When one usually thinks about wedding centerpieces, she thinks flowers, height, and color. However what many non-brides don't know is that flowers can get extremely expensive. Especially if you're looking for the multi-tier, multi-dimensional look, the extra foliage and flowers can add up quickly in cost. Not to say they're not worth the money and that centerpiece flowers are extremely gorgeous, it's just not in every wedding's budget.
However, smaller budget does not have to mean your centerpieces need to be any less beautiful.
Here are some pictures from real weddings...
Adding color to your table:
I found this cylinder example in a Martha Stewart Living magazine. She has some great decor ideas in her everyday magazines that can be applied to weddings. So don't short change yourself and only get wedding mags! By broadening your scope, you can find so many more options!
Each piece consists of two cylinders. A smaller cylinder with pillar candle is placed inside a wider cylinder (attached with some floral glue, plus the weight of the pillar candle will keep it down). The space between the two cylinders is filled with water and food coloring of your choice. This is a great and economical way of incorporating your wedding colors. And don't be afraid to use more than one color. You can create a various range of colors by mixing colors (think kindergarten art class!) and you can use different shades to add that extra spice to your color theme. I'm sure at around dusk, the candle light will create a nice colored glow. Now that just sounds beautiful...
Adding romance to your table:
Mrs. Lemon from Weddingbee created a beautiful glowing table using many cylinders of varying sizes and height and votive candles. The simple, yet elegant look achieved such a glamorous look that was topped off by gorgeous look petals. This table decor idea is easy to replicate and you can also incorporate your color theme by using colored candles and different types of flowers.
Adding flowers to your table:
All devoted MS Weddings readers will recognize this picture. MS Weddings was one of the first to introduce the idea of completely submerging your flowers (or branches) in water! It gave a completely modern chic look that many brides are now looking towards to stray from the traditional floral centerpieces. I believe not every flower type can survive and stay beautiful in water, but it's an idea DIY project that you can play with before the wedding to find the perfect fit. Orchids are a popular choice due to it's durability and it's expansion of its petals. It really fills out the cylinder and just makes it all come together like an art piece.
Alica, the owner of Il Fiore Bianco, the staff florist at Cescaphe create a very similar piece for one of the recent brides.
The lantern look for your table:
Now, called me biased, but I love the cover cylinder look with candles. I first saw it in MS Weddings where it was covered with a thin layer of tissue paper, but it seemed too flimzy and easy to rip. By the time the centerpieces were placed on the table, the paper would ripped off. Then I saw Mrs. Ladybug's cylinder idea (another great Weddingbee blogger).
The cylinders were wrapped with decorative paper, then tied with a coordinating ribbon (from her green and brown color scheme) and a candle was place inside to create a lantern effect. So, as a DIY-er bride, I did the same for my tented outdoor reception:
Three cylinders were placed in the center of the table according to height doing in the clockwise direction (tall, medium, small) and in the opposite direction in between the cylinders, we placed the larger vase of full hydrangea, a votive with half a hydrangea bloom, and the other half of the hydrangea placed on the table. It was a design concept that my fashion designer sister and my husband-with-a good-eye created together. On the guestbook table, the extra cylinders were placed for more decoration (and candlelight), and the extra votives were filled with leftover glass vase gems. Unfortunately, the sun stayed up for the majority of the reception, so we only enjoyed the glowing light of the centerpieces for the last hour of the party. (photos courtesy of Chris Bickford)
Something different for your cylinders:
Not all cylinders require objects to be placed inside, such as candles and flowers. I found this great photo from a wedding from a Dallas catering company, Catered For You.
The roses were placed on TOP of the cylinder with hanging jewels. I particularly loved this piece because it reminded me of an old Victorian chandelier I saw in an old Philadelphia home.
Cylinders can be found anywhere from IKEA, to CB2, Pottery Barn, and your local craft store. After doing some research for my wedding, I chose Save On Crafts for their wholesale prices and reliability in shipping. My orders were always shipped in a very timely order and from my many purchases, I have never found a single broken item.
I hope this entry has inspired you to think more about glass cylinders and the endless options to use them. Even if you don't use them for your centerpieces, they are a great addition to the fire place mantle in your reception site, cocktail tables, or placed in the corners of a large bar.