Against the advice of my mother and my day-of wedding coordinator (a worthwhile splurge, but that's a different story for a different day), the one thing I just didn't care about for my wedding day were the flowers. I wanted a beautiful wedding, sure. But I knew that you could have a really gorgeous event without even a flower in sight.
I ended up ordering a few boxes of flowers from an online florist and assembling bouquets and simple centerpieces with a little help from my friends (queue Ringo Starr), but it was a hell of a lot of work. Work that all needed to get done in the three days before the wedding.
Assembling your centerpieces from non-living objects (or in some cases, living ones that are permanently potted) is sometimes a more affordable option than hiring a florist, but it also grants you the one luxury you can't buy in a store: time. So here are 15 beautiful non-floral centerpiece ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Above, balloons make for a sky-high impact on this wedding table from Martha Stewart.
A trio of wine bottles are wrapped in tulle and stuffed with a few branches each, here in this DIY tablescape by Jenni Colón.
The bride in this wedding from photographer Susannah Gill collected vintage books to craft these literary centerpieces. You could keep them to help decorate your home once the wedding day is done.
These metallic spray-painted shells are perfect to decorate the tables at a beach wedding. There's a tutorial here from Martha Stewart to craft some of the shells into candles.
Candles and pine garland, like here from Mum's Flowers and Style Me Pretty, are pretty inspiration for a winter wedding, but we also love the idea of beautifully wrapped presents decorating the table (especially if they hide the guest's favors inside).
Another double-duty idea? If you're skipping out on one giant wedding cake, decorate the tables with the night's dessert, like the donuts seen here on Martha Stewart.
Fruits make a great centerpiece as well. Here is a beautiful bowl of oranges from The Knot, decorated with a few green sprigs and some succulents. Fruit has an expiration date of course, but a bowl of oranges is a bit easier to arrange than a bouquet.
You could turn fruits into candles, too. Jenny of Little Green Notebook, who created this fall tablescape, recommends a vinegar bath if you're using real fruit, but they'll still need to be prepped the day of the party.
For something a little more modern, take the idea of a fruit display and paint everything in a shade that matches your wedding palette. The apples and pears on this cake stand, from Martha Stewart, are made of paper mache, so they can be prepared way in advance of the wedding.
Design Mom used paper and craft-store paper punches to give these simple votives a lacy look. A cluster of them would look beautiful at the center of a table.
You could also use paper to make your own flowers. Check out this incredible paper succulent planter from Lia Griffith (and yes, they've included templates).
And finally, potted herbs make for a pretty centerpiece and a great wedding favor for your guests to take home, Wrap the pots in pretty paper, as seen here on Martha Stewart.