My best friend is an offbeat bride and she's planning an awesome personality-filled offbeat wedding for October.
There's a problem though — centerpieces.
We're trying to find something that's DIY, doesn't cost much, and doesn't involve flowers. Yikes.
Any suggestions? —Miranda
Centerpieces are tough. They can end up being a TON of work or more involved and expensive than you expected. That said, cute and funky ideas to adorn your table centers are a click away, if you've got the patience to do exhaustive internet searching. Fortunately, we have gathered some downright fab ideas for you, so rest those little phalanges and browse away!
Any suggestions?! Even though we skipped centerpieces all-together at our wedding, I inhaled dozens of ideas online during the planning process. Here are a few of my favorites:
Stones and Rocks
Easy, natural, cheap. You can go super sparse for a zen setting with just beautiful stones and candles. This is a beautiful ensemble I found over at Wedding Bee, chic and simple!
When combined with other natural elements, as shown here at Kate and Eli's wedding, rocks can make for a nice organic feel to a table.
Oonagh and Dylan went centerpiece mad with different styles on different tables! This one is charmingly sweet and simple with their names hand-written on them.
Sticks and Branches
Again: easy, natural, cheap. Bonus points if you make 2D bird-shapes out of felt or add little fake birds (woodland forest theme?)! This particular skull-themed concept is brought to you by Tribe member Shellbelle.
Critters abound in Kimi and Paul's table number centerpieces. These branch-like twiney-vineys definitely have an organic vibe with those faux flowers.
Dude, I'm totally sticking with my hippie theme here, aren't I? But check out this simple concept: vase, fall leaves, candles. Tada!
If you're looking for a bit more interest with the leaves, consider pulling them from local trees, framing them on some nice card stock and adhering a label naming what type of tree it dropped from. Guests could also take them home as a souvenir! Great for a fall wedding.
Here's another centerpiece from Oonagh and Dylan. This time they combined sticks with paper flowers and cut-out leaves for some origami-esque chic.
Leaves can be ultra-elegant, like in this simple, harvest-themed table decor. Melissa and Chris lined them alongside wee pumpkins and apples.
Works best with an Asian theme, natch, but with a little creativity could be applied to almost any theme. Check out these battery-powered options of the paper variety.
Another interesting option would be to do metal and glass lanterns, like the one above from Jen and Mike's Harry Potter-themed wedding. They would be stunning for a nighttime wedding where a little romance is involved. For a homespun country-style wedding vintage lanterns would really set the mood.
I love this two-sided lantern idea from Gloria and Pete's wedding. It somehow looks totally zen with a little bit of nautical thrown in.
Dude, I am in love with this concept from Michele and Matt's wedding. This idea is an obvious fit for academic/literary types, but could be extra funny with cheap romance novels and pulp fiction, which you can get for pennies at any second-hand store. Stack 'em and wrap 'em in ribbons — suddenly trashy fiction becomes an entertaining conversation piece. Stick a wedding-branded bookmark in 'em and they're kitchy favors! Like Muglies, only readable.
This is cheating since I'm pretty sure this is solely a cupcake stand. But does it have to be? I love the creative book stacking and wonky angles. This could become a pretty amazing centerpiece if you had the books for it.
Ribbon-tied books, candies, and candles make for a sweet and stylish centerpiece. Makes me thirsty too. I wonder why.
I've never actually seen this done, but the idea of Erlenmeyer flasks or Volumetric flasks is SUPER way cool. Add some colored water and candles on a clean white table cloth and you've got a geeky, colorful, UNIQUE centerpiece!
Some other filling options could include M&Ms or other colored candy, semi-transparent beads, marbles, or dry ice!
James & Melissa used glass beads in a medical beaker (with flowers, don't tell anyone) in their scientist-themed centerpiece. You can barely tell it's medical glassware until you look closely. Sneaky and cute!
I'm convinced after seeing this shot that more could be done with old vinyl records at weddings. Kate used them as place settings, but it doesn't take too much creativity to imagine how they might be used as the awesome base of a DIY centerpiece. And again: cheap!
Or you could do like Shrie did, and melt them into bowls (see pic) for your centerpieces.
Here are some other non-floral centerpiece inspiration posts and DIY tutorials to peruse:
- Non-floral centerpieces — the interactive edition
- DIY Tri-fold table card centerpieces
- Marshamallow Peep centerpiece
I'm guessing some of our readers have some amazing ideas — anyone?