Saving Money on Wedding Centerpieces

August 31, 2009

Watering CanI had an outdoor wedding in June and made these pretty centerpieces. I bought the watering cans at Big Lots and bouquets of flowers at Costco. A good friend arranged the flowers in the cans, using florist clay in the bottom, and filling them half full of water. They really made the reception tables beautiful at our garden wedding.


By Kathy from Indianapolis, IN

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January 15, 2009

You can slash your flower and cake budget with this cool tip. Have your baker make an 8 or 9 inch birthday type cake for each one of your tables. Display them on rented or borrowed cake stands. Wind the base with ivy or other greens, and scatter real or silk rose petals about the table.


May 27, 2011

For my daughter's wedding centerpieces, we bought Mason jars, plastic flowers, ribbon, and floating candles. She hot glued the purple ribbon on the jars (her colors) and put the plastic flower in the bottom.


March 26, 2008

My husband and I did our own wedding, we are fifty-somethings on a budget, and figured we had enough life experience to pull it off.


5 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

November 9, 2000

I am getting married in May and was wondering if there were any ideas on cheap, but nice looking centerpieces?



November 30, 20000 found this helpful

I had the same dilemma 9 years ago. We were on a pretty tight budget, and after a lot of thinking, I came up with this idea:

In the middle of our round reception tables, a square cloth napkin in our wedding color, pink, was opened up to lay flat in the middle of the table. On top of the napkin, we placed a square mirror at an angle. On top of the mirror, we put a champagne bucket which we filled with ice and a bottle of champagne for the toast. Attached to the champagne bucket was 3 pink and white helium balloons, tied to the bucket with pink and white curling ribbon.


As a final touch, we scattered all over the top of the table, little pieces of the curled ribbon, and tiny silver wedding bell confetti that I found at a stationary store.

Total cost? The cloth napkins, mirrored tile and champagne buckets were provided by the hall we rented. We purchased the balloons, ribbon, and confetti, and helium for the balloons. I can't remember the cost, but it was CHEAP! We thought the results were spectacular. Hope this idea gives you some ideas!

Marci - Colorado Springs, CO

November 30, 20000 found this helpful

What I did for my wedding was that I took a glass bowl available in most craft stores for about a dollar and filled it on the bottom with some colored glass half marble pieces that usually run for about a dollar or two for a bag. I put just enough to cover the bottom of the vase then I filled it with water and added a floating candle. I put this in the middle of a flower ring.


To finish off I added a ribbon and bow around the edge of the vase-bowl. When you light the candle the marbles at the bottom reflect there color and sparkle. It's inexpensive, simple yet more original than flower centerpieces. If you play your cards right these centerpieces can be done for about 3-4 dollars.


November 30, 20000 found this helpful

When I got married, over 20 years ago, someone gave us a flower arrangement of Fall flowers, stuck in fake moss covered foam, wrapped in burlap, with a ribbon tied around the top. I saw some pictures just like the one I received in a home decor demonstration catalog for around $25.


If you, or anyone you know is crafty or good at flower arranging, try looking for sales at craft stores, visiting discount and dollar stores for flowers. Buy some "flower arranging foam", cut into the shape you want, top with fake moss, and wrap with cloth or burlap. Then arrange the flowers in the foam.

For a wedding decoration, some kind of white cloth, or large fancy white handkerchief [maybe with a satin like or brocade type of finish] tied with a silver ribbon around the foam, and using the flowers of your choice.

Lots of craft stores (Frank's) have sales on all the time. If you have a discount type store (we have Forman Mills, National Wholesalers Warehouse) near you, try there, or check out the dollar stores, for the flowers and some kind of cloth squares.



November 30, 20000 found this helpful

I have seen beautiful displays done with candles. Floating candles can be displayed quite elegantly... I've seen the floating candles displayed in a nice glass container with clipped carnations or rose blooms floating intermixed. Fill up clear clean mayonnaise jars with potpourri and than find a votive candle holder that will fit inside the top of the jar. One person I know twined in the "pearls" found at craft stores in with the potpourri.

