15 floral wedding centerpiece ideas to wow your guests

Feb 10, 2022 | Planning

Beautiful floral centerpieces set the scene of your wedding reception and are a real highlight for your guests to enjoy during dinner. Choosing flowers for your guests tables can be tricky with so much choice and inspiration around, not to mention the cost, which can quickly add up if you're hosting a big soirée. But don't panic. Today we're sharing top tips to create gorgeous affordable designs plus lots of wedding tablescape ideas to inspire you.

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Floral design (above): Myrtle et Olive | Photography: Maricle Kang | Planning, design and styling: Adelaide Design

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Floral design (above): Dafiori Design | Planning and design: Ariel Chiu | Photography: Beige Weddings

How much should I budget for wedding centerpieces?

Your budget for wedding flowers is likely to dictate the style of centerpiece you go for, so you'll need to work this out before discussing ideas with your florist. Budget anywhere from $60 to $300 per table, and bear in mind that this will vary based on the types of flowers, season, size of design and several other factors. Many couples budget more for the top table and opt for a more elaborate design here, such as an elevated statement floral display or perhaps a lush meadow-style floral table runner.

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Floral design (above): Nicole Chapman Design | Photography: Tanya Menoni | Planning, design and styling: RSPV Event Designs

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Floral design (above): Melissa Broadwell | Photography: Lauren Fair | Planning, design and styling: RSPV Event Designs

What size are your wedding tables?

When deciding how to decorate your wedding tables, be sure to get measurements from the venue or rental company. Once tables are laid with flatware, silverware and glassware, you might be surprised how little space is left for flowers and candles. Long banquet tables tend to have even less space than round tables and you'll want to avoid them feeling too cluttered, particularly if food is being served family style on large platters. In this case, consider placing single flower stems in slim bottles and bud vases to save space (and money).

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Floral design (above): Southern Blooms | Planning and design: Pamela Barefoot Events and Design| Photography: Kir Tuben

Tall wedding centerpieces Pin it

Flowers (above): Flora Botanical Living | Photographer: McSween Photography | Planner: Verge Events

Should you go for low or tall centrepieces?

Again this will come down to budget as tall arrangements generally require more stems to create a strong visual impact, which pushes up the cost. Low arrangements should be no taller than about 13 inches to avoid obstructing your eyeline and conversation across the table, and tall arrangements should be above head height for the same reason.

Tall arrangements allow you to suspend twinkly lights or hang glass T-light votives to create a cosy atmosphere, and are a good option to save table space if you're planning to serve your wedding breakfast family-style. Low compote designs allow your guests to really see, smell and touch the flowers so invite a feeling of intimacy, and are easier for guests to take home at the end of the evening if that is your plan.

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Floral design (above): Giovanni Raspante | Planning and styling: Carlotta Pomponi | Photographer: Gabriele Malagoli

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Floral design (above): Willow Garden Floral | Photographer: Kyle Christensen Photography | Planning and design: H & L Lovely Creations

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Floral design (above): Plume Events | Photographer: Radian Photography

Avoid using floral foam in your centerpieces

Whatever style of floral centerpiece you choose, ensure your florist creates them without flower foam to lessen the environmental impact of your wedding. Floral foam is a green brick of chemical-laden micro-plastic that has been a mainstay of floral design since the 1950s. It is essentially the equivalent of formaldehyde-soaked glitter, and because of this, the Royal Horticulture Society has banned it’s use at the globally-renowned Chelsea Flower Show. This product should be completely avoided at your own event as well.

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Floral design (above): Caroline Reusen Floral Design | Photography: Donny Zavala | Styling: Joy Proctor

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Floral design and styling (above): Capucine Atelier Floral | Photographer: Geraldine Le Blanc and Sandra Malbequi Photography

What type are vessels should you choose for your wedding flowers?

The options are endless when it comes to vessels for your wedding flowers. Clear, colored or mercury glass; ceramic or stone; metal or wood... there's a choice to suit every style of wedding and let's not forget the beauty of assorted vintage pieces for a unique eclectic look. Choose a neutral color to avoid distracting from the flowers and chat to your florist or rental company about hiring vessels to reduce the cost of buying new. However, if you are planning to gift flowers to select guests at the end of the wedding, you will need to buy rather than hire the vases.

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Floral design: Festoon Charleston | Photographer: McSween Photography

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Floral design (above): Colonial House of Flowers | Photography: Julie Paisley | Planning, design and styling: RSPV Event Designs

How to save money on wedding flowers

Lots of wedding guests means lots of tables, and it's easy to see how the cost of decorating each table can quickly add up. It is possible to manage the cost with some creativity and clever planning, and your florist should be able to suggest ideas to work within your budget.

A premium flower such as a garden rose or peony has a higher stem price than a sprig of foliage, so floral heavy designs will always cost more than those that are predominately green. As well as reducing the overall cost of each design, embracing architectural branches and lush greenery is a wonderful way to create an organic vibe for your wedding and bring the outside in. Choosing plentiful seasonal flowers that are locally grown will also be more economical (and kinder to the environment) than flying in out of season or exotic varieties from around the globe.

If budget is particularly tight, fresh flowers might not be the best option. Consider potted plants, air plants or terrariums, or get creative with non-floral centrepiece ideas. Think geodes, shells, cloches, seasonal fruits, books, lanterns or a cluster of assorted candles... all these ideas can create a striking visual display without the expense and environmental impact of fresh flowers.

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Floral design (above): Lily Paloma Flowers | Planning, design and styling: RSVP Events and Designs | Photography: Molly Carr Photography

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Flowers and lanterns (above): Daylesford Farm | Planning and design: Kerry Poulter | Photographer Lucy Davenport

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