Here at WLA, while we do love weddings and always will…even we sometimes become afflicted with ennui. While it is my mission to give voice to all the creative wedding ideas that bloom in my mind (and are squirreled away during my late-night internet binges), even I sometimes experience a burn-out. I feel like a bride six months into her planning: everything is just average, has been done before, and I’m just over it all.

Like with depression or addiction, these feelings can just creep up on me. But there is a litmus test. And that test is flower centerpieces. If I’m in one of my inspired days, a single floral centerpiece can send me into rapturous imaginings. I’ll design whole imaginary weddings around them, and the dopamine levels of my brain will reach levels usually held in reserve for copious chocolate consumption.

But if I’m burned out, even the most extravagant, colorful and textured examples can just leave me cold. Usually, at this point, I know it’s time to step away from the computer, bury the wedding magazines for a bit and leave the newest episodes of Say Yes to the Dress unwatched.

But you brides can’t do that, can you? You have deadlines and checklists and people constantly asking you about the planning, and you have to channel that bridal rage into tight-lipped smiles and just. get. through. it.

So, I’m going there with you. And in trying to find ways to inspire myself again with regards to centerpieces, an idea unfolded.

The Flowerless Revolution

Want to get people buzzing about your wedding months in advance? Let it slip to one of two of your most trusted gossips that you’re not having flowers. Not having flowers at a wedding is almost as inconceivable as not walking down some kind of aisle. They are a staple of the event!

Of course, with flowers, there are only so many things you can do. Your color choice, the season and your budget determine what you can do with those lovely bits of plant genitalia. Want roses? Yawn. Peonies, Hydrangea and Amaryllis? Nice looking, but nothing to write home about.

The truth is, unless you have a couple thousand to spend on your flowers, they’re not going to do much to enhance your event, much less make it different and fresh. So what you, ye consumers of non-generic weddings, to do?

Take a leap of faith, and revolutionize the idea of wedding decor.

Look Up!

Employ the stratagems of a magician and use a little misdirection. There is a whole lot of space above your heads that can easily become a gorgeous, arresting focal point. It’s different, and looks amazing in photos!

Paper Lanterns
Not only will paper lanterns lend a beautiful, soft glow to the whole room, but they will keep your guests looking around the room! Pair with small arrangements on the tables, or go with mirrored tabletops to really emphasize the lanterns!


Experiment with height, too. You don’t want the lanterns so high up that no one can really appreciate them, nor so low that they make the room feel smaller. Between 12 and 18 feet off the ground is a good range. If you really want to go different, use them right on the tables as candle covers!

Light Up the Tables

The right way to use candles
The all-candle centerpiece is a classic, but here’s how to do it with style and freshness. For royal tables, add a runner and keep the candles on them. This will keep the look clean. For added light and drama, make the runner a bit of mirrored acrylic.

Add some color in there somewhere. It’s easier to keep the candles white and have colored table clothes, but colored candles or luminaries are an excellent, cost-effective way to dress up the look.

Going back to lanterns for a moment, isn’t this just gorgeous? What really makes it work is the colored lights spaced around the room (with a pink or purple gel).

Get Creative with Your Materials

For a week, look at everything like it’s a potential addition to your centerpieces. Almost anything can make a beautiful and unique centerpiece.


The key is to coordinate color. If you want to use books, consider making your own covers – see your fabric store and google instructions. If you want to use fruits, try to use ones that are in season.

Get creative with those centerpieces! Keeping the flowers minimal can save you cash and create a truly memorable tableaux.