The flowers that grace your dining tables can light up a room. Take a moment to picture yourself walking into your wedding reception. Is there something specific that you see on the center of your tables?

You may have something clean and simple in mind, or maybe you are imagining a tower of roses to impress. Either way, you may like to consider these tips.

  • Make sure guests can see each other from across the table. Ideally, centerpieces should be tall and skinny or short and fat! I like to set a sample table for my clients. This way, they can formally approve their dining experience well before their big day.
  • There is no rule insisting on having the same centerpieces at each table, although you may like to design in the same color palette using a variety of blooms. For example, try white ranunculus at some tables, white roses at others, and white peonies at the rest. If you are setting a banquet table, consider smaller versions of the main centerpieces to run down the middle of the table. You may also want to vary centerpieces by height, alternating between tall and short. And if you have differently shaped tables (I love to mix long tables with square and round), then you may like to choose a different but complementary flower arrangement for each table shape.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your florist if you can buy your own vases if they don't have the perfect one to offer. I've found amazing and affordable vases at stores such as Ikea and Cost Plus and at www.westelm.com
  • Maybe you are considering flowerless centerpieces. Candles can make a grand statement. Be careful to account for the wind if you are dining outdoors. Lemon and lime pyramid centerpieces have wowed many guests. Assorted sizes of wooden pails of peaches, plums, and nectarines can make a perfect autumn centerpiece. A vase filled with giant ivory feathers and white peonies graced the tables at a Charleston-inspired wedding.
  • Plants can make beautiful centerpieces -- I've placed rows of spring daffodils potted in moss pots down a banquet table. A Santa Barbara wedding was dressed with maiden ferns in woven leather boxes packed with moss. Succulents come in amazing varieties also.

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