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Table arrangements: versatility in style and budget

Jennifer Morris

Erin Kelleher Photography

Erin Kelleher Photography

The arrangements that we place on your reception tables are clearly intended to delight your guests. They are also an important “tool” for you to use as you illustrate your personal wedding style, helping to elicit the “oohs” and “ahs” that will thrill you after all of your careful planning. As you work alongside your floral designer, you have an opportunity to ensure that your table arrangements enhance your style while supporting your flower budget. It is also important that your floral designer advise you on how to create impact without isolating your guests behind big arrangements. They certainly don’t want to feel alone while tucking in to your incredible menu selections.

How can you create impact and manage your budget?

Varied table styles

Lanterns with mounded flowers on one half of your tables

Lanterns with mounded flowers on one half of your tables


English garden low pedestal on the other half

English garden low pedestal on the other half

I often suggest that brides have two or three different table motifs. You will find this is a useful way to create drama, introduce new elements and control your costs.  As you can see in this combination of photos, we created two unique table designs. The first motif features hurricane lanterns surrounded by low mounds of flowers, while the alternate style uses an “English garden” arrangement in a low pedestal vase. By surrounding the pedestal  with votive candles we offer candlelight on all of your tables in a form accepted by most reception sites. Your guests will take delight in the change in scenery as they move amongst your tables. A taller pedestal arrangement is an excellent third table style. A tall arrangement creates an expanded tableau as your guest now gazes upon flowers above and below eye level.

(You may recall my suggestion about using hanging chandeliers, raising the flowers overhead for even more drama. Click below to read more.)

There are other great ways to accomplish varied table styles. Thin glass bottles of different shape and sizes featuring a few single stems are a natural complement to taller arrangements. If you are working with farm and round tables, we can create two different styles that fit the shape of each table using the flowers as unifying elements. A low box on the rounds with tight arrangements and dreamy garlands spraying across the longer narrow tables is pretty and affordable. These types of arrangements have the added benefit of an unobstructed sight line throughout the room.

Raised centerpieces

Here’s what I love about tall, thin pedestal or riser arrangements (think 32” just to the bottom of the flowers): your guests can enjoy each other’s company without straining to see each other around the gorgeous arrangement in the center of the table. It’s a party, isn’t it. You and your groom will be so pleased when you glance across the room and see your friends and family smiling and laughing, sharing their favorite stories and making new friends. Glass is very elegant and is really best at protecting the sight line.

Tall arrangements tend to be big arrangements. We actually create them in foam on a flat dish and then place them inside the opening of the vase. The foam allows us to add height, width and trailing greenery providing you another opportunity to express your style. These arrangements will likely be the most expensive that you choose, however, they can be used as part of your ceremony and moved from a wine barrel or an urn, to a glass or metallic vase on a table.

Let’s say you use elevated arrangements on half of your tables. We can surround your shorter arrangements (again carrying theme flowers throughout) with a collection of taller glass votive (shown above) that add a third dimension to the tables while protecting the community you have so carefully orchestrated as you poured over table assignments. Our tall, thin glass votive are available in several shapes. They are filled with water so that a candle floats just below the lip of the glass. With water and glass, you get sparkle. Action, cue the light, we’ve got drama.

A pitch for natural


Sometimes, if the style you have selected is right, greenery can make magic happen. The photo here shows one of our favorite “natural” wedding tables. It’s woodsy and whimsical, understated, but elegant. Similarly, garland with flowers can create nature’s own table runner. Petals are another way to manage your budget and introduce accent colors.

Bridesmaids bouquets add impact

We provide the appropriate size vase for each of your bridesmaids and fill them with a bit of water. When you and your wedding party are introduced, your bridesmaids pop their bouquets into water creating an elegant table scape. Your bouquet and your bridesmaid’s bouquets will be hand-tied, the flowers and ribbon strategically placed so that they are pretty from every angle. They are “instant” centerpieces.

Make a personal statement

Sea-foam green glass for candles

Sea-foam green glass for candles

Boxes, vases, jars, teapots, jugs… anything that strikes your fancy can be incorporated in to your centerpieces. Floral designers have a vast inventory of the most popular vessels. We are working with a bride now who is combing antique stores looking for unique porcelains for her flowers. She will begin her new married life with these heirloom pieces and create a look that is very personal.

For more ideas, please view our wedding portfolio page by clicking the link below.