Photo courtesy of Lara White. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0-nd

Let’s face it, wedding centerpieces play a huge role in creating the personality of your big day. You can do literally anything with them. They can tell the story of how you met, display the theme of your wedding, or show off your personality as a couple.

As flower prices continue to increase, we’re seeing a huge spike in the popularity of non-traditional centerpieces, with our without flowers. Couples love these creative centerpieces because they often have multiple uses, and they’re easily given away as favors for the guests.

Whatever you’re looking for in a centerpiece, this list of 23 unique wedding centerpiece ideas will give you plenty of inspiration.

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

1. Place fresh-cut flowers in large, clear glasses of water

Image courtesy of zoe.wang. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

Celebrate daylight and floral beauty with this brilliant idea. Choose flowers of similar hues for a unified look, or pick contrasting colors a dynamic display. Fill the glasses almost to the top with water, and you’ll create an entrancing lens effect around the natural beauty of the flowers.

Fill glasses with water & create an entrancing lens effect around the flowers.Click To Tweet

2. Scatter potted succulents for a simple, earthy look

Image courtesy of dj venus. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0-nd.

Succulents provide a beautiful, understated look. They will refresh your guests while reinforcing a theme of simple, natural beauty. This is perfect for any type of rustic wedding. To create balance, pair the plants with candles in earthy ceramic jars.

3. Place your candles in tree branch holders

Photo courtesy of Wicker Paradise. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

This is an awesome look for rustic weddings—especially fall weddings! Rustic is in these days, and a tree branch candle holder fits in perfectly. Consider pairing these with other bark elements, plus some greenery, to establish a tree motif.

4. Use grandma’s doilies for a dose of vintage charm

Doilies are a great way to add a more elegant touch to your centerpieces while still maintaining a rustic feel. The thicker the doilies are, the more rustic the look. Try pairing them with golden bowls for stunning light reflections.

5. Use fresh vegetables for a garden theme

Image courtesy of Aleksandra Nicole Bruce. Licensed under Creative Commons.  

Vegetables scream rustic wedding. Any way you can incorporate them into your centerpiece design is a bonus. Carrots are a beautiful choice to bring the goodness of the garden to your guests’ tables. Pair your vegetables with fresh wildflowers in old bottles for a vintage farmhouse feel.

6. Pair candles with garland for holiday elegance

Create a vision of holiday cheer at your elegant seasonal wedding with holly garland. After all if it tis the season to be jolly shouldn’t the halls bedecked with holly?

Place the garland around a holiday scented juniper candle reminiscent of an evergreen tree. Add other décor such as ribbon or holly to complete the festive centerpiece.

7. Use wine glasses for more than just drinking

Image courtesy of Faylyne. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

Ornate wine glasses can be just as decorative as they are useful. Use silver stemmed glasses as candle votives for a creative and elegant centerpiece.

Place mini candles that smell of flowers inside the glasses to make guests think they are inside a secret garden. Include potpourri inside an apothecary jar on a cake stand to complete the romantic atmosphere.

8. Spray paint branches to craft decorative trees

Image courtesy of Jose and Roxanne. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

Bring the natural world into your wedding reception without using flowers. Gather several branches from your backyard or your neighbors, they won’t mind, to craft mini trees for your centerpieces. Paint the branches with silver spray paint and let them dry fully. Hang diamond ornaments delicately from the branches. Stabilize the tree in a clear planter filled with silver artificial grass and string lights that match your wedding’s color story. Surround the tree with small candles to complete this beautiful centerpiece.

9. Light up your reception tables with exotic lanterns

Image courtesy of Marco Assini. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

Intrigue guests with visions of exotic locations and far off destinations with intricate lanterns. Place small candles smelling of myrrh and spices to set the mood. Lanterns can be purchased in eastern styles in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. To change the tempo, try using a diverse array of paper lanterns instead of the metal lantern variety.

10. Use vessels of one color for a cohesive look

Image courtesy of Parekh Cards. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

For a truly elegant look, only use pots of one color and plants of the same color family. The pictured wedding’s green color story looks fantastic with the silver vessels. Tarnishing may be helpful to give the silver pots a bit of character. You can do this yourself by using bleach or even egg yokes! Pair the look with simple white candles to balance the variety of green hues.

11. Allow guests to use centerpieces as party favors

Why spend extra money on reception favors? Allow guests to take home the succulents from their reception tables. In the center of the reception tables, place one large succulent or large candle if preferred. Position several small succulents around the succulent or candle to ensure that every guest gets a party favor.

Why spend extra money on reception favors? Allow guests to take home the succulents from their reception tables. #weddingtipsClick To Tweet

12. Frame your story for all of your guests to enjoy

Image courtesy of Parekh Cards. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

Tell the story of your relationship with framed images or words. Perhaps a silly picture of when you first started dating, an image of a joke that you tell as a couple, a word or Bible verse that describes you as a couple. Pair your “story frames” with flowers and luminous candles that fit your wedding’s theme to complete your centerpiece.

