Archive for the ‘Centerpieces’ Category

Has anyone received the new Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel catalogs in the mail? While these two stores offer a zillion things for the home to swoon over (and make us wish we all had larger bank accounts), their new spring collections are full of wedding inspiration! Check them out! Do you see what I see?

The centerpiece on this table found at Pottery Barn is so fresh and springy! Plus, you can create this look for cheap! If you're having a spring wedding, plant tulip bulbs in your own garden in the fall and come spring, you'll have beautiful flowers to make your own centerpieces! And filling the containers with lemons and limes not only looks great, it's inexpensive!

who doesn't love twinkle lights? These globe string lights from Pottery Barn will set a romantic glow to your outdoor garden wedding. Just perfect!

Serve lemonade, sangria, or a signature drink in gorgeous drink dispensers for an upscale backyard gathering look.

How adorable are these dahlia napkin rings from Crate and Barrel? While these babies can be budget-busting at $2.95 a piece, I see the perfect opportunity for a DIY project with fake flowers and hair ties. Or just buy a few and wrap them around votives instead of napkins!

Since when did paper napkins get so cute! For these, you should have no qualms about nixing the linen napkins (and the rental cost associated with them!)

If you're having a spring wedding (actually, I could probably justify it for every season), you NEED this pedestal stand. Use it for cupcakes, desserts, favors, anything! It will make whatever you put on it that much cuter. And for only $29.95, it's budget-friendly.

Spring inspiration is all around us! Look for it in unexpected places and you’re sure to find ideas that will not only make your wedding unique, but more “you.” Happy hunting!


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Centerpieces! Every day across the country couples are making decisions on the inanimate table bunchings that are commonly referred to as centerpieces. Since it is far too easy to spend the equivalent of a 2004 Hyundai on the centerpieces, it becomes important to take another look at centerpieces and what THEY can do for YOU.

SIDE NOTE: A wedding is a major life event that encompasses so many elements, personalities and preferences that it can be completely overwhelming to tackle every aspect – as well as give the proper attention to some crucial aspects. It only seems appropriate that, with our eternal logic and practicality, a man offers his perspective. I am here to bring a healthy dose of mansight into this massive world of weddings. This is usually where Andrea rolls her eyes at me, so back to the subject at hand…

All too often, couples jump to the decision of what color flower to use or what kind of decorative (see glossary) glass to display at the center of the tables without asking the question of ‘what can our centerpieces do for our guests’? At best, your centerpiece will have a beautiful flower display that is pleasant to look at. And since your guests will be staring at the tables for several hours, it is only appropriate that it is pleasant to look at. What if that centerpiece can not only be aesthetically pleasing but also FEED and ENTERTAIN you?? I propose a fully interactive and yes, pleasant looking centerpiece that incorporates flowers and food.

I am still in debate about which food would be best for this new breed of centerpiece. Personally I don’t think there is a better food on the planet than meatballs. A simmering cauldron of meatballs and lil-smokies amongst a small gathering of flowers and shrubbery? Are you kidding me? That would rock my world as a wedding guest. I would unravel my napkin to find a small silver two-pronged poker just begging to impale the simmering meat products – it would be at that moment I would know I was at the greatest wedding of all time. Realistically however, keeping meatballs and lil smokies at the proper temperature would be difficult because it would require an outlet underneath every table and a hole in the middle of each table. That is just not practical.

Transform this spectacle into the greatest centerpiece of 2010

This leads me to a room temperature food option. Since the second best food option on the planet is a meat and cheese platter, I propose (pun intended) an impressive array of ham, salami and various cheeses on an elevated platform at the center of the table. Surrounding the platter is a combination of small flowers and greens making a beautiful jungle surrounding the glory. You really want to dazzle? Throw in some lil smokies wrapped in crescent rolls stabbed on a kabob with assorted sauces hidden among the flowers. Healthy items like veggies and fruit can also be kabob’d and dispersed in the centerpiece. However you do it, your guests will be so excited to see that they don’t have to wait for the buffet line to get started on the best part of the wedding (appetizers).

A delightful blend of classy and tacky. Yes, it can be done.


