Flowers are the traditional and expected choice for wedding centerpieces. (Groundbreaking, as Miranda Priestly would say!) However, there’s no wedding rulebook that says you must have flowers on the tables at your wedding reception. In fact, you can create beautiful centerpieces without a flower in sight.
In fact, if you’re trying to keep your budget in check, cutting flowers from the tables is a smart move. Flowers are a major wedding expense, and the costs can quickly—especially if you have a large number of tables to fill.
As for what centerpieces you should go with instead? You still have plenty of options. First, consider your wedding’s theme or overall aesthetic. A stack of antique books would
work wonders for a vintage or shabby chic wedding vibe, for example, while a tower of bright lemons is a sweet choice for a spring or summer wedding.
Read on for some more ideas for gorgeous no-flower centerpieces.
For a unique and elegant centerpiece, look online for vintage birdcages to set atop each table. You can fill them with candles, greens, or branches. You can get even more creative by stringing strands of pearls or crystals around the cages.
Shop around for stacks of antique hardcover books that are meaningful to you and your fiancé. As a bonus, they add some height to your tables, making a sturdy base to put a globe or a few candles on top of. Not sure what to include? Some book options include classic love stories, vintage hardcover books, books you and your partner have given one another over the years, or travel books to destinations you’ve explored together. (Just be sure to display a note to guests letting them know the significance, too.)
Citrus fruit makes a cheery wedding centerpiece that works delightfully well at spring or summer weddings. (Or, in year-round destinations like California or Florida.) You have a few options for using citrus as wedding decoration. You could fill clear vases with whole lemons, limes, or tangelos, or fill them with water and float slices of citrus in the vases. You also could make towers or bouquets out of the citrus fruit of your choice.
On long tables, set a few glowing candlesticks down the length to enhance your decoration. On round tables, try candles of varying heights in modern geometric holders, or look for vintage brass candlesticks online. You could also use candelabras with multiple lit candles to create a dramatic and romantic look.
For a beautiful way to enhance any long table, set down white, lace, or striped table runners in your wedding’s color scheme. Then, place several candles along the length of the runner to finish the look.
Mason jars are great DIY wedding centerpieces that look amazing at any outdoor or rustic venue. Plus, this type of decoration is versatile and can be used in a number of different ways. Try filling them with floating citrus slices, feathers, or candles. You can also cover and paint the outside of the mason jars to match your color scheme. You can even fill them with twinkle lights for a beautiful glowing option.
Feathers might just be the new flowers when it comes to centerpieces. Fill high vases with flowing ostrich feathers to create a glamorous look. Or, use large peacock feathers as a dramatic alternative.
Floating candles are a romantic choice for centerpieces. To create them, you’ll need to fill clear vases with sand or stones as filler, then place a small, battery-operated LED light at the bottom of each vase. Turn on the LED lights, and fill each vase with water. Then, place a floating candle on top. Light just before your event. (Note: Yes, there are specially made candles that float—don’t try to use regular tea light or other candles for these.)
Having a fall or December wedding? Use that to your advantage, and choose your DIY wedding centerpieces based on what’s in season. Mini pumpkins, bundles of leaves, greenery, and twigs are adorable for a fall wedding. You can also make festive holiday centerpieces using clear vases, sparkly ornaments, and white flowing feathers for a winter wedding.
Looking for more wedding decor tips? Our team can help. Check out Zola’s Expert Advice for a wide range of great decorating ideas.