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Erin
Expert May 2016

DIY Centerpieces? Please share PICS!

Erin, on September 26, 2015 at 1:36 PM Posted in Do It Yourself 0 30
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My mom and I have finally chosen a florist that is our favorite out of 5 we've met with. We are having a wedding of about 300-350 guests and all of the floral arrangements (centerpieces, bouquets, etc) total to about $3700... I have heard that is about the average price for flowers with a wedding our size.

I have been strongly considering doing my own centerpieces though, which, are the bulk of the total floral cost. I am not creative at all but I have two aunts who are and I know they would be there to help put them together. I'm wondering if in trying to save money by buying the flowers in bulk and doing the centerpieces myself is more a waste of time than anything. Our flower colors are blush and ivory... peonies and ivory flowers. And I absolutely love candles so there will be candles as well that we have already decided to purchase on our own.

What did you ladies decide to do? Are you having DIY centerpieces? Would it really save that much money doing them myself?

30 Comments

  • Shamaybecakes
    Super October 2015
    Shamaybecakes ·
    • Flag

    It may save money- but it would add a lot more stress! I made my own centerpieces and made my own flowers also- out of coffee filters (coffee themed wedding) it was a LOT of work! But I love the personal touch it adds- plus my flowers won't ever die! Smiley smile


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  • Shamaybecakes
    Super October 2015
    Shamaybecakes ·
    • Flag

    And the other type of flower that my grandma helped make.


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  • Rachel DellaPorte
    July 2020
    Rachel DellaPorte ·
    • Flag

    I am a professional florist. When my daughter got married (back in 2008), I said, "Let me do your flowers!" To this day, I hate myself for having made that offer. Did people ooh and ahh over the beautiful centerpieces, bouquets, and abundance of flowers everywhere? Yes, they did. Did I have an opportunity to shower before her wedding? The night before I grabbed a shower and showed up late to the RD and returned to a mess of flowers that still needed to be constructed -- but, no, I didn't have three minutes to jump into the shower on the day of her wedding.

    Did I have time to sit and relax as the hair stylists made me look beautiful -- a team I paid to style the heads of ten women? No, I didn't. In fact, I ran out out of time. I told them to just leave the curling iron and the hair spray and I would deal with my hair myself. Luckily, I did have time to enjoy the services of the MUA -- another pro I paid for -- and aside from tweaking my eye makeup and changing my lip color, I was happy with what she did.

    Guess where my mind was focused? It was focused on flowers. I was down at the church setting up flowers, and then I was rushing to the venue to set up more flowers, and more flowers, and more flowers. Everyone said that as the MOB, I looked beautiful. Did I feel beautiful? No, I felt like an overworked vendor sweating in a $2K gown.

    You received an excellent quote for 37 to 43 tables (the normal table seats 8 guests). I don't even know what you've ordered, but even the most modest pieces would cost you at least what you're being charged. Please, don't try this yourself, and don't ask your aunts to do it. It's more than making one pretty centerpiece. It's duplicating that centerpeice 40 times over. Then, there's the transportation of those centerpieces. I can't impress upon you strongly enough that this is a bad idea.

    Just pay the $3700 and let everyone else be a guest. Vendors are vendors. They do what they do seamlessly because they are professionals. Guests are guests. If you want your aunts to be praised for their floral abilities, let one make your bouquet and let the other make you MOH bouquet. Please, don't put a professional order in the hands of your guests. You'll hear from brides who say it worked beautifully. But, for a wedding with 300 - 350 guests -- no. That's a challenge for a pro.

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  • JamieLynn
    Master June 2016
    JamieLynn ·
    • Flag

    Wow, Shamaybecakes - your flowers are beautiful! I'm afraid if I tried to make them, they would look like my 5 year old niece had craft time. Smiley sad

    How long does it take on average for one flower? They look so pretty, and time consuming.

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  • JamieLynn
    Master June 2016
    JamieLynn ·
    • Flag

    Centerpiece - Awwww, the story about your daughters wedding breaks my heart Smiley sad I'm sorry you were stressed, working like a mad woman and didn't get to fully enjoy the day.

    Not that this helps you get any of that time or those moments back, but I can only imagine how gorgeous your daughter's day was because of your hard work. And I'm sure she appreciates it more than you know. Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • Rose
    Expert September 2015
    Rose ·
    • Flag

    I DIY'd my flowers for my wedding yesterday (eek!) and it turned out beautifully. However, I went waaaay simple (blooms and grasses in assorted mason jars/bud vases) and only had 9 guest tables, a gift and cake table, and an escort holder to decorate. If I had more than 100 guests or 10 tables, I would have left it up to a pro. I'll be posting pictures in my BAM early next week -- stay tuned for examples Smiley smile

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  • Rachel DellaPorte
    July 2020
    Rachel DellaPorte ·
    • Flag

    Oh, thanks Jamie Lynn. It sucked so bad. It was just the icing on a shitty cake. I'd chosen a gorgeous Jovani gown -- the cost of which was probably more than the wardrobe in my closet, but damn, did I love that dress. It was the type of beautiful gown you might get to wear once or twice in a lifetime (unless I become a widow and marry again, it would be once. My son wants a really low key wedding, and that type of gown would look ridiculous at the wedding he and his FW want). The lady at the bridal salon lied to me. She told me that she could get the gown in time for the wedding. I'm embarrassed to admit this, but there were days when I would sit at the computer, play Pachebel's Canon in D Minor (the processional) and envision myself walking down the aisle in this perfect gown that wasn't to be. The bridal salon owner called me on Wednesday -- three days before the wedding -- and told me that despite my sizable down payment, the gown wasn't coming in -- but she had three other gowns she wanted me try on. I called Jovani myself, and they told me that if my daughter was getting the next weekend, they could get me the gown, but because it wasn't being released until the week after her wedding, there was no chance of getting it. Then the Jovani rep told me that she checked the records and had proof that the salon owner knew that delivery of the gown on the requested date was impossible. I know it sounds silly. I'm just the MOB, not the bride, but suddenly, my whole imaginary vision was smashed. I called an upscale salon in a neighboring county, told them my tale of woe, and they made an immediate appointment for me. They found a black beaded gown with a jacket (ho-hum) -- not what I wanted, but I was so thankful that they did the alterations in 24 hours.

