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.

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}

Putting Together a Shabby Chic Table

I had a great time today. Friend of the Dish, Vicki Sanders of Branching Out Event Florists and I had lunch and a tour with Kristen Fridrich and Mark Ermshar at Classic Party Rentals. Well you know that there is nowhere I like better to find inspiration than a really top notch rental resource. Classic didn’t disappoint.
As we toured the show room I was telling Kristen that shabby chic is a rising trend. Well sure enough, you get that many creative minds together and magic happens. Before you know it we had pulled together a shabby chic place setting and centerpiece out of seemingly thin air.Shabby Chic Table

Let me dissects it for you.

china for shabby chic look

First this beautifully patterned china caught my eye; on the same rack we found the white china with the embossed vines and the scalloped edge. So we mixed and matched. Kristen pointed out the cut glass wine glasses saying it looked like something her grandmother would use. Bingo. We added the blue water goblet for a pop of color. The gold flatware was chosen to pick up the gold rim on the china. Next I ran around the showroom grabbing random bits of silver and hobnail glass and Vicki headed for her car for some flowers left over from Saturday’s wedding. Before you knew it, we had a shabby chic look using all rented objects.
Now wasn’t that easy?

I’ll have more fun tidbits from today to come.

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?

Escort Card Alternatives

Sometimes I get tired of seeing the same old set-up for escort cards: lovely cards surrounding elaborate floral centerpiece. Why not do something a little different with either the display or the ‘card’ itself.

The first three are cards but displayed in an interesting way.

The next three are unique items used as escort cards and the last three are full on favors. I just think that idea is wicked cool.

All of them are very DIYable. OK, so maybe not that last one is a little trickier than the rest. I promise you it is doable, I did about 100 for a bride once. They were time consuming and tedious, but doable none the less.

Fruit Centerpieces for Flower Friday

I love the way fruit adds to centerpieces. In the fall it gives a feeling of bountiful harvests and in spring a touch of joyous exuberance.
A couple of these are pretty elaborate, and some are simple enough to do it yourself.
Fruit and Candle Centerpiece

Fruit and Candle Centerpiece

Autumn Centerpiece with FruitI

Autumn Centerpiece with Fruit

Spring Centerpiece with Asparagus and Artichokes
Centerpiece with KumQuats and Dahlias

Centerpiece with KumQuats and Dahlias

In all honesty, not much is easier than a footed bowl filled with a variety of seasonal fruit with a few blooms and a couple of leaves tucked in to hide any hole. Sometimes nature at its simplest is all you need.

Doing Your Own Wedding Flowers

Yes you can do your own wedding flowers. Really. That is assuming you are a bit creative, a bit calm and have some helping hands around.

Orange, yellow and red. Gerber daisies, gladiolas and queen anne's lace

Orange, yellow and red. Gerber daisies, gladiolas and queen anne

I am seeing more and more local florists offer crash courses on the “How To” of doing your own wedding flowers. I’m not saying they will teach you enough to be a florist, but they will show you the skills to put together simple bouquets and centerpieces.

The classes are not too terribly expensive if you look at it in light of what you will save on your wedding floral budget. As an added bonus you do get to spent a few hours in the company of other creative brides surrounded by lovely flowers. That can’t be a bad thing.

There are also books available and videos on YouTube and UBloom if you can’t find a class near you. Nothing however can compete with the hands on training you will get from a seasoned floral professional. Add to that, you have the opportunity to build a relationship with the florist. This will help out a lot when it comes time to tackle your own wedding.

Why? Well because many of them will also sell you the flowers. Will they be as low cost as the local price club or the internet? No, but, they have access to flowers you will never find at Costco and they will be there to make sure you receive fresh flowers in good shape for you big day. That in itself is well worth the small price difference.

If you think this is a DIY you would like to tackle, graze through the websites of your local floral designers or call the local floral wholesaler to see if they know who is teaching in your area.