Centerpieces are composed of two part - flowers/foliage and hard goods/containers. The same flowers placed low on the table in a container that is not visible or in wooden box or in a mercury glass compote (a dish/bowl that has been elevated) have three distinct feelings to them. Flowers and hard goods work together to achieve your vision.
There are low and elevated centerpieces. Elevated centerpieces are great to add drama and impact when your guests walk into the room - especially if it is large. I’m careful to use containers that are clear or slender enough that they don’t block the view across the table. I can design flowers atop a tall glass vase or I can rent candelabras we select together and flowers are place on top as well as cascading down them. Calla lilies, orchids, amaranthus and ruscus are my favorites for the cascade. A combination of elevated and low centerpieces is always a hit. As elevated centerpieces have more cost involved, I frequently suggest using the less expensive trio of floating candles as a third centerpiece option to average costs out. (FYI - Certain cities/towns have restrictions on open flames).
Let the vibe of the venue direct you. You’ve chosen it for a reason. Is it rustic or a natural setting? A rustic venue begs for seasonal flowers such as tulips in the spring and sunflowers in the fall. To me, rustic means lots of texture. Garden roses, soft greenery including ferns and grasses, daisies, carnations (the growers have bred some incredibly unique and unusual colors!), chrysanthemums, love-in-the mist, waxflower, seed pods, phlox, zinnias, astilbe, pussy willow and other seasonal branches are all excellent choices. Birch containers, twig stands and wrought iron are great places to start your design plan. Or perhaps lanterns and galvanized tin containers. A rustic venue doesn’t mean it can’t be elegant. I’ve frequently used mercury glass compotes in conjunction with wooden boxes (sometimes trimmed in lace) to achieve a ‘Rustic Elegance’ look.
Popular at many venues are the appearance of farm tables. These give the opportunity for extending the flowers down the table. A garland or greenery with candles and lanterns are another option.
Are you celebrating in a garden? (or a tent in a garden?) If your ceremony is also here, this is the perfect time to use columns to elevate large designs dripping with flowers. I can guide your selection to the appropriate style. For example – if your wedding colors are all pastels, I have the perfect lacy wrought iron columns to harmonize with the mood of the flowers. Wrought iron or stone urns (or those that look like iron or stone without the weight) would be beautiful. For the tables, stone containers mixed with mercury glass (okay – I admit I have a bias towards the look mercury glass can add to a table!) would be very ‘Garden Chic’. Wooden boxes and clear glass would also be appropriate. My favorite flowers for this look are garden roses, hybrid tea roses, spray roses, hydrangeas, lilies, seeded eucalyptus, love-in-the mist, carnations, lisianthus, alstromeria, stock, astilbe with assorted greenery including plumosa, pittosporum, and fern. Greenery can be hung around the tent to bring the outside in.
So, what about ballrooms and country clubs? Each one has an individual personality that I take into consideration when developing a design plan. Sparkling clean glass with fresh greenery and flowers will always be a great choice as is mercury glass (what a surprise!). There are excellent ceramic containers ranging in style from the traditional to a more ‘City Chic’ look. A combination of elevated and low centerpieces is always a hit. As elevated centerpieces have more cost involved, I suggest using a trio of floating candles as a third centerpiece option to help average it out. (Certain cities/towns have restrictions on open flames). If your venue has an old-world charm to it, combinations of previously mentioned flowers would work well. If it is modern or urban, I like to add tropical flowers to give it a contemporary edge. Tropicals mixed with temperate flowers provide lots of interesting looks.
There are so many less traditional options for venues. Breweries, wineries, the seaside, art museums, science museums, historic houses, libraries, mountaintops, rooftops(!), and even Fenway Park to name a few. Each have a unique vibe and I would love the opportunity to put my experience and interpretative skills to work to make it extraordinary for you!