemary. Buy 6″ pots from Ikea and plant your herb starts a few weeks before the big day to give them a chance to settle into their new home.

    I can stay within my $200 budget for the centerpieces and my friends and family will have something useful to take home instead of a bunch of flowers that will die.

    Some girlfriends actually applauded when I told them my idea so this is going to be perfect!

    • We are using live plants. After the wedding and changing our clothes, the families are planting them at a Habitat for Humanity build site and a senior citizen home’s garden. We’ll use dyed burlap sacks for pot covers which will become part of the weed barrier around the newly sunk plants.

  13. We are getting married this fall in a back yard bbq style wedding. we are placing wooden bird houses on the picnic tables. We picked these up at an unfinished wood store and are now working on decorating them with paint, ribbon, and rhinestones. They look cute and will be useful following the celebration! Yeah for inginuity! Boo for my poor spelling skills!

  14. for a gothic or halloween wedding you can get inexpensive cardboard coffins. We will be stacking 3 varied sized coffins on top of eachother, tying with ribbon and placing a few small tealight holder on each level.

    On top of those we’ll have bat shaped table number cards with photos of the two of us at the age corrosponding with the table number.

  15. another cute centerpiece i am doing is wineglasses (not expensive kind) and put a small candle in them, or if you are a candle maker you can place a wick and wax directly in them. Tie some ribbon around the glass and hot glue a small silk rose and leaves. place it on on of those small mirror bases at the dollar store and throw some silk rose petals around it. VERY CUTE!

    • Going with the wine glass idea….I have seen people using mixed matched sets of wine glasses and fipping them over. Using the bottom for a candle holder and on the inside cup part, putting flowers or leaves or..whatever!

    • What did you hot glue the rose and leaves to? Sounds nice.. do you have a picture?

  16. We are doing low 10″ bowls with three 3″ floating candles in them. Those will sit on black napkins with votives and rose petals around them. Best part is that I found the bowls at a party supply store (to rent) for 1.50 each.

  17. I did a mardi gras theme for my wedding in Sept. We even rented a Bourbon St. sign, fake jester who was the hit of the party. girls wore dark plum, centerpieces were lightpole candle holders with a street name/landmark of new orleans, played jazz during appetizers, each guest got a mask, beads inside a hurricane glass. Bridesmaids walked in with boas on. Cake was jester like in purple. I explained Mardi gras framed on each table. People had a BALL. And who cares if it wasn’t mardi gras season. My gown even had an amethyst overlay!

  18. For my daughter’s June wedding we’re using glass cake stands with antique wedding cake toppers collected over the years. We’re also using crocheted doilies under the toppers and the florist is providing greenery and floral rings around the base of the cake stands.

  19. For my wedding we are going to fill fish bowls with red colored water and lemons. We may or may not float white candles in the bowls.

  20. I’m planning a murder mystery wedding (assuming we don’t change plans again!) & I’m playing with the idea of having each table represent a different location (signified with some kind of sign-age): the conservatory; kitchen; garden; etc… and decorate each accordingly. That will give each table a little individuality & might even be a conversation sparker seeing as people will want to check out what the other tables are!

  21. I see that lots of people have mentioned fruit, I was also going to use fruit with (mismatched) glass bowls of mine and borrowed from friends, full of character and edible!

  22. These are all excellent ideas!! We are getting married in March! What would you suggest for a theme! I was thinking winter, is that weird for a march wedding??

  23. We were also thinking of doing pastel blue and purple with a white accent! What would you suggest for centerpieces??

  24. Our wedding is totally “island style/beachy” theme. It is being catered by a place called rasta tacos, it’s a full on red yellow and green taco cart. It was our inspiration for our theme. Anyways, for centerpieces I found galvanized beer buckets, $14 for 5 at corona.com, they will be filled with ice and different kinds of beer (red stripe, corona, pacifico) with ribbon to match our colors tied around the necks of the bottles. For favors, we are placing a bottle opener in each place setting for them to open their beers with!

  25. did u putthe fish in the day of your wedding? just wondering,dont want them to go belly up,what kind of flowers float that i could use,any advice??

  26. we are having a june wedding and i wanted it to be really bright and playful. we are having a “Candy Shoppe” themed reception: there is going to be a table with several different sizes and shapes of glass jars filled with different candies in the colors of our wedding. Our guests can fill up goodie bags with their favorite candies to take home with them. Our centerpieces are candy bouquets – (made with lolliops and little tootsie rolls on sticks wrapped in colored celophane, etc). We are also going to have a few candy dishes on each table. Our guests can munch on the candy from the dishes and bouquets during the reception and take the leftovers home at the end. The name cards are going to be those big swirly lollipops stuck in little flower pots with stickers on the wrapper stating their names. There are a lot of websites where you can buy bulk candy online for really cheap. We are going to be saving a ton of money on flowers and then we don’t have all of these flowers left at the end of the day that will just die and be thrown out.

    • i love this idea
      my daughter is getting married in july
      we have been trying to come up with soemhting fun an diffrent
      we both loved this idea :))
      thanks so much

  27. I am having a rock show themed wedding (think hole in the wall venue that is smokey and dark and in the middle of Portland’s industrial district). I want to do centerpieces, have the option of doing flowers (as there are florists in the family) but am still undecided. I considered records, but didn’t want to stray from the idea that it’s a CONCERT, not a rock n roll theme. Any ideas?

    • I just saw another site (cant remember the name) I was researching cheap and unique wedding centerpiece ideas, anyway they used vinyl records, the lady even melted some into bowl shapes. It would be really cool for a rock show themed wedding!

    • I hear you about the difference. Maybe do posters and tickets? They could lay flat on the table and then colorful wristbands could be on top (or around vases if you do flowers)? How about set lists with important songs to you as a couple? Live CDs or CD booklets? Accessories that people might wear to shows? Concert T’s? Packs of guitar strings (in case you break one on stage!) or picks? VIP passes? Maybe make it look like they ordered bottle service (even rundown places like the Viper Room have that) and have bottles filled with all the aforementioned items in them? Anyway, sounds like an awesome theme! Have fun!

      EDIT: Just realized this is a super old post. Hope the wedding was awesome! I’m sure it was!

  28. Having a Halloween wedding, so I’ll be making trick or treat candy bouquets for each table instead of flowers. I’ll also have crayons at each table and butcher block paper for doodling on.

    • absolutely love your ideas!! What is best of all, it totally matches my invitation, I can do it myself, and it looks perfectly wonderful!! Thank you for putting up your blog pics!!

  29. We recently decided to go with those lovely 10″-12″ statues (lawn ornaments?) of faeries that are that kinda turquoise colour (oxidized copper coloured)
    They’re going to be different for each of our 8 tables, maybe a lantern ornament, or a dragon or something, too.
    Then we’ll have a draw at the end of the night for anyone who wants to keep one.
    We’re spluring a bit on ours, ’cause it just happens to be one of the things we really want, to tie in our ‘magicakal’ theme, but i’m sure there are other less-expensive options in a similar vein.