Decorative: an adjective given to an item or collection of items which if purchased separately would be inexpensive and common. For example, potpourri; this stuff is made of pinecones and dried leaves. Both of which are things most people are forced to irritatingly rake from their yard. Combine them with powerful scents and you get to pay $6.99 per pound!

“Only if you like it too”: you will begin to love this starting immediately

More glossary terms to come…

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I can’t believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend, with your homes  full of family and your tummies  full of turkey and pumpkin pie! And if you happen to be celebrating your wedding around this Thanksgiving holiday, I thought I’d share some bountiful, Thanksgiving inspired centerpieces that would be perfect for your harvest wedding. 🙂 Enjoy!

I absolutely love these centerpieces.They are nontraditional, elegant, and season-appropriate. All you need are colored grasses, wheat, and some gorgeous ribbon to achieve this look. Make one large one for each table like the picture above, or make smaller ones of varying heights to fill the center of the table. The best part about these is that they can be made weeks ahead! Double points for being inexpensive and being able to check it off the list early!

The fruits and vegetables available in the fall season are not only scrumptious, they’re absolutely beautiful. Add color, texture, and natural elements to your tables with these bountiful foods. Use green beans, asparagus, or citrus slices to surround candles…or artichokes as votive holders. To make the vegetable centerpieces, simply use a rubber band to secure the veggies around the candle…then cover with ribbon of your choice. Gorgeous. 🙂

For the citrus centerpieces, thinly slice the citrus fruits about 1/8-inch thick. Place a wire cooling rack on a cookie sheet, and then arrange the sliced oranges, lemons, and limes on the rack. Put the cookie sheet and rack in an oven preheated to 250 degrees for approximately two hours, or until all moisture is removed. (Tip: If you find that your slices have not dried in 2 hours, you can also turn off the oven and leave the fruit in overnight.) Using a glue gun, connect the citrus slices to each other, forming a band around the base of each candle. Do not glue them to the candle. Once your candles are decorated, cluster them in the center of your Thanksgiving table and weave berried branches throughout to create a cohesive centerpiece.

Cranberries make a huge color and texture statement. Use them to surround candles in clear vases or glue then to foam balls for nontraditional pomanders that everyone will be talking about.

Incorporating traditional fall elements in nontraditional ways is a great way to bring an unexpected twist to your Fall wedding. And these ideas are simply beautiful…and beautifully simple. 🙂

Happy planning!

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October weddings do not always have to equal orange…if you like orange, great! but if this bold color doesn’t make it into your color scheme and you still want the look and feel of fall, using white pumpkins is a great (and cheap!) way to bring your favorite colors and the autumn vibe into one space.

Place beautiful flower arrangements in them:

Adorn them with moss, glitter, crystals, whatever you like!:

little ones make great table numbers!

Carve your initials, wedding date, favorite quote, or design:

There are so many ways to personalize pumpkins to make them not just quintessentially fall, but quintessentially you! And at under $10 a piece, they’re quintessentially under budget. 🙂

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I love Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade Magazine…she (and the people on her team) are so creative, and her recipes and DIY projects are perfect for the budget-conscious. In her October/November 2009 issue, she shows readers how to make a beautiful Thanksgiving table scape…but these ideas are just too pretty to only be used at Thanksgiving. This pine cone pillar candle holder would look perfect next to your centerpieces…or as a centerpiece all on it’s own. Here’s how to make it:

What you’ll need:

  • Several glass cylinders (pick these up at any thrift store…Goodwill shelves are stocked with these…or you can rent them)
  • Satin ribbon
  • Double-sided transparent tape
  • Several small and large pine cones
  • Several sweetgum balls cut in half (for the the spiky center)
  • Pillar candles
  • Hot glue gun

To put it together:

Gather several plain glass cylinders to arrange down the center of the table. Cut a length of wide, satin ribbon to fit around each cylinder, allowing the ribbon ends to overlap slightly. Secure the ribbon ends with double-sided transparent tape. Create the pine cone ornament by first cutting several sweetgum balls in half using scissors. Remove the largest scales from a soft, open pinecone. Hot-glue pine cone scales on back of each sweetgum ball, starting in the middle and working your way out, making a snowflake shape. Use hot glue to attach the pinecone ornament to ribbon where the ends meet. Place a pillar candle in the middle of cylinder, and surround it with miniature pinecones.