    The flowers just added to the stress. Yes, they were lovely, but if there is anything I'd like to impress upon brides, it's this -- your wedding day is uniquely your day. However, there are other family members -- mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, siblings -- and those people are emotionally invested in that day. They've pictured it. They need to feel like VIPs, not vendors. Don't let them behind the scenes -- it's not where they belong. Please ladies, draw the lines and don't cross them. It makes all the difference in the world.

    Lecture over.

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  • Erin
    Expert May 2016
    Erin ·
    • Flag

    WOW!! First of all, it looks like there are some incredibly talented ladies here on WW! Those centerpieces all look lovely!

    After Centerpiece Flower's horror story though, I'm pretty sure I won't be doing my centerpieces myself... that sounds like a big task and honestly, the last thing I want to stress about are flowers.

    • Reply
  • Rebecca
    Master November 2015
    Rebecca ·
    • Flag

    I'm doing centerpieces myself, kind of like shamaybecakes. I haven't finished it yet, so no pictures, but I'm using mercury glass vases and lots of votives. I'm using a mixture of silk flowers and paper flowers for the centerpieces. The vases and votives are all being spray painted myself with a DIY mercury glass tutorial. I'm really hopeful it turns out okay - spending money on fresh flowers for every table just isn't worth it to me personally, and I didn't want to try to DIY flower arrangements that I couldn't do significantly ahead of time.

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  • foreverafter7
    Devoted November 2015
    foreverafter7 ·
    • Flag

    I think a lot depends on your venue, your location, how you can store them and deliver them. If its something you can do and set up ahead of time or keep cool. Or go with lanterns or baby's breath, something you can do a few days prior. Think of time. You don't want to be stressed. My fh actually talked me out of doing ours for those reasons and I'm glad. It will cost a little more but we're going with something simple to save some $ and we get to spend a little more time enjoying our friends and family. You can't get a redo.

    • Reply
  • Samantha
    VIP August 2015
    Samantha ·
    • Flag

    The menu had the table number on the other side




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  • Samantha
    VIP August 2015
    Samantha ·
    • Flag

    With long tables I wanted to make sure the decorations wen the length of the tables



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  • M
    Master July 2015
    m ·
    • Flag

    That's cheap as shit for a wedding that size. Dirt cheap.

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  • Rachel DellaPorte
    July 2020
    Rachel DellaPorte ·
    • Flag

    There are a few ladies on WW who have natural talent. Valarie happens to be one of them (and so is Mrs AtoB). I would walk into either of their weddings and believe they had a pro who had done their centerpieces and decor. There are probably others (I know there was a girl who made beautiful centerpieces a while back using silks, and I think she started her own business after her wedding), but for the most part, the DIY pieces look like DIY pieces (quaint and cute, but not professional. Don't throw things at me, it's the opinion of a pro and I refuse to lie). I know what's on the table isn't super important to everyone, so it is what it is.

    In any event, I'll say it again. If you aren't a professional and you're facing creating and displaying decor for a large wedding, save yourself the nightmare and pay someone to do it (even if you create it and they set it up for you). Honestly, you won't regret passing off such a big task and paying for it...and that comes from a pro who tried to do it in her own private life (and kind of failed).

    • Reply
  • Tara
    Devoted November 2015
    Tara ·
    • Flag

    This is the pre-stained version of ours. We decided to skip the flowers on the centerpieces itself. I have ordered wood flowers from Etsy that I will spread across the table or lean in the corners of the pillars to keep the wood element but add a softer feel.


    • Reply
  • Caitlin
    Expert September 2015
    Caitlin ·
    • Flag

    I went very cliche and did DIY mason jars and wood slabs..but they came out great when the candles were lite and the venue was dim.



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  • Angel_D
    Master October 2015
    Angel_D ·
    • Flag

    I went with the DYI option, my best friends mom is helping me with that, i was originally going to order bulk flowers, but ended up going with silk that she already owned. here is what one of the looks like.


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  • Anna
    VIP October 2015
    Anna ·
    • Flag

    Here's what ours are. The frame now has glitter on it so it looks better, and the table numbers won't look quite like that, but you get the basic idea =) My mom has taken charge of these and they are ready to go - the aunts/cousins just need to put them on the tables (this is a thing in my family...I'm not making them do it).


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  • JenniferandRick
    VIP August 2015
    JenniferandRick ·
    • Flag

    Here's mine.

    I made the crepe paper roses. There was some bleaching and stamping ink used to add some depth and create a different look for each flower. I purchased the vases at the dollar store, and added the burlap lace and brooches. The flowers were very time consuming. I made 45 of them.

    The pictures don't do them justice. Once they were placed on the tables, they were stunning. I don't have any good pics of them at the venue yet. Waiting on pro photos.




    • Reply
  • JenniferandRick
    VIP August 2015
    JenniferandRick ·
    • Flag

    @Shamaybecakes- Those are gorgeous! Nice job

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