A thousand years ago, okay more like three years ago, Ariel put out a post called “Non floral centerpieces.” Well, in Offbeat Bride years, three years is a looooong time because we've been inundated with so many more amazing alternatives to floral centerpieces since then. So here is our non-floral centerpieces post version 2.0.

Fake coral

This is a shot from my beach wedding. We spray painted those suckers bright orange and placed just one piece of brightly colored fake coral on each table, they looked awesome.

Wine bottles

centrepiece Wine bottles, or bottles in general, with cool graphic table numbers like these from Nicole & Kyle's wedding can make quite an impact.

Jars full of fruit

centerpiece Yummy and functional. And so easy to shop for! Buy fruit in colors that match or in various fun colors and fill up cool glass jars. Voila, centerpiece done and you can eat it when it's over.


Saturn Perfect for geeks in love, or weddings in a planetarium or for astronomy themed weddings. These planet centerpieces from Deana and Glen's wedding are made from inflatable planets.


centerpiece They pretty, they're fluffy, they're colorful, and you can play with them on your wedding night after everyone goes home. (wink wink.)


Ariel mentioned books in her last post, but this stack is bigger and with more ribbon. A stack of books topped with flowers or photos of the couple, or topped with nothing at all, just a stack of the couple's favorite reads can be meaningful and lovely. Perfect for bookish brides.

Nerdy video game references!

195 Yes yes yes. Do this! This is from Stephanie and Chase's Nintendo-themed wedding of which we don't have a profile (boo).

Oil lamps

WeddingPics-378 A single oil lamp — how badass does this look!?

Trivia questions

The "Did you Know?" Centerpieces We featured this centerpiece before because we loved the fact that they used a log-slice, two candles and trivia about wedding traditions and made it look beautiful AND it was bound to get guests talking.


centerpiece on table
Interactive board games and the like are often colorful and, not to mention, fun. They can also double as a way to get your table mates to interact with each other.

Felt or paper flowers

There's nothing bad about this idea. Felt and paper flowers can be made in all colors in existence and they never die AND they can be as affordable or as expensive as you want them to be. Loooove this idea.

Mason jars

Mason Jars and Oil Mason jars are really popular centerpieces with OBBs. A single mason jar with pretty flowers, or colored mason jars with a candle inside. But I'm so into this idea from Cori and Evan's wedding where they placed pictures of themselves into Mason jars and then filled them with oil. WOWFACTORx10.

Have more non-floral centerpiece ideas? Leave 'em in the comments or submit yours to the OBB Flickr pool and perhaps they'll end up in our next round-up — version 2.1!

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Comments on Non-floral centerpieces 2.0

  1. I wanted to have non-floral centrepieces, but I got vetoed by not only MOB and GMOB, but by FH as well!!!! not fair. well. it’s ok. I was thinking having mini-cakes for centrepieces, or gold fish or something cool.

    (My 2nd mother however is providing all our florist needs, and everything will be beautiful. I can’t really complain)

    • I keep hearing of brides getting vetoed. It makes me so sad! I think you should veto them back – but you definitely need people’s support. Good luck.

      • I don’t know, I think grooms should be able to have a veto for anything they don’t really like. I’m not okay with other people having veto power, but it’s only fair for offbeat partners to be able to say no.

        • I second Mary B. My husband vetoed my floral ban, and our flowers ended up being one of my favorite things about the day! I still generally prefer weddings without a ton of flowers (my own personal taste), but I am glad my husband vetoed me!

      • Well, it sounds like her mom’s footing the bill, which means she gets a say. And her groom should definitely have a say.

    • Ooooo, maybe if you show them your cutie little goldfish (I LOOOVE FISH! – and would definitely do this idea if we weren’t having a destination wedding ). Maybe have them in little bowls (or chic cylinders… or glass blocks!) and fill the bottom with colorful glass rocks. That’s sure to look colorful and festive and I’m sure even Grandma would think it’s a darling idea. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Or betas with frosted white rocks, or bright little tetras with no rocks at all, or…..

      • When people have live fish in their centerpieces, what happens to the fish when the wedding is over?

  2. We’re doing lanterns on the tables! I’m so excited because each one is different and I get to keep them when we’re done. What will I do with 15 lanterns? I’m not entirely sure, but I’ll have easy last-minute gifts in the future!

