There is so much that goes into wedding planning that it can easily be overwhelming. Hours of research, thousands of pins on Pinterest, and too much unwanted advice from friends and family. The worst part is this is probably your first time planning a wedding and while you know what look you like, chances are you don't have the experience to know what does and doesn't work well. I'm a wedding photographer, not a professional event coordinator, but here is some of what I've learned about centerpieces that work from photographing hundreds of San Antonio weddings.
When it comes to your wedding reception centerpieces almost anything can work - as long as it fits the overall look and feel of your wedding and you find a way to incorporate the table number into the design. One of the easiest ways to take your wedding up a notch, for little to no extra money, is to use two or three different types of centerpieces throughout your reception. Either vary the heights of your flower arrangements (just don't have anything at eye level, blocking your guests view) or use different styles of arrangements of the same types of flowers. Not about the flowers? Use different arrangements of old books. The coolest thing I've seen to date was a wedding I photographed in downtown San Antonio where each table had a different type of cake in the middle. All were one tier and very basic in terms of decoration, but each table had a different flavor and it looked amazing!
Another great idea is to let your guests take home the centerpieces at the end of the wedding. Not sure what you're going to do with them? *BAM*, instant wedding favors. Depending on the type of centerpiece you have chances are it'll only be a select few guests who's style at home matches with the centerpiece so no worries about needing to provide a centerpiece for everyone. If you're using fresh flowers you could also consider donating them to a local nursing home or hospital!
One last think to contemplate when planning your centerpieces - what types of tables are you going to be using? Long rectangular tables, round tables, or a mix of both? You'll need to plan a different style of centerpiece for a rectangular table than a round table. Round tables are quite traditional but in San Antonio I've been seeing more and more rectangular tables lately, and I love it! The amazing thing about being a San Antonio wedding photographer is that while most weddings are quite similar, they are all so different!
Rectangular vs. Round Tables
Round tables and rectangular tables will need different styles of centerpieces. With round tables, you want something that looks great from every angle, and with rectangular tables you'll need to consider if people will be seated on both sides, or if it's more of a head table style (with people seated on only one side).
Often, with rectangular tables, I see table runners, or floral arrangements that go the entire length of the table, but that's not the only option! You can include a few statement pieces along the table, or several smaller statement pieces. The options are endless. With round tables it can be a bit trickier to have a centerpiece that goes from one end of the table to the other, but who's to say it can't be done!
Flowers & Candles
It's hard to go wrong with flowers and candles. Seriously, they're always beautiful and it's so easy to pick different types and colors of flowers to match your wedding. These are endless vase options, different heights of arrangements, and different flower types that make it so easy for you to use a few different styles of centerpieces through your reception.
No matter if your overall wedding decor is simple or complicated, rustic or ornate, there is a centerpiece solution to be found with flowers. Candles are easy with a ton of different tea light options to accent your flower arrangements, or make the candles the main focus with larger pillar candles and simple greenery.
Not sure what to do with all your centerpieces after your wedding? Donate the fresh flowers to a local nursing home or hospital! If you're in Texas you can reach out to Floranthropy, an organization that can help you with this!
At this Fiesta themed wedding, wedding planner Diane Boucher and her team tied together the perfect atmosphere with these centerpieces. Each table had different brightly colored table clothes and very simple decorations: candles, custom shot glass wedding favors, and either a floral arrangement or a Moravian star.
This wedding is the perfect example of "less is more". While this space at Sunset Station is large, it was decorated quite simply with just a few perfectly chosen elements. Everything tied together perfectly and it made for an amazing wedding experience.
Unique Centerpiece Ideas
What do you do when you aren't in love with any of the obvious centerpiece ideas? You think outside the box. Old books, glass bottles, string balls, let your mind go free! Unique centerpieces are my favorite because they end up being so beautiful. Show me something I've never seen before! Incorporate your personalities even more into your wedding with your centerpieces.
There are so many fun ways to carry your wedding theme through the centerpieces. Don't let yourself be limited to what everyone else is doing! Check out our San Antonio Wedding Centerpiece Pinterest board for more ideas!