What begins at one end with a few drops of pink in the blooms of sweet peas, hyacinths, and nerines culminates in a deluge of fuchsia peonies, ruby fringe tulips, and raspberry cyclamens. You could also create this gradient look, set in a low container here, with an aisle of vases. Complete the effect by wrapping favor boxes with our ombre-inspired paper.
Yellow flowers for a summer affair might sound trite, but when they're in a dramatic centerpiece of phalaenopsis orchids, mimosa blossoms, and gold and white French tulips that arc and bend perfectly, the effect is wholly original. To make a real splash, pair with an ombre tablecloth and set with our watercolor-style place cards that require no artistic talent -- just a printer.
Pair green flowers with warm creams and clear whites, give them room to be wild and lush, and you'll never again equate modern with cold. While these centerpieces of viburnum, snowberry, bells of Ireland, asclepias pods, and carnations in salt-glass vessels could certainly hold their own in a downtown loft or art gallery, they're refreshingly free of attitude.
With its frosted goblets and white-and-cream palette, this tabletop has a crisp, clean sensibility that's softened by a centerpiece of gardenias, calla lilies, ranunculus, Dutch tulips, and lisianthus. White peacock feathers interspersed throughout and gauzy fabric wrapped around the vase add an ethereal quality.
This crisp, springtime arrangement spilling from an urn combines lemons, black elderberries (inspiration for the paper on the box below), cattleya orchids, tuberous begonias, gloriosa lilies, and "Golden Celebration" roses, and is flanked by clutches of blooms in thematic colors: from left, white acidanthera, buttery cymbidium orchids, and black-centered ornithogalums. Macaroons in cellophane bags and black place cards with white type welcome guests to the table.
A cluster of potted zinnias adds charm to the table at a country or casual wedding. A sign next to the display asks guests to "Please pick one." The pots are painted with acrylic paint to match the flowers. The theme that inspires the favor continues at each place setting: Seeds packaged in glassine bags are attached to each of the tented place cards with yellow twine that is inserted through two small punched holes, then tied in a bow. Directions for planting are printed inside the cards.
This sunny bunch of large and small blooms boasts creamy white, muted yellow, pale orange, and mossy green ranunculus; the texture comes from a mix of budded and open blossoms. White garden roses and yellow begonias add volume, while weigela leaves complement the color scheme.
Set atop an alabaster compote and surrounded by antique-inspired bone china and linens, this companion centerpiece holds its own. It incorporates the same buds as the bouquet with two striking extras: pomegranates and foxtail grass flowers so unusual they look plucked from a Victorian botanical print.
The moodiest hue has taken a joyful turn. This sprawling tableau of antique Venetian glass with single-flower arrangements of cornflowers, muscari, nigella, delphiniums, and anemones brings the color center stage. Blue marbleized paper place cards add rich texture (our clip art is online). Antique Venetian glass vases, Gardner & Barr, gardnerandbarr.com.
Like a tailored oxford shirt, an all-white wedding feels at once fresh and timeless. Bring the color's polished elegance to every aspect of your big day, from almond dragees to creamy centerpieces. Here, lilacs, garden roses, jasmine, and fritillaria, plus pale-green hellebores, create an arrangement that would have felt spot-on in an Edith Wharton novel.
Here's an easy centerpiece idea that stacks up well against pricier options: clusters of flower-filled cafe au lait bowls. You can find inexpensive ones at home- and kitchen-supply stores (ours are from Anthropologie and Sur La Table); or collect mismatched vintage styles from flea markets. Place floral foam in the bowls to anchor the blooms, then group them on reception tables, stacking some atop inverted ones for visual interest.
With their beautiful ornamentation and lettering, biscuit and tea tins bring old-fashioned charm to a reception table. New or vintage, the containers are inexpensive and easy to find at specialty-food stores, tag sales, and online auctions. Test tins to make sure they're watertight before filling with single-flower arrangements. If any do leak, use plastic bags as liners.
A little goes a long way with this table decoration. Fresh German chamomile is placed in a jar, then enclosed in a white paper bag for an exuberant centerpiece that is also economical. The top of the bag is trimmed with scalloping scissors, folded, punched with holes, and laced with yellow ribbon. Thread a tag with the table number onto ribbon before tying.
At an event that celebrates a new beginning, flower bulbs are fitting decorations. They're also an inexpensive option, since bulbs generally cost less than cut flowers. We chose hyacinth bulbs because they're hardy and relatively short (the flowers shouldn't tower above the vase) and used forced bulbs, which are ones that have already opened and begun to grow.
Turn kids' metal beach buckets into custom centerpieces by painting them in your wedding colors. First, sand and prime each bucket, then coat with water-based enamel; let dry overnight. For stripes, tape off a pattern, paint exposed areas in a contrasting color, and remove the tape while the paint is still wet. For a table number, tape on a stencil (available at art-supply stores), use a pencil to outline the number, then remove the stencil, and paint. Use pails as planters for small trees with hydrangea petals scattered over the soil, or as vases for flowers, such as these dahlias.
Give petite flowers a larger presence by arranging them in the form of a heart. With this centerpiece there are enough blooms for every guest to take a cluster or two home. To ensure that the design stands out, use short, small vessels, such as eggcups. We combined a vibrant collection of ranunculuses with all-white details. Candles placed inside the heart will showcase the flowers into the evening.
In a table setting that evokes an English garden, roses and flowering oregano in mauve tones contrast with succulents (brown-tinged echeverias and trailing crassula) and curly fiddleheads. Single echeverias in wooden bowls echo the larger arrangement. Nuts in paper boxes and leaf place cards round it out.
Tables are set with arrangements of hydrangeas and roses in varying combinations of green and white, pink, or lavender, as here. Supper-club lamps add old-fashioned flair, as do the dance cards at each woman's place. Inside, men can write their names by the songs they wish to claim for dances.
The techniques that illuminated your bouquet and guest book display can be carried over to your tables. Contain the glimmering arrangements in golden vessels bearing silver number stickers, and surround them with smaller gold-leaf votives.
The details: Jamali Garden Supplies 6-inch brass cylinders were affixed with Chartpak 3-inch vinyl numbers, duall.com. Martha Stewart Collection with Wedgwood "Ribbon Stripe" dinner plates and "Bracelet" glasses, both macys.com, were set with Wallace "Euro Beads" gold flatware, horchow.com. MS Designs gold-plated bracelets were used as napkin rings, wholesalebangles.com, to hold Deborah Rhodes "All Over Metallic" napkins, email to order.
A rose is a rose is a rose? Not if it's bundled with others in every shade of red -- from deep crimson to bright fuchsia -- and displayed on an all-white tablescape: Then it's a statement. Keep the arrangements loose, as if plucked from the garden, and work in a few single-stem flowers in bud vases for variety. The details: Jonathan Adler "Lantern Collection" vases.