Hope this helps get some creative juices going for Kathy.


November 30, 20000 found this helpful

I got married last May. About three months earlier, I bought ivy (grocery store or nursery has them cheap). I let them grow a little, and then about 3 weeks before the wedding I repotted them in terra cotta pots that I had spraypainted white. I tied a ribbon around the pots. In the middle of each plant, I put a gardenia stem that I had gotten for 50% off (spring sale) at the craft store.


I had one placed at each table. I received so many complements from them and they looked so professional. For 12 centerpieces I spent a total of $85.00. If you have a few months, check the store for sales and buy it as you go along.


February 3, 20010 found this helpful

The biggest wedding I ever attended had centerpieces that were made up of a vase and flowers. The vase was made of a clear tube of glass. The bottom of the tube was shaped like a heart and the ends of the tube opened up to hold one flower each-try your local craft store. Less flowers save money. Another idea I have seen is getting baskets, they don't have to match, and could be bought at a thrift store. Fill the baskets with tissue paper to match the decorations. Then add flowering plants in the plastic trays that are usually used for planting in the garden. These trays are sold in the garden section of the store and are not pretty the way they are, but the basket and tissue paper conceal the fact that they are not yet planted. I got to take the plants home and had lovely begonias in the garden ever after that. Congratulations and best wishes!

July 18, 20020 found this helpful

I got married in Feb.and did it all myself, food and all. for my centerpieces, I got small votives from a dollar store, clear ones and since my colors were burgundy, pink and white I put big white table cloths, then layered with a small burgundy table cloth at an angle. I used white and burgundy round candles in the holders and bought some cheap fake ivy and curled it around the holders with a tail streaming off. On the bride and grooms table I put a large candle (White with the same idea. I also spinkled conifetti (bells and such all over the tables. We could dim the lights and it looked very nice.
- susan


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January 24, 20030 found this helpful

Here's a great inexpensive centerpiece idea that I used for my wedding and haven't seen ANYWHERE else yet...I took three boxes (like a shirt box you would use to wrap clothing as a gift), in all different shapes and sizes, and I wrapped 2 in gold foil wrapping paper and 1 in silver foil wrapping paper (or vice versa). I bought it online & saved quite a bit because I purchased large rolls by bulk. Then I bought 2 inch wide wire rimmed ribbon (gold & silver again) and I tied it around the 3 stacked boxes with a bow at the top. I left plenty of ribbon hanging down & then shaped it to make it look wavy. They were elegant, bright, and best of all, no clean up. Everything went right in the trash afterwards & I don't have forty "what do I do with these now" vases taking up space in my basement. Another perk, I had plenty of wrapping paper left over that I use for all occasions. You could use any paper you wanted, with any color or theme, but foil or shiny would definitely be best. Very eye-catching! (Posted for a reader)

By Amy Hornek (Guest Post)
October 1, 20040 found this helpful

For our wedding our hotel had simple mirrors they let us borrow for free that we put in the middle of the table. We then spread rose petals over the class. Looked very elegant and I think all 30 table were done for like $50.

October 2, 20040 found this helpful

I just saw on TLC on their show For Better or Worse a really cute idea. Buy blank cd-r's and burn cds with all of your's and your intended's favorite love songs and place them in plain jewel cases. On the front take a picture of the two of you together printed off your computer so you can fit at least four per sheet and glue it to the front of the case. Prop it on a candle and place loose flower petals around it. They were personal, charming and cheap.

By Stephanie from Indiana (Guest Post)
December 12, 20040 found this helpful

I am getting married as well on May 29, 2004!!! I am also trying to get ideas for centerpieces. Unfortunately, I am having a big wedding with 30 tables to accomodate for.

