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May 3, 2012

Tall? Medium? Small? – choosing the perfect centerpiece

… tall? medium? small?

Having a tough time figuring out what sort of centrepiece you’d like to have at your wedding reception? Don’t worry – you’re not alone! Of all the details that most brides stress about, it’s these tricky little numbers that tend to give the most grief. Think back to the last wedding you attended – do you remember the details of the centerpiece? Likely not…. but what you will remember is if it was – well – terrible! Centerpieces don’t necessarily need to BE your decor, they just need to complement your decor. Whatever your budget, there are gorgeous centerpiece options to choose from… and here are some tips and tricks on narrowing down your choices!

Ask yourself…..

How much money do you want to spend on your centerpiece? Categorize your response into one of these classifications: Budget (say, under $30 per table), Moderate ($30-$60 per table), or Deluxe ($60+ per table).

And do you want to do any of the centerpiece details yourself? DIY can drastically reduce the costs of traditional decor designs.

For comparison’s sake, here are a few examples of each:

- Budget -

(The ingredients: lovely little assorted vintage bottles found in the fields + old stockpiles around the bride and groom’s house – filled with water and sand to make them bottom-heavy and less likely to move around on the table. Fresh flowers from the florist to tie in the floral design of the girls’ bouquets, DIY table numbers, and flickering LED candles – tied together with twine). This centerpiece was designed to be both budget- and safety-friendly for a beautiful country+rustic barn wedding.

(The ingredients: This Parisian-inspired wedding boasted a gorgeous, footed hurricane vase wrapped with a simple satin ribbon. The pillar candle inside the vase was stamped with a fleur-de-lys and votive candles with rose petals were scattered on the checkered overlay to carry through an outdoor cafe design).

 

(The ingredients: Gillian and Kyle’s modern+chic fuschia, black, and white wedding took place at an upscale golf course in the Niagara region. Not wanting to spend much money on centerpiece vases, this DIY duo opted to wrap apple juice tins with heavy black paper, tie it with an accenting fuschia ribbon, and asked the floral designer to create miniature bouquets for each tin. The damask table runners were made by the Mother-Of-The-Bride with fabric purchased from a wholesale lot on Ebay and were sold after the wedding to another eager and damask-loving Bride to be!)

 

 

So a note on budget centerpieces – they don’t have to look cheap! On the contrary, all three of these budget designs were meticulously created to complement the wedding decor that abounded throughout the day. Some common elements of a budget centerpiece? limited amounts of flowers, inexpensive vases, and some DIY touches. If you’re looking for centerpiece decor on a budget, be sure to check out the Shops @ WG as well as some of our Garage-Sale Previously Loved items!

 

- Moderate -

 If you’re thinking that you’d like to showcase something more floral-forward on your reception tables, but you’re still not wanting to spend large amount of money on the design, consider working with your florist to create some moderately priced centerpiece options. These can include glass and candles to create dimension on your tables, but can still have limited florals to keep your costs down. Here are some lovely examples of not-too-big and not-too-small centerpieces we’ve seen…

With moderately priced centerpieces, you can either opt for more flowers and a less expensive vase, or more vases + candles, accentuated with a more modest floral arrangement. You don’t have to sacrifice height for budget – you can choose to fill a tall vase with an inexpensive vase filler, top it off with some big-hitting budget blooms (like hydrangeas!), and scatter some petals or candles around the base to give the design some elegant dimension. Ribbon is another cheap and great way to create various visual lines – so consider wrapping your votives and/or vases in colours that match your decor scheme!

- Deluxe -

 Deluxe centerpieces tend to be elaborate; stunning creations of oodles of flowers perched atop fancy vases and surrounded by mini-bloom arrangements (our favourite!) and candles. You can choose to spend a bit less money on a simple but tall vase and allot more of the budget to the flowers themselves, or you can opt for a slightly pricier rental (like a candelabra or crystal globe) and have your florist design a more modest arrangement to complement it.

Just because a centerpiece LOOKS to be deluxe doesn’t mean it necessarily has to come with a steep price tag. Utilize contacts that you may have for flowers, DIY designs, and cheap labour (read: your wedding party!). Having friends help out is a great way to skip fees charged by decorators, florists, and coordinators – but if you want your loved ones to celebrate alongside of you on the Day Of rather than be elbow-deep in centerpiece decor, create all the elements yourself and hand over step-by-step instructions to a pro to take care of it for you.

Think outside the centerpiece box….

Whether you’re looking to spend a little or a lot, whether you’re looking for elegantly understated or bold and lavish decor, don’t forget to think outside the centerpiece box. If you’re not a traditional vase+floral arrangement bride, get creative with the use of other elements like tiered candle designs, petals, ribbons, and unique vase fillers. Incorporate elements from your life – vintage books, fancy frames, or personal tokens from your relationship. If you really want to get original, create a common centerpiece theme but make every table different! We love it when brides have an open mind to letting us design a few different centerpiece options for them – tall + medium + short, some over-the-top, others small and quaint. With a good eye for style, you can keep your theme flowing across every table and do it all on a budget!

