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. The stems, which are nestled in floral foam inside a footed compote, are cut to varying lengths, allowing for a loose symmetry.
Lemons and grapefruits tied in yellow taffeta ribbons and piled into a glass compote make a bright, casual arrangement. The bows are secured by pins, and sheer yellow organdy drapes from the bowl. A coordinating menu card is trimmed with taffeta ribbon.
Bag of Blooms
A little goes a long way with this table decoration. Fresh German chamomile is placed in a jar, and 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.
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.''
Tea Tin Centerpieces
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 they leak, use plastic bags as liners.
As romantic as roses or peonies, but not nearly as commonplace, ranunculus work in tight, formal arrangements or when placed in a simple, clear vase -- all the better to show off their curvy stems. Once cut, these bulb-grown blossoms last up to a week, making them the perfect choice for bridal bouquets or centerpieces.
Fashionable tweeds and monochromatic flowers form a fresh, friendly centerpiece. Just wrap fabric around inexpensive glass or plastic cylinders (rectangular vases look nice, too). Mix different tweeds in coordinating colors. The flowers play off the texture of the material.
Parade of Blooms
Delicate and airy, this centerpiece composed of single blossoms lets you make the most of a limited group of flowers. Showcase each one -- we used dahlias and garden roses -- in clear glass vessels, such as bud vases, jars, or even drinking glasses. To accentuate the arrangement, set the flowers on a runner with a hue that contrasts the color of the tablecloth.
Large, open peonies settle into nests of twisted fern vines. Inside each basket is a shallow plastic bowl of water (for extra stability, use a wire grid to hold stems in place). A smaller nest atop the napkin at each place holds a more closed flower -- its stem sits in a water tube concealed within the nest.