Non-floral centerpieces — the interactive edition

So far we've brought you non-floral centerpieces versions one and two. Now get ready for non-floral centerpieces version 2.1! We're talking fun ideas like centerpieces you can play with, centerpieces that can inspire conversation, and even centerpieces that can be devoured…


Edibles

Photo by Nancy Neil
My buddy got married last year and had the coolest centerpieces. As she and her husband are both chefs, their centerpieces were wine crates filled with edibles like pomegranates, cherry tomatoes, grapes, chili peppers, crab apples, dates, etc. They also threw in a few flowers and tons of succulents — they were beautiful and delicious.

Photos

IMG_7015Tina and Nico's table decorations were family wedding portraits (this is Nico's maternal grandparents) and tiny pots of flowers clustered around big silver candelabras.

Balls

table settingOkay, when I first saw this picture I thought that these were green koosh balls in a vase. Which could be an awesome interactive centerpiece idea. But what these centerpieces from Tara and Andrew's wedding are… well, I don't know, I think they are dried thistles.

Games and snacks

In my last non-floral centerpiece round-up, I mentioned having board games out for people to play. But Miranda and Josh had a different take on a similar idea — gift wrapped games and vases full of snack mix for their guests to enjoy.

Paper lanterns

Crafty-ass Tribe member Lara created this awesome centerpiece: paper flowers wired together into a wreath and a small brightly colored paper lantern. And the great part about these is that, depending on the size of your tables, you can make them bigger by using more flowers and bigger lantern.

Pineapples

Photo courtesy of Aihara Visuals
Having a destination wedding somewhere tropical? Save on flowers and shipping by just picking up a few pineapples like in this Maui wedding from photographer Aihara Visuals. Plus guests can take them back to their hotels to eat them for breakfast the next day!

Collections of vintage and antique-y things

Tribe member SadieRyn made some really awesome non-floral centerpieces from collections of vintage bits and baubles, including mason jars and toys like that cute-ass bear.

Candles

CentrepieceNot just one candle, but groups of candles of various heights and widths always look impressive, AND they work as a super sexy lighting addition.

Terrarium

terrarium centerpiece
Photo by iKLiKphoto
Oh man, do I have a love affair with terrariums. Carla and John used them as their centerpieces and I don't know how guests didn't start fighting over who got to take them home. It's a centerpiece that can continue to grow… like your eternal love.

I know there are more awesome interactive centerpiece ideas out there, so lay them on me in the comments! Oh, and make sure you add them to the Offbeat Bride Flickr pool, so that I can get them in my next centerpiece roundup.

  1. Books! We're doing a lot of the classics, since we like them a lot anyway and our theme is kind of victorian, but books can be stacked any which way and look so elegant with just a couple candles. You can add or remove books for different sized tables. We're adding in a few modern favorites just for fun, to share who we are a little and to hopefully start conversations. Books are amazing and interactive centerpieces!

    5 agree
    • I work for a wedding magazine, and one of our couples used books as their table numbers. They put stickers on the spines of vintage books with guests names and included a bookmark with the table numbers. They displayed them on a bookshelf and everything. Fricking awesome.
      Could just as easily be adapted for favors or placecards.

      3 agree
    • I just realized that books were already featured on part two of non-floral centerpieces… but they're still fun and interactive! Sorry for the repeat though…

      2 agree
  2. We're doing pinecones – in pails, wooden boxes and just scattered around. Woodsy, free and compostable! And they smell good. :)

    1 agrees
  3. I went to a wedding with the terrariums. They were very cute, and perfect for the couple. I was very envious.

    1 agrees
  4. We're mixing together retro candy with some lego in a record bowl, sitting on top of a board game, to make our centerpieces fun to play with and delicious.

    1 agrees
  5. We aren't married yet so no photos to show, but we are going to do globes on each table with paper airplanes, toy bikes, radio flyers, trains, etc. Our theme is that our marriage will be an adventure and want our guests to feel like they can get excited and play along with us. My favorite part is going to be the mexican chocolate, Indiana Jones themed grooms cake. :D

    5 agree
  6. We're going to grow wheat grass in apothecary jars. I think it looks really neat and memorable, and cheap too! (Well, it really all comes down to the jar though. The fancier the jar the more expensive it's gonna be, obv)
    This is the tutorial where I got the idea:
    http://asoftplace.net/2009/04/apothecary-terrarium/

    2 agree
    • Now I know what that empty jar I have is called so I can get ideas for it, thank you ;)… think I just found my next centrepiece! I'm doing a different one for each table, only theme shall be vintage/tea party/oriental items. Should be easy enough since I'm using what I already have and borrowing from family.

      0 agree
    • doesn't wheat grass die in about 3 weeks? That's what I remember from the house of these people I worked at..may be something you want to look into!

      0 agree
  7. Very cool! I've been stressing over what to put on the tables. Glad to see some ideas besides flowers!!

    0 agree
  8. Please keep in mind that unusual, fun, and unique centerpieces and bouquets can still come from your local floral designer. There are so many rare and interesting things that most brides won't even consider because it's "too weird". So give us a chance. Tell us up front about your budget and your "theme". I'm dieing to create some of this stuff that's in my head but, St. Louis just doesn't seem to have the crowd. :(
    Also we can mix the flora with anything! Such as antique buttons, scraps of family quilts, photos, jewelry, even thoses lovable koosh balls as you've stated. :)

    5 agree
    • Okay, so I'm thinking of center pieces made from a pot of herbs (a single type per pot, like curly parsley, rosemary, basil, etc.) and bits from the Other Half's Star Wars figures collection and… something to make it autumnal. Ideas?

