Save On Your Centerpiece and Eat It Too!

You want beautiful centerpieces for your tables. You want a yummy cake for dessert. You need to save as much as possible to make this whole wedding thingy happen. What is a girl to do?

How about centerpiece cakes?wedding-cake-centerpieces{source}

Back in my previous life as a cake designer I would do some very elaborate centerpiece cakes that cost mucho dinero but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you do a standard size cake from a good bakery and either add simple decorating or fresh flowers or fruit you can save a bundle.Centerpice Wedding Cake{source}

Think about it, a nice little 8′ or 9″ cake will generously(compared to standard wedding size servings) serve the 6 t0 10 guests at each table. Depending on what you choose and where you buy them, you will pay from $10 to $30 each, add $5 to $10 worth of flowers or fruit. So, on the high side you are looking at $40 per table.

Let’s look at an average wedding of 120 people. Six people at a table=20 tables.

Floral centerpieces with traditional wedding cake:

20 centerpieces @ $65 each=$1300

Wedding cake for 120 @$4.50 per person=$540

Total spend=$1840

Centerpiece cakes with DIY decorating:

20 tables @$40 each=$800

Let’s see, that looks like a savings of $1040.

Maybe you use a hundred of that for a bigger cake for the head table and you are still saving a bundle.

You can do this.Centerpiec cake with gerber daisies{source}

Tips:

Look around for your cakes at traditional bakeries and upscale grocery stores or even Costco.

Use flowers or fruits that are in season. If you use fresh flowers put a doily on top of your cake to protect it from contaminants in the flowers.

Put it on a cake stand. Treat it with honor and make it LOOK like a centerpiece.

How To Save On Your Winter Wedding Décor

If you are planning a winter wedding, now is the time to be stocking up.Winter Wedding Cake If you are going to DIY your décor for your winter wedding stop thinking wedding and start thinking Christmas! Head to Home Depot or the local WalMart.

Beyond the obvious twinkle lights, look at all that yummy garland and those cheap wreaths. Green, you say? Not for long I say!  A few aisles over is white spray paint, grab that. On your way home hit the craft store for white or iridescent glitter. Paint lightly, sprinkle with glitter while wet and !Voila! snow covered evergreens. Now I bet you wished you had stocked up on the paint and glitter to work your magic on the naked branches you can just cut from your yard. Plop those in a heavy vase, add a few crystal and you have a centerpiece.winter wedding decor

While you are at the big box store, look for mulit-packs of ornaments in white and silver to tuck into the greens. Last year HD had sets of 50 assorted ornaments in white & silver for under $30. Two of those will go a long way.

Don’t forget the fake snow. Buy bunches!biosnow1year

Check the dollar store for plastic snowflakes; again buy bunches. They are something like 4 for $1 for the small ones. This one is from Home Depot and is 12″ across so it is a bit pricier, but hey, you could still get a couple to hang from the ceiling.snowflake

Don’t forget the candles. You are in luck, white is usually available in bulk.

While we are on the topic of saving serious money on your winter wedding décor, here is one you may never have thought of: baby’s breath.

Baby’s breath is unbelieveable cheap. That is why so many low price florists use it as filler. But here is the deal: used in over the top abundance, by itself it can be pretty cool. Think of it as clouds of snow! Check out these two pictures.babysbreath
winter wedding centerpiece using baby's breath

All you really need to round out your look are the odd pieces of clear glass and silver. Beg, borrow,rent or thrift shop those and you are on your way.

Winter weddings really are the easiest to DIY. I did the cake for one on new Year’s Day a few years back. The family worked with their church to get permission too use the Christmas decorations in the parish hall. The day before, they pulled every bit of red out of the room decor, took all the fresh evergreens outside and flocked them white, replaced all the red with ice blue and it was DROP DEAD gorgeous! It looked like a winter fairy land.

You can do this. Just think outside the wedding box.

Click thru images to view source.

Cool Lighting for Your Wedding Centerpieces

Lookie what I found! Are these not the coolest?

Branches with battery operated lights with silk blossoms to add lights to your flower arrangements.

 Organic Wedding Centerpiece with lighted branches

Lighted Branches for centerpiecesCenterpiece with lighted branches and butterflyI was at a networking meeting last night and ran across these. I have never seen them before and the ideas just started popping. The lights are attached to a battery pack and have a burn life of 36 hours. As you can see from this image they come in an amazing variety of colors.Lighted branches for flower arrangements in a variety of colors

Now usually I am not a fan of silk flowers, but these, wow! I can see how the addition of a one or two in a large arrangement would make quite a statement. What with the growing popularity of branches in wedding arrangements I think these would be a great choice. I also understand that you can break down the branches to make them small for low or smaller arrangements. What can I say, I am smitten. I wish I could show them too you in person.

Bella Aeris is a local Nashville company that is having them manufactured so I doubt you are going to find these everywhere. You can order from their website and they are available retail or wholesale to the trades. You can find them here. Be sure to check out their Flickr galleries. If you are in the Nashville area, they have a shop in the Mall at Greenhills.  I’m thinking field trip!

Wedding Centerpieces: Out of the Ordinary

Nowhere is it written that your centerpieces for your wedding reception have to be a floral arrangement. Your centerpieces should be unique to your personality and the unique style of both your wedding and your venue.