And that’s it! Elegant and yet, quintessentially fall, these pillar candle holders are easy and inexpensive to make. Find more on this project and the rest of Sandra Lee’s table scape in her October/November issue of Semi-Homemade!

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I know I’ve been MIA for almost a month…between getting a new job and doing some work for Oregon Bride Magazine, time (and energy) seems to be hard to find. But don’t fret, I am back. And still dedicated to finding and reporting on all things chic and cheap! So since it is now October (again, where does the time go?!), I thought I’d provide you with the 411 on the flowers blooming in October, which also equal the flowers that will be the cheapest during this month. So, without further ado….


One of the primary flowers of October is the mum. Although most mums are fairly similar in make-up, there are actually 13 key types that you may wish to employ in wedding designs. The key differences across mums are the size of the flower itself (in both fullness and diameter) and the petals.

Spider Mums

The Spider Mum is a unique flower within the Mum family. Each stem has a single head with long, tubular outer petals and a bulb-like center. Resembling an exploding firework,  spider mums are sure to bring excitement to any wedding bouquet, table centerpiece or flower arrangement.


The Anemone is also called the Windflower,and Lily-of-the-Field.  The name is derived from the Greek word ‘anemos’ meaning ‘wind’. In Roman times Pliny wrote that the anemone flower was opened by the wind. The flowers of the taller types are carried on long, wiry stems and nod gracefully in a breeze.  Anemone flowers come in vibrant shades of red, pink, blue, purple, and white, and have a dark center, sometimes ringed with white. But a white Anemone flower usually has a yellow-green center.


October is also a prime month for lilies. While typically thought of as a spring flower, properly tended lilies have a second bloom season in the first blush of cool weather after the summertime heat. For a majority of the United States, this means that these classically beautiful flowers will be available to the October bride.


Though not typically seen in wedding arrangements, this fall season flower has one of the widest color ranges of any garden annual. Included in the wide color range are red, purple, blue, bronze, pink, black, yellow, white, lavender, orange, apricot and mahogany. the flowers may be of a single color or have two or three colors with a face. The plant itself is compact, not more than 9 inches in both height and spread, and bears many stems. the medium green, coarsely notched leaves are oval or heart-shaped. Pansies would make a beautiful and unique addition to your floral arrangements.


Also a garden flower, the snapdragon is known for its wispy jaw-like upper and lower petals. A single stem averages 10-15 of these unique blooms, which are grouped closely together giving the impression of a single lengthy flower. They come in a varietry of colors and would heighten any wedding bouquet, table centerpiece or flower arrangement.


These whimsical flowers come in an assortment of colors and sizes that would look fantastic at your fall wedding. From reds, oranges, and yellows to white, pinks, and blues, they are sure to match any color scheme.

Chinese Lantern Plant

OK, this plant is so cool. I think it would look amazing in an October/November centerpiece. This fruit-laden plant gets its name from the calyx, the balloon-like, papery, red covering over the fruit, which resembles a Chinese paper lantern. To use in arrangements, simple hang the plants upside down to dry the flowers and voila! They last for a long time, so they would be great home decorations or used for craft projects after your event!

So, to all of you October brides, take advantage of the beautiful flowers and plants in season this month. They’ll not only look beautiful, they’ll save you some major cash. sounds like a win-win to me!

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The hydrangeas are in season and apples are a fall favorite…put them together and you have a stunning autumn centerpiece that is not only easy on the eyes, but easy on the wallet! If your wedding is in late August or September, hydrangea costs will be at their all-time low (and odds are, you probably have some in your backyard already) and apples are going to run you what…$2.00 a lb? So cheap + cheap = fabulously cheap!!

I attended an event this week (not a wedding…wish it was. It was relatively boring) and they had these beautiful centerpieces adorning the tables.  I thought, how pretty! I must share this idea…so I snatched one (just kidding…they gave it to me) and here it is, to amaze and inspire you!


Colored pins are placed in the apples to dress them up. Go with rhinestones for some sparkle and glitz!

If you’re going for an apple theme (which I love), how cute are these apple escort cards with leaf-shaped tags and colored pins?

The change from summer to fall is bittersweet…but at least the air conditioning bill should start to come down…leaving you more money for your wedding budget, right? 😉

Happy planning!

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