One inexpensive idea I have is to put several votive holders on a mirror. Accent the mirror with rose petals or glass beads. You can also decorate the votive holders with ribbon (to match your wedding colors). Votive holders are less than 1.00 ea. and the mirrors can be bought at any craft store fairly cheap.

By Betty Jean - Brooklyn, NY (Guest Post)
January 3, 20050 found this helpful

I attended a beatiful and elegant Fall Wedding in the county. The reception was help in a barn. Budget was not an issue, the plaaner was clever enough to know where to save money. She saved up the large plastic jugs from apple juice. Bought a roll of natural colored burlap. She cut out a big square of burlap, placed a jug in the center and gathered it up around the neck and tied it at the top with natural rafia ribbon and let a bunch hanging, about a foot or so. The top edges of the fabric fell over the ribbin a bit and were frayed. We filled the jugs with water, cut the stems short on two huge sunflowers and placed them in the jugs with some greeenery. It was so simple, cheap and oh so beautiful. The table was balanced with a crisp white table cloth, gold, rustic chargers, antique gold silver ware, simple cream china and napkins tide with rafia.

By Courtney (Guest Post)
January 30, 20050 found this helpful

Just to add to the wonderful idea of the mirror, candle, and rose petals...if you sprinkle some confetti (I used the silver angel hair confetti) around the centerpiece, when you light the candle, the confetti glows and shimmers. It is a very elegant display and looks like it costs a fortune. It only cost me $3 each. Very affordable.

By Fallon (Guest Post)
February 13, 20050 found this helpful

i'm getting married in Nov. in Florida. I really wanted to have candles involved in my decorating. I plan on getting glass jars (some size between baby food jar and spagetti jar), taking the metal holder off of T-lites (which are VERY cheap if bought in bulk) and floating them in water in the jars. You can put shells at the bottom if going for a nautical theme, or confetti, rose pettels, etc. The t-lites float for about 3 hours. test one out at home in a glass of water to be sure you have one that will float for a while. Congrats to all! - Fallon :)

By Samantha (Guest Post)
March 19, 20050 found this helpful

Hi! I'mm getting married in July and I found a great idea. I am using nothing but rose petals with candles flowing through it. I saw a picture using those and it was beautiful

March 19, 20050 found this helpful

This for Christin who is getting married in June: I used to have a neighbor who grew flowers expressly for cutting. To earn some extra money, she would put together bouquets and sell them to offices around town, or make bouquets for anyone who wanted them for various occasions. They only contained seasonal wildflowers, and were always simple, elegant and beautiful. If you know of anyone who might be interested in doing that, you can save that way. Otherwise, check out a Farmer's Market, and get to know some of the merchants. Tell them you are getting married, and see if they can come up with some flowers for you. I am sure that this would be infinitely cheaper than a florist. For my sister's wedding, my mother had the ingenious idea of getting very pretty Italian pots that contained citronella candles, and since the wedding was outdoors, the candles provided additional bug protection while adding ambience. You could put a candle and small vase with a few flowers on each table, and have a larger one for the main tables. Instead of spending a fortune on a wedding cake, my mother arranged for a caterer to do everything for my sister's wedding. She decorated the cake with gorgeous cascading purple orchids. If you have to get your flowers ahead of time, putting them in the refrigerator and sprinkling them with water keeps them fresher.

By Kristi (Guest Post)
February 20, 20060 found this helpful

Try using disposable champagne or wine glasses to float your candles in. Tie ribbon in your colors around the stem. Placing them in mirrored tiles will add extra sparkle, then sprinkle rose petals (either silk or real) on the table top. You can find great deals on floating candles if you look hard enough online. I found 100 white floating candles for less than $30 including shipping! I also found two large bags of silk rose petals for $20 on ebay. Inexpensive doesn't necessarily have to look "cheap."

By (Guest Post)
March 21, 20060 found this helpful

I recently purchased some gorgeous candle lanterns from Ikea for only $5 a piece. They had a variety of colours to choose from to match with your wedding decor. It looks very elegant and is something that your guests are sure to enjoy.

