Authentic Center Pieces

Authentic Center Pieces

Now that you have tackled the Big 3 of wedding planning, the budget, the guest list and location, it’s time to get started on all of the other pieces and parts.  One piece that every guest will see right in front of them on the big day is the …. center pieces!


We went DIY with the center pieces because we were on a budget and we wanted to do something unique.  So we brainstormed on what the center pieces could be that would be affordable, unique, what flowers were in season, how much do vases cost, etc.  The first step was to stay far away from florist shops!   I do love florist shops, we used one for our boutonnieres, corsages and the flowers for my bouquet, but we did not want to use them for the center pieces.   That would have blown the whole wedding budget on one item!  We also toyed around with the idea of using live plants as center pieces which the guest could take home, such as lavender of basil.  But we ditched that idea  because we could not guarantee that there wouldn’t be any bugs in the dirt.  And you don’t want bugs to start walking around on the table while your guests are eating!  That would make your wedding memorable for the wrong reason.

For inspiration on the center pieces we looked outside.  We live in sunny central Florida, which can feel like a greenhouse sometimes.  There are so many plants and flowers that grow naturally here so we searched for what could work well.  We wanted something that was simple, made a big statement and something not at eye level so it would not get in the way of conversations.  We decided used split leaf philodendron leaves and do tall minimalist center pieces.  The split leaf philodendron is a large green leaves with long strong stems.

The split leaf philodendron were placed in tall glass vases, two each, with river rocks on the bottom to weigh it down.  We were able to cut the leaves ourselves a few days before the wedding from a friend of a friend’s lawn (an example of how you need to use all of your connections to have an affordable wedding!).  I loved the way the house looked like a jungle for a few days and the dog thought he was camping.

The vases were purchased from Old Time Pottery and the river stones were from Hobby Lobby.  We also picked some ferns (at the same location we cut the split leaf philodendron) for two vases to go at the gift table.

  • 12 tall vases and 2 short vases = $130
  • 12 bags of river rock = $36
  • 24 split leaf philodendron = free
  • 20 or so fern leaves = free
  • Total = $166

I love love love how the center pieces came out.  They were unique, tall enough that they were out of the conversation zone and authentic to the location of our central Florida wedding.  We had people traveling from other regions of the U.S and they were able to be immersed in examples of Florida landscaping, while being comfortable inside.  We opted to have our wedding inside because of the unpredictable September weather (hurricane season).  These tall showpiece center pieces allowed us to bring some of the outdoors inside.

Gift Table

I would challenge you to think about center pieces as a show piece of the local plants that you have.  This is not only affordable but interesting to your guests.

I have started using the split leaf philodendron leaf in the house as decoration, it lasts for months and is a beautiful display of a bold green leaf.  I kept the short vases and three of the tall vases from the wedding to use in the house.  The remaining tall vases I gave away to friends to use.

What center pieces have you used?  Are you struggling with this decision now?  I would love to hear from you.


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