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Centerpiece Vases 101: Everything You Need to Know Before Choosing Yours

Florists weigh in on picking the right vessel for your reception centerpieces.

Contributing Writer
Peony Cluster Centerpieces with Greenery and Colorful Flowers
Photography by: Caroline Tran Photography

Who doesn't love a gorgeous wedding centerpiece? Couples give a lot of thought to the types of flowers they'll use in their arrangements, but rarely think hard about the type of vase those blooms will be arranged in. There are countless options for centerpiece vases available today, and each lends a different vibe to your reception. So which type of centerpiece vase should you choose? The answer depends on your personal preference and desired wedding aesthetic. We asked two florists to give us the scoop on all things wedding vases, and you might be surprised by just how much there is to learn. 

 

Milk Bottle Flower Vase Centerpieces

 

Understand your options.

As you start working with a florist on your centerpieces, you'll learn that vases are available in many different styles and materials. Popular shapes include compotes, urns, bud vases, classic bouquet vases, flare vases, bowls, and square or rectangular vessels; materials like glass, ceramic, wood, and crystal are generally the most popular choices. According to Abigail Daigle of STEMS Floral Design + Productions, the compote vase is her most requested, with gold reigning supreme over mercury glass, silver, and other styles in recent years. Compote vases resemble a footed serving bowl, and they often have a metallic, vintage-inspired. "The shape works very nicely for creating asymmetrical garden-style designs, while keeping the overall look nice and airy on the table," says Daigle. "Especially considering that family-style catering is very popular at the moment, the compote vase shape allows for food platters to fit around the centerpiece comfortably."

 

According to Daigle, "Natural wood bowls, marble, and concrete vases have been trending this year, and we love the modern influences these materials bring to centerpiece designs." Heather Thomas, founder of HeatherLily, loves mixing materials when picking centerpiece vases. "Combining silver, gold, brass, or crystal is a great strategy for adding visual interest and depth to any space," she says. "Tailored variety and attention to the tiniest details is where the magic happens!"

 

Consider size first.

After choosing their favorite style of vase, a couple should determine how large or small they'd like their centerpieces to be. If you have smaller tables, choosing a narrower vase allows for more room; this shouldn't be a problem if you have large banquet-style tables. Lower vases and taller vases also have their own advantages and disadvantages. "Low, lush arrangements are always on trend, and have the added benefit of allowing guests to have easy conversation around the table," says Daigle. If a couple is looking to create drama and grandeur, they may prefer taller arrangements—just be sure they're designed in a way that doesn't inhibit conversation. Thomas says that the general rule of thumb at HeatherLily is at least 32 inches for taller centerpieces and 16 inches or less for lower centerpieces.

 

Try mixing and matching.

Instead of choosing solely narrow, wide, low, or high centerpieces, though, couples should consider mixing the sizes. According to Thomas, "I would say 80% of our events are using a mixture of the traditional rounds and rectangular tables today. This circles back to creating different layers and depth within a space." But remember that couples should work with their florist to choose styles with enough variety. "If you only order six elevated centerpieces when you have a total of twenty tables, your guests will feel slighted who aren't sitting at those tables," says Thomas.

 

Think outside the box.

Of course, the bride and groom also aren't limited to displaying centerpiece arrangements in vases. Daigle says that STEMS Floral Design + Productions has previously used landscaping rocks, driftwood, stacked marble bricks, terra cotta pots, and vintage glassware. Let your creativity run free, and don't be afraid to express your personal wedding style through your vases.

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About the Author

Nicole Harris

Nicole fell in love with the bridal industry after a summer internship with Martha Stewart Weddings. Although she's still a couple of years away from tying the knot, she can't help planning her own Big Day. She's crazy about creative DIY décor, classic lace gowns, colorful invitations, and huge (preferably endless) dessert spreads. Until it's time to pick her first dance song, though,...

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