  30. I have 2 ideas for non floral centerpieces. I’m getting married this Oct on a very victorian like island a few hours away from my house, and only accesible by ferry and horse drawn wagons once on the island. My aunit is a florist but agreed that if we went with a lot of flowers that she is bringing, they’d get ruined by the time we got there. I have been thinking about “hurricane” glass pillars with a candle inside and those beady type garland around the glass. Or my mom makes these cool glass blocks that you can get from Home Depot and you drill a hole in it, slide in battery operated white christmas lights, wrap a silky ribbon(wedding color) and some kind of decoration in center like leaves for fall or ornament for winter or whatever. They look cool and give a pretty glow.

    I don’t know, just ideas.

  31. We’re doing green and yellow polka dot runners (my mom is making) with trifle servers filled with lemons and limes. Serving lime-aid on each table as well. Also whipping up some fun letterpress questions about us to place on each table (i.e. where was their first date, what dvd boxed set do they watch episodes of before going to bed, what’s his favorite band, etc) as ice breakers.

  32. another fun one… get mis-matched teacups (and saucers) at a thrift store — place cheap plants (i.e. fern or those multi-packs from your local garden supplier) in each cup, put 3 in the center of the table. Cute, organic, original and your guests can take them home.

  33. Lara,

    I saw what you said about red water and lemons. I would test that first to make sure the water doesn’t stain the lemons. If it does, maybe get fake lemons and coat them in clear spray paint?

  34. We live in the gold coast, Australia and we have access to tons of sand and shells. I was gonna have jars of them, and some votives for mine! The wedding is in 8 months and we are saving all our glass jars.

  35. What do you suggest for a rustic theme. I like the rustic country things like grapevine wreaths and berries.

  36. I saw toward the top the use of grass/moss and candles… BEWARE: I went to a wedding with cute terra cotta containers, moss/grass, and candles… and they CAUGHT FIRE!! They were a really cute idea, just poorly executed. Make sure you use sturdy candles that will not bend!!

    • candles should be placed 2 inches from burnable items and only be lite in apporoved containers,not easy to knock over or fall if bumped,use a high quality candle that will not soot or smoke,this isnt the place you wanna cut corners,good candles bur better and are much safer.

  37. Unless I discover something else that sparks my interest, (like that murder mystery thing…how’d you do it?) I’ll be using potted succulent plants. 3 different species to a pot if we go with round tables, singles in a row if we get rectangle tables.
    Succulents are very forgiving plants so if you buy them a few weeks in advance and only water them once, itz ok, they won’t die!!!

  38. Were having a destination location on beach on east coast. Centrepiece wise, thinking about IKEA lanterns(painted purple) with tealights plus blue sand and shells. Low budget & No flowers needed.

    We went to a fall wedding last year and the apples were great, we ate them on the way home and snacked on them at the end of the night.

  39. My friend created thousands of beautiful handmade origami cranes and scattered them on the tables, in the reception area, in the bathrooms, filled in vases, etc… It was amazing. They were made with a variety of different colored/patterned origami paper and were so unique and gorgeous.

    A few ideas I saw from this article: Test tubes filled with herbs; asparagus wrapped around a vase (fill with whatever you like).
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/04/29/earlyshow/contributors/colincowie/main691859_page2.shtml

  40. I just happened to come across this site and it is quite useful. Great ideas. I’m having my wedding this novemeber and also looking for a creative centerpiece idea without flowers. I was thinking about the apple in a low vase idea with vines and berried twigs. Any other rustic ideas?

  41. We are planning to use retro games that we are collecting from friend and online (Rock Em Sock Em Robots, Candyland, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Operation, etc.) We want the over all feeling of our wedding to be fun and playful. These games are colorful and will hopefully encourage people to loosen up and mingle, plus my partner loves games so it’s a way that something that he loves can be incorperated. Also very cheap most of the games can be borrowed or bought used for a couple dollars. WE’re also thinking about getting Janga and writing silly things that who ever pulls that block has to do.

  42. We used tree branches in small urns (bought end of season for 60-80% off), and tied polymer clay leaf wine glass charms to the branches. The charms doubled as favors for the guests and were a big hit! The urns went home with whomever wanted them, to be re-purposed as planters this summer.
    I made all the clay leaves, then used wire earring hoops and some beads to create the charms.
    It can be done assembly line style with several helpers fairly quickly once all the leafs are done.
    I estimate it took about 8 hours to complete 150 leafs from start to finish.

  43. Having a Hawaiian wedding in Santa Barbara, CA – was planning to have Pineapples with candles around them as center pieces – but LOVE that battery lanters, may alternate tables – will add such a wonderful glow to the whole event.

    🙂
    Brynn

  44. I worked at a function centre through university and did loads of weddings so I have seen lots of ideas!
    My favourite has to be having a large round mirror as a centrepiece, with tealight candles placed on top. You could have candles alone or around a vase in the centre or whatever else you’ve decided on. But the mirror reflects the candles and looks fantastic, it adds a nice glow to the room. I think you can hire them for under $5, where I am in Adelaide, Australia anyway! I’m going to have a crystal vase (borrowed!) in the centre with maybe white feathers in it… bit worried they may catch fire though so we’ll see!

  45. My fiance and I are both artists and not too big on flowers. We bought 8×10 canvases and made little table tents out of them with hot glue and black ribbon and each painted the table number on one side. Our wedding was Black and White so we only used those colors, but other than that we ahd complete creative freedom. I was worried it might look crafty, but it looks fantastic. We have gotten tons of compliments and our weddings not until August. We are going to give the canvases to members of the wedding party and close friends after the reception.

  46. i’m getting married in october and my fiance and i are HUGE football fans (i like the eagles and he likes the giants) and we wanted to incorperate that into our reception does anyone have any ideas for centerpieces?? please HELP!

    • get small astroturf squares to use as placemats….or get a large one and put in center. it would need something on it of course. havn't thought of that yet! get those teeny football helmets like they used to have in gumball machines (you can probably find online) and put some of each team on it…like a little playing field. your guests can play with them.

    • Grab a few beverage covers of your favorite teams. Insert an open can or jar, fill it about half way with stones or sand to make it stable, add skewers with ticket stubs from different games glued on the ends.
      You could lay sport pom poms on the tables or those hat fingers…just loook around and be creative

  47. For our wedding, we’re using various brown antique-like candle holders we bought from Michael’s on clearance and placing them on round mirrors. Then we’re going to scatter peacock feathers (just the eyes) on the rest of the mirror. Our colors are brown and teal, so the colors work well and we’re also using peacock feathers in our bouquets:)

  48. We are using various glass jars covered in handmade papers, in earth tones. Tieing twine and twigs around them. And candles in the middle. Also some terra-cotta pots we will plant wheat grass in 1 month before wedding. People can take these home.

