6 Unusual Sources of Wedding Centerpiece Inspiration

Intricately carved fruit on a table

There are many traditional ways to grace a wedding reception table: beautiful greenery, bright roses, carnations, and candles all take center stage. However, if you are interested in varying your choices for wedding centerpieces, consider these sources of inspiration that may add creativity and personality to your decor.

Draw on Local Flora

If you are getting married in a desert, look into succulents; if you are going to be at the beach, consider palm fronds and tropical blossoms. Rather than focusing on the same traditional floral options, try to find vases or vessels that reflect the local landscape. Fill them with items that might be growing in the area. It is even nicer if the centerpiece items can be taken home as wedding favors, such as small potted plants. If you don’t want to worry about keeping something fresh-looking, look into what kinds of branches and twigs from the area could be bundled together with ribbon and adorned with small baubles to become festive centerpiece options.

Rustic lantern serving as a wedding table's centerpiece

Move beyond Candles to Lanterns and Lamps

In every secondhand shop there seem to be a large variety of lamps that have a lot of charm. If you can find inexpensive lamps, they make beautiful centerpieces, especially if you add your own DIY touches. Lanterns are a nice variation on the typical candle options, and choosing everything from a railway lantern to a camping lantern can give your wedding reception a different ambiance while still generating some nice soft light.

If you want guests to take the centerpiece items home, make that clear on your printed program or on a table sign. If you are borrowing lamps or lanterns from others, you don’t want them to walk off at the end of the reception.

Spend a Day out at an Antiques Stores

Visiting your local antiques store may give you a host of great decorative options: birdcages, tea sets, stacks of old books, and even vintage cameras can all give you inspiration for the centerpieces you want. Once you have an idea, or a host of ideas, talk to friends and family about borrowing items that fit your personality and your theme. If you are making the theme of your reception about travel, consider a variety of beautiful hat boxes with some pretend travel documents to decorate around them.

Ornate sugar glass dessert with raspberries

Take Advantage of Fresh Fruits, Vegetables, and Desserts

Edible centerpieces mean less clean-up and happy guests if there is a delay in the serving of the rest of the food. Beautiful wooden bowls full of ripe fruit or glass vases filled with stalks of green veggies can all lend a real wholesomeness to the decorations. If you want to display cupcakes or other delicate desserts, you can choose a wood slice to display them on or another kind of cake holder that fits your theme.

Once you’ve chosen a food-based theme, make sure that you’ve made arrangements to get all the food to the tables and arranged on the displays without any bruised pears or squished icing. These food displays can be lovely centerpiece options, but may require more careful transportation than most other options.

Share Your Love with Photographs and Stories

If you want your guests to be able to learn a little about you and your new spouse while relaxing at their tables, display photographs and little snippets of stories in an artful way for your centerpieces. Encourage your guests to pick things up, read the stories aloud, and share the pictures. This can really help a table of wedding guests who don’t really know each other to bond and have more fun at the party. Photographs can be enlarged, reduced, or printed onto a variety of novelty items using online services. You can also display the photographs in a variety of options, or include them in a wedding favor like a mug or puzzle.

Display Your Favorite Leisure Activities

This centerpiece design option is much more abstract. Think about what you and your spouse enjoy doing together. For example, if it’s road trips, consider how you could incorporate maps into the design of your centerpieces. If you both enjoys sports and games, see if you can make a playful centerpiece that gets people interacting by having them play a simple game or listing off trivia they know about the bride and groom. Obviously, big readers can use books as part of their centerpieces, but can extend it by adding pictures and descriptions of favorite characters, perhaps as the names of the tables rather than simply numbering them.

However you choose to find your perfect centerpiece, these ideas of inspiration can help you to make something beautiful and unique, even if you are working with a limited budget. The sooner you make some choices about what you’d like to do, the sooner you can enlist the help of bridesmaids, family, and friends to find all the items you need to make your centerpieces beautiful and functional.

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