Fun Ideas for Inexpensive Centerpieces

Everyone likes to save money and finding ideas for inexpensive centerpieces is one of the most popular ways couples look to reduce their wedding spending.

There are so many designs and materials that can be used, but before you make your decision, it is important to answer a few questions first.

  • What are your colors?
  • What is your wedding theme?
  • Is this a DIY project?
  • Are you open to renting?
  • Do you want all centerpieces to be the same or 2 or 3 different styles and sizes?
  • What do you consider "inexpensive"?

The last one can be difficult to answer. It will largely depend on your overall decorating budget. To help plan your budget and keep you organized, I recommend a wedding planner. Print out my printable wedding pages on wedding reception ideas - and add your ideas and costs there.

The Complete Wedding Planner Printables E-Book

The Wedding Planner is designed to help you get ready for the big day!

All the forms are available for you to fill in - either directly on your laptop or by pen on the printed version - to help you plan your wedding, week by week;

Find out more about the Printable Wedding Planner

The Complete Wedding Planner Printables E-Book

The Wedding Planner is designed to help you get ready for the big day!

All the forms are available for you to fill in - either directly on your laptop or by pen on the printed version - to help you plan your wedding, week by week;

Find out more about the Printable Wedding Planner

Decorating for six tables is very different than decorating for twenty. One bride may feel an inexpensive centerpiece is anything under $50 and others are thinking more like $10 to $15. Check out these three inexpensive table centerpiece ideas for under $20 each.

A bit crafty? Get your bridesmaids together for a fun afternoon and create your own homemade centerpieces.

Create beautiful, unique centerpieces while saving money.

gold christmas tree tea light candles for a christmas wedding

Christmas Centerpiece

For a Christmas wedding, how about filling a crystal bowl with ornaments that you have hand painted your names and wedding date. This doubles as a wedding favor that everyone can take home.

Of course, Christmas and candles do go together, so a table decoration with candles will always work at Christmas time. A small gold Christmas tree tea light candles as displayed are simple and elegant.

A beautiful crystal bowl of red and green apples could be perfect for a Christmas wedding.

Edible Centerpieces

From fruit and vegetables displayed in a "bouquet" to bowls of popcorn, chocolate or candies – everyone loves an edible centerpiece. This idea is so varied and can be displayed according to your likes, colours, or a varied idea among the tables;

Wedding Candle Centerpiece Ideas

Candles offer an unparalleled romantic ambiance. Unfortunately due to the inherent danger with open flames, many venues will not allow them. Battery candles or perhaps candles in a large glass jar may be a way to incorporate candles in your wedding and still keep your venue happy.

Make sure if you are using tea lights (such as this mini lantern tea lights) as a part of your wedding decorations, that you have heaps on hand - or get ones that last a few hours.

Vases for Centerpieces

Use a collection of unusual containers or funky vases for centerpieces. Scour the secondhand shops nearby or grandma's cupboards - what will add that special touch to your table centerpieces?

Money Tree Centerpiece

If you've asked for money for your wedding, then you can't beat a money tree centerpiece. It is one of the most unique centerpiece ideas and requires very little work on your part – your guests will decorate your "tree" for you!

Holiday Centerpiece Ideas

For Christmas and New Year's holiday weddings, centerpiece ideas can incorporate such things as seasonal greenery, festive candies and of course candles. You could also make unique centerpieces such as this idea with a winter squash. Cut open and clean out just like you would clean out a pumpkin and fit the hole on top with a pillar candle or use as a short vase for a single bloom.

Wedding Floral Centerpieces

Flowers are still the most popular wedding centerpiece idea. Options to keep the costs down are using potted plants or silk flowers. Another possibility that uses fresh cut flowers is taking a large bouquet of a single flower – such as tulips – cut the stems short and place just one or two blooms in short vases.

Rose petals sprinkled on the table or just in the center is also simple yet elegant.

Tall Wedding Centerpieces

Ideal for a large ballroom, tall wedding centerpieces take up space and fill a room beautifully. Ideas for inexpensive centerpieces that are tall include incorporating helium balloon bouquets in your wedding colors or large tree branches with hanging ornaments or snowflakes.

Three Inexpensive Table Centerpiece Ideas for Under $20

Floating Candles

Use 2 glass bowls or vases of similar shape, one quite a bit smaller than the other. Put the smaller one inside the larger one and fill the space between the two bowls with either a combination of pinecones and chestnuts (great for the rustic woodland wedding theme) or small glass ornaments for sparkle and glam in your wedding colors. You can add a drape around the pinecones or ornaments to fill in the gaps for additional sparkle.

Alternatively, to go with you fun beach theme or your western wedding theme, add these unique floating candles.

You can pick up plain glass bowls at most dollar stores or you could make them very special by borrowing glass bowls from friends and relatives and making each one unique. You will want to be clear about whether or not these centerpieces are to be taken home by your guests or the bowls returned to their owners.

Ever thought of adding photos in between the two bowls and then supplying each table or guest with their own camera for the night? There's a fun way to have reception photos!

You could take this one step further and ask your friends and relatives to each make a floating candle centerpiece for you. You would want to give them some guidelines about size and colors but it could be spectacular, and unique!


Although floral displays are the most common table centerpiece, they also tend to be the most expensive. However the beautiful colors of flowers provide inspiration for this inexpensive table centerpiece idea.

You will again need a beautiful crystal or glass bowl or flower vase and this time fill it with candy. Candy is often overlooked for centerpieces but can really make the decorating dollar stretch. Chocolates can be found in an array of brightly colored foil wrappers. But you are not limited to chocolate either. A myriad of candy choices are available to you – let your imagination soar!

Tree Branches

Use tall narrow clear vases with one or more "full" branches placed inside. Spray paint the branches to match your décor or leave them unpainted for a natural appearance. Secure the branches in place by filling a couple of inches with clear glass "ice" or colored glass stones. Hang snowflakes, small ornaments or a combination of both from the branches. Arrange several votive candles around the base of the vase at the center of each table.

An additional embellishment could be the addition of a ribbon or bow around the vase but be careful about where it is in comparison to the candle flames.

To keep costs down collect your own branches from your own yard or the yard of your friends and neighbors (with permission of course). Go out after a wind storm and you should find plenty of options. Never cut from a live tree (especially if that tree isn't your own).

If finding your own branches is not an option, craft stores such as Michaels sell them – sometimes even already painted!

Browsing craft stores is an ideal way to get inexpensive table centerpiece ideas. Not only do they employ lots of crafty people who are usually more than willing to share their ideas, but they also have the best selection of craft books and magazines for additional inspiration.

And to help you keep all your wedding planning organized, I recommend the printable wedding planner.

Other unique wedding decoration ideas:

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