For several months, centerpieces for our reception tables were the bane of my existence. I already knew from my many, many unsuccessful floral meetings that full floral centerpieces like so:
and even simpler arrangements like this:
were entirely out of the question for us. I would really, really love to have them, cause hello, they're GORGEOUS, but there was no possible way we could cram them into the budget.
I assumed that I was going to be DIYing my centerpieces, and set myself a budget of $300 for 15 tables (working out to a whopping $20 per table). Also, Octopus Mom absolutely forbade me from using an excess of candles, because even scentless ones trigger her allergies, so elegant and beautiful candle centerpieces like this were O-U-T OUT.
I pored over basically the entire Internet for ideas, and my initial plan was to create centerpieces that featured stacks of vintage books, a hodgepodge of cool-looking votives, and bud vases with brightly-colored flowers. Here are a few ideas that demonstrate the look I was imagining:
I loved the idea of these, because they look really great, and fit nicely with the "just slightly whimsical and offbeat" look I try to keep in mind when thinking about our reception.
Let's take a look at what would have to take place in order for me to execute these centerpieces:
* Purchasing fifteen tables' worth of vintage-but-nice-looking hardcover books.
* A combination of purchasing and creating a large enough variety of votives to achieve that "oh, this?" effortlessly-mismatched-Anthropologie-display-window look.
* Purchasing fifteen tables' worth of interestingly-shaped bud vases.
* Transporting all of it from Boston to Pittsburgh.
* Purchasing a bunch of brightly-colored, mismatched flowers in the day or two before the wedding, trimming and storing them all, and then
* Handing it all off to the coordinator at the Children's Museum with a wish and a prayer that it all got assembled correctly. Oh, and
* A combined act of God, Santa Claus, and the luck of the Irish for this all to be done under $300.
Now, listen (except for everyone who is offended by salty, NSFW language)....
Do this if you don't like cussin'.
Bridesmaid Erica and I have had many a discussion in the past few months about how important it is for brides to have a Fuck-It List, on which you can place any wedding plans that are insane, overly expensive, annoying, unnecessary, or simply not going to happen in the time you've got remaining. I desperately wanted to assign the creation of centerpieces to the Fuck-It List, but I didn't know what else to do. I knew I couldn't pay for lush fabulous florals, I couldn't use candles, I didn't like any of the other ideas I'd come up with, and my standing plan for centerpieces was insane.
Enter my fairy godmother, Cheryl at Parkway Florist. In our floral meeting, she offered to make centerpieces featuring a round fishbowl holding a few inches of water and different combinations of flowers and candles floating in them, surrounded by a few votives, much like this:
Price tag? Exactly $20 per table.
If you can believe it, I actually hesitated for a minute, because I had some insane form of wedding-planning Stockholm syndrome where I had gotten really attached to my crazy, stressful centerpiece idea and was sympathizing with my kidnapper. Then I blinked, came to my senses, said a hearty "FUCK IT!!!!" to my old plan for whimsical, offbeat, but incredibly stressful DIY centerpieces, and gleefully signed on to have someone else take over the entire centerpiece-creation-and-assembly process at the exact budget I was aiming for. Phew.
Let's make it a quadruple-word-score of f-words used in a Weddingbee post: what's on your Fuck-It List?