  49. For my wedding we took lime green gumballs and put them in old apothecary jars. We also had candles surrounding. It was really beautiful and no flowers 🙂

  50. Erin, I don’t know if you’re still following this entry’s comment trail but as far as incorporating football into your centerpieces I would probably just number the tables in tens instead of 1s and set up a football with the table number painted on it on a kickoff tee in the middle of the table. then you could give each person a jersey number of you and your fiance’s favorite players or just random players for their table cards and they could sit at whatever tens table they’d belong to (#25 would sit at table 20, #47 at table 40, et cetera).

    my other idea is that you could get the schedule for the weekend of your wedding and make each table themed for the matchups that would take place the sunday of that weekend. that way people could get excited about the upcoming games and you could have fun getting lots of cheap little football helmets and jerseys and maybe even still the football to set in the center of the table. especially with the footballs i could imagine you could get the paint off of them and donate them to a ymca or boys and girls club or some such organization.

  51. Pam I think your branch with urn center piece idea is fabulous! Especially for the fall. I just wouldn’t know the first thing about the polymar clay and how to do it. I might take another path with that idea… Still in the thinking process. On another note does anyone know where I could get burnt orange tissue paper?

  52. I’m getting married in October so we are carving hearts in pumpkins and putting candles in them.

  53. my fiance so far hasnt been much help in the decorating or the nitty gritty reception stuff… BUT

    He thinks the record place mats are a WONDERFUL idea!!! I was trying to find ways to incorporate my finance’s hobbys/lifestyle. he is a drum and bass dj artist who is at his best only when he is mixing records.. (or when hes with me hehe)

    what an awesome way to incorporate that!! he is finally excited about helping decorate!!

    Kudos to that

  54. I really liked this idea mentioned above:

    “For my daughter’s June wedding we’re using glass cake stands with antique wedding cake toppers collected over the years. We’re also using crocheted doilies under the toppers and the florist is providing greenery and floral rings around the base of the cake stands.”

    We wanted to do something similar also with wedding cake toppers. Wouldn’t you know that the cake toppers are now a ‘highly sought after’ item. Can’t even find a decent collection on ebay without paying a fortune.

    Thanks for the many ideas above.

    Kim

  55. I also saw these cordless/battery powered tranquility fountains recently that could be really neat centerpieces.. you can buy them in bulk on overstock.com and they average out to only $8-9/piece… Those could be fun for people to take home too!

  56. I am an art student, and shuttered at the thought of flowers, candles in jars, etc. for centerpieces. So I decided to spend some time searching for interesting found objects at the thrift store (globes, telephones, rubber ducks, ceramic pigs, and so on.) We’re going to paint some of them solid red and some white (our colors), arranging groups of smaller objects on some tables, and allowing larger objects to stand alone.

  57. I’m using snowglobes as centerpieces for my winter wedding. I have found that many of the snowglobes or waterglobes out there really aren’t wintery, though, and some would probably really look nice any time of the year.

  58. I am almost positive that stick from Rachel Ray is dogwood, which is naturally that color!

  59. This isn’t quite non-floral, but my mom’s making origami paper flowers for table centerpieces and decorations. I won’t get all origami-nerdy here, but the patterns she’s using are beautiful, and they do a great job of representing flowers without pretending to be anything but folded paper. Instead of spending lots of money on special colored paper, she’s going to use regular thinnish paper and spray-paint the flowers whatever colors we end up deciding on.

    I’m also really happy about it because it’s something she can contribute that’s significant (especially because we have lots of smaller tables!) but will cost her very little money–and origami’s always been a hobby of hers. Unfortunately, we can’t convince her that they’d make beautiful bouquets and boutonnieres.

  60. my wedding will be a spring wedding we are have a colourful bridal party.. Like always my partner is leaving it all to me….. so i am just looking around for ideas but i have sort of came up with the love of his past time lollies in a fish bowl (for eg. snakes or jellybeans or even m&ms just to give the table some colour) around the bowl i will put small tea-light candles and thoes small colour rhine stones all can be brought from dicount shops for $2 the most expensive thing on this table will most likely be the fish bowl or punch bowl….

  61. Because the colour scheme of our wedding is blues we are using peacock feathersand kiragomi flowers(cut paper designs) and glass beads for the centerpieces. and instead of candles we are using LED lights in the vases….they are much safer and feather friendly

  62. I went to a wedding that had the gold fish centrepieces and I thought it was a bit cruel. Particularly the next day, when my aunt was desperately trying to give away fish that nobody wanted. My brother and I ended up taking half the fish, but since we had a 6-hour drive home, not all of the fish survived the trauma.

  63. Help! I’m desperate! My daughter’s getting married at the end of September, and I’m really in a pickle. They are both Scientists and she hates flowers. We looking for some ideas on Centrepieces for about 20 tables in the scientific vein. Something that we possibly can make ourselves that doesn’t cost a fortune. For favors they’re having test tubes and they wanted to fill them with nerds, but now we’ve found out you can’t get nerds in just one color. She doesn’t want multi colors. The colors are brown and ivory. Ideas, anyone????

    • You could order M & M's in any color you want. You can even have your names and a message written on them. I don't know how much you'd need, but you could check on the price. I believe you just go to the M & M site. Here is the link: http://www.mymms.com/customprint/

      They have golden, and cream. Hope this helps.
      Amber

    • Just keep them till their time. I've also seen fish used in centerpieces.
      Or have a mini fish sale on your street for little kids. Think: lemonade stand

    • Just use bickers for the cnterpieces & fill tem w/ colored water of colored glass stones that you can buy at the $1.00 Store. Good Luck

  64. I’m highly allergic to flowers (and their high price tag), so I’m using manzanita branches for centerpieces. It’s a small wedding, so it won’t cost much to use hanging votives and other touches to give a high-class, but non-traditional look.

  65. We are also getting married at the end of September – and are scientists. I like flowers (I am a biochemist and naturalist) but we are considering non-flower centerpieces. I love the ambiance of candles for our sunset wedding with a reception in a barn. Simple clusters of candles (on mirrors for more reflection) are lovely. Clear glass cylinders with votives work (we found great ones at Target that were inexpensive). The cylinders are actually quite a bit like graduated cylinders but frankly I didn’t think of that when we got them! Consider using displays with dried grasses – free if you have un-mowed fields nearby, the seed pods are great and all in the color scheme. Martha Stewart recommended two glass cylinder vases one slightly smaller and lining the space between with grasses. They could also be put on the outside of the glass (even mason jars / old spaghetti sauce jars) and tied on with a ribbon that matches wedding colors. Put just the mason rim on top or another ribbon. Try it at home first (we are) to make sure that the glass doesn’t get too hot or use water in the jars and float candles. I’ll post more if we have other ideas – we are doing a big push this weekend to try out ideas.

  66. Another idea – I’m considering adding photographs to the arrangements. Can use photos of them growing up and together, wedding photos of family, or do they do any photography related to their work? Neat abstract photos of science stuff would be cool – may even find some online.

    I’ve seen a lot of centerpiece recommendations using fruits and fruits and leaves. Not as science nerdy (unless maybe they are genetically engineered!) though. Arranging them in wood bowls would keep to the colors. Definitely the right season for it – grapes, apples, pears. Gourds would add neat shapes be nice for your colors too. Add ribbon embellishments.

  67. Would anyone happen to have some nice ideas for centrepieces/tabled decorations for a medieval-styled reception? I am collect wooden bowls, platters, and tankards or goblets and such for people to eat and drink with (no great stretch since I also play in the Society for Creative Anacronism) and also wooden candlesticks. Any ideas on what would go nicely with these things?

