The urge to DIY comes in many forms: wanting to save $$, putting your personal touch on your wedding, or creating something that you couldn’t have otherwise. My situation called for all three. When I saw the going rate for centerpieces ($50 for something I would laugh at and $300 for something I enjoyed), I resorted to taking care of the task myself. And here’s what I got:
Now this idea didn’t pop into my head out of thin air, but rather from a couple pictures I saw on a florist’s website that captured my eye. Candles, candle holders, flower petals.. got it! Not too hard! So, I set out to recreate the look my own way, and save some $$$ at the same time!
Step 1: IKEA (aka. my favorite place to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon)
It never hurts to think outside of the box as you walk around the gigantic store. I like to think of IKEA as a craft store and I’m ready to walk in and transform what they give me into something much cooler. So, instead of spending money on “vases” or “candleholders,” I bought lots and lots of drinking glasses. Total cost for the 160 glasses: $90. I also bought the tall ivory candles (another $30) from IKEA.
Here is my mock arrangement (without the votives):
STEP 2: More candles!
I performed a candle burning test and soon realized that standard tealights and votives weren’t going to hold up for 7 hours… so I went in search of some candles with longer burning times.
After doing some price research online, I chose to buy 100 soy tealights with 7.5 hour burn times from Moon Glow Candles ($35 shipped), and also 72 votives with 10 hours of burn time from cudge.net ($23 shipped).
Step 3: Flowers!!!
While I enjoyed the look of the rose petals, the amount of petals needed to recreate that look would be mighty costly. Plus, I wanted to enhance the golden glow of the candles, so I opted for my favorite flower: plumeria. I adore their smell and love the colors of the flower… it just brings back wonderful memories of tropical islands.
I chose to order 2000 loose plumeria from Molokai Plumeria for $200 shipped. I had ordered leis from Hawaii for various occassions before, and knew that shipping plumeria was an option, but a risky one. Plumeria are extremely perishable once exposed to the elements, so even if they survive to the big day, they wither quickly over time. While the perfect situation would have allowed the flowers to arrive via FedEx on Saturday, we were warned that if an agriculture inspector is late to Saturday inspections, then our flowers would not arrive on time. So just to be safe, the flowers arrived overnight on Friday, and my Dad took care to mist them and keep them in an ice bath until they were spread on the tables at 5pm.
Step 4: DONE!
In the end, the guests loved the centerpieces (especially the low height) and they added the most beautiful glow to the room that bounced off the windows in every direction. The total cost was $378, which was about $25 a centerpiece, including extra glasses and candles. So… cost effective and exactly what I wanted! I don’t even want to know how much a florist would have charged me to create the same thing… just to “rent” the materials. Plus, throwing plumeria into the air at midnight is lots of fun… even if the clean-up staff grumbles at you!
More photos of the centerpieces from guests:
- Los Angeles/Monterey
- education policy wonk
- Wedding Date:
- July 2007
- Rosary Chapel & Monterey Marriott, Monterey, CA