By Theresa (Guest Post)
May 10, 20060 found this helpful

for our wedding we are going to do a beach theme b/c we have a huge collection of sea shells. For the center peices, We are going to get plastic trays that have a about 2 inch lip on them, fill them with sand, place few different size candle through out it also with shells setting in the sand. As favors we are going to fill organza bags (cheap on ebay) and fill them with shell and put our names on the tags w/ the date.

By traci (Guest Post)
March 21, 20070 found this helpful

Im getting married in Nov and having the wedding in Newport Beach, CA. My colors are brown and sand. Wanted to get some unique ideas on centerpieces. I wanted more classy and accents hints of the beach, not tacky beach. I like the rustic look too, maybe keeping the colors/flowers antique cream, white and greenery.

Any ideas?

July 10, 20070 found this helpful

My colors for my upcoming wedding in September are Ivory and Chocolate with peach roses. So - I would like some feedback on my centerpiece idea. Its not too original, but I think it should be pretty.
In the middle of our Ivory table cloth I will put a chocolate napkin (square so it looks like a diamond on the round table) and than i will have a mirror centerpiece, ontop of that I will have a clear bowl filled with water, there will be three Ivory rose floating candles and than I was going to accent the centerpieces with silk rose petals - some will be chocolate and other centerpieces will have peach rose petals floating in there with the candles.
... I hope silk petals float - does anyone know?

By Danielle (Guest Post)
August 9, 20070 found this helpful

I'm getting married in September and here's how we're doing our centerpieces; We are using tealight candles and putting them in painted baby food jars. Then wrapping copper wire around the jar in order to tie twine (or yarn, string whatever you want) around the jar and hang it from small branches. All of this will be in a small hurricane glass filled with sand to hold up the branches. Maybe hang around 3 jars at each centerpiece. My theme is fall and it goes great with an autumn themed wedding. I've tried it and it looks really great. It sounds complicated but it is so easy and very inexpensive.

By Suzanne (Guest Post)
October 29, 20070 found this helpful

candles at dollar stores after christmas will be marked half price or less.... I bought a huge box of beautiful white candles for my reception last January. The white is fitting.. Not all of them have to be exact, but I sure came close

I also bought lots of ribbon at the same dollar store. Try fabric stores too. You can get Holiday ribbon that can be used all year round. I was able to find some really pretty silver glittery sheer ribbon for about .25 a spool... Great for an evening wedding any time of year.

The major expense for this will be glass to put the candles on as to not have wax on the rented tables at my reception. Again, dollar store.. that way if they come up missing, no big deal!!!

By Meeko (Guest Post)
November 11, 20070 found this helpful

Buy drink glasses from Wal-Mart of all different sizes and fill them with water. Put floating candles into them. For a special effect put a mirror underneath. Great value and very elegant!

By amy (Guest Post)
March 13, 20080 found this helpful

I have an idea that I think is going to work for a centerpiece. My husband to be is obsessed with home theater/movies/popcorn, etc. So, I thought about filling wine glasses with popcorn, placing a thick black candle in each glass, and surrounding it with (instead of red rose balls) red popcorn balls on flutes. also, a wreath of cranberry and popcorn (stranded) around the bottom. what do you think?


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January 26, 20150 found this helpful

This is what I did for my sister's re-vow in 2002. The round tables had four chairs so every one had a nice view of the ceremony. I got plain dollar tree bowls, filled each with blue, pink, yellow, or lavender colored water (her theme was four spring colors). On top of that, we poured some vegetable oil just enough to fill the entire top...very important.
Then, we floated a single tea light candle and lit it just before the guests arrived. We made sure they were the 10 hour tea light, as they dissolve and don't melt. You could even do clear water and put in different colored rocks from the dollar tree, too.

For table scatter, we found some spring wall paper samples that were round, and I painstakingly cut them out and put opposite colors on the table clothes. Very cool and about 1.00 per table. I hope that helps. PBP

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