    • Do you have a garden/back yard? My mum loves hiding various lights around the garden (mix of solar powered electric ones and candle lanterns) and it looks really pretty at night.

    • Tiffani, we used Moroccan lanterns placed on a mirrored tile. We also wondered what we would do with them all afterwards… our guests took a lot of them home (mostly the prettier ones too). Out of 20, we only ended up with about 5.

  3. Please oh please tell me how to do the pictures in oil in colored Mason jars! They’re awesome (and has anyone got a good place to find pink ones cheap? I’m coming up short.)

    • I think the oil is what makes it look yellow. You could probably try using oil that’s pink for a pink look – food coloring with a clear oil like lamp oil?

      • I’m not sure where but I know you can buy coloured lamp oil. My mum likes doing those glass oil lamps with bits of plant and stuff floating in them and she uses coloured oils sometimes. But food colouring should work as well! (Just check the colours first, some of them are a little…flourescent, and it doesn’t show as much in the bottle.)

    • If you laminate the picture (Staples? Your office?), you should be able to submerge it with no problems!

      • You can hide the tops with ribbon, felt, paper, anything like that. I really like the old beat up look I think that is great! I love the book idea, and the mason jar idea. I think I will do a combination of the two! Good luck!

    • i think the oil is colored, but here’s my two cents. if you can find self stick laminating plastic (the roll or pouches), or don’t mind buying a laminating machine, make sure pics and such are sealed up WELL and then just color the water/oil. The other think i can think of is finding pink paint that dries clear and paining cheaper jars yourself.

  4. I love the idea of ‘did you know?’ type things as center pieces!

    I get hooked on all those books (I currently have The Book of Useless Information in the bathroom). I’m not sure if I’d want to do general trivia, which I could go on forever with, something wedding related (ie. ‘Bride’ is an old word Teutonic word meaning ‘cook’) or stuff about us as I’m sure there’s a lot our family and friends don’t all know (eg. ‘Did you know Tony and Katy first met in an argument online? 5 years later it has yet to be resolved’)

    I’m not sure how it’d go over with everyone else, but maybe I could combine it with some other ideas. I especially like the felt flowers, and my sister makes felt. Maybe she’d be willing to make some I could turn into flowers. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Thanks for all the brilliant ideas. I know planning center pieces months in advance is the classic ‘over thinking the wedding’ thing but this time I think it’s a good thing. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Be prepared for people to consume your centerpiece!! I used Rainier cherries in vases as my centerpiece and was totally suprised when I made my rounds to see a lot of centerpieces half full. Funny!

      • We want people to consume the centerpiece! We’re serving Chinese food with oolong and flowering jasmine teas to drink. When the tea is gone, our guests can toss in a new tea ball and some fresh water and watch it bloom again.

    • That is so cool. I’ve never seen those tea ball things before but jasmine tea is great, might have to track some down. ๐Ÿ˜€

      I also love the idea of useable/edible center pieces.

    • that is soooo cute and awesome! & cool gift for your wedding party as a take home!

      • I’ve seen several online, but we’re buying ours from little shops in San Francisco, where they were substantially less expensive. Amazon had the warmers for about $6.00.

  5. Im using Moroccan lanterns as centerpieces. I will have four lanterns per table with candles inside. We are so excited with this.

  6. We’re both musicians and got married last June. Along with daisies, we had flip-folder pages (used for marching band) tied with ribbon scattered on the tables. Each one had musician jokes, lyrics from songs, really bad puns,poems about love and/or music, etc. in them. (example Q:How many clarinetists does it take to change a light bulb? A: Just one, but he’ll go through a whole box looking for the right one.) Very cheap to do, and fun to put together.

      • Awesome! ๐Ÿ˜€ What is it about marching band and bad puns?

        Also: Q: How many trumpet players does it take to change a light bulb? A: 9 – one to change the light bulb, and eight to stand around saying “I could do that.”

        It’s the only one I can always remember, ha ha.

  7. We’re using glass vases filled with origami cranes. Thought it would make an interesting replacement for flowers.

    • Oh, lovely idea! I’ve got a few hundred origami cranes that my students made me (I teach English in Japan), but I haven’t sorted out what to do with them yet. I was thinking of just scattering them around the table, but vases would be interesting. I might scatter some too, as my students wrote messages on the wings and it would be nice to show them off.

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