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Liven up any wedding reception (and save money) with elegant centerpieces and floral arrangements that you can make yourself.

I love weddings. I love to see the dresses and the flower arrangements and the cake. I have been to enough weddings to know how expensive they can be, and to enough low cost weddings (mine included) to know that you can save money on virtually every aspect of your happy day.

Reception centerpieces can become expensive, so here are a few creative ideas to help save on your special day.

  1. Mason jars are perfect for many uses besides canning. A cool and super cheap idea is to find mason jars in various sizes and wrap the outside with pastel tissue paper, securing with pretty ribbon. Put fresh cut flowers in water, fill the jar halfway with rocks so the flowers stay in place, and you now have an elegant, stunning centerpiece.
  2. Who doesn't like the beach? Bring it to your wedding table by filling various sized glass vases with beach sand and seashells. If you feel adventurous, buy some food coloring and make the sand different colors.

    Go to a home improvement or toy store and purchase play sand to fill tin or plastic sand buckets. Fill each bucket halfway with sand, put a pillar candle in the center surrounded with seashells and a toy shovel. You can also alternate and fill the buckets with floral arrangements in case your kiddies get too adventurous with your sand centerpieces.
  3. I love floating candles. Find some Pyrex or other heat resistant bowls and fill with water. Place floating candles in each bowl and throw in a few gardenia blossoms. Add a few drops of food coloring to each bowl and you now have a gorgeous centerpiece.
  4. Is your cake plate gathering dust like mine? Use it to display candles of various heights. Surround the candles with dried fruit and nuts and some twigs and leaves. This is super cheap, easy and elegant, and you can find all the greenery laying around your yard and your seldom used plate gets a new use.
  5. Wicker baskets are cheap and easy to find. Fill a small lined basket with wildflowers in various colors to match your wedding decor. Attach love poem scrolls to the outside of the basket with pretty ribbon and a dab of hot glue.
  6. Purchase inexpensive picture frames at the thrift store and place baby photos of the bride and groom at each table, surrounded by a tall vase with a single red rose. Every guest gets to see what the happy couple looked like with out hair.
  7. Fill hand painted ceramic flower pots that you designed yourself with potpourri and scatter some around the outer edges of the pot. Then nestle a votive or pillar candle into the potpourri.
  8. Thrift stores, dollar stores, and garage sales are my favorite places to shop. You just can't beat the bargains you find there and they are always the first place I look when I need something for my very own projects. You too will find all the items you need to make your wedding a day to remember if you decide to shop at these bargain places.

  • Pam Archer

    You have posted some great tips for making centerpieces for brides on a budget. If I may add another one:
    Print 3, 5"x7" phots of bride and groom onto vellum, scrapbooking paper.
    Place photos in frames purchased at Dollar General or other thrift store.
    Glue the three frames together to form a triangle.
    Place in the center of the table and insert a votive candle. The candle will backlight the pictures and cast a warm glow on the table.

    Happy planning!
    Pam Archer, Owner
    Pamela's Exclusive Floral & Event Design

  • Nicola

    Don't forget, once you've got your cutlery, glasses, wine, water and condiments on your table there's not much room for anything else! So keep your centerpieces simple. I always like a simple single flower in a vase, whether it's floating flower head or a long stemmed flower in a tall vase. Simple, elegant and very cost effective.

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  • Shoaib

    Great tips for making centrepieces for weddings. All the ingredients are very cheap and easily available. We can use baby breaths, personalized ribbons, ribbon roses, fabric flowers and tissue paper to make are own centerpiece.

  • Heather

    Great tips! We combined a few of these tips and added our own personal touch and not only did we save a ton of money but our centerpieces came out exactly how we wanted them. Thanks again! Oh and here's another site I found with some great tips on how to save on your wedding:
    Great Wedding Deals

  • Heather

    Oops! I messed up that link. it should be

  • chrisw

    I am interested in making flowers out of feathers but can not find instructions. I want to use the flowers for hair pieces. Thank you

  • Lucy Elliott

    I love these ideas!

    Another cheap DIY wedding centrepiece idea is to find antique style perfume bottles or jam jars from home - or from thrift stores and fill them with single stem flowers - this simple elegant idea would be great for creating a vintage tea party style to your wedding day.

  • London-Wedding-Photographer

    I'm a bit late to the party on this one by the looks but since the orginial posting of this article money saving wedding have become very de rigueur. I am finding I am attending more weddings in pubs and some unusual locations too. There seems now to be mainly high end weddings and cheap weddings - the middle ground has become less popular.


  • BuyWeddingFlowers

    Wedding centerpieces, in particular, are the types which will be placed on the tables, but should match to the entire atmosphere of the reception. Thanks for great post!

  • Mary

    Some great ideas.

    Another tip is to place the finished centerpieces on inexpensive mirror glass - it creates a sophisticated impression.

  • Susi

    Great company with DIY wedding flowers, bouquets, centerpieces, etc. and they show you how to do it, purchase the flowers for you too! check it out!!

  • martina25984

    Thanks for this one.

  • Beth M.

    Love the ideas! Thanks for putting together something with ideas that don't cost a mini-fortune to actually implement!

    Looking forward to more of your articles!

  • 14 Comments / 1 Pages

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