I’d caught onto the whole eclectic-mismatched-bottles-and-jars trend early on in planning, and started collecting random glass receptacles way back in February. I was off to a bit of a slow start—began my hunt at local thrift stores, but was really only uncovering old glasses and non-vasey-vases. There wasn’t anything with that antique thing goin’ on—no milk bottles, no old soda bottles. In retrospect, I’m not sure why I thought I’d find that stuff for a buck or two at Salvation Army, but I was nonetheless set back by my initial finds.
Then, in March, MOH Ginger and I drove out to Mount Dora, about two hours from here, to go to what was promised as the flea market to end all flea markets:
Renningers. With 117 acres of random stuff, surely I’d be able to kick start the antique portion of my centerpiece collection. And kick start it I did.
I must say, there are some crabby, crabby folk out there when it comes to pricing milk bottles. One guy demanded $10 for two half-pint bottles, then walked away before I could even say no. When I chased him down, he said I could sell them at my garage sale and make my money back. Um, what garage sale? I was definitely naive for believing I could buy 45 old bottles and jars for like $20, but c’mon, dude. There were better deals to be had.
I carted back about 15 bottles and jars that day, after dropping only about $30. And then I hunted high and low, not only at Goodwill and Salvation Army, but at local antique malls and other flea markets. I’ve amassed a collection I’m pretty proud of, and I’m hoping it’ll make for some excellent centerpieces.
I do have moments where I wonder if I have quite enough variety, or enough big vessels, to get the look I’ll like. I wonder if I have too many generic pieces that won’t pair well with the older vessels with more character. But in the end, I think I’ll be super happy with what our florists will be able to do with the collection.
First, there are the cut glass containers—glasses, decanters, and the like. You know, for a bit of texture.
The two bottles at either end of this one both date back to somewhere between 1930 and 1950—they have embossed marks “Federal law forbids sale or reuse of this bottle.”
Then there’s the “generic” collection—mostly oil and vinegar bottles, vases that aren’t of the typical shape (I was striving for ones with a vaguely vintage or antique shape), etc.
I got pretty excited when I found these following fellers—but it appears they’re nothing more than dime-a-dozen supermarket water carafes. Nonetheless, I like ”˜em and they have that faint milk bottle feel, so they stayed.
Now, my favorite: The bottles with character.
Apologies for the filthiness of some of them—I still haven’t gotten around to washing them out. Soon”¦ soon.
I tried doing a bit of dating on some of these bottles, but I didn’t get very far. There are so many factors, and so little can be found online. But I found myself really drawn to these little things—so much so that I couldn’t stop buying them. There are Listerine bottles from the Lambert Pharmacal Company; beer bottles from The Consolidated Bottling Co. in Lima, OH, and the Independent Brewing Co. of Pittsburgh; a medicine bottle bearing the mark J. Credick druggist; and half a dozen milk bottles from the Volusian County Store, Sangamon Dairy Products Co., and more.
Does it appear I have enough bottles for about seven centerpieces—and enough variety to keep it looking vintage modern? I’m just worried it will come off looking cheap and dumb and slapped together with no style. I am indeed my own worst critic.
Did you go all cuckoo with collections for any part of your wedding decor? Once you start, are you unable to stop—like me?