I love brides that aren’t afraid to think outside of the box. All of the centerpieces I have chosen for today could easily be a DIY project. Some may be a little easier than others and some are a little sensitive as to what season everything will be available.Out of the ordinary wedding centerpieces

1. Potted herbs in matching silver painted pots. The key here is the abundance and the matching pots. {source}
2. Zen inspired candle arrangement an bamboo tray, very minimalist {source}

3. Zen inspired arrangement on rented pewter tray with black river stones and a single gerber daisy. {authors image}
4. Simple glass vases with smooth river stones anchoring orchids, topped with floating candles.{source}
5. Candle scape with vegetables and flower accents. I love the hollowed out artichokes and the asparagus wrap on the candle. {source}
6.Daisies suspended in lemon jello. Yes, you read that right, jello. How cool is that? {source}

Feather Bouquets for Flower Friday

Feathers are a fun way to add punch to your wedding bouquet.

My favorite is the dark all feather one with the tassel. How perfect for a wedding with a vintage Victorian feel. The 2 white ones strike me as spot on for a snowy winter wedding. That pink orchid cascade bouquet is just completely off the hook. I guarantee that you won’t see these bouquets walking down the aisle at all your girlfriends’ weddings.

Feather Bouquet

Sources:
Top: Project Wedding, San Diego Wedding Insider, Flowerella
Center: Beautiful Bridal
Bottom: Elizabeth Anne Designs, Brides Buzzing, Hats N’ Stuff

DIY Centerpieces: Paper Lanterns

I was so inspired by this image that I went looking for the bits and bobs to put it together. The more I looked, the more inspired I got.
Easy DIY Centerpiece using paper lanterns(Source)
I love the idea of Chinese paper lanterns but you can’t always hang them at your location. Here they are used as the centerpiece.

multicolored paper lanterns for wedding centerpieceSince paper lanterns are available in a huge range of colors, sizes, shapes and patterns you could go almost anywhere with these.

Just a couple of notes here. Since they are paper, be careful with any candles you use. For the lanterns themselves, I suggest you use battery operated LED lights. You might even want to use the battery operated candles.

You also want to weight the lanterns with a few river rocks. Those puppies are pretty light and you don’t want you centerpieces to blow away.Tucking any leftover river rocks around the finished arrangement will add a Zen quality to your tablescape.
Blue paper lanterns
I was also thinking that adding an accent might be nice. You could tuck lily blooms or orchids in around the lanterns. Or maybe even thesedragonfly lights

I found just about everything you would need at Luna Bazaar. I have a set of the Dragonfly string lights; I picked them up at Target on clearance.

DIY Candle Centerpieces: What You Need to Know

As I ran through the stats for the Dish I see that some of the most popular posts have been on DYI Centerpieces and Candle Centerpieces. I thought it might be helpful to do a Need to Know column on candle centerpieces for all my crafty DIY brides.

•    Use masses of candles, not just one or two
•    Use heat resistant containers. If you are not sure, do a mock up and leave them burning for 4 – 5 hours. You don’t want them shattering from the heat at your wedding.
•    Use a charger or tray under your arrangement. If you aren’t using containers be sure to set something under your candles. Rental companies have a hissy fit (rightly so) when you return their linens with candle wax all over them. In fact, most will charge you to replace the linen or remove the wax.
•    Bring lots of helpers. All that glass gets heavy and is time consuming to set up, especially if you are filling them with water.
•    Add bright shiny accents. This is what is going to reflect the candle light and multiply the effect.
•    Remember not to throw away your packing. All that glass will have to be repacked at the end of the night and taken home.
•    Vary the heights and widths.
•    Stick to all one color and one accent color. The look comes from the flame and the shiny touches.
•    If you are going to surround them with rose petals or something similar, don’t underestimate how much you will need. You want a massed effect.
•    Be aware of the drafts in your room. You never know. If you think I am kidding, check out this post from a while back. In retrospect it was pretty funny.

Candles are a beautiful addition to a wedding. They add a warm ambiance and everyone look so much more fabulous in candlelight, don’t ya think?

Shabby Chic: Getting the Look for Your Wedding

I am seeing a resurgence of the shabby chic look for weddings and also a heck of a lot of stuff just being called shabby chic. If you really want that look for your wedding, you first have to understand what is and is not shabby chic.

To me, shabby chic is the look of a vintage English country manor.  A setting full of beautiful stately bits that have been collected over generations and washed by time and use to a lovely softness. There is a randomness that can’t be endlessly repeated on each table.
Unlike the sharp crisp lines we have been seeing in the contemporary looks, shabby chic has a soft, cozy wiltedness to it. There aren’t any sharp color contrasts, just lovely pastel blendings. The silver is old odds and ends with tarnish still lodged deep in the crevices. All the pieces are high quality but worn.

Shabby chic isn’t about a collection of brand new mason jars with daisies shoved in them. That’s country and a design style in its own right, but not shabby chic. Rather, think along the lines of random teapots, sugar bowls , water glasses and flea market vases to hold garden variety flowers for your centerpieces. For flowers think peonies, garden roses, ranunculus and Queen Anne’s lace with wisps of ivy trailing out. Think randomly.

Take a look at some of the images I gathered. See if you can see the thread I am trying to explain.

Here all the chandeliers are different, so are the containers for the flowers

These lovely vintage perfume bottles hold simple garden flowers, the blue plate behind them is a very soft shade of robins egg.

This bouquet is loose, casual and airy. Again the colors are muted.

Bridal Bouquet with pink and white peonies and garden roses

This sign is weathered and old looking but the the font is wonderfully ornate. It looks as if it could have hung outside a paris shop 100 years ago.