Non-Floral Centerpieces

Using flowers as centerpieces is something that many (most?) brides assume is a given. It doesn’t have to be. We all know how expensive flowers can be and of course they only live for a short time. Nothing can replace the look and ambiance of fresh flowers, but there are some alternatives that will make your tables just as spectacular. Here are some ideas I was considering when I realized that fresh flowers were not going to be able to fit into our budget:

This is probably the most common flower alternative. I love the soft light given off by candles and they are simply romantic. The problem I encountered was cost. I had a hard time finding the quality and quantity (plus holders of some sort) I would need to make an impact, without spending more than flowers may have cost. Eventually, I found a great deal on pillar candles at Ikea.



{ Mrs. Lemon}



Often fresh fruits are paired with flowers in centerpieces, but they hold up pretty well on their own too. These would be especially fun for a summer or outdoor wedding.




Plants/Rocks/Mother Nature:
If you still want the look of life and nature in your centerpieces there are many options that won’t break the bank.






Wedding Favors:
If you are going to have them on the table anyway, why not make wedding favors work double duty?



{from etsy seller: daisys and dots}

Here is another chance to do something with those engagement photos taking up space on your hard drive. Or maybe better yet, photos of family weddings, childhood snap shots or show case your furry friends.


Are you using non-floral centerpieces? What are some of your favorite ideas?

Non-Floral Center


Mrs. Pineapple

Wedding Date:
October 2015
Bridesmaid Dresshopstravaganza!
Too Young?
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  1. Member
    missm 808 posts, Busy bee @ 6:38 pm

    we’re going with fruit & flowers. low bowls in blue & white piled high with lemons, sprinkled with bright pink blossoms. we’ll round it out with a pair of wine glass lamps at each table.

    i do love the candles with the river rocks… so relaxing.

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Victoria, Guest @ 6:52 pm

    We are going to kill two birds with one stone and have cupcake centerpieces – dessert and a centerpiece! and saving money on a large cake

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Lindsay, Guest @ 6:55 pm

    We’re growing our centerpieces. We purchased small galvanized buckets at Ikea for $1.00 each. We decided to use 5 buckets, so $5.00 per table in containers. We then picked impatiens — a six pack is around $3.00 or so, and planted one per container. Our centerpieces ended up costing around $7.50 per table.

    I have to admit, watching them grow this summer has been nerve-wracking! We’re 12 days away, and it looks like we’ll be okay. If you choose to grow annuals, just be prepared that they may be “green” rather than your wedding colors if the flowering isn’t timed just right! :)

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Fran, Guest @ 6:57 pm

    We are! I am sooo excited about ours. I am highly allergic to flowers so I am not having a bouquet and niether are my maids. On the tables we will have small stacks of books tied with ribbon and two or three mason jars filled with candy. The best part is the cost for all this was approximately FREE! We got the books free from freecycle and the ribbon and jars we had around. The only thing costing us $ is the candy.

  5. Member
    MissSauce 94 posts, Worker bee @ 7:16 pm

    We’re also going non-floral with mostly glass and metal bowls/pedestals/candleholders/plates that will hold tealights, water, and a handful of wintry natural touches for our January wedding. I’ve had great success spray painting those little wicker balls a glossy silver, so I may mix them painted and unpainted. Everything so far, I’ve picked up on sale, but I’m seriously considering renting some other glass and metal pieces, just so I don’t have to store them!

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    K, Guest @ 7:29 pm

    I’m going to use mostly candles and a few low centerpieces, so that our tables resembles a dinner party. I’m also going to use limes and oranges, since that is kind of our theme.

  7. seabreeze Member
    seabreeze 972 posts, Busy bee @ 7:35 pm

    Ooh, I adore that picture with the tea lights stuck into a little carved out space in the apples and pears. Brilliant! Great find, Miss P.

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    WeddingPlanning, Guest @ 9:26 pm

    Flowers are nice, but everyone uses them. To be unique you have to bring something exquisite to the table. Candles, fruit, art and such. It all works!

