What to Consider When Choosing Centerpieces

You have the dress, you’ve booked the venue and photographer and now it’s time to bring your reception space to life with fresh blooms and spice up the tables with a healthy dose of your personality. There are so many things to consider when creating centerpieces for your reception tables, so this blog will guide you through all the details and options to make sure your tables shine!

floral table garland in citrus colors at a summer wedding
a small blue and purple centerpiece with glass table numbers for a wedding
jewel tone wedding tablescape at a winery

Planning Your Centerpieces

The first step to creating lovely centerpieces is visualizing your venue space and overall tablescapes. The most important thing to consider when creating centerpieces is what shape and size your tables will be. Are the tables rectangle or round? Are they long rectangles or short? Narrow or wide?

If your tables are very narrow, then you won’t have room for a big round centerpiece and still be able to accommodate all of the necessary plates and glasses and table settings. Narrow tables mean that you’ll want a small grouping of bud vases or a tall, narrow vase that doesn’t take up a lot of real estate space on the surface of your tables.

If you’re using round tables, you need to know what the diameter is so we can create the appropriate size centerpiece. A small trio of bud vases looks woefully out of place on a 12 foot table! You’ll want to create centerpieces that properly fill the empty space in the middle of each table without overwhelming the room that each guest needs.

blush spring centerpiece for an outdoor wedding
vibrant magenta jewel tone flowers in a gold centerpiece container

Considering All the Table Elements

Are you doing a traditional served dinner or having family style meal which means food needs to be placed centrally on each table? Are you just using dinner plates or chargers and placemats? How decked out are the tables going to be? Are you incorporating table numbers or name cards? If you’re considering real candles, you’ll want to check with the venue to make sure they’re allowed and then we will carefully craft enough space between the candles and centerpieces to ensure there are no accidents!

Every single thing you plan to put on your tables needs to be accounted for and factored into the total space you have available – and your floral centerpieces need to perfectly balance and blend with all of them.

The Overall Ambiance

Once you’ve considered each detail of your tablescapes, it’s important to visualize the room as a whole since we also need to balance the centerpieces and floral elements with the overall space and ambiance. How much empty space is there in your reception area? High venue ceilings might mean we need taller arrangements or things handing from ceiling to bring space together. Are you having a small number of tables in a large reception space? That may mean we need larger or taller arrangements to create a more cohesive feel to the room. At every turn, it’s critical to consider the overall atmosphere and the minuet logistics to bring your vision to life.

red and pink centerpiece in a gold container
wedding centerpiece in a wooden log
white compote centerpiece with warm autumn flowers

Container Choices

After the details are all taken into account and you have a rough vision in your mind, it’s time for the fun part of choosing the perfect containers to hold your flowers. Your centerpiece containers dictate the size and shape and overall vibe of your arrangements. Think of them as the frame that will hold a beautiful photograph: you want them to augment the design without overpowering or distracting from the main event. If your wedding is rustic or natural, you could consider using birch or pottery.  Ceramics, metallics and glass (either clear or brown) are very versatile and can blend well with clean, classical, edgy or modern weddings depending on their surroundings and your other décor elements.

When choosing your centerpiece containers, it’s really helpful to have a designer who knows what will blend with your flowers without distracting.

A Note on Bud Vases

When choosing bud vases, remember you need a SET of bud vases on each table, using a minimum of 3 for a well-balanced trio. A single bud vase in the middle of a table looks a bit like serving a cupcake to 12 people and leaves the table feeling quite awkward. A collection of bud vases should be lush with dimension. Various sizes, openings and heights will create much more interest and can look full and fascinating when mixed with other elements like antique books or birdcages. Bud vases are also NOT appropriate for outdoors: since they are tall and slim without a lot of weight, they will blow over if it’s windy outside so only consider them for indoor receptions.

concrete centerpiece with green and blue succulents
trio of white milk vases with yellow, green and pink flowers
glass pyramid terrarium centerpiece with succulent

Centerpiece Shapes

After you decide on your containers and the size of your arrangements, the next step is determining the shape of your centerpieces. From fan-shaped to round or crescent to s-curve, there are so many different shapes and styles to choose from! Symmetrical vs. asymmetrical centerpieces are also something to consider. Balance and contrast are very important, along with scale and foreground. A skilled floral designer will be able to take all of this into consideration and create beautiful pieces with tons of personality.

orange and red centerpiece in a glass container
blue purple and white centerpiece in a birch box container
wild open form centerpiece with sunflowers

Re-Using Ceremony Arrangements

In some cases, ceremony flowers can be transported to the reception and used again as focal points on the head table, photo booth, cake table or sweetheart tables. A lovely arch swag of flowers can lie on a central table. Alter arrangements can pull double duty on either side of your sweetheart table. In some cases, elements from the ceremony can even be quickly reworked and used as reception backdrops. This helps cut down on costs and keep everything very consistent within the theme and color palette of your wedding. While this is often an excellent option, if you want to explore using ceremony flowers at your reception, we’ll need to arrange precise logistics to safely transport your flowers from one location to another – even if it’s just carrying them across a venue property.

wood lanterns with flowers spilling out for wedding centerpieces
pink tulips and yellow daffodil spring flowers arranged in a white bowl

Get Creative

There are so many options to consider when planning the centerpieces for your reception. It’s good to remember that these are the designs your guests will have the most interaction with and the florals you will experience for the longest amount of time. Centerpieces are a great time to really let your personality and creativity shine so it’s important to choose a floral designer who can really bring your vision to life!