Wedding Table Settings On A Budget
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Francesca Barger is a freelance writer and founder of First Vangarde, the first management team to coordinate talent representation and management in the bridal industry.
Wedding Table Settings On A Budget
Photo: Branco Prata ; Designs by Jeannette Tavares at Evoke Design & Creative; Floral designs by Areias do Sexio. Aqueduto Event Rental ; Rise of Portugal
Wedding Centerpieces On A Budget: 10 Creative Ideas
From rich flowers to simple candles, wedding centerpieces are perhaps one of the most important elements of your wedding day. Determining how much you actually plan to spend affects the reception table more specifically, as it incorporates personal taste into the entire design.
Kiara Hancock, florist and event planner, says there are a few things to focus on when trying to save money when it comes to wedding centerpieces. It’s budget, seasonality and creativity. “Budget is the single biggest factor in determining a wedding centerpiece,” she says. “If you’re on a budget for flowers, make a wish list of what you have in mind for your wedding and contact a few florists to see how much you can use your budget for.”
Charleston-based wedding planner Augusta Cole believes the conversation really starts with being affordable. “If it’s sustainable and reusable, you might feel like something is cheaper,” he says. “The ease of transitioning into family life after the event, and even being able to get a second life, which is maybe an initial investment, makes it feel like it has more longevity and value.”
Whether you decide to rent or buy an item that comes with it as a staple, you can make it cost-effective in terms of affordability. You want every table to feel treated with a similar thoughtful touch.
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No matter your wedding style, discover 34 centerpiece ideas that will make a big impact on your plan but not on your wallet.
Photo: Branco Prata; Designs by Jeannette Tavares at Evoke Design & Creative; floral designs by Areias do Sexio. Aqueduto event rental. Rise of Portugal
The presence of a candle holder brings a decidedly elegant element to the mix at the reception. Even if you prefer a minimalist feel, a design like this will make a lot of sense as it takes up more table space and the overall design and is potentially more economical than individual candlesticks.
“One of my favorite decorating methods is potted plants,” says Cole. “Potted flowers, citrus, ferns, etc. they are planted in beautiful containers in the garden and then potted at home. You can also donate it to a married church or synagogue to be planted in a pot. Fortune!” Selections may include personal favorites or those produced largely in the region. “It’s a gift that keeps on coming.”
Outstanding Wedding Table Decorations
Photos by Kate Headley. May Day Event Design Flower Design BY Bloom Flower Design, Compass Flower
The concept of sustainability is not new to the wedding industry, but it can easily be considered and incorporated into the overall vision of a weekend wedding celebration. This Michigan rehearsal dinner boasts bright, colorful herb cans and simple flowers, adding a bold pop of color to them as an affordable and fun way to reduce and reuse them.
“I like to mix in the shot to create visual interest and add texture. It’s also a strategy that can be used to reduce the cost of flowers,” says Hancock. “Instead of having one centerpiece on each table, you can have two or three set designs for the reception. For example, some tables have flower centerpieces, others have loose greenery, and others have a set of vases with favorite flowers and votives.” This vintage-inspired garden wedding in the Bronx distributed flowers in many ways, with towering vases on some tables and small compotes on others.
Think about your focus and pick and choose exactly what you want to make the most of your wedding day and be part of your fun arsenal. A good way to do this is to use a central container. “The more intimate the wedding, the easier it is to do,” says Cole. “If you’re throwing a table for 50 or a party for 100, it might be worth investing in a fun piece to reuse at home.” After the party, share the wealth! “Give some of the pieces to your parents or in-laws. When you get something really special, the investment continues.”
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If you have sustainability in mind, Cole recommends talking to your creative partner early in the process. One way this can be done is by using an existing family heirloom as part of the central design. This opens up a range of reasonable prices using what you already have and the sentimental value can’t be beat! Displaying a family collection of silverware or other vases adds a touch and your guests will love the story.
Photo Branco Prata? Produced by Jeannette Tavares of Evoke Design & Creative; floral design Areias do Sexio RENTALS Event Aqueduto; Rise of Portugal
Perfect for a minimalist couple, scattered single-stemmed vases can significantly reduce the cost of flowers. In this case, choosing an exotic or unique floral design that makes a huge impact on its own can elevate the reception with an emphasis on detail. Each vase practically becomes a work of art, like this table at the couple’s destination wedding in Portugal.
As an added element of color and elegance, a design element that will hopefully never go away, Cole says fruit can make a big impact on a small budget. “Fruit pops right up! Cut up citrus, a bowl of cherries…adds color, seasonality and personality without much prep or preparation.”
Unique Wedding Centerpieces For Your Reception
“A really elegant and beautiful way to do a floral design is to tie the flowers together,” says Cole. “So even all the hydrangeas will look much more ‘designed’ in lots than mixing different flowers at different costs.” Cole offers incredibly affordable color blocking for everyone from mom to carnation.
A design that highlights a handful of individual flowers making a statement within a single tablescape would make things cheaper just by sheer quantity. This fall wedding uses large dahlias and roses to show the true meaning of “less is more.” By doing this, you will have a moment where more flowers can be expressed than many other flowers in an arrangement.
Cole suggests design ideas for beautiful white porcelain or china from local artisans. A design element that will last long after the big days. “Wherever I can, I want to incorporate a ‘second life’ scenario for plants, flowers, etc.” It can be a pre-discussion, not a reaction. More and more companies are offering ways to support this. In other words, you have a real plan to achieve it.
The cheapest central is… maybe no central? The couple’s Lake Illinois wedding is heavy on designs and light on centerpieces. The mix of textures and colors that a floral napkin and tablecloth combination brings to the table may completely eliminate the need for a centerpiece, but it’s full of vibrant design. “By applying more patterns to the tablecloth, you can make the floral design simpler,” says Cole. However, “all guests should be seated at a similar design level and plot level.”
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A dreamy design that uses only candles of different shapes and sizes, like this stunning wedding reception in Mallorca, is one that Cole fully supports and fully embraces, no matter the style of the wedding! “Always a great solution. You can also rent votive shelves very cheaply. If you time the shot well, it can start as soon as the lights start to dim.”
Photography: Liron Erel & Wild Heart Of The Wedding Artist Collective by Echoes; Floral Design: Green Factory Chania
While some couples prefer favors over others, incorporating a gift for a guest as part of the focal point of the design is a unique and stunning way to make the centerpiece stand out. This summer’s wedding in Crete, Greece had bottles and jars of local olive oil and salt for guests to use.
Take it a step further and adopt a series of similar design ideas so your guests can spend part of the day at home with them.
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For a typical tropical design, single palm branches scattered throughout the table are perfect for the beach.
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