22 Affordable Wedding Centerpiece Ideas

Looking to go with affordable wedding centerpieces for your reception? Find out how to choose the right ones with this complete guide.

By Jennifer Prince

wedding centerpiece
Photo by Unsplash

William and Kate. Harry and Meghan. Charles and Diana. No matter which royal wedding comes to mind first, they all had several things in common. Onlookers gawked at gorgeous gowns, a plethora of flowers, and all the pomp and circumstance. Heads swirled around real-life princes and princesses as everyone watched their wedding days unfold. Money is no object for them, but we commonfolk need to think about budgets. One of the best ways to save money on your wedding day is to choose affordable wedding centerpieces.

Some couples can’t picture their day without blooms on their tables. In contrast, others are open to having wedding centerpieces without flowers. Either way, there are lots of creative and unique ideas for wedding centerpiece ideas for both sets. To make sure that you stay within your , but still have beautiful decor, check out our top recommendations for affordable wedding centerpieces below.

How to Choose Affordable Wedding Centerpieces For Your Reception Photo Credit // Unsplash

What to Consider When Shopping

Diving into any part of wedding planning head-first can be confusing and overwhelming. So, before we get started, it's paramount that we cover a few things. Keep the following top of mind when looking through centerpiece inspiration and ideas.

The Cost

Budget is the number one thing to keep an eye out for, here. Things—especially when bought in multiples—can add up quickly. Be conscious of how much each component costs as you browse and get creative. Better to go in aware than have your heart set on something, only for it to end up being out of budget. Speaking of budget, have yours prepared and ready to reference.

The Look

This may seem obvious, but can easily be lost in the process. The centerpieces at your reception tables—including your table numbers—should complement your wedding colors and the overall aesthetic of the day. Like other aspects of the decor, they should express who you are as a couple or how you'd like your guests to feel. Allow yourself to get creative and don't get too caught up in the cost of it all.

Your Likes and Dislikes

A wedding decor tip we like to abide buy is as follows: If you wouldn't put it in your house, don't put it in your wedding. Don't feel like you need to settle for centerpieces that are passable just because they're within budget. Hold out for the things you like and don't hesitate to get creative to make things work.

Incorporating Floral Wedding Centerpieces on a Budget

The word “centerpiece” brings glass vases with wedding flowers to mind. It’s no wonder, as blooms add texture, color, and fragrance to a wedding reception. Although, more florals equal a heftier price tag. Therefore, talk to your floral designer about their recommendations on how to incorporate the ideas below into your floral centerpieces.

1. Choose Fresh Flowers That Are in Season

Peonies are gorgeous, no doubt. However, if your heart is set on them for a mid-winter wedding, you may want to switch your plans. Choosing in-season flowers will ease your budget. Furthermore, the term “in-season” doesn’t necessarily mean that those blooms are currently growing in your area.

Talk with your florist about what blooms are simple to obtain, therefore being less expensive when you want to get married. Alternatively, you could change your wedding date based on florals. That’s a big switch, but getting those fragrant, billowy peonies just may be worth it.

2. Be Smart About the Size of Arrangements

The larger the arrangement, the more flowers it requires. Therefore, it makes sense that large flower centerpieces on multiple tables can squeeze your budget. Swap oversized arrangements for something a bit understated. Your guests will have more room, and they won’t have to navigate talking over an eye-blocking centerpiece.

3. Place Mirrors to Double Your Centerpieces

If you have small, low wedding table centerpieces, you can duplicate them by placing a mirror underneath. Be sure that the mirror is larger than the arrangement, and take advantage of the mirror’s reflective properties. It’s a great way to double the appearance of your blooms, while having affordable wedding centerpieces.

4. Use Pricey Flowers Sparingly

So, you want those peonies for your January wedding, after all. No sweat! Just pepper them in amongst lesser-priced posies for your wedding reception. It’s a great way to highlight and frame each bloom without having to go overboard on cost. You could also opt for smaller arrangements to incorporate high dollar flowers more strategically.

How to Choose Affordable Wedding Centerpieces For Your Reception Photo Credit // Unsplash

5. Incorporate Loose Blooms

Whether you use vintage bottles, floral tea tins, or colorful vases, place just a few blossoms in each vessel. Then, pepper them along the length of your table to create a high impact with only a few flowers. Doing so will allow each bloom to shine on its own.

6. Have Ceremony Flowers Do Double Duty

Moving your flowers from your wedding ceremony to your reception space can cut your budget almost in half. Work with your florist to create designs for your nuptials that will double as easy wedding centerpieces. Another trick is to use bridal bouquets on tables—especially on head and sweetheart tables—to add flora to otherwise blank spaces.

7. Vary Arrangements from Table to Table

Some couples want to wow their guests with a plethora of flowers as they enter the reception. If you don’t have the budget to do so, vary your arrangements. Place high-set, yet affordable, wedding table centerpieces on every other surface. In contrast, use simple wedding table decorations on the others.

8. Integrate Lots of Greenery

Greenery is beautiful, and it adds a lot of texture to otherwise simple wedding centerpieces. Another bonus is that it tends to be less expensive than other flowers, so use greenery freely. One trend is to line greens down the center of long farm tables, which offers a lovely, organic feel.

9. Order Flowers to Create Inexpensive DIY Centerpieces

If you’re crafty or have relatives who adore all things homemade, then consider ordering flowers online and making your own DIY centerpieces. You can come up with inexpensive DIY bouquets (simple instructions here) a day or two before the wedding. It could make for a fun group project, if you’re a family of makers.

