Wednesday, 31 July 2013

DIY Floral Centerpieces and Head table decorations

DIY Floral Table Centerpieces

To bring some more colour and life to the reception and dining area we made our own floral centerpieces.
After discussing options with our florist (Nikki) from Maggies Flowers, we settled on this design. Something simple but effective, and which Tammy and myself could arrange the day before the wedding.

© Ross Herbert Photography

What you will need (per table):
1x Bullet shaped glass vase (clean)
100-150x loose pearls
Fishing line
1x Square Mirror or Mirror Tile
4 Tea light candles and holders
500g white decorative stones
3-4 sprays of Lisianthus flowers (buds and leaves attached)
Organza Table runner
Clean water

I purchased 9 vases second-hand online for a fraction of the price they originally would have been retail. They had been used at a wedding previously and were still in very good condition. After using some glass cleaner they came out as-good-as-new. Another bonus was, I was able to re-sell after the wedding at practically the same price. However be sure to measure the vase opening with this style; we were lucky that one of us (I'm not saying who) has very petite, feminine hands and didn't have any issues arranging the flowers ("Man-hands" be warned). Also be aware of the height of your vases, will they be in the way of your guests cross-table conversations? Will they end up getting moved out of the way? These vases were a nice height for the seating but still held a presence.

Pearls were part of the theme to our day, so why not include them in the centerpieces. I purchased 1000x loose ivory pearl beads (12mm) online. They were quite inexpensive and were easily threaded. Originally I had intended to use them submerged in water, alas, most of them would end up floating, so we decided to thread them onto invisible fishing line, to create some texture and dimenstion around the outside of the vase.

Indoor-outdoor flow? Invase-outvase flow? Yeah, we'll call it that....

This was the most time consuming part of the process (and it didn't really take that long). We measured, re-measured and then mass produced. Though, we had 100+ pearls dance their way across the table and onto the floor, multiple times... and always just as we were just about to tie to final knot....

I looked for deals on mirrors and was able to grab a few for very cheap online. The rest I purchased from a Home department store as bathroom tiles. Bonus - you could use them in your home/bathroom after the wedding. Again, because they are a popular wedding accessory, I was able to re-sell them for close to what I purchased them.
I think adding the mirrors was a nice touch, and can understand why so many centerpieces include them. A number of the guests commented how the tea light candles reflected and danced on the ceiling above. Magic.

The reception venue supplied the Tea light candles and candle holders (included in the venue hire cost) I am a self-proclaimed pyro. Give me a candle on a dinner table, and ill play with it. This has the potential to cause wax spills or burns (not ideal) so all candles were clustered in the center of the table, just out of easy reach.

To anchor the flower stems we used white decorative stones, which were inexpensive and purchased here.
After giving the stones a good wash to reduce any cloudiness or floaties in the water, they worked perfectly. Other options were coloured stones, water beads or pearls; but this completed the look for me.
© Ross Herbert Photography
The flowers we chose were the same as were found in the bouquets. The Lisianthus flowers had a beautiful colour and scent, and were hardy enough to be arranged the afternoon before. A few white Lisianthus' were used in contrast to the deep purples. The unopened flower buds and upper leaves were left attached to make the arrangement more dense and interesting. The water level in the vase was just above the stones, as some flowers can turn slimy and discolour if submerged completely for too long. Our flowers were still looking beautiful the day after the wedding, but it seemed the shorter the stems the shorter their lifespan. 

The main pop of colour to the tables were from our purple chair sashes and table runners. Fortunately our chair sashes doubled as runners as they were the perfect length for our square tables. We also had polka dot purple paper napkins, folded into the cloth napkins, crowned with an easy but delicious "ferrero rocher" chocolate on top. 
Including these small details really changed the feel of the room, from a corporate function room, to a wedding reception.

© Ross Herbert Photography

We made great savings on the price of labour by arranging these pieces ourselves, and also enjoyed the process itself. I am pleased that I purchased most of these items second hand, as it has now cost us much less than renting.

Personalized head table embellishment

I had the custom Mr & Mrs Wharton ornament made by this seller on TradeMe.
© Ross Herbert Photography
It arrived unpainted on MDF so it could be customized to anyone's wedding colours. We went with classic white after experimenting with other shades of purple and gradients of sanding.
This is also where the rest of the loose pearls found a home, I found it softened the writing and tied it together with the table centerpieces. The ivy leaves were collected from a friends garden that morning.
If you find the leaves make the name hard to read, try just placing them behind the writing. It will make it more polished, I however liked the natural effect it gave.

"Mr & Mrs Wharton" now proudly sits on the main windowpane in our living room , a constant reminder of our special day and a greeting to all that pass by.

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