not just flowers: centerpiece alternatives
- Use what you have. If you’re in a restaurant, ask the chef or manager to place a row of apples or pears down the center of narrow tables, and add tea lights or tall taper candlesticks as an accent. Better yet, create an edible centerpiece with small snacks: spiced nuts, dates, and dried fruits; or olives, breadsticks, and hunks of Parmesan cheese. This is appealing, practical, and economical. You’ll not only save money on flowers, but you may even save on your menu as well!
- Visit your farmer’s market. Boxes, baskets, or bowls of fruits and vegetables make colorful, vibrant table decorations. If you’re serious food lovers or if you’re celebrating on a farm, consider using different fruits or vegetables from table to table, and mark your escort cards “Orange”, “Red Pepper”, and “Carrot” for example, instead of “Table 1”, “Table 2”, and “Table 3”.
- Get crafty. If you like to make things, consider creating your own centerpieces from feathers, picture frames, or holiday ornaments. Just allow yourself plenty of time, and make your designs nonperishable so you can have them finished well in advance of the big day.
- Use guest favors as centerpieces. If you plan to give bottles of wine or olive oil, jars of honey or jam, or other attractive objects as mementos, place one for each guest in the center of the table, tied with a bow or tag or wrapped in a pretty package. This also works well with candy favors or cupcakes, which can be placed on cake stands or pedestals for a charming display. Accent your gift centerpiece with clusters of votives or tea lights for a romantic glow.