  68. We are getting married thanksgiving weekend, and I found at Michael’s brass pumkins. They have a pillar candle holder in the middle. So I am going to get the smaller (4″) pillar candles and at the bottom we are going to put fall leaves. I might even get a fabric in our color to put under it all. At most, it will cost us $12 a table. Don’t have to worry about people taking centerpieces home with them and dying… these will never die. They will just have to get new candles.

  69. We are getting married in April and the theme is butterflies. We are considering using round mirrors placed on large squares of fabric in coordinating colors, and putting butterflies of some sort, either blown glass or beaded on the mirrors. The beaded butterflies would be keeping with the beaded flowers wer are doing instead of fresh or silk bouquets.

  70. After workinng in the catering business for several years, I have seen some pretty bad centerpieces.

    When nice centerpieces go wrong:

    Floating candles are nice but… When your guests start clinking on classes during toasts and someone tries to clink the glass bowl (which at this point has heated up unevenly due to floating candles), the bowl cracks and floods the table! I saw this happen to 2 centerpieces at one wedding.

    Also candles and flowers are nice, but flowers are flammable and burning or singeing vegetation smells terrible.

    Lastly, the whole fish thing… don’t be upset if your goldfish start crapping halfway through dinner (I’ve seen guests get quite put off their dinner by this)! They are alive, and you can’t exactly tell them to hold it until your dinner is done.

  71. Personally, I love centrepieces that are uniquely created to reflect the personalities of the bride and groom in conjunction to the season and setting of the wedding..

  72. for the medieval bride: setting long tables with plain white cloths – I recommend twin sheets (plain white cotton from an outlet or thrift shop) and using garland from end to end is relatively authentic. if using flowers, stick to something in season. fruit and candles are good options to include in the garland. seasonal garland can be purchased, or made with leaves, tuck in wheat and fresh or dried flowers. if you want to be really authentic, dont provide napkins as tablecloths were originally hanging over the side to use as a napkin. use ammonia in the wash to get the grease out of your fabrics after your party. pewter pitchers filled with wine or flowers are also good choices!

  73. I took Ariel’s advice and did something more with records! I put my URL in there so you could see them. More pics after the wedding on 10/19.

    Although I did put flowers in them, I turned old LPs into cool bowls. You could do the same thing but put whatever you want in them.

  74. My FH loves growing bonsai trees! he’s just restarted his collection of plants (alot of them died in his old house cuz the neighbourhood cats decided to use them as litter trays) so we’re going to be using the bonsai trees as our centre pieces, and perhaps decorate them with bead garlands, or silk flowers or other bits and pieces to tie in with our colours 🙂

  75. We bought some cheap vases from Ikea, and we’re going to fill them up with Mint Crisp M&Ms (yup, the Indiana Jones ones!) because our colors are chocolate brown and mint green. Then, we’re putting in four Siwrly Pop Lollipops and four Swizzle sticks to make a candy bouquet! We also have a bit of a leaf theme going on, so I grabbed some thin branches out of the backyard and we’re going to cut out leaves from brown paper to write our table numbers on, and then hot glue the leaves to the branches and stick the branches in the vases as well (with saran wrap around the bottoms so people can still eat the candy). Finally, we bought little leaf-shaped milk chocolates wrapped in fall colors and we’re going to sprinkle those around the table like fallen leaves.

  76. Please don’t anyone use goldfish…
    It sounds like a cool idea and I’m sure it looks awesome. But these are live animals you are talking about. The vibrations from the music wouldn’t be healthy for them. Round bowls are a form of torture for them (they are banned in Germany). And if you decide that you want to give them away to guests, there is no way that you can guarantee the safety of those animals. It is just plain cruel.

    • i totally agree. remember that these are LIVING things, not toys or decorations. How cruel.

  77. I’m not sure if it’s too late for anymore ideas but I’m using lighted up effiel tower vases with white ostrich feathers coming out the top. I got 12 diy kits on ebay for $399 buy now free shipping.

  78. Whatever you do, don’t use live butterflies! I went to a wedding and the bride/groom wanted their guests to release butterflies from these folded envelopes when the ceremony was over. Needless to say, most of the butterflies were already dead or couldn’t fly when we tried to let them go.

    I wouldn’t use goldfish either, for the same reasons Megan stated.

    I think centerpieces should be something simple and should reflect the couple’s personalities.

  79. Since we had a ‘cocktail’ reception with finger food and no set places, we used our bonbonniere as the centrepieces. We had fudge in red organza bags, sitting on a red and black square plate in the middle of the (12ft) long tables. We also had tea light candles in red shot glasses that ran the length of the table with a few extra bags of fudge scattered around. No flowers and nothing that would die, and it looked really pretty.

  80. I used sticks and balls of moss in large vases. They turned out very very artistic! The I had the catering company put out tea light everywhere. I was perfect.

  81. I just want to point out to the people suggesting fish centerpieces that it is really cruel, sorry. Keeping fish is a hobby of mine, and basically you’re giving fish a death sentence by putting them in bowls at a wedding and sending them home with people unprepared to keep a fish. Fish bowl water gets dirty VERY quickly, the temperature can’t be regulated, it’s not oxygenated (your fish will suffocate) and all the noise, vibrations, etc. of a wedding will stress the fish out big time. Not to mention the likelihood of being tipped over by inebriated guests. It’s just not a good idea, and there are so many more humane options.

  82. My sister just got married this past Saturday and they used succulent cactus for their centerpieces and it was a huge hit! I was totally skeptical about the idea beforehand, but when I saw the final centerpieces and favors, they were beautiful!

    They went to a wholesaler and got a variety of succulent cactus (cactus that are unusual shapes and many bloom colorful blossoms) and re-potted them in clear, inexpensive vases from Ikea. They did mini-cacti plants in little votive type glasses with a cute little tag and gold ribbon for favors (and gave guests a little white bag to carry their cactus home in safely). Then, they had medium sizes ones in larger clear, rectangular shaped glass vases with different shades of potting soils layered and showing thru the glass. They did 18 tables with those in the center and eight of the little favor plants surrounding that, and then LOTS of of white votive candles of varying sizes in clear glass, too.

    Then they did 3 bigger arrangements of big, round, circular clear glass planters (about a foot in diameter each) with the layered soil and a variety of interesting cacti in each of those mixed together. Those went on the “reserve” tables.

    Everything was accented with more small glass clear regtangular vases (little bigger than votive size) filled with creme or orange/yellow rose buds/blossoms and a little mossy type greenery, moss greenery on the tables, and some pieces of natural (tree limb) type of wood (kind of looked like drift wood).

