The Centerpieces from Hell

As you may have guessed from the title, this post is going to be about centerpieces. No, centerpieces were not the very first thing I started working on when we got engaged. But they ARE turning into quite the process, so I figured I’d start the story early.

Back in May, when we had decided on our venue and colors and started to get an idea of the size of our guest list (we both come from large Catholic families and as a result we are inviting almost 300 people), I started to look at ideas for centerpieces. I’m doing a lot of DIY for our wedding. I don’t consider myself a particularly crafty person, but I am a thrifty person. We decided in the beginning that, while we want to have an awesome wedding, we don’t want to go into debt and start our marriage being financially behind. Our budget is $10,000-$12,000. But I digress.

With the number of guests we will have attending (we estimate 200 to 225 will actually be able to make it) we will need about 25 to 30 centerpieces. With our budget, I knew I was going to have to DIY. We aren’t looking for anything super fancy. One of Mama Ducky’s biggest fears is that I’m going to create tall centerpieces that make conversation difficult.

From several posts from the ‘Bee I found the idea of coffee-filter flowers. Relatively easy to make, inexpensive, and they look really nice:

pink dyed coffee filter roses

Image via Bridal Musings

Over the summer my sister (Bridesmaid Tangled) and I made a few practice flowers and they looked pretty good. The plan was to make a bouquet for each table, throw them in a vase, sprinkle some flower petals and tea lights, and be done. Easy enough. We put the idea to rest and planned on coming back to it later.

Then one weekend in October I suddenly had the urge to do a full centerpiece mock-up. I got some vases, painted them, made some flowers, and set it all up on my dining room table. It looked. Like. Crap.

Personal photo

Granted, it didn’t have the flower petals, but still. Yeesh. So I went through a mini bridal meltdown when I realized I was going to have to purchase flowers for the centerpieces in order to get the look I want. I had decided long ago that I was not going use real flowers (our budget wasn’t going to allow that), so MOH Noodles and I bought flowers at Hobby Lobby for the bridesmaids’ bouquets. These flowers were decently cheap, but six flowers per bouquets x 25 to 30 bouquets?! Wayyyy more than a few packs of coffee filters.

Then I found Silks are Forever. I found a great deal on some red flowers. However, as many of you know, things aren’t always as they appear on a computer monitor…


How ’bout it, hive? Did anyone else have to scrap an idea (or ideas) for centerpieces?


Miss Duck

Fargo, ND
Wedding Date:
June 2014
Stationery Design: Invitations
Gallery of the Day: December 24, 2013
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  1. Member
    dli 213 posts, Helper bee @ 7:22 am

    I made coffee filter flowers for all my centerpieces. you can still do coffee filter flowers….you just need more “stuff” on the table.

    if you look at the really nice real flower center pieces most of the time they’ll have more than one small vase of flowers. they’ll vary heights, have rocks, smaller flowers on the table, table numbers, cover the vases, etc. even w/ real flowers a lone small vase of the exact same shade of flower will look kind of blah.

    here’s what i had for my wedding:

    the top left photo were my short centerpieces. and all i really did was have on big mason jar of flowers, and one small mason jar w/ one flower. and i made a few small flowers for the table. my colors were kind of a nude/blush pink and creams, but i varied the shades i dyed the coffee filters for more depths so some are more blue based pink and other’s more peachy.

  2. msduckwb Bee
    msduckwb 8 posts, Newbee @ 7:34 am

    @dli: your centerpieces are gorgeous! This post came from when I was a baby bride in the planing process…as you can see, I had no idea what I was doing! Our centerpieces have definitely evolved from the lonely little vase…

  3. Member
    tarapants 112 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:59 am

    Can’t wait to see how they turn out. I’m trying to convince my honey that we need real flowers. Hopefully your final project will change my mind, because I’m a super penny pincher!

  4. Member
    tarapants 112 posts, Blushing bee @ 11:23 am

    @dli: Those center pieces are STUNNNNNING!

  5. panda Bee
    Mrs. Panda 1359 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:47 pm

    coffee filter flowers are admittedly hard to use in centerpieces… I can’t wait to see what your final product looks like!

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