Wedding – Centerpieces

When we first started planning for our wedding, we knew that we wanted to make our own centerpieces.  We came up with a few different ideas, all of which involved vases and candles.
Our wedding colors were Cranberry Red, Orange & Light Blue.  Originally we thought it would be neat to collect colored vases from thrift stores in these three colors to include at least two on every table.  We got about 5 vases into collecting before we realized that some of the colors were much harder to find than others.  We ended up using these vases for other details in our wedding later.
The next thing that inspired our centerpiece idea was a Snapple bottle.  I loved the ‘S’ on there because that is the first letter of our last name.  It also was inexpensive as we had so many helpful friends, family members and co-workers who drank some extra Snapple to help us save up enough for our project. I’m sure Snapple sales drastically went up in the summer of 2012 because of this. 😉
We ended up with well over 100 bottles and ended up using about 105 for our centerpieces as well as a part of a few other details in our wedding.

 

Since we no longer had the vases as part of the center pieces, we looked for way to vary the bottles height since they were all the same size. We started collecting brass candlestick holders.  We typically found these for about $0.50 each at thrift stores.  We lucked out and found a whole bag of plastic ones of a total of $0.10 and then found a few taller ones that were nicer and paid up to $1.50 each.  Here is a photo from when we first started collecting them…

 

We chose to paint these in our main wedding color.  We decided not to sand or prime them first since we didn’t mind if some of the paint chipped off after we painted them.

 

Once they were all painted, we decided to use at least one of these on each table, to hold the Snapple bottle that would have the table number in it.  For some of the larger tables, we used them on a couple of the Snapple bottles so they would have 3 different heights.
We hot glued them all to the bottom of the bottles.  Only a few of them didn’t stick so well so we ended up brining a hot glue gun with us when we went to decorate the tables.
The bottles were filled with rice to hold the table numbers.
We made these by layering two different types of scrapbook paper.  The black paper was a chalkboard paper but instead of using chalk, we used a white paint pen to write the numbers.  The same paint pen was used on bird stamps that we added to each number.  We hole-punched the top and bottom of each number and held them up with a wooden dowel.

We made the signs for the ‘Family of the Bride & Groom’ tables the same size but put them sideways and customized them with a different bird stamp — adding a bow for the Brides family and a top hat for the groom’s.
The next part was definitely the most time consuming part of the whole project.  This one I started working on with a friend and then my mom came to help finish them.
The remaining Snapple bottles were filled about 1/3 of the way with rice (the easiest part).  For this I found it easiest to use one of the paper funnels from the gas station and just bought a huge bag of rice.
I made 3 to start with to test them out.  A few things I learned from the first candle:
-Pour a thin layer of wax over the rice and let it harden before pouring the rest of the wax.  If all of it was poured at once, a good portion of it sank down into the rice.  It didn’t give it as clean of a look and required a lot more wax per candle.  Since rice was much cheaper, I decided to use more rice for the rest of the candles and filled them about half way instead.

 

-After the first layer of wax, pour the rest of it in at the same time.  When I poured them in layers I found that it separated apart or cracked between layers.
-Do not fill them too far.  This I unfortunately did not learn until the day of the wedding. 🙂  The bottles were filled to different heights and the bottles that were filled with wax up to where the bottle began to get narrow did not stay lit.  In the end it wasn’t horrible, because they still looked great and at least one per table was lit.
-Use candle fragrance.  I originally thought of this as just another expense but after testing the first few trial candles, I found that everyone would pick it up to smell it.  I found a French Vanilla scent at Michael’s Craft Store and used a couple drops for each of the candles after that.
The candles were completed with a thick lace ribbon (hot glued on) and a thinner cranberry colored ribbon (tied on).  I found that after the lace ribbon was attached to the bottles that the colored ribbon did not slide on the bottles so they only needed to be tied.
Here is one of the first ones that we lit.  We found that the candles filed with this level of wax allowed enough air in the bottle for the flame to stay lit.
Once all of the candles were finished, we put the three pieces together to see how the centerpieces would look.
 The planner at the reception site put up all of the lights and did the chair sashes and overlays for us and then let us come in the day before to put out all of the centerpieces ourselves.  It was fun to see what it all looked liked before our guests got there the next day.
Here are a few photos we took ourself that night:

 

 

The room we had our reception in had several different size & shaped tables which let us be creative in how they were laid out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m really happy with how they turned out and would do it all again even after knowing how time consuming it would be. 🙂
At the end of the night, it was a fun gift that our guests could take home with them and we even kept a few as a fun keepsake for ourselves.
And here is a photo our wedding photographers captured on our wedding day at the headtable:
Photo Credit: Viveria Photography
After sharing the idea with Snapple, they tweeted a photo of our design and one of their reps gave us complementary his & her outdoor chairs with ‘Snapple’ printed on them.  We thought that just maybe they would randomly decide to sponsor our wedding reception (wishful thinking!) but we’re not too disappointed because we use the chairs all the time!

 

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