    The whole effect was very natural, earthy, and beautiful with all the candles lit (they had over 300 votives total!) and the guests took not only the favor plants, but over half of the centerpieces, too! Lol! 😀

  83. I would LOVE to see a centerpiece with records or album covers — anyone have a pic?

  84. I recently got married on November 1st. We wanted a “Pirate Wedding” so the typical floral centerpieces were out of the question. Our centerpieces were treasure chests filled with candy and “gold bar” treat boxes filled with more candy. We used the mirrors that the reception site provided, placed the chests on them and sprinkled the tables with strands of silver and gold “beads” and gold pirate coins. I bought a bulk order of paper mache treasure chests and painted them to look like weathered wood. The effect was awesome and each table took home a cool (and different) centerpiece!

  85. another cool idea is to use led puck lights (at home improvment stores) put them in shallow bolws and cover them with class floral stones or marbles, amazing at night!!!!!!!!!

  86. I am getting married on June first. My colors are lime, lemon and orange. My mother has lime, lemon, and orange trees in her back yard. So I am going to put the fruit in different sized vases. I am thinking about adding water to them. Has anyone else done or seen this? I would love to see some pictures. Thanks!!

  87. hey, i love all these ideas. any ideas for a december wedding that also doesn’t involve flowers? i am enamored with Christmas and red but ANY suggestions will do.

    • branches, especially branches with berries make lovely wintery centerpieces, diy pine wreaths and juniper berries paired with candles will smell great and go with your theme.

  88. These are good ideas for flower-less centerpieces. I would imagine these will become even more popular in the current economy.

  89. I am sooooooo happy I found this site. We just booked our hall today and I have been hitting my head on a brick wall trying to figure out what to do for centerpeices as I am not nor will I ever be a flower girl. Thank you all soooooooooo much for your advice and I am goin’ to buy that book.

  90. DANI:
    I have been to a few winter weddings and one cool thing that I saw was glass or glittered snowflakes glued to tall candle holders for centerpieces. Also, cool funky ornaments in hurricane vases look amazing with candle light around them.

  91. My cousin did a really cool centerpeice at her July wedding. Her hubby built wooden boxes and then in each box they planted a small fir tree. At the end of the wedding lucky guests were able to take the tree home and plant it. It was a really personal centerpeice that added a lot of color and character the wedding while expressing both of them perfectly.

  92. I was going to use goldfish as a centerpiece, but have since realized how cruel it is. anyone know where i can get “fake” fish for the bowls i already bought?

  93. instead of using fish debbie, why don’t you make in an underwater scene instead? put some sand and fake fish tank stuff, like trees, shells, etc. forget the fish.

  94. i’m getting married in april, outdoors, so i’m using very few flowers since everything will be blooming anyway at that time. for table centerpieces, i’m collecting photos of my and my fiance’s family members on their wedding days. i’m going to enlarge them to 8x10s and put them in frames and set them in the center of the tables. i’m going to put a little folded card on each one that says “guess who?” and then have the answer on the inside of the card. i thought it would make things more personal for the guests, and give them a little challenge guessing who was who.

    • that's such a neat idea, bringing in other family wedding pics. I am thinking about going with pictures since I'm a big photonatic. Thanks for the idea.

  95. My mom collected pitchers in the shapes of different fruits and vegetables…I’m alternating them along with painted flower pots to hold gerbera daisies for my centerpieces. I thought that would be a neat way to incorporate her memory into the wedding.

  96. Good ideas for someone who doesn’t want to spend money for bundles on flowers.The whole effect was natural, creative, and beautiful with all the candles and rocks. ill ive a thumbs up on su!!

  97. We’re getting married in early November so we’re going to hit up a local pumpkin farm for post Halloween leftover pumpkins and squash and use those as our centerpieces with a couple vases & old juice glasses with Zinnias. I’m surprised I haven’t seen more use of pumpkins. They’re so colorful and fairly inexpensive for an autumn wedding. Oh, and our 2 “flower boys” will carry buckets of leaves instead of flowers.

  98. We are getting married on Jan 1 @ 1:00a.m. We are having a backyard tent wedding but colors and centerpieces are still up in the air. I was thinking a Morroccan theme with belly dancers as entertainment. Please help. Not afraid to abandon the theme.

  99. Back to the whole “pumpkin” idea: I’m getting married at the end of September in 2010 and I think perhaps carving out different sized pumkins and then placing several long, thick and thin, short and tall candles inside them might give the reception a fallish but romantic glow. Any other ideas in regards to pumkins.

    However, my fiance and I have our house adorned with wine bottles and vintage wine posters . . . we love that vintage, romantic look and feel. Does anyone have any brainstorming ideas on this? Priscilla’s decoupage wine bottle idea is fabulous!

  100. The theme of my August backyard wedding is mermaids and superheroes, which is to say the theme is FUN. For centerpieces, I am having overflowing buckets of bubbles, chalk, crayons, sequins, masks, playdoh, sparklers, and other whimsical items that inspire playfulness. The dollar section at Michaels and Target, not to mention Dollar Stores, are good for amassing this stuff.

  101. Wow alot of suggestions here, Im doing a summer hawaiian themed wedding I still have no idea what I am doing for my tables, been thinking seashells and sand around candle bowls or something. Havent really come up with alot just yet and only got about 4 months to get everything together. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated !! 🙂

  102. This sight is fabulous!! Thanks ladies for all the great tips! I am having our wedding in South Padre Island in mid April and the reception will be later after our honeymoon in late may at an outdide venue. We have chosen to get various glass vases
    (cheap at the dollar store or on clerance at target) I am going to fill them with sand from our trip and colored rocks to illuminate the glass to look like diamonds, and then put a candle in the center and a few sand dollars around the edges, they will then be placed on a square mirror with some seashells around it. I have already played and they look amazing for a total of about 3.00 per table!! This reception is all about a beach theme with a slideshow presentation for the loosers that werent able to make the wedding!!! ha ha also we are putting grass skirting around the edges of the tables, and the bar will be decorated in tiki designs!!! Can’t wait!!!

  103. Italia, you could do mini pumpkin votive holders – I saw it in a magazine where the inside of the mini pumpkin was cored out and a votive placed inside to make it a candle holder. Very tasteful and cute!

    As far as wine goes, I’m incorporating large glass vases that I’ll fill (alternately) with old wine corks and whole coffee beans. My fiance and I went to school near some wineries and he’s a coffee addict. Most wineries will give you boxes full of corks for free if you just ask! I’m also going to make name card holders out of corks by cutting a slit in the top and inserting the name card. I was considering giving away cork magnets, but they turned out to be a pain in the butt to cut in half – sooo not worth the 15 minutes per cork to make!

    Hope that helps!

  104. for our reception we are hollowing out fallen logs from a recent storm and using this to plant herbs and maybe a few flowers or lavender, then probably mixing in stacked books with ribbon (thanks for the tip). our biggest problem though was the lack of color in our room, we can’t afford to rent tablecloths but we stumbled across the large parent sheets in diffrent textures and colors in a craft/stationary store and decided to use that as a base for our center peices.

  105. We’re making Zen gardens w/ a couple tea candles tossed in (cuz fire’s awesome).

    It’s a totally non-theme wedding. I had originally wanted them (can’t remember how I thought to do them in the first place now) as I had spent some time in Japan and am down w/ the whole Zen thing. But recently (compltely unrelated to the wedding) my fiance has started exploring Buddhism and Zen, so it’s totally fitting to both of us now.