      0 agree
  9. We're also chefs (catering the wedding!), having a non-floral wedding, and having one long table. The food will be served family-style (bringing out the turkey and roast beast to be carved at the table) so we needed to think up a way we could set the food down in the middle of the table, but still have decorations.

    We're going to have a fancy-ass table runner and scatter apothecary jars filled with herbs, a few colorful gourds, twigs, blueberries, and any other blue/green foods we can think of. Maybe blue-painted artichokes!

    0 agree
    • Here's a link to a short blog post with some of the photos from my chef friend's wedding. A few of the photos show how they set up their fruit and veggie centerpieces to allow spaces between so that they could also serve things from the tables.

      1 agrees
  10. We are doing baskets of things we love.
    Like Joss Whedon, Gaming (Video and other), the Halloween, and Books.
    It's a lot of fun shopping for the things we need.

    1 agrees
  11. I'm doing fruit centerpieces. They will either be in a vintage-looking resin planter, or this 3 tiered dessert tray, filled with oranges, green apples, nectarines, peaches, and have green grapes hanging here and there from the sides. There will be a bud vase or 2 with 1 or 2 orange lilies, and a couple of red votives scattered around them as well.

    0 agree
    • My sister was married in a park in Michigan in August. She rocked Michigan blueberries and Mackinac Island Fudge. She displayed them in mismatched blue glass dishes, surrounded by blue candles. It was a hit! And the family still talks about how delicious it was.

      2 agree
      • Awesome! I am getting married on Mackinac Island this summer. We are using Sparta (Michigan) Apples, Traverse City Cherries, and Mackinac Island Fudge to decorate our tables. Haven't worked it all out yet, but those are the bases of each table. That way our guests can take a little piece of Michigan home with them.

        2 agree
  12. We found some cool vinyl records on stands, and we are using them as our centerpiece for our rock and roll themed wedding.

    1 agrees
  13. For our (kinda) movie themed wedding we named each table after a movie. Then for the centerpieces we put together baskets of items that reflect the movie or a quote from the movie. All items in the baskets then went to the food bank, shelters for women and children and also to the angel tree when the wedding was done. For example, for "Batman" we bought little kid shoes, socks, underwear, t-shirt etc all with pictures of batman on it. We had 20 tables so there were a lot of fun baskets for people to look at. Another example, for the movie "Little Miss Sunshine" the basket was full of beauty products that went to the shelter. "Gone with the Wind" had the quote "I'll never go hungry again" and it was items for the Food Bank. Each basket said where the item was going after the wedding. It was so much fun creating them!

    15 agree
  14. Using pictures is such a great idea, we were actually wondering how to use wedding pictures of all the couples in our families without it being just some sort of collage that people would just glance at for 5 seconds, and this is a wonderful solution !

    0 agree
  15. We did paper crowns on cushions: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/sZE9WU28-Wdg38k6tGwXyQ?feat=directlink We bought the crowns on etsy and my mom made the cushions. There is an entire page in my wedding album entitled "The Use and Abuse of Centerpieces" because of people playing with them through out the reception.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/JirmAqtCLUPTqAWYC7aSdQ?feat=directlink Pillow Fight

    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/UnfiuSNAJOg-n7JhP4Nk1g?feat=directlink People Wearing Them

    0 agree
  16. We did little herb vases and candles, as well as some flowers in vintage/thrifted vases. Guests were encouraged to take the herbs home and start (or add to) their gardens. My husband's aunt even gave us a couple of chillies from her "crop"!

    0 agree
  17. My fiance and I were just talking about our non-floral centerpieces. We're thinking of using wine bottles, mason jars, candles, and old books to make a sort of table runner down long banquet tables.

    2 agree
  18. We're using blown glass pieces, accented with flowers (probably tiny orchids) and greenery. I have so many unusual glass pieces that I just love in all the colors in a sunset, and I'm going to put little tealight candles around each piece (or hanging from some pieces) which will glow through the glass. I was inspired by Dale Chihuly, the glass artist. If you don't know him, definitely google him! His work is amazing!!! especially the stuff he put in botantical gardens.

    1 agrees
    • I just saw a book dedicated to his pieces that he put in the gardens. Such a talented artist! And I now know that the cool ceiling in lobby of the Vegas Bellagio Hotel that got my attention is his work.

      0 agree
  19. My sister is running some ideas by me but wants to do stuff as a surprise on the day, but she's bought foam flower-arranging cones, balls, etc and is arranging sweets/candy/edibles on them such as Chupa Chups, Ferrero Rocher, fruit pastilles etc. She's kinda awesome. ^_^

    2 agree
  20. Love your ideas and pics especially the vase with the greens. Yum

    1 agrees
  21. Origami in a jar! Those Lucky Stars would look so pretty.

    1 agrees
  22. We're having sort of a 40's/50's vintage theme, and are using antique blue glass mason jars with flowers, combined with old salt & pepper shakers and vintage books. I like that people will have something to pick up and look at.

    0 agree
  23. We had goldfish in spaghetti vases, with twisted willow branches and vines draped down the sides. They looked incredible, and were a great conversation starter!

    0 agree

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