It’s Good to Have Good Friends…

…because they give you free stuff for your wedding!

OK, OK, so friends are good for reasons WAY MORE IMPORTANT than that, but when you’re in the thick of planning a wedding on a fairly modest budget, every little bit helps. And because of some good church family friends, we’ve managed to get a big chunk of our reception centerpieces for FREE!

A little while back I mentioned our mostly budget-based decision not to incorporate floral centerpieces into the reception decor. As you can imagine, throwing a garden-inspired soiree without flowers in the decor felt a little”¦counter-intuitive, for lack of a better word. We still wanted to have the feel of bringing the outside in without blowing holes in my parents’ pockets, but we weren’t exactly sure how we would be able to manage that. But sometimes, problems have funny ways of working themselves out.

We attended a church family friend’s wedding in October of last year (we’ll call the bride Bee). Bee’s mom and my mom are pretty close, and their whole family is pretty much amazing and super awesome. Knowing that our wedding would be coming up soon, after the reception was over Bee’s mom handed us all eight of Bee’s manzanita branch centerpieces (complete with the crystals dripping from them) as well as the huge manzanita branch “wishing tree” she had used for the reception. She basically told us anything we saw in the reception decor that we wanted was “fair game” except for a few items that had either been rented or they were going to try and sell. That night, the Armadillo family went away with a huge chunk of “the centerpiece debacle” solved. They’re currently sitting in my parents’ attic waiting for their next wedding appearance:




A closeup of the crystals

We’ll have to add a few more manzanita centerpieces to our collection, but we’ll ultimately end up having alternating high and low centerpieces scattered among the tables at the reception. I’m thinking we’ll do maybe 12 manzanita centerpieces and 12–16 centerpieces that mostly consist of clusters of votive candles in Mason jars. We’ll add a few Mason jar candles around the base of the manzanitas to tie everything together on the big day.

The only semi-issue I’m having with the manzanitas is how to pull our wedding colors into the mix. Right now I’m pondering the idea of painting the terra cotta pots silver and filling the top of them with moss. My mom mentioned the idea of getting some of those small butterflies made out of feathers in the bright purple color and gluing four or five onto each centerpiece. I kind of like that idea, mostly because it nods to our “winter becomes springtime” concept. I also really like the religious undertones of the butterfly symbol in the Christian faith. And plus, butterflies speak to new beginnings and change, which perfectly complements the institution of marriage and the promises that Mr. A and I will make to each other to begin our new lives as husband and wife.


Image via Floral Trims

So, what do you lovely people think? Did budget restrictions and/or generosity of loved ones help dictate any aspect of the reception decor for you? Any other ways I could incorporate our wedding colors into the manzanita centerpieces?


Mrs. Armadillo

Houston, Texas
Wedding Date:
March 2013
How Wonderful Life Is: Just You and I
Hawkily Ever After: Cheesin' It Up
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  1. msdragon Bee
    Mrs. Dragon 814 posts, Busy bee @ 12:08 pm

    Those are really pretty! My dad incorporated butterflies into a few of the decorations he made for us (its a bit of a family symbol). They were really cute, and I think they’d be cute on your branches, too!

  2. panda Bee
    Mrs. Panda 1359 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:22 pm

    I really like the manzanita branches. I vote twinkle lights (mainly because I vote twinkle lights on everything).

  3. Member
    Miss Care Bear 193 posts, Blushing bee @ 2:14 pm

    Love manzanita centerpieces! Those were my first centerpiece inspiration. Have you considered gluing purple orchid heads on the branches? That could also look really lovely, and you could go fake or freeze dried and stay in your budget while still having the garden feel 🙂

  4. mspony Bee
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 3:21 pm

    The manzanita branches are so pretty! I would put some lights on them, to help the crystals sparkle and a few butterflies so they don’t look too crowded.

  5. Member
    jacofblues 1468 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:35 am

    They are so beautiful! I think the idea of painting the pots silver is great but not worry about the moss and also incorp butterflies as that would be so whimsical which would suit your wedding well!

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