Weddings are so hilariously, frighteningly, nauseatingly expensive. You think you know how much cake costs? Ha! Multiply it by 10, you lunatic. Dresses are expensive, jewelry is expensive, food is expensive, liquor is really expensive… Love is free, but weddings are not.
I decided to make as much of our wedding myself as possible. From designing the invitation suite to creating the bouquets, I crafted my butt off over the last year. Was it a little overwhelming? Sure. Did I cry holding a hot glue gun? More than once. But was it worth it? You know it!
I started with the centerpieces and used that project to set the tone for my other DIYs. I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out, and they were a fraction of the cost of traditional arrangements.
Hoping to make your own inexpensive wedding reception centerpieces? You’ll need to start with a flower ball. Don’t fret — they’re so simple to make you can go into autopilot and make them without thinking while binge-watching TLC reality shows. Before you know it, three days will have gone by, your legs will be cramped for weeks, you’ll be starved, and your decor will be complete. What, just me?
Poke a hole into the foam ball with scissors, add a dab of hot glue, and stick in a flower head. Repeat this process all around the foam ball. To save money, try finding inexpensive floral bushes at discount shops and garage sales to use as filler; splurge on the focal point flowers that tie into your bouquets. If you’d like to have some greenery included as well, stick a few silk leaves around the bottom of the flower ball to separate the floral aspect from the base. It’s a little time consuming, but it is incredibly simple.
After you’ve completed the floral arrangements, it’s time to find a base. I went for candlesticks or candlestick-like objects such as lamp bases and vases. We collected items at garage sales and resale shops like MERS Goodwill of similar sizes, and those that weren’t silver got a light coat of spray paint. I loved finding our items secondhand and I had great luck shopping at MERS Goodwill; it made for a cohesive, but varied, look that brought a special vintage touch to the reception and saved us money.
Some flower balls balanced perfectly on their bases, while others needed a little something to keep them in place. If yours are rolling away, attach the two with a sticky mounting squares, like the kind you used to hang up posters at your parents’ house. (If you’re still living at your parents’ house, you better be packing up or rethinking this whole marriage thing. And don’t even bother bringing that Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Pulp Fiction poster. Your husband or wife would love it, obviously, but your parents would miss them too much. Or something. Just don’t bring them.)
So how much do centerpieces like this cost? I spent $300 on all of the silk flowers for my wedding, which included my bouquet, five bridesmaid bouquets, and one toss bouquet. I’d estimate I used about half of the flowers for centerpieces, and I had enough material to make 30. We purchased my foam balls after Christmas for 10 cents per ball; they were meant to be DIY ornaments and they went to 90% off. I already owned a good amount of the candlesticks, and those I needed to buy were found from between $0.25 and $10; I spent more on a few intricate ones I kept for home decor after the wedding.
Let’s add up my price estimates and see how much these DIY floral centerpieces cost per table…
Foam balls: $3
Hot glue: $10
Candle sticks: $50
Spray paint: $8
Mounting squares: $3
Cost per centerpiece: $7.47
Including our other decor items (more on those later!) we spent about $10 per table in decorations, and that kind of discount is worth every glue burn and accidental floral wire stabbing. Why buy when you can DIY?!
This post was brought to you with sponsorship help from MERS Goodwill. As always, dolls, all opinions are my own.