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    taparapa, Guest @ 9:38 pm

    We had to ixnay on the flowers for budgetary reasons (our whole wedding has to come in under $3000!!!) We bought these beautiful pilsner glasses from ikea for $.69 a piece and my FMIL has a corkscrew willow in her backyard. We spray painted all the sticks a beautiful silver and we’re going to string some crystal turquise beads and hang them from the branches and put some marbles in the bottom, should come to about $3.00 per table for a big dramatic piece! :)

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    Laura, Guest @ 9:47 pm

    I think I posted a link to this one time before but in case you didn’t see it

    I made these centerpieces for my wedding– I grew wheatgrass in some containers I picked up at Jo-Ann fabrics 70% off. Then I made some paper flowers following the pattern. I put them on long stems and tucked them in the wheatgrass. I think they came out pretty cool!

  11. Guest Icon Guest
    elizabeth, Guest @ 10:13 pm

    In an effort to be servicey to those who are using candles, I must relate–you can get the simple pillar candle holders (the wide, the votive and the taper sizes) for super-cheap at the Crate & Barrel outlet…ONLINE!!! The taper holders are literally a dime a pop. I got a set of six of the larger clear pillars for $1.50 to boot! If you’re looking for a simple, modern design to either incorporate into more elaborate tableaux or ones that are very minimalist, they work very very well in either situation.

    Just go to the “Outlet” section of the Shopping portion of the website–it’s at the very bottom of the list. :-)

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    darleene, Guest @ 10:23 pm

    I really love that last centerpiece idea! Very personal.

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    Shasha, Guest @ 11:05 pm

    @elizabeth: you’re officially my hero today.

    I’m doing half flowers and half votive trees I’m renting for 40-something. Not on the real cheap but much better than the 70-100 for flowers.

    I wish I was crafty! *whine*

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    Shay, Guest @ 8:33 am

    Hi Five Miss. P…I will be having for my centerpiece a Chandelier stand that has 6 hanging voltives and at the base their will be 4 tea lights… The whole flower centerpieces are beautiful YET they are not making my flower budget very beautiful! I love the pics above!!

  15. pinotnoir Member
    pinotnoir 799 posts, Busy bee @ 9:05 am

    So many great options! I love the smooth stones and votives & the apples in the baskets!

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    Jo, Guest @ 9:50 am

    We wanted to give our guests something live and green as their favor. We put one largish (6 in) clay pot with mini-roses in the center with 5 smaller ones (2 in) around the edge. I bought them all earlier in the week at a gardening wholesale center. And I had a friend bring them to the reception and help set them up. They looked great in our garden setting. I know that some of our guests are still enjoying them.

    We also saw a great idea at a wedding we photographed a few years back- one bride used paper&bamboo lanterns. they looked awesome with some surrounding elements- stones, candles and a couple of orchids.

  17. Guest Icon Guest
    TBerry, Guest @ 10:03 am

    MY Fi is creating wooden lighthouses for each table and we will place rocks, shells and candles on the tables. We are debating on the favors and if they are we go with the pansy idea we will have little buckets of pansies at each place setting.

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    Tina, Guest @ 10:30 am

    I love the picture idea!!! Wish i would have thought of that for our wedding.

  19. Member
    shannamt 129 posts, Blushing bee @ 11:25 am

    I’m going with the potted plants. I love the photo you found with the little daisies. Some could be taken home as favors and the leftovers could be donated to a nursing home.

  20. Guest Icon Guest
    Cora, Guest @ 12:01 am

    I’m right there with you. In fact, two of my earliest posts were on this very topic. I love the natural grasses and candles and such. But sometimes event those can get to be troublesome. The candles may be required to have shades at certain venues, distorting your original vision. And the grasses and branches can start to get as expensive as flowers depending on what you pick.

  21. Guest Icon Guest
    Guilty Secret, Guest @ 5:45 am

    Gorgeous. We’re having a very simple vase with 3 flowers in the centre of each table, then dotting tea lights all around :)

  22. Member
    GetMarried4Less 911 posts, Busy bee @ 1:38 pm

    we’re doing half and half…tall floral centerpieces that will be both live and silk and low candle centerpieces. originally i planned to do all candles, but i found a florist that offered me such an amazing deal, i decided to go with some floral.

    we got our pillar candles from Ikea too. in fact, i had my FI go buy them (5 pack for i think 7.99 or so) and bring them all the way to me. so glad they didnt melt on his way down! the entire East coast was under a heat wave, i think.

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    Madelyn @ Southern Weddings, Guest @ 8:57 am

    I have always felt that floral centerpieces were the way to go, however lately I love non-floral centerpieces. I feel that it allows the couple to truly express themselves.

