In the past year I have helped plan both of my younger brothers’ weddings. One was held in my backyard and was an intimate family affair: Justin and Katsuree’s Wedding. The other was held this May in Florida at my parent’s clubhouse: Mitchell and Karen’s Wedding Weekend. Doing both of these on a budget, I realized very quickly one of the biggest expenses can be flowers. Centerpieces, usually made of flowers, can really add up. After scouring Pinterest for ideas, Karen (my Brother Mitchell’s lovely bride) found a great idea! After she found what she wanted I set out to make it happen within their budget. We did well! We had 16 dining tables for their 110 planned guests, so we we needed to make 16 of these arrangements. We came in at $135 plus tax for all 16 table arrangements. For most weddings this would be the cost of one floral centerpiece! We did the entire reception centerpieces for $135. The key was finding the right place to buy all the products and to make them ourselves. They were simple to assemble. Below is all the info you need to buy the supplies and instructions on assembly too.
Where to Buy Supplies
You will need 3 per table. Two 7” cylinders and one 9” cylinder. Only $1 per vase! I found them at the Dollar Tree! You can buy individually at your local Dollar Tree or you can order cases online:
You will need glass gems for the bottom of the vases. I found them cheap at the Dollar Tree. I was able to split one bag into 3 vases. Here is the link for this item: https://www.dollartree.com/Clear-Luster-Gems-14-oz-Bags/p315855/index.pro
This can add up if you don’t buy the right flowers. Craft stores have individual orchid stems and they can run you anywhere between $3-10 per stem at your local craft store. Don’t do it! It adds up and will make these centerpieces way too costly! Go to Hobby Lobby and get the orchid bunches. They are on sale often. Wait until they are 50% off (typically one or even two weeks a month). The price at 50% off is $3.99 for each bunch. Our total cost for all the flowers we needed (which was 10 bunches) was only $39.99. These bunches have 5 individual branches of orchids. That means that they can be used for multiple vases (5 total), since you only need 1 stem/branch per vase. Here is the link for the item, which we purchased at 50% off (if they are out of stock during the sale or don’t have enough, then request rain check to secure the lower price): https://www.hobbylobby.com/Floral-Wedding/Bushes-Garlands/Floral/Purple-Satin-Dendrobium-Orchid-Bush/p/1520
You need 1 candle per vase. We found floating candles at Michael’s for $4.99 in packs of 9. You can pull up a coupon on your phone for your local Michael’s to use on one item per visit (which would make it even cheaper than $4.99). Here is the link to order them online: http://www.michaels.com/ashland®-floating-candles-value-pack,-vanilla/10061268.html?cm_mmc=PLASearch-_-google-_-MICH_National_PLA_Shopping_Null_Null_All+Products_General-_-All-Products&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI096c8oXH2wIVyMDACh3yJQPQEAQYECABEgK_8PD_BwE
To assemble the vases you will first place the glass gems in the bottom of the vases. I split each bag into three vases. I didn’t count the gems, I simply eyeballed the amount to make them approximately equal.
Next, you will need to cut the bunches of orchids apart. Cut each orchid branch so that they are still as tall or taller than the vase. You then want to bend the branch of the flower (it has wire inside the stems). Bend it in a swirl shape and place inside the vase. Make sure you have a tight enough swirl so that the top of the orchid is about an inch below the top of the vase. You don’t want any of the orchid above the water line, as it can catch fire from the candle.
You do not need to fill with water until they are at the venue. Then you place the floating candles on top and light them.
TIP: If you order the vases from the dollar tree they come in structured boxes that are great for storing the assembled vases before and after the event. If you don’t have the boxes because you bought them from a Dollar Tree location rather than ordering online, then you will need to get some wine boxes to store them.