Wedding Centerpieces That Double as Favors
Instead of abandoning your centerpieces to an uncertain post-party fate, encourage guests to tote them home—they wanted to anyway!
Humble supplies can take on an elegant air: Monogrammed stickers and crepe paper decorate clear plastic tubes filled with champagne-bubble candies. They're then piled into a glass compote around a smaller compote of crepe-paper flowers.
Floral Favor Centerpieces
Wedding favors allow guests to take a little piece of the celebration home. Though often presented at place settings or displayed on a table by the door, favors can be offered in another way that is both impressive and economical: grouped together as centerpieces.
Boxed Groom’s Cake
Assembled in the shape of a three-tier layer cake, store-bought boxes hold individual slices of the groom’s cake, ready for the guests to take home; tucked between the white boxes are ranunculuses, sweet peas, hyancinths, and lilies of the valley.
Boxes topped with flowers make a beautiful centerpiece; a table number is embroidered onto ribbon encircling the largest box. Inside, the stems sit in water bottles stabilized by crumpled paper. Favor boxes, which contain nonpareils, double as place cards.
Garden to Go
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.
Stacked Favor Centerpiece
This display is a centerpiece, a stack of party favors, and a table-number indicator all in one. Fill small cardboard boxes with cookies or candies, wrap them with bands of paper and slender ribbon, and stack them on a silver compote in the shape of a pyramid. Attach a table number to the topmost box.
Tuscan Takeaway Favors
Ripe fruits symbolize abundance and fertility—and make delicious favors. Tomatoes look beautiful and enticing in this rustic Italian display.
Stamped Glass Candleholders
For the reception, re-create the beauty of etching with ease. All you need is a rubber stamp, white ink, and glass candleholders—frosted glass holds ink best. One stamp can form a single motif or an allover pattern. (For a custom design, such as your monogram, have a stamp made at an office-supply store.) To use a large stamp on a cylindrical container, carefully roll it from side to side. Allow a day or two for ink to fully dry.
Baskets brimming with fruit imbue a reception with rustic charm. We filled Nantucket baskets in various sizes with warm-toned fruits: pears, apricots, and two kinds of apples. Small baskets laden with blond cherries are arranged at place settings for guests to take home; tiny bows are a graceful touch.
Trees to Go
Give a favor that symbolizes love growing and becoming stronger with time. Many seedlings are available at online nurseries—these are foot-tall Norway spruces.
Moss and Rose Centerpiece
This unusual, lush display is rustic and modern at once—and inexpensive and easy enough to make yourself.
Tea Tin Centerpiece
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.
Paper Bag Centerpiece
Vases of varying sizes, shapes, and materials can be unified with mere paper bags to serve as fresh, bright centerpieces at a casual wedding. Slip the plain white lunch bags over the containers and cinch the tops loosely with ribbons tied in bows.
These whimsical dragee cones standing in a galvanized tray will delight even adults.
Scented geraniums, herbs, and other foliage nestle in terra-cotta pots at the reception; the bride and her family hand-painted the pots and grew the plants, and invited their guests to take home their favorite as a favor.
Buds in Vases
For super simple tokens, place single blooms in vessels and cluster several to make garden-fresh centerpieces that double as favors: Toward the end of the night, have a friend or your planner slip premade thank-you tags around each, and move them to a table close to the exit.
For a to-go centerpiece that’s anything but garden variety, decorate reception tables with an array of plants—we chose miniature orchids—that guests can gaze at while they dine, then take home with them as the evening winds down. Wrap the vessels holding the blooms in fabric to give them instant appeal.
Group a few big, bold peonies together, and you’ve got a gorgeous tablescape. But that’s not all! Invite guests to take a vase home at the end of the evening, and you’ve got your favors covered, too. Simply arrange them on tables (make sure there are enough to go around) and add our custom clip-art sign.