    But what makes it especially unique is we’re using sand and rocks from Lake Superior, as we met and having the wedding in Duluth.

  106. I found a different bridesmaids gift on this site. It is personalized for each one. You send them a picture side profile of your girls and they make them. I was married in January and my girls loved them!! Cute idea. We also had a flame thrower and dancing girl who lit up people’s mouths! Fun

  107. We are adorning the tables with Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head couples for our April 17, 2009 wedding. We’ll recycle them afterwards by giving them to a local charity and hope they make for lively conversaiton (even if it’s only at our expense!) Also, I have several domestic partners in tow who I plan to honor with a few selectively placed Mr. & Mr.’s or Mrs. & Mrs’s. Just a thought!

    • What a great idea! Do you have pictures to share of your Potato Head centerpieces?

  108. I am in charge of table decorations for a Farm theme wedding for my brother’s wedding. Any ideas? The colors are yellow and green. thanks

  109. Colleen-

    Something very cute and insanely inexpensive for decorations for a farm theme would be to use mason jars. Put a single tealight in them, or put some fresh picked wild flowers in them. Play around with different kinds of things you could put in them– maybe you could find some really cool vintage toys and trinkets from an antique store. Or you could decorate the tables somehow incorporating fun farm animal toys! Breyers horses as centerpieces would be amazing. Good luck!

  110. Why oh, why didn’t I find this site when I was planning my own wedding?
    We got married in Oct. last yr. and something that I used was pumpkins, yes, I said it… 🙂 I went and made friends with a guy who grows them and got ’em very cheap. I cleaned them out like for halloween and poked holes in them (with diff. sized drill bits and then put candles in ’em. They acutally turned out better than expected and every1 thought they were great. I also Gutted the big ones and dropped some mumms (pots and all) in. these looked nice too. Bonus give ’em out as favors.

  111. Colleen, I went to a farm themed wedding not too long ago and they filled mason jars with dried corn and green peas, then tied the top with ribbons, it was very cute…

  112. I’m getting married next June in an informal, outdoors setting. Since we live in good ol’ Appalachia, we will be surrounded by mountains. We are thinking of naming the tables at the reception after local peaks (Mount Rogers, Bays Mountain, etc), and I would love to do a non-traditional centerpiece. Any ideas on what would kind of work with the mountain theme? I liked the idea of fruit and stuff like that.

    A friend suggested mason jars of moonshine, but I nixed that. 😉

  113. I’m getting married next June. The main wedding colors are going to be green and blue but I couldn’t think of any centerpieces to match that. I was thinking about theming each table around something that we are both interested in or like (books, music, coffee, etc) and then having the centerpieces reflect that theme and doubling as favors. What do you all think?

    • i'm getting married next May and going with blue and green too, but we're combining it with a beach theme. I'm thinking about putting pictures of us and other family wedding pictures(maybe in black and white) on the tables with green and blue squares of fabric under. I'm still throwing ideas around but I'd love feedback if you come up with anything.

  114. My intentions are to use songs that are relevant to our lives. When I was little by dad you to play “I Get Around” by the Beach Boys off a vinyl and pick me up and dance around the living room… but is that song appropriate at all? And how on earth would you dance to it?

    • Cat — I have to work "Fun, Fun, Fun" into my non-dancing wedding for the same reason — and I believe "I Get around" would be Bop, but I'm not positive. Take a look at the year it came out, take a look at some of the other songs on the chart that year, and see what you can come up with. Or go pose the same question in a dance community online?

  115. My backpacking/climbing fiancee and I both work at REI, met through REI, and are having the wedding right outside Rocky Mountain National Park. For centerpieces we’re using mini-candle lanterns (http://www.rei.com/product/611181) which are essentially protected tea lights. Then as favors (and I may have them on and clustered around the candle lanturn) Coleman has a lantern key-chain (http://www.acehardwareoutlet.com/(ssowhw45uwokpba45dqjzlf3)/ProductDetails.aspx?SKU=5094552). Cute and useful!

  116. Any thoughts for a black/white/fuschia wedding? We’re having black tablecloths, white flatware but other than that I’m stumped. I am too cheap for flowers and I want something funky, chic, and unique. Help!

  117. I’d make craft flowers – paper/origami, tulle, felt, something. Fuschia is a very floral color anyway, and crafted flowers would let you find a paper or cloth that matched the right hue of fuschia in the rest of your wedding – just try doing that with real flowers. Crafted flowers can also be set up well in advance, meaning you can work on them yourself whenever you have time, or hand them off to crafty friends for them to make.

    The non-floral bouquet entry also has a great christmas ornament and tulle number, which could easily be adapted into a centerpiece.

    http://offbeatwed.com/2009/01/diy-ornament-bouquet#referrer

  118. Colleen,
    What about John Deere items? They totally fit with your brother’s colors. Tractors and mini hay bales would be really fun.

  119. Hibryd,

    Thanks for the suggestion! Would you put the faux flowers in vases or just scatter them about? Hmmm. I like the ornament bouquet. Very cool idea.

  120. My theme is A Gift From God and I’m planning to decorated my reception with boxes wrap as gifts and everyone favors are going to be in little gift boxes.

  121. We are having an 80’s themed wedding so our centerpieces are view masters, rubicks cubes and etch a sketches. Not only will they add color but it will be added entertainment.

  122. Vanessa….
    how did your wedding turn out? I’d love to see pics of the fruit centerpieces. or if anyone else has pics of lemons, limes, and oranges used as centerpieces.
    Thanks!

  123. We are getting married on Oct. 3 in an outside wedding. We have both done this twice already and want something different and very cheap…any ideas? We are just having a simple ceremony for a few family members. Its in a park in Illinois also. We are having cupcakes instead of cake I think…so far anyway. We are both older and don't want a lot of fuss.

  124. I love to cook and garden and I love all things French, so I instantly knew I wanted herb plants for my centrepieces. I thought I was going to buy herb plants and then started adding it up–2.50 per plant plus all the pots at 5 plants a table was more than I wanted to spend. Luckily we're planning for next year and I'm kind of obsessive, so I did a trial run of growing them from seed–it worked great!! I found someone selling little terracotta pots for 40 cents a piece, so I'll be able to do the whole project for under $50 and have little basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme and lavender plants that people can take home. My only concern is where I'm going to put the 70 little pots while they're growing next year in our little apartment!!

  125. I know someone who put fish int he center and then gave them to the children as favors. They were betas so it isn't like they ould need a big fish tank at home.

  126. In regards to using fish- There ARE safe ways to use fish at your reception, but there's a lot of work and research involved in it, and depending on what you do, it can get incredibly costly. I always recommend that for unusual circumstances, you use a hardy fish, such as some of the species listed here: http://www.aquariumpros.com/articles/fishcyclefw….

    Now, the trick with this is that depending on the species, it can get incredibly expensive just to buy them. The financial pain there can be doubled by the pain of realizing you didn't think the entire plan through and half of those gorgeous, tri-colored fish are dead (which sucks for them, too). So, if you're going to do fish, here are some research recommendations:

    – Pay attention to your set-up. If you have a large space with your music on one side, you can probably use fish on the opposite side of the room in a large tank that is mostly out of the way.

