When planning parties big or small, formal or casual, very often the décor or theme can make all the difference. An experienced caterer can throw a party in the starkest of venues – rec halls or church basements – and he or she can transform it by using colorful accessories and little unexpected touches. Color combinations can create a mood and set a tone, but perhaps the most important factor in turning an ordinary table into something special is the centerpiece, that all-important design element that can change the look and feel of a venue in an instant. Don’t underestimate the power of the centerpiece – words to live by.
Ranging from balloon-based centerpieces (for birthday parties and other celebrations where “fun” is a key ingredient) to candles and seasonal blossoms for a more elegant affair, centerpieces fill a space with the ambience you and your client are aiming for and contribute to the overall atmosphere and mood. However, remember always that when money is limited priorities come into play and while centerpieces can uplift a room, they are ultimately not the most essential ingredient of a memorable wedding. If money is scarce, it’s a shame to invest a lot in centerpiece. The welcome news is that while you may be understandably opposed to sticking a bunch of fake flowers into any old vase and calling it a day, there are many ways to upgrade a centerpiece so that it is budget friendly and still attention grabbing (in a good way).
Balloons Don’t Always Do the Trick
I’m a big fan of balloon centerpieces –they’re just so festive; but sometimes, like for a traditional wedding, they’re not that appropriate. At the other end of the spectrum, however, truly elegant centerpieces – imagine ceiling-scraping glass vases with calla lilies or heavy crystal holders with orchards – can be prohibitive, especially for a big gathering where there are dozens of naked tables waiting to be dressed. The good news is that creating wedding centerpieces on a budget is both doable and easy, and you will find that without compromising on class or elegance you can offer your client a memorable centerpiece – if not on a shoestring then at least for a reasonable sum.
Not everyone is a fan of sky-high centerpieces, which can interfere with cross-table conversations and are more impressive than practical. Think short and you open yourself up to many attractive and interesting options. Candles or flowers – or a combination of the two – are classic centerpieces, and the holders for either can be purchased for a song. I’m also a fan of repurposing; for instance, a two- or three-layered cookie tray (the kind with concentric circles) can be laden with cut flowers and/or tea-lights for a most unique and arresting centerpiece. I love the mini-towers that are created this way – not too tall as to overpower, yet with enough presence to make a statement. Another possibility is to float a few blossoms in a fish-bowl-type glass bowl, creating a dreamy yet elegant affect.
Out of the Box and Onto the Table
Once you start thinking out of the box, in terms of receptacles, the sky is the limit (even if that’s not the case with your customer’s finances). Nowhere is it written that all the containers have to be the same; eclecticism is very popular these days. If the flowers are colorful and eye-catching, you can put them in quirky flea-market vases or other containers that don’t need to be uniform in size or style, and the overall effect will be interesting, pretty, and unique. Sticking to seasonable blooms is another way to save money; no need to hunt down lilacs in January when colorful dahlias and delphiniums are just as lush and striking. The idea is not to invest heavily in time and money when it comes to centerpieces; creativity and imagination are the currency of choice, and you’ll find that with flexibility and ingenuity, your tables will speak for themselves.