Picture this: you have proclaimed your love for your spouse, exchanged vows, shared a kiss, and been introduced as Mr. and Mrs –. Now you have entered the reception area and taken seats at the place of honour with your bridal party, ready to celebrate with your family and friends, only to find out that huge table centerpieces are obstructing your view of the rest of the room. Not only your view, but your guests are also finding it difficult to interact with each other because they can’t see the faces on the other side of the table due to a bountiful cluster of peonies flagrantly (and should I say, fragrantly) protruding themselves into the situation. Then, a 10 year-old child gets her hand on one of the bells placed around the tables for the guests to ring and signal the bride and groom to kiss. Now the bell sounds long and clear every few minutes, interrupting the smooth background music and the tasty dinner that you are desperately trying to force down- either because you are starving or because you are so keyed-up you feel you can’t eat a bite. In the middle of dinner, a guest scoots in a little closer to his plate, but because the table is so low, he jostles it and knocks over his drink which unbalances aforementioned bounteous table centerpiece. But that’s the least of it, the folding table has been loaded to maximum weight capacity and collapses, floral arrangements, dinner plates, and glasses all crashing into guests laps.
These may create unforgettable memories, but I doubt this would be the way you would want to remember the event! Thankfully, there are simple ways to create a beautiful reception and maintain a balanced table. Today, I want to talk about centerpieces.
Weddings often have unique and tailored centerpieces. If they are floral, they typically contain the prominent wedding colours and may or may not be similar in style to the bridal bouquets. Florists and floral designers can craft unique arrangements or offer pre-designed options. If flowers are not used, table decorations may be composed of items that are significant to the bride and groom. Be careful, here, though. Not everything that is meaningful to you will make for beautiful table decor or choosing or creating the arrangements, consider these points:
1. Size of tables and room. You want centerpieces that are of a like scale with your tables and venue.
2. Theme. Does the look of the arrangements fit with your overall theme if you have one? Are they the same level of formality that you desire for the reception?
3. Symmetry and cohesiveness. Strangely enough, in bouquets the rule of uneven numbers applies for pieces of prominence. However, there should be plenty of supporting material to fill in the gaps. In non-floral decorations, you can use even or non-even numbers of items. Use either even or odd numbers to help provide a consistent, cohesive feel. If the table decorations vary from table to table, make sure they are variants of the same theme and tie them all in with one or two of the same elements in every arrangement.
4. When seated at the table, can guests see each other or are the centerpieces in the way? If you wish to have tall arrangements, look for ones that are narrow in the middle, even if they widen at the top. This will enable guests to see each other more clearly. You will also need to ensure they are balanced arrangements so they will not easily tip over. Try placing tall arrangements to the side center of guests’ positions and not directly in front.
5. Consider the fauna and florals in the arrangement. Are any of them high on allergy lists? You may want to take mental stock of the bridal party and guests to make sure no one has severe allergies that would be triggered in this case. If so, check with the florist about substituting similar, low allergen plants.
6. Cost. Are the arrangements within your decorating budget for the reception? In-season flowers will be less expensive. On other items, go creative. There are a lot of items you already own or natural materials you may be able to use depending on the venue and theme. If you use materials from outside, make sure they are treated for bugs.
Enjoy the process of finding your decorations. Feel free to share your stories with us in comments. Questions? We’re here to help!Kate