If you have any questions about centerpiece design, are looking to buy some wholesale decor items, or could use some fabulous decor + floral referrals, feel free to visit our Decor Shops, browse some of our Previously-Loved items, or get in touch!

 

Happy Centerpiece-ing!

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August 14, 2009

Thinking outside of the Wedding Decor box

Filed under: Bridal Blog — Tags: , , — WeddingGirl @ 7:40 am

When planning the decor of your event, it’s easy to get caught up in the stereotypically “traditional” wedding decor of tulle, twinkle lights, and flowers as far as the eye can see. But did you know that some retailers, knowing that brides are starting to use creative DIY options to decorate their weddings, are in turn pricing particular colours of items (i.e. white) higher than others? I was at a shoe store the other day and the white version of the cute little flat ballet slipper was $15 more than the red, gold, and silver version – and when I asked why, the sales clerk said it’s a “Bridal” item! What is it with this industry wanting us to spend more than we ever would under non-wedding circumstances??

In the last few months of being unique and creative when it comes to planning my own wedding and the weddings of others, I’ve come across a variety of original ideas that brides can use to save money and still end up with the elegant final product.

So here it goes….

The WeddingGirl.ca

Top 10 Ways to Decorate a Wedding On a Budget

1. Choose an attractive venue – it doesn’t have to be a 5 diamond hotel – but in considering the savings of hosting your wedding reception at a union hall, think about the additional decor costs you may incur.

2. Cut your guest list. With 100 guests in attendance, you will need approximately 13-14 centerpieces. You can easily double your expenses or cut them in half just by having a much larger or much smaller guest count. With less guests, not only will your entire reception expense go down, you can spend more on having more striking centerpieces and decor (instead of having to cut corners just to have enough)

3. Buy wholesale! The average glass vase at Michael’s Craft Store is approximately $15. The same vase might be available at Wal-Mart for $2 to $3 less. At wholesale, the same vase might cost you HALF, if not less!!

4. Add flair with vase filler. Some of the wholesalers I work with sell acrylic gems (that resemble crushed ice) in various colours to fill vases. At wholesale, this is a great option to add some flair on a budget! But you can also purchase gel beads and use a submersible LED light to light up the vase! This allows the vase itself to be the focal point of the centerpiece, instead of whatever rests on top – so place a single (artificial) orchid on the top of the gel beads and save hundreds of dollars on flowers!!

Some brides are even using fruit, coffee beans, split peas, and crumpled cellophane to fill their vases!

5. Don’t rule out artificial flowers…. and I don’t mean silk flowers from the dollar store! The artificial flower industry has boomed with incredibly life-like flowers made from amazingly advanced plastics and foams to replicate real, exotic, expensive blooms at a fraction of the cost. For example, a stem of 10 white/pink orchids might cost $10 at wholesale, vs. $30 retail. This is a good alternative to paying for expensive flowers such as stephanotis in the bridal bouquet as well.

6. Shop around. If you are renting table linens or chair covers, do your research on who offers what for what price in your area. Sometimes it is less expensive to pay for shipping of a rental than getting it locally. If you are renting in large quantities, don’t be afraid to ask for a break! You’d be surprised at how many vendors are willing to consider it.

7. Double-dip. Consider what you are using to decorate your ceremony, and then ask a guest (or your wedding day coordinator) to move those items from the ceremony venue to the reception hall. This works particularly well with showcase floral arrangements, or decorative tulle. Re-use the pomanders (kissing balls) initially hung from your pews / chairs lining the aisle by removing their ribbon, and placing them atop centerpiece vases.

This can also be done with guest escort cards that double-over as their favour or centerpieces that serve as the dessert! (see the WeddingGirl.ca group on Facebook for ideas!)

8. Borrow! Talk to your recently-wed friends and ask what they have left over from their wedding. Visit the WeddingGirl.ca Bridal Marketplace and check out what’s being sold that might spark your imagination and save you money in the process!

9. Hire a professional to do larger-scale decorating such as a backdrop or uplighting. Angelica from Simply Beautiful Decor is, without a doubt, one of the most amazing decorating professionals I’ve ever come across, and her work speaks for itself with respect to its quality, ingenuity, and sheer elegance. Don’t try to skip on the large-scale decor pieces, because you may end up losing more money in the end!

10. Sharesies!! – share the cost of more expensive decor with an upcoming bride, and let her take all your items after your big day so she can use them for her own! Some things can’t be shared (i.e. real flowers, candles), but anything else – vases, mirrors, vase filler, can usually be re-used! (consider it Going Green? :)

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