    – Find out what kind of tank is going to be the best for keeping them happy (or at the barest minimum not stressed) and in one piece; round bowls are out when this comes up. Don't even think about it.

    – Determine if you need a lot of little tanks or if you'd prefer to do one big one off to the side (you can get some nice tanks for incredibly cheap online or at garage sales; just make sure to run water through them for a few hours first to make sure they're still fully sealed). You could also look into borrowing a tank from a friend if they have one they're not using.

    – Research how to set up your tank(s). A big one will need a filter, lights, some form of plant-life for the fish to hide in if they're a skittish species, etc;. You will also, regardless of what you do, want a dechlorinator for your tank(s). I recommend API's Stress Coat for this, as it also strengthens the slime coat on the fish and keeps them comfortable.

    – Determine how many times you're going to have to feed them, and how much (Yes, they need food just like you do, and forgetting to feed them, even if it's only for a day and you're not even keeping them afterwords, can cause them added stress and contribute to a lot of them dying).

    – Please, for the love of all things sacred, do not use candles next to smaller tanks. EVER. If heats up the water and can make a glass bowl (which you shouldn't be using) more fragile, and can be incredibly bad for your fish's health.

    I highly recommend planning out what you're going to do with the fish afterwords as well. If at all possible, keep them in a shiny new tank that you've gotten yourself as a wedding present. Another option is to talk to fish hobbyists that you know and see if they would be interested in keeping some. And, last but not least, you can talk to local pet shops that deal in fish BEFORE your wedding, and get in writing that they'll buy some or all of them from you after the fact.

    See? Now that you've read through all of this, you're thinking fish are more work than their worth. If you're not a fish hobbyist and don't know the basics of fish care, then yes, yes they are. But if you apply the proper care and knowledge (ALWAYS talk to your local pet stores' fish experts, as they can give you their recommendations as well), you can utilize the beauty and charm of some of our favorite water-dwelling neighbors without causing them any harm and without losing your investment.

  127. For anyone who is going with a tea party or vintage chic feel for their wedding, an idea is to go around Op shops, garage sales and flea markets and collect old tea cups and tea pots. The tea pots could be used for centrepieces, and the tea cups filled with lollies or potting mix and seedlings for a cute gift for guests.

    We're doing a burlesque theme, and are thinking of naming the tables after different burlesque things – Corset, Stiletto, Chandelier, Feather Boa, Martini Glass are some of the ideas so far. Each centrepiece will reflect the name of the table, so Stiletto will have my silver and black stiletto jewellery stand on top of a mirror base with black feathers and dark red rose petals and possibly some votive candles scattered around it.

  128. hey-werehave a vintage 50s/teapartyesque styled wedding and our centre pieces are birdcages with ivy tea pots used as vases with small bunches of wild flowers and old cake stands that im collecting with cupcakes on-not doing traditional cake cutting thing-& also single candle holder really beauifully coloured ones-sounds like a lot going on but itll work-i hope!!!

  129. Help girls…
    My finacee is alergic to flowers and we can’t have candles at the reception venue so I’m really stuck for ideas. My bridesmaids dresses are a bluey-purple and our other accent colour is gold as I used to live in India. Any suggestions for centre pieces?

    • How about little shallow terracotta/brass-effect pots filled with different coloured spices and powdered colours with little gold foil shapes (flowers, leaves, anything!) strewn around them? Will be colourful and smell yummy too!

  130. My fiancee and I are both teachers. Each table will have a mini blackboard, chalk and a duster. I’ve got conical flasks filled with different coloured liquid and a gas cylinder with a candle in it. There will also be Hungry Caterpillar bubbles. (We’ve gone for a teacher/i’m still about 5 years old at heart theme).

  131. ok i dont know how to post new post but i NEED HELP OK……………
    Iam having my wedding reception at a old movie theater, and am so lost on favors i want something thats gonna standout and everyone will think is cool……..Like something old hollywood and movies time but with our name on them ANYONE??????

    • I would do the invitations as cinema tickets, there is several providers for this on the net, just google. Decoration could be film posters with your heads shopped on. If you don´t mind the smell, popcorn would be a good option, if you do, go for a candy shop: Jars of different jelly beans and other sweets you like, small plastic bags so that everyone can take what they like. Think about serving drinks in paper cups with plastic toppers and straws. Give an oscar to the best man and brides maids, and maybe practice an acceptance speech :-). Rings could be decorated in an old film reel. Film itself could also be a great table deco. Red carpet is obligatory…
      need more? let me know 🙂 kind regards from Vienna

    • gourmet popcorn obviously! you can order it in bulk, scoop into cellophane bags, print your own labels and tie off with a ribbon.

  132. We are doing a movie theme wedding sooo we’re thinking of putting a bowl of popcorn as are centerpieces 🙂

    • A little late, but for future movie theatre weddings, you could also use director’s slates with your names on them and the table number as the ‘take’.

  133. Peacock feathers. Try overstock.com or amazon.com to order for cheap. Craft stores have them, too. You can put them in mason jars from thrift stores. And another idea is to check pet stores for decorative rocks for aquariums. I’ve seen big bags of beautiful tiger eye there for cheap.

  134. I didn’t do this, but I knew a lady who bought cake stands, and put a different flavor of cake at each table. That way guests mingle because they want to try all the different flavors!

  135. i have bought 8 fluted vases from ikea, they will be half filled with Glass Pebbles, with a coloured tealight holder and a ribbon tied round the ribbon. Im hoping to get ‘Wedding Day’ yankee candle tea lights to put in the holders 🙂

  136. My fiance and I are having a “handmade technology” wedding. I am making flowers out of brightly colored felt, cogs and old parts of computers and electronics. I am a crafting person and he is a computer and video game nerd, and we wanted something to reflect us. 🙂

  137. we are getting married in october near woodstock. I definitely want non-floral centerpieces. i like the idea low of woven rectangular baskets, placing two pillar candles on either end of the basket and heaping them with figs and gourds.

    i also think a single medium sized white pumpkin lantern on each table would look magical. they can be carved with anything from the couples initials and wedding date, or wedding bells or autumn leaves.

    for spring or garden weddings, grape vine birds nests filled with speckled eggs, loose craft feathers in your wedding colors and a tiny bird perched on the edge of the nest would be utterly charming.

  138. Some great ideas in this post!!

    I love the way the ‘traditional wedding’ is constantly becoming more ‘offbeat’ and personalized towards each individual couple! It definitely doesn’t have to be about the flowers and floral arrangements anymore, when we have the ability to be so much more creative!
    I work at a golfcourse doing weddings and I’ve seen some great ideas there. I still notice that a lot of people resort to different flower arrangments in your typical vase, but I do love it when something different is brought to the table, no pun intended! One in particular I liked was a bride who had a love for lemons and limes! She purchased different shaped glass vases and stacked them full of lemons and limes. Not only were they used as centerpieces, but also as decorative displays beside the head table, on the head table, on the gift table and up at the bar! Also, she had a little lemon and lime made out of icing on the top of her cake. My favourite part was the wedding favour: a sugar cookie in the shape of a lemon covered in a bright yellow icing with a tag on it that read: ‘Today I married my main squeeze!”

