Event Decor

Event Planning Tips, Wedding Planning Tips

The Do’s and Don’ts of Centerpieces

Have an upcoming event to plan? Don’t forget about the event decor! And if your event includes a reception you’ll want to make room in the budget for centerpieces.

When it comes to receptions, great food and engaging entertainment will be a top priority for your client. However, an event decorator knows the value of finishing touches for the overall ambiance of the event. Just consider all the ways a well-designed centerpiece can contribute to your event space:

Although you’ll be coordinating all elements of event decor (linens, place cards, hanging decorations, etc.) the centerpieces will be the primary focus for guests. Why not make them showstoppers? Let’s go over some of the do’s and don’ts to help you design the best centerpieces for your next event!

DO: Mix Tall and Low Centerpieces

There’s nothing worse than walking into a reception space that feels empty or under-decorated. Mixing short and tall centerpieces will help make a space feel vibrant and full.

For tall centerpieces, the added height helps to fill up a room. Just be careful to use them appropriately—you don’t want to block the line of sight for guests. You can put tall centerpieces on tables with less traffic (ie. gift tables, buffet tables) or make sure guests can see through the bottom of the vase. Conversely, short centerpieces are great for accommodating conversation amongst the guests. You’ll just want to make sure the centerpieces are low enough that seated guests can see over the top. As a general guideline, you’ll want to keep your talls 24” or higher and your shorts 12” or under.

Wedding centerpieces—Tall and Short Centerpieces ideas for event decor

Some clients are hesitant about using tall centerpieces. If your client decides to nix the talls you will need to adjust your decor accordingly to ensure the space doesn’t feel lackluster. One way to do this would be by using hanging decor. Think chandeliers, draped linens or maybe even twinkle lights!

DON’T: Forget About the Shape of the Table

When designing centerpieces you need to consider the shape of the tables at the venue. The most common shapes you’ll come across are round, square and rectangular. Each shape will have its own considerations:

Rectangle Party Table Centerpiece ideas

DO: Save Money by Using Seasonal Flowers

Using local, seasonal flowers in your centerpieces is easy on the budget and gives you the freshest blooms! To keep your event decor fresh and fabulous you’ll need to be familiar with the seasons:

An alternative to seasonal blooms would be to select flowers that are widely available year-round like carnations, baby’s breath, orchids or lilies. The prices don’t fluctuate seasonally so you won’t be saving money but you’ll be able to find these flowers all year!

DON’T: Limit Your Creativity!

When it comes to centerpieces, the only limit is your own creativity as the event decorator. There are endless possibilities for customization so why restrict yourself to standard fare?

Creative Party Centerpiece ideas—DIY centerpieces ideas

DO: Plan a Second Home for Your Centerpieces

After spending time and money on your centerpieces you’ll want to ensure they get a second life after the event! One option would be to donate them to a hospital or nursing home. To avoid confusion (ie. guests walking out with the centerpieces you plan to donate) make an announcement at some point during the event.

Another option would be to have the guests take home the centerpieces at the end of the night. You’ll definitely want to plan this out because there will not be enough centerpieces for each guest, couple or family. Some fun ways of organizing this include:

  1. Draws: Have each interested guest put their name in the draw and announce the winners.
  2. Penny Under the Plate: Hide a penny (or some other token) under a plate at each table. At some point during the evening, have the host or DJ ask guests to lift their plates to find out who won the centerpiece.
  3. Pass the Object: Pass an object (ie. spoon) around the table hot-potato style while the music plays. Whoever holds the object when the music stops wins the centerpiece.
  4. Reward Quick RSVP’ers: Keep track of the guests that RSVP first and identify them by putting a sticker (like a gold star) on their place card. You can then announce that those with gold stars were the first to RSVP at their table and have won the centerpiece.

These are just a few helpful dos and don’ts to keep in mind when planning centerpieces for your next event. Designing centerpieces for any event takes careful planning and creative flair but they are the star of the reception hall so prioritize your efforts accordingly!

Do you have your own list of do’s and don’ts from personal experience? Please share them with our readers in the comments below!

3 responses to “The Do’s and Don’ts of Centerpieces”

  1. Lauren Woodley says:

    I am throwing a dinner party in a couple of months, and I have been trying to figure out what I am going to do for the table centerpieces. That being said, I loved the first tip you give to mix tall and low centerpieces to create a vibrant and full aesthetic to the table. Additionally, I think that this is a great way to, as you suggest, let your creativity flow because you are able to mix and match many different heights and styles. Overall, this makes your tables more unique and interesting. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Ebony Jefffers says:

    Yes this article was very helpful in getting my thoughts in order concerning my centerpieces. Great leading advice

  3. I created centerpieces for a County Gala a couple months ago. The way the winners of the centerpieces was determined was by placing stickers beneath a chair at each table before the event started! At the end of the event, the guests were asked to check their chairs. The winners were pleasantly surprised!

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