Wedding centerpieces are notorious for being extravagant and over the top - especially here on Long Island. Florists can charge upwards of $500 dollars for opulent arrangements that will only be seen for one day before being thrown out or just left at the venue. What many people are starting to realize is that you can have a lovely centerpiece without breaking your budget - Do It Yourself or “DIY” projects are becoming a growing trend when it comes to weddings and parties. DIY decorating gives people the opportunity to personalize their wedding in a way that just buying a floral arrangement simply never could - and for a fraction of the cost.
There are endless benefits to going the DIY route when it comes to centerpieces in addition to saving money. Other than being cost-effective, DIY allows the bride and groom to express their personality through wedding décor. By making original and thoughtful pieces, wedding attendees will be impressed by the personal touch. By adding little things such as photos, or even nicely wrapped books, you can make your wedding day a more intimate experience. The best part about these DIY centerpieces is that you can find most of the materials you need in your own home or backyard at no cost, or minimal spending at craft stores. Using leaves, branches, old ribbon, or scrapbook paper you can add a little touch that will go a long way with your budget.
Whether it’s a summer wedding on the beach, a spring wedding in the garden, a fall wedding under the changing foliage, or a winter wedding at a historic estate - Long Island has them all. A DIY centerpiece can further play up the seasonal colors and accents to and really make it stand out. For under $100 dollars, you can use these ideas to turn your reception into anywhere from a Summer Paradise to a Winter Wonderland:
Spring: When people think of a spring wedding they think of comically large amounts of pastel flowers that cost a fortune. While it is true that yes, flowers are the way to go for the spring, you don’t have to do the traditional bouquet. One option is playing it down and keeping it simple, while adding a more intimate touch.
This can be done with a glass bubble bowl, floating candles, a few flowers petals, and glass water beads. Simply take water beads (the color of your choice) and pour them into the bottom of the bowl. Fill the bowl up with water and add the candles and flower petals on top. Sprinkle some of the petals or whole blossoms around the bowl for a simple yet elegant centerpiece. You can also take sliced up fruits such as lemons, oranges, or limes and fill a square bowl with those, add whole flower blossoms on top for a unique and fun look. You can also tie a ribbon around the bowl as an extra touch.
Supplies Needed: glass bubble bowl, glass water beads, floating candles, flower petals/ whole blossoms. Optional: fresh fruit, square glass bowl, ribbon.
Average Crafting Time [Per Centerpiece]: 20 min
Summer: A summer centerpiece can easily be done yourself and cost no more than a trip to the beach. A wedding during the summer months is usually a fun and romantic outdoor event. WIth beaches surrounding us everywhere, it’s easy to see the appeal.
On Long Island Beaches, especially the North Shore ones, you can find an abundance of sand, shells, rocks, and even the occasional dried up starfish. The key is to have a lot of different elements to the centerpiece surrounding something larger. By gathering all of these things and putting those in either a glass bubble bowl, surrounding a large candle, or hurricane lamp you can really bring that nautical theme to life. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even make your own sand candles and surround them with shells, fish net and whatever else you can find on the beach. To do something simpler, just fill a glass bowl with beach rocks and place votive candles on top.
Supplies Needed: sand, shells, rocks, glass bubble bowl, large candle. Optional: votive candles, dried starfish, hurricane lamp.
Average Crafting Time [Per Centerpiece]: 30 min
Fall: With fall centerpieces, you can really have a lot of fun. There are so many different elements that you can choose from to do it yourself. A fun and unique idea is to make a pumpkin centerpiece. Using this colorful vase it is easy to bring together the beautiful colors of the fall.
All you need are a few small pumpkins, some fall flower blossoms and/or candles, and decorative beaded branches or fall leaves. Cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin and clean it out. Place a water saturated piece of floral foam in the pumpkin. Stick in the small bouquet of flowers beaded branches and sprinkle leaves around the arrangement on the table. You can also fill up the hollowed pumpkin with water and place a floating candle and some flower blossoms on top. If you want to use a whole candle instead of a votive, cut a small hole in the top of the pumpkin instead of hollowing it out. Place a larger candle in the whole surrounded with decorative fall leaves and flowers. You can also take a long glass vase and fill it up with colorful leaves from your backyard. Surround it on the table with more leaves, votive candles and mini pumpkins for a unique autumn look.
Supplies Needed: small pumpkins, flower blossoms, floral foam, beaded branches, fall leaves. Optional: votive candles, whole candles, long glass vase, mini pumpkins.
Average Crafting Time [Per Centerpiece]: 30 min
*Note: These pumpkins will go bad within 48 hours after being hollowed out.
Winter: Just because it’s cold and bitter outside doesn’t mean that your centerpiece has to be, or that you have to pay for that extra color. Deep and rich colors that pop make for a perfect cozy winter wedding. For a do it yourself winter centerpiece candles and Colorfill Diamond Vase Filler are your best friends.
The Filler is inexpensive – under $5 dollars a pound. What it does is ice those dull branches that are laying around your backyard or that you can buy in a craft store. The process of icing branches takes about an hour and fifteen minutes. You will need a long glass vase, an electric votive candle, pine needles and colorful flower blossoms - such as a deep red, dark green or plum color. You can start by filling the bottom of the vase will beads or leaving it empty and sticking first the electric candle then the branches in the vase. Surround the vase on the table with the large flower blossoms, and pine needles. You can also take a glass bubble bowl and do the same thing except using iced pine cones instead of branches and sticking a large candle in the middle of the bowl. Surround with large blossoms on the table and pine needles. Another DIY idea is to simply fill a glass bowl with shimmery ornaments that match your color scheme and either place a candle in the middle or surround with votives. Just using large decorated candles of differing sizes surrounded by frosted pine cones or white flowers also creates a lovely intimate feel. To give the candles some color and design wrap them in scrapbook paper and tie a ribbon around it. You can also add buttons for a little extra flair.
Supplies Needed: Colorfill Diamond Vase Filler, tacky glue, long glass vase, electric votive candle, pine needles, flower blossoms, glass beads. Optional: Pine cones, ornaments, large candle, scrapbook paper, ribbon, buttons.
Average Crafting Time [Per Centerpiece]: Branches: 1 hr 15 min. Centerpiece: 20 min.