    For whatever reason, this wedding really stuck with me! I think the fact that we had never really seen something so unique as this before was what really did it! I fell in love with the creativeness.

    Another great one, although I would not do it myself, was a Halloween wedding that we had, where the bride and groom dressed up as ‘the corpse bride and groom’ which was absolutely wicked to see! And all the guests came dressed up as well. You can only imagine how cool the decor was!

    It’s weddings like these that people remember and that make the most impact, I think anyway. My husband and I also had different decor that strayed away from the traditional flower. It was our special day, so why not? I think that a wedding SHOULD represent the personality of the couple.

    It’s the happiest day of your life and only happens once (well, hopefully anyway!), so why not make a statement!!

    Love this blog!

  139. I am doing a 40’s theme with peacock colors. For the centerpieces, I am using blue mason jars with clear stones and peacock feathers or I maybe battery-operated tealight candles. To save money on china, I am asking friends and family to borrow their set of china so each table will have their own matching set.

  140. Two ideas: 1. For people (like me) who would really like a floral centerpiece, but fear the cost, there is always baby’s breath! It’s an inexpensive ‘filler’ flower, but is still quite pretty on it’s own. I’m considering using it in a cylinder vase, then tying a pretty black ribbon around the vase to spruce it up a bit (my colors are black and white). Sorry, I know this is a non-floral forum, but perhaps some people are simply considering non-floral due to high cost (I was), and this could be a cheap floral option.
    2. How about a pretty bowl of chocolates, pretzels, other snacks as a centerpiece? Especially if the food isn’t served right away, the guests may appreciate it!

  141. I’m thinking, in addition to other things, making small frames and placing in each a different favorite quote from the groom or myself. They’d be decorated in some way as well (a fancy print, small feathers, pressed flower or greenery?)They can be used as general decorations and on tables. My thought is that they can help get conversation flowing, especially if we omit, or print on the back, whose quotes they are!

  142. I’m getting married in late October and we’re using fake foam pumpkins that I got on sale after this past Halloween to make wedding jack o’lanterns. We are going to carve some shape into them (maybe bats or leaves) and put battery operated tea lights inside.

  143. I agree with having lanterns in a wedding.It’s a great decor accent which can be used for a fall wedding. I love your post♥

  144. I had robots. They were from toys r us, about six inches tall. the florist stuck them to astro turf in these shallow square metal pots. She also, gave them each a small bouquet of flowers and secured them in place with copper wire. (wedding colors were copper and green)

  145. We are using oranges in bowls, small pots of wheatgrass with pinwheels in them and pictures in 4×6 photo mats attached in a triangle with a candle in the middle to shine through. No flowers as our wedding will be outside in July in central CA (hot!).

  146. A friend of mine spray painted some fruit gold and draped it over white ceramic bowls, looked elegant and the white/gold oombo worked well.

    We went to a junk/antique shop and bought lots of old mismatched teacups and saucers and stacked them on the tables – in each cup was a candle. The effect was so pretty and everyone commented on it. We kept all the china, somehow all the mismatched cups look better than a set.

  147. I went to a great wedding where instead of table decorations, there were shees of origmai paper and instructions how to make cranes. They asked each guest to make them a crane and write a message for them.

    When all the wedding fuss was over they still had the cranes to look forward to, they spent an afternoon unfolding them and enjoying all the messages of love, much better than hearing congrats during the wedding when you’re stressed and tired or having to greet a lot of guests.

  148. You all have such great ideas! Maybe you can help me out.
    My fiance and I are getting married end of March 2012. Our reception site is an old bathhouse that is now a museum of contemporary art. So 1920’s meets Today. The only color I’ve decided is blue – but the actual shade is negotiable. Any ideas?! I like flowers but I totally want something different!

  149. I collect teapots, so I decided to stack some old books and place teapots on each stack in the middle of the tables. I love the lanterns though!

  150. I love all the ideas flowing for this! I’m also having a flowerless, but very colourful and thematic fun wedding. I’m not very into frills and minute details, but would like to have a fun centrepiece and am leaning towards books, cards, board games with some candles. Though maybe something a little more unified than the random chaos I’m planning so far 🙂

  151. Hi–I am getting married in September of 2012 and I plan on having photos of me and finace in different size frames, all with little quotes from romantic or quirky movies or books. You can buy white frames and decorate them however. Then on the table between the frames we are going to scatter brown and teal pebbles. Simple, but original.

  152. I’m a farm-girl and over the years my mom and I have been collecting flat rocks we see in the field when driving machinery. For the centerpieces at our wedding, my fincee and i are placing different sized pillar candles on the flat rocks. We are then either tying a ribbon around them or laying flowers at the bottom of the candles. This was super cheap cuz the rocks were free and we bought used pillar candles from another couple who used them at their wedding 🙂

  153. I collect upscale and vintage Barbie dolls. I am using a variety of wedding Barbies on stands for center pieces. The oldest is from 1985. Very cute.

  154. For our wedding we are combining our two loves hockey and sailing in a medium tall vase with water beads- hockey pucks in the water, and little sailboats floating on top. Neither one of us are big into flowers, and I dislike large arrangments that discourage conversation across tables. When you add little floating lights, you get a cool pattern on the table plus the candle effect. Plus this is competley DIY!!

  155. When Mari and I were considering a winter wedding, our idea was to use foot-high “Christmas trees” as center pieces, maybe draped in fake snow, with the origami cranes (Mari is half-Japanese) I’ve been folding situated around the trees.

    Now that we’re doing a summer wedding, I’d like to find some sunflower-shaped (I’m part-Algerian, and sunflowers are the quintessential Algerian flower) tea lights that I can float in water in a square glass or plastic box-type thing. We’ll probably string the cranes on a line like streamers XD

  156. I am getting married in August and my colours are grey and then pastel pink green and purple but stuck of a theme really I like rustic and fairytale but I’m having car table names

  157. For our tables i got some organza, petal scatters, heart chocolates and candles and just sorta threw it all onto the table – looked great and all i had to clean up was petals, organza (chocolates gone, surprise surprise!) and candles, to which are now in various places in the house anyhow – i <3 candles!
    When i get my photos i'll do a huge blog to show ^^

  158. gigantic glass jar of fresh lavender and sticks, FTW. Cheap as hell, only thing to buy are the vases which came from dollar store!

  159. My cousin used different sized and colored wine bottles with strings of lights inside to light them. To make them different heights, she used different thicknesses of wood slices. She then added wild flowers to make it woodsy! They were different at each table, and absolutely beautiful!

  160. I’m not sure how to embed photos, but I can link you to my wedding profile (http://offbeatwed.com/2014/06/oregon-masquerade-wedding)

    We had mini pumpkins with candles in them, candles in frosted votives, wine bottles with the bottoms cut off and candles inside, mirrors to set them on, and shiny-wrapped candies (which were intended for people to eat, but they only ate the candies out of the bowl we had!)

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