DIY Bride #13: Center Pieces

Last time, we talked about covering the walls of your venue to create a space that meshes with your theme and colors. Though the wall coverings can transform a room, it’s the details that keep the interest of the guests. Something you want to keep in mind from the beginning is: You want to keep your guests engaged but not overwhelmed. You want the atmosphere to be less “chaos” and more “full of love.” Too much can be just that: too much. You don’t have to be Six Flags to achieve a brilliant reception or ceremony; you don’t have to be boring either. You do have to be well prepared and a little stuck up.

There is one thing that everyone gets a good look at the entire reception: The center pieces. The one for the dinner tables are looked at for the duration of your wedding. They are the prize some guests get to take home. They need to be perfect from every angle. There are a few things to take into consideration.



I don’t know what it is about center pieces but the first thing newly engaged couples look at (after the gown of course) is the center piece. You may not have the theme or venue but those center pieces are at the top of the list. Help me in stopping this behavior. Center pieces need to be considered and planned thoroughly in order to be pulled off to perfection. Here are couple things to consider when you’re deciding on your center pieces as a DIY Bride.

  • Height


If you’re having 60” round tables for your reception, a tall centerpiece isn’t going to help you much. It divides the table and restricts conversation. For an adult table (meaning one that doesn’t have any kids sitting at it, not one that only has NSFW content), you want to stay under 12” in height. If you are thinking about doing something way tall (maybe like a parasol or mini-tree), higher than 24” for the widest part of the piece, keeping the area 12-24” high as thin, transparent, or sparse as possible.


Another option that people have been doing is instead of the center piece being on the table, is it hangs down from the ceiling. In this case, you really don’t want it lower than 24” above the table. If it’s hanging down over areas that people have to walk though, don’t let it hang lower than 6’6” from the floor. You want to make sure people are going to be able to walk under piece without issue.

  • Width


Here is another point that really depends on what tables you are having. If you decided on the 60” round, then you can make it about 12-18” wide, leaving plenty of room for eating, assuming you’re not having family-style service.


If you chose rectangle tables, you’re going to want to keep it about 6” wide but you can go the length of the table. That’s one of the reasons people like to use the garland style; it uses up the space well and attractively, without taking away too much space from the eating area. However, plan very well if you’re service is going to be family-style.

  • Lighting

Doesn’t everyone love those simple DIY candle holders?! You’ve seen them, where it’s a flipped over wine glass, and the candle sits on top while there’s a flower underneath?


I love that kind of delicate simplicity. Most people don’t realize that there are a LOT of venues that don’t allow open flames of any kind. And though it’s easy to run to the dollar store and pick up packs of the flame-less candles, be picky about those too. They can look like you got them at the dollar store and that’s not what anyone wants. I don’t care if I pay a nickel for my decor, as long as it looks expensive. Just think about what your plan is for the flameless candle before you purchase. If you’re going to see the whole light, then spend a little more so it looks more convincing. If you’re putting them under something just to give off a little shine or impression, then it really doesn’t matter.


Also, if you’re having your reception in the morning, during the day, or in a well-lit room, you may want to consider that you don’t need extra light on the tables at all. It may actually take away from the center piece itself if you’re not careful. If the reception venue is indoors/ evening outdoors, and/ or dimly lit, then no matter what time it is, (faux) candles would be lovely.

  • Composition


Yes, I am that person. Composition is important because you’re going to be using these center pieces that are going to be seen from all sides. You don’t want to have a ‘backside’ of the piece like I do with my Christmas tree that faces the wall. All sides will be seen, so it’s important that it’s produced with a full 360° in mind.



The MOST IMPORTANT thing to remember when creating all your décor is HARMONY. What you don’t want is people saying how great the center pieces looked but neglect the cake table. Instead, you want them to say how beautiful the reception turned out. When you see someone who is completely beautiful, you don’t say, “Wow! That’s one hell of a nose you have!” Because it’s not about the separate pieces that makes someone or something beautiful; it’s how it all flows together. A rainbow is beautiful not just because it has the color blue, but because of how all the colors come together. The only way to truly create that harmony is by creating coordinating pieces of the same puzzle. It’s when everything comes together that the true majesty of the coordination shines through.


Thank you so much for joining us for another: DIY Bride! Next time, we are going to talk about color. I know what you’re thinking, “Laura, I’ve already picked my colors for my wedding.” OMG YES! That’s one of the very first things that’s decided! When thinking about your decor details, you need to coordinate tertiary colors with your main focus colors, because not everything can be Burgundy or gold… like leaves… or grass… or carpet… Don’t worry though, I will help walk you though it.

*This post was originally published 09/16/17*

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