  24. Guest Icon Guest
    Non-Floral Bouquets » Weddingbee » The Wedding Blog, Guest @ 3:39 pm

    […] all gave some great suggestions for non-floral centerpieces; your creativity never ceases to amaze. When I read Hana Schank’s “A More Perfect […]

  25. Member
    Grdnofedn 10 posts, Newbee @ 4:52 pm

    I have never been big on floral centerpieces, I think they are a lot of money for something that doesn’t last nearly long enough. My idea has been to use candle lanterns as centerpieces. On a recent vacation I started cruising thrift/antique stores and have managed to pick up quite a variety of lanterns for all less than $5! I plan to have a grouping of 3-5 at each table and hope they take on a life of their own. So far I have country cottage lanterns, camping style lanterns and a few Moroccan inspired lanterns. I can’t wait to see the candles glow as the sun goes down!

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    Xezandria, Guest @ 7:41 pm

    We are doing manzanita tree branches from ebay! I got 15 2.5 ft tall branches and one larger branch (4 ft tall) for $170 including shipping! I am going to write the name and place cards on small card stock and hang them from ribbon that will hang from the tall tree that will be in the foyer. The smaller branches will be mounted and serve as center pieces on the 60″ round tables. I wanted to glue tea lights to the center pieces, but i am trying to find cheap led tea lights. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to mount the branches safely and securely on the tables? Has any one hung the place cards from a bigger tree? Any Advice or suggestions?
    I am getting married in October- so if anyone is looking for cheap manzanita branches let me know! :)
    Thanks! Ali

  27. Guest Icon Guest
    Kelley, Guest @ 4:25 pm

    @Xezandria: @Xezandria:

    Hey there! I’m getting married in May of next year and I want to do manzanita branches!! I hope you haven’t sold them yet because I’m interested. My email is email me when you can. Thanks so much.


  28. Guest Icon Guest
    Wake Up and Smell the Flowers » Weddingbee » The Wedding Blog, Guest @ 6:31 pm

    […] I think the most eco-friendly flower option is to use locally grown flowers, and for centerpieces, using a non-flower recycled, reusable or edible display such as potted plants that guests can take home, or fruits for guests to eat after the reception. Another great idea is to use your favors as a centerpiece, or cakes that will be served for dessert. Mrs. Pineapple recently did a great post about non-floral centerpiece options. […]

  29. Guest Icon Guest
    7 Ways to Save on Your Wedding, Guest @ 5:20 pm

    […] You can cut down a huge expense by crafting your own bouquets and boutonnieres. Flowers are usually one of the most expensive items at a wedding. Try finding a location with natural beauty so you can avoid having to purchase a lot of flowers. Or create arrangements without flowers arrangements without flowers. […]

  30. Guest Icon Guest
    stacey, Guest @ 4:28 pm

    has anyone seen or thought of having records/album covers as a centerpiece? any thoughts on how this could work? my fiancee and i are huge music people and were thinking of naming our tables after favorite albums…

  31. Guest Icon Guest
    Jo, Guest @ 8:25 am

    Awesome idea. One way to make them stand up would be to use plate stands.

  32. Member
    ilovenycmissie 1555 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:39 pm

    wow what a great thread I was stressing over scrapping my flowers, maybe I’ll do non-flroal

  33. Guest Icon Guest
    Cheap centerpiece ideas, that travel well? - Best Destination Wedding Forum ~ The Ultimate Destination Wedding Resource, Guest @ 8:19 pm

    […] a floating candle arrangement in dollar store vases. Or paper lantern centerpieces. Also simple candles on top of a pretty centerpiece that you can also probably find in the dollar store. Here are some […]

  34. Guest Icon Guest
    Miss Oaks, Guest @ 9:50 pm

    I love the wooden votive holders. They go perfectly with our outdoor theme. Can you tell me where I might find these?

  35. Guest Icon Guest
    Non Flower Wedding Centerpiece Idea | Get Married Ideas, Guest @ 3:12 am

    […] You can search and apply various ideas by following this link: Wedding Bee: Non-Floral Centerpieces. […]

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    Ideas on Wedding Centerpieces without Flowers | first wedding, Guest @ 6:02 am

    […] source 1, […]

  41. Guest Icon Guest
    Non-floral Wedding Centerpieces: 5 Simple And Unique IdeasDesigners and Diamonds, Guest @ 8:59 am

    […] 2. Candles Galore […]

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