10 Centerpiece Ideas More Affordable than Flowers

Seashell centerpieces on a wedding reception table.

For any wedding, flowers typically play a role in the day. From bridal bouquets to corsages to boutonnieres, it goes without saying that you and your florist are going to get pretty well acquainted in the months leading up to your big day! And while flowers are undoubtedly beautiful and special, that doesn’t mean you necessarily want to use them for every piece of decor at your wedding. More specifically, you may want to opt for centerpieces that stray away from the traditional flower design. This could add more character to your wedding and it can also help to save you some serious money, and, let’s face it, who couldn’t use a little more wiggle room in their budget? Furthermore, opting for centerpieces that aren’t flowers allows you to keep your centerpieces long-term if you want to, which serves as a fabulous memento from a special day. Below, explore some beautiful centerpiece ideas that don’t feature flowers.

1. Sea Shells

If you’re having a beach wedding, sea shells are an inexpensive yet beautiful way to decorate your reception tables. Get elegant glass canisters, jars, or bowls and fill the bottoms with sand, topping the containers off with an abundance of shells. You can also include sea glass if you’re looking to add a pop of color.

2. Lanterns

Lanterns make for a beautiful and simple wedding centerpiece that adds romantic lighting to your reception. To add to this look, surround a large lantern with smaller candles or pair a large lantern with a trio of smaller ones.

3. Fabulous Fruit

Tropical fruit as a wedding centerpiece.

If you’re having a tropical wedding, a great option for centerpieces that strays from flowers is brightly colored fruit. This can be pineapples, oranges, limes, lemons, or anything that strikes your fancy! If you want to go for something really unique, you could even use paint them for a different or more cohesive look. Gold-painted pineapples are chic and trendy, and easy to DIY!

4. Vintage Pieces

For a more eclectic feel, you may want to adorn your reception tables with vintage pieces that you collect in the months leading up to your wedding. This could be anything from vintage books for a couple that loves to read to elegant teapots and teacups on saucers. The best part is you can reuse these pieces in your home after the wedding!

5. Picture Frames

What better place to showcase photos of you and your new spouse than on your reception tables? Place simple frames in the center of each table with photos of the two of you together—or even with childhood photos to give guests something fun to look at.

6. Candles

A wedding reception table with candles.

Sometimes it’s best to follow the KISS method: keep it simple, stupid! Candles are a beautiful way to do just that with your wedding centerpieces. Place candles in hurricane glasses of different heights at the center of a table. For a more eclectic look, use candles of varying heights and styles.

7. Candy and Treats

If you want to provide guests with something sweet to enjoy in addition to a pretty centerpiece, you may want to opt for glass containers filled with candy and sweet treats. This is easy to do in a stylish way as you can simply stick to your wedding colors. Fill the containers with gum balls, jelly beans, and any other fun and pretty candy. You can even artfully place cones filled with cotton candy for guests to munch on in this spot!

8. Paper Flowers

If you’re in the mood for a DIY project before your wedding, you may want to create paper flowers to take the place of real flowers when it comes to centerpieces. You can make these large and dramatic and in any color you please, which makes them the perfect way to both save money on real flowers and to make your wedding stylish. Consider creating enough of these to drape them artfully down the center of the table, almost like a runner, and guests will be sure to be impressed!

9. Succulents or Cacti

While succulents and cacti are still plants, they’re easy to take home and keep alive for a long period of time, which you can’t quite say about flowers. Succulents are so incredibly trendy right now that you can’t go wrong with incorporating these into your day. A few succulents on a table certainly adds style to your wedding and comes cheaper than luxe floral arrangements.

10. Cloches

If you’ve got a flair for the dramatic, cloches make it easy to feature unique items as centerpieces without having to invest in flowers for your reception tables. Place cloches over items such as feathers, succulents, or faux candles for an artful look.

We’ve given you a lot to think about when it comes to nixing flowers on reception tables! These ideas can all stand to make your wedding more unique and less costly, which is a fabulous combination.

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