Options for Wedding Centerpieces Without Flowers

If flowers aren’t your thing, don’t fret! There are a bunch of other affordable options to use in the creation of fabulous wedding centerpieces. Using something different than blooms is also an exciting way to showcase your personalities or coordinate with your wedding theme.

10. Swap Out Flowers for Plants

Plant parents, unite! Growing and propagating house plants is so en vogue, and your wedding can go along with the trend. Using planted foliage is perfect for those who still want live centerpieces. Succulents, cacti, and annuals can also do double duty as favors. It’s a win-win all around—unless everyone at your reception has a black thumb, of course. You could always fake it and use artificial flowers, too.

11. Build Decor Around a Hobby

Whether you adore reading, fishing, or music, there are wedding centerpiece ideas for that. Stacked books, vintage fishing gear, or bundles of records can serve as simple decor items. What a perfect way to start a conversation about what you enjoy as a couple.

12. Be Inspired by the Season

Does your wedding fall near a holiday or during a season that begs for decor? Capitalize on it. Use pumpkins in the fall, and just paint them white if you aren’t a fan of orange. Place mini trees or glass bowls with vintage ornaments for a December wedding. Looking to the season for inspiration can help you come up with unique wedding centerpieces.

Consider Simple Wedding Table Decorations

Minimalism is all the rage, so it’s the perfect excuse to incorporate simple wedding centerpieces into your reception. Geometric shapes and gold-toned items can have a high impact when grouped as table decorations.

13. Wrap and Stack Your Favors

Favors can double as decor, if you display them beautifully. Find patterned wrapping paper that matches your theme, and wrap your favors. Adorn them with ribbon, and stack them in the middle of each table on a vintage cake plate or stand. Your guests will love the anticipation of opening their packages once the reception is over.

14. Use Organics As Unique Wedding Centerpieces

Often, the farmers market or grocery store can produce ideas. Walk through the fruit and veggie stations and look for interesting shapes and colors. Groupings of citrus fruit, such as lemons, oranges, and limes, add a bit of color. Veggies, such as artichokes, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, can be used in an arrangement. Take the opportunity to be creative with homemade wedding centerpieces.

15. Make Your Centerpieces Edible

No, we’re not talking about merely snacking on the above idea, although that’s possible. Instead of having a dessert station or donut bar, use the treats as wedding table centerpieces. Stack enough for each table to eat, and put them on interesting stands. Another sweet idea is to have small cakes as centerpieces with fresh blooms placed on top.

16. Incorporate Lots of Candles

Especially for an evening wedding reception, a candle centerpiece can create such a beautiful ambiance. Whether you use low tealights, floating candles, stately pillar candles, or tall tapers, the flickering light of a candle can be as lovely as a table full of blooms. Consider thrifting for beautiful vintage candle holders and votives.

17. Gain Inspiration from Your Location

Of course, this is perfect for a wedding at the beach. Simple wedding decor can be sand and shells placed in a mason jar or vase. A mountain wedding may call for rustic wedding centerpieces on a budget. It’s possible! Looking around at your setting can be inspiring when you’re trying to come up with decor ideas.

Create Stunning DIY Displays

Sometimes, the best way to achieve what you want is to do it yourself. Whether other options seem out of your budget or you haven't fallen in love with any ideas, there are tons of DIY wedding centerpieces you can tackle on your own or with help. Plus, by making your own centerpieces, they'll be completely unique to you. Each of the following DIY projects are manageable and just as beautiful as ones that are professionally made.

18.Craft Alternative Candle Holders

Skip the usual candle holders like votives and glass vases, and instead repurpose or purchase less-expensive alternatives. Wooden blocks, heat-resistant glasses, and wine glasses are just a few options that are budget friendly and interesting to look at.

19. Stack Your Favorite Books

Couples with a love for vintage aesthetics will appreciate this affordable DIY idea. Begin by gathering all of your prettiest books, paying special attention to the spines. If you don't have too many, start purchasing some from thrift shops and second-hand bookstores every so often. Then make various stacks of three to six books, with the biggest at the bottom and smallest at the top. Finish by buying a roll of pretty ribbon and tying a piece around each stack. Voilà! A visually interesting and charming display.

20. Make a Table Runner the Focus

Sometimes all it takes is one standout item. In this case, that's a lovely table runner. Search for one (or several) that match your wedding reception's overall look, be it fresh linens, a swath of crinkled crêpe, or patterned lace. If you're decent at cutting and sewing, you can even select your most preferred fabric or fabrics and cut them to size yourself.

21. Style Beautiful Fruits

Spring and summer weddings can be made even more refreshing with the use of fruit as decoration. Here us out: It's affordable, takes advantage of in-season (read: less expensive) fruits, and ends up looking very artistic. Lay various fruits across rectangular tables garland-style, stack oranges into adorable little mountains, or carefully pose some fruits in a decorative bowl. Just make sure it's all clean and safe to eat so guests can peck at it throughout your reception.

22. Coordinate Found Objects

If quirky and different is more so your style, group together various decor pieces, trinkets, and other found objects for a tablescape that's affordable and entirely unique. Seek objects out at thrift stores, online, and even around your own home. Then organize them into groups for each table. We recommend playing around with grouping and positioning ahead of time and taking photos. That way you can replicate what you like on the day.

Whether you’re team flower or team no-blooms, there are many affordable wedding decor centerpieces for either side. Just stick to your budget, showcase your personality, and get ready for a lovely reception as you dance the night away. You may not have all the spectacle of a royal wedding; however, you still deserve to have stunning wedding table centerpieces on your big day. Need some more inspiration? Browse Zola's vendor directory to connect with professional wedding florists from Boston, Los Angeles, Miami and more.

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