13. Create a romantic atmosphere with a variety of candles

Image courtesy of Nick Vidal-Hall. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

For the natural bride and groom who would rather enjoy their festive wedding outdoors with only sunlight and candles as their lighting. After enjoying the sunset, light candles to create a romantic atmosphere. Creatively use bottles as candelabras and set larger candles on the table for simple décor. If your reception area is a patio, string lights around the terrace and pick a bouquet of roses from the yard to display in a large vase.

14. Hang flowers from the ceiling 

Image courtesy of Parekh Cards. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

Instead of placing flowers in the center of your reception tables, try a new look by hanging the flowers from the ceiling. Discuss the idea with your venue to ensure that you are allowed to hang the bouquets. To create this stunning flower bouquet, purchase a woven hanging basket and let the flowers drape over the edges. Secure the basket to the ceiling with a hook and wire. For the table, replace the flower centerpiece with a tray of candles.

15. Turn wine glasses upside down to create candelabras

Image courtesy of Parekh Cards. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

For a great centerpiece sure to have your guests talking, take wine glasses and turn them upside down. Fill the center with one or two flowers of your choice. Sunflowers or daises, as pictured, would work quite well for any theme. Place a small votive candle on the flat foot of the glass. Ta-da! You now have an original centerpiece.

For a great centerpiece, take wine glasses, turn them upside down, and put #candles on top.Click To Tweet

16. Upcycle antique perfume bottles and liquor decanters

Image courtesy of Parekh Cards. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

Put all those old perfume bottles and decanters that you have lying around the house to better use. Make them into flower vases for your vintage inspired wedding centerpiece. If you don’t have any old bottles, a friend or family member probably does. If they don’t have any bottles, a whole slew of antique decanters and perfume bottles can be purchased online at websites like Etsy and eBay.

17. Decorate with vintage cameras

The avid photographers will love the idea of decorating their reception tables with antique cameras.  Whether you own vintage cameras or not, they are easily bought from antique stores or rented from companies. For extra decoration add antique photos, flowers, a camera bag and small candles. Of course keep the photos away from the candles, unless you intend for guests to potentially burn them.

18. Create charm with floral teacup vases and candles

Image courtesy of Clara McDonnell. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

Fill your grandmother’s vintage teacups and saucers with more than just tea and lady fingers. Use saucers as candle holders to catch any dripping wax. While teacups can be used for flower vases or candle holders. To make teacup candles place the candle wick in the center of the teacup, stabilize the wick with a pencil or two, pour hot wax into the teacup and wait a few hours for the wax to harden. Another method is simply placing a small votive candle inside of the teacup.

19. Let guests eat cake with dessert stand centerpieces

When Marie Antoinette said “Let them eat cake!” she meant everyone, not just the French. So obviously your guests should have a small cake platter at their table that allows them to eat cake freely throughout the reception. The cake platter can also work as a functional and beautiful centerpiece for the tables. Bonus! Cake stands are low maintenance, inexpensive and totally reusable. This idea could work for other forms of dessert like cupcakes, brownies, mini cheesecakes, macaroons or mini pastries.

20. Repaint and reuse old farmhouse pitchers

Give the old pitchers you found at Goodwill a face lift with a fresh coat of paint. Wow! Now you have great flower vases for your wedding centerpieces. Attach a note to the vase with your favorite Bible verse, your wedding vows, a poem or a cute phrase that defines you as a couple.

21. Bring the beach to your wedding with fishy centerpieces

Image courtesy of Guy Dickinson. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

Give guests a pleasantly fishy surprise when they sit at their tables. Simply place one short cylindrical vase inside a larger clear dish in the center of the reception tables. Fill the short vase with water, a few flowers and some fish. Fill the larger dish with water and a lot of flowers to frame the shorter, but taller vase. Place a few votive candles around to replace the fishy smell with a pleasant beachy scent.

22. Create “all-in-one” vases for major impact and little hassle

Image courtesy of zoe.wang. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

Beachy, clean and chic these simple centerpieces are sure to be a hit with guests. The lovely vases are created with three vase sizes, a variety of rocks, water, three white hibiscus flowers and three votive candles. If the votive candles you have are potted, they can easily be de-potted. Use a butter knife to scrap around the edges and loosen the candle from the jar. Another method is to place the jar in the freezer to freeze the wax and loosen the candle from the sides of the jar for easy removal.

23. Create a beachy spread of shells, plants and candles

Make the beach centerpiece of your dreams come to life. Fill oversized clam shells with open air plants and coral. Dot the table with small sea shells. Place varying sizes of lanterns throughout the midst of plants and shells. Fill the lanterns with beachy scented candles to finish the look.

Wrap Up

Wedding planning is overwhelming, but choosing a centerpiece style doesn’t have to be. With all this inspiration, you’re sure to find something you love. Even better, maybe this article got your creative juices flowing, and you have your own unique centerpiece idea! Either way, best of luck to you and your man on your big day.