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Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: Centerpieces & Place Settings

The Bridal Party Table. 
After a very long day shopping for wedding decor Sabryna and I came home with a car full of goodies. We had driven all over Dallas going to several Home Good’s so that we would have multiples {decorating 20 tables is NOT for the faint of heart}. A few day’s later we had a huge pile of returns. This is how it went in our house; at first it seemed that S changed her mind as quickly as she could change clothes!
 
“My colors will be white, gold, and blush pink.”
“No, wait, I don’t really want the blush pink now.”
“Actually I do want the blush but just in the florals and bridal party.”
MOB {me} decided it was time to step in. I knew the vibe that she was looking for and since she had been showing me pictures of things she did not like as well as things she liked I knew exactly what she wanted. I would ask her, “Do you trust me?” She would say “Yes”. I would then say, “Don’t you think it would feel good just to let me run with it then?” Finally, with only three months until Wedding Day, she came home and said, “Mom, I trust that you know what I want and I am going to turn the decor over to you. I know you will do a great job.” It was the moment I had been waiting for. I could finally get some things done!
The bridal bouquet used as a centerpiece on the bridal party table.
There’s nothing I like better than entering a room full of pretty little something’s that come together as a whole to help make an event gorgeous. All of the little details that make the evening rich with memories. It is definitely my favorite part, to me decor is like icing on the cake!
The Brides Maid’s bouquets used on the bridal party table during the reception.
There are so many different choices for centerpieces it would be impossible for me to run them all by you. But there are things that I know will make your event look top notch. I can offer some {unsolicited} advice and share exactly what I did and how I did it.
Hand-painted signs for the Bride & Groom’s seating by Taryn Wheeler.
Stage your table at home. This is hands down the only way to know if things are going to look good the day of. Play with your design and decor. You will know if things are not full enough or if something looks off balance. I did a lot of staging at our house. When each design was finished, I took photos of exactly what I wanted the tables to look like. This made set up on the Wedding Day a breeze. Not to mention it took a load off of me and put my mind at ease.
Full length table cloths made a dramatic look.
This centerpiece was used in the ceremony and brought in for the Reception.
Buy or rent fabric table cloths and napkins. It’s easier to rent them, because they will come steam pressed. However, the only convenient place to rent the table cloths from here didn’t have full length table cloths. Besides, I didn’t want to have to drive two hours just to pick them up the day before the wedding. S wanted a grand look for the wedding {no high water tablecloth’s at this wedding}. I was able to purchase all of my tablecloths at Table Cloths Factory. Just a heads up, they arrive squished into small bags and are a wrinkled mess that is impossible to iron out. I took mine to a dry cleaner who professionally steamed them before the wedding. {I have no regrets}
 
View of tables with DIY vases.
Buy or rent plates, cups, and silverware. I didn’t want to bother with picking up, washing, returning dishes when I found out that I could purchase them just as cheap as renting. Besides S didn’t like anything that was offered. It was either too thick, too decorative, or just not her style {she’s a dish snob}. We ended up purchasing simple plain plates and champagne glasses at IKEA for less than renting would have cost. For silverware we bought plastic wear that was heavy weight and looked like real silverware. I bought ours at Costco, but they no longer sale them there. I found similar ones at Sam’s Club.
Hand-painted vase by MOB.
Decorate in layers. Depth adds visual interest to decor. This can be achieved through colors, different heights, and design elements in the room. For instance, our table centerpieces were live florals with several different types of flowers. They were placed in a jar and on top of a mirror. Mirror’s add a lot of depth because they reflect what is going on beyond. To further add to the atmosphere we added three luminary candles on each table in white and gold.
Glasses purchased from IKEA and personalized by MOB.
Decor looks better in three’s or odd numbers. When staging your centerpieces think of odd numbers. Use one, three or five things on a round table.
Close up of Centerpiece Florals.
Candle light always sets the tone. Candles add romance to any setting and I can’t think of a more appropriate setting than a wedding.
Close up of personalized plates by MOB.
Keep in mind the height of the centerpiece. Tall centerpieces are gorgeous, but the reality is that the guests will not be able to see each other or hold conversations through a tall centerpiece. Keep this in mind and always test things out by staging at home first.
Gold fabric napkins pressed perfectly to add visual interest and another layer of color.
Add at little personality or whimsy. It’s fun to add some flair to really personalize a wedding. I came up with the idea of personalizing the dinner plates. Since I had bought them myself it was pretty simple to do. You can find a tutorial on this process in a blog post coming soon. You can also order them through my etsy shop. I also personalized all of the glasses for two long family tables and the bridal table. We couldn’t leave out S’s sorority sisters, so there was a personalized round table with ZTA glasses just for them!
Another view of the Bridal Party Table.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. I realized at the end of the evening that I had forgotten to put the long sequins runners on the three banquet tables for the bridal party and families. It still looked gorgeous without them, but it sure would have looked better with them. {I decided not to beat myself up over it}. There’s going to be things like that which just happen. Sometimes it is better to let go. No regrets?
 
 
Beautiful florals by R Love Floral.
Money Saving Tips
Have friends help set up and take down. Don’t pay for a company to set up your stations. I’ve helped with weddings which have done this and we just end up moving everything that was set up. Remember that people want to help you out, they know that this is a huge day for you! Let them help {I only turned down people that would have to bring children}. In my opinion set up and take down is a KID FREE ZONE. We had the groom and groomsmen set up all of the ceremony chairs as well as the florals hanging as a back drop on the ceremony stage. Ten of my friends came and help set all of the tables. We were completely done with the set up by noon and I was then able to go around and set up the large vignette display of the Bride and Groom.
Use florals Twice. I used a few select centerpieces outdoors for the ceremony. Directly afterwards I had a few friends bring them in and place them on the tables before the reception began. On the Bridal table I had vases for the bridal bouquet to set inside of as well as all six of the Brides Maids. They kept them in these vases until the ceremony and then had somewhere to set them afterward during the reception. {See, I’m a smarty pants!}
DIY where you can. Weddings are expensive, it is great if you can DIY. I had a few get-together’s with friends and we went to town mass producing glam garlands for our photo area {I’m so grateful for my girls}. I personalized all 180 plates {call me crazy} and I made 17 simple glass jars look fabulous by painting them and adding gold ombre detailing to the bottoms. Tutorial will be blogged on that soon!
Buy Tablecloths and Sale afterwards. I used craigslist.org to sell everything and it was all gone in a few days.
Use live floral arrangements as gifts. After the evening was over I gave a beautiful centerpiece away to everyone that helped me, as a gift of my gratitude.
I’ve said it before, the Bride changing her mind several times is a normal process and a refining fire that eventually moulds her wedding into the one of her dreams. Patience is key {not to mention a sense of humor}! It all comes together in the end. I hope these tips will help you as you plan your daughter’s wedding. Watch for my next article, Details and Vignette’s.

 

Read other articles in this series:
Planning Your Daughters Wedding: “Where to Begin”.
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: The Details
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: The Bridal Party
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: The Wedding Dress
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: Picking A Venue
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: Preventing Bridezilla
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: The Wedding Cake
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: The Bridal Party
Visit the Bride’s website here.
Florals by R Love Floral.
Stunning photography by Jennefer Wilson.

The Bridal Party Table
 

Please follow along as I will be posting and updating my blog with each and every area of planning for my daughter’s big day! I will be posting tutorials, money saving ideas, and tips that made this day extra special. Thanks for reading and following along!

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