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Bridal Club Magazine

Choosing Centerpieces for your Reception

A lovely centerpiece adds the finishing touch to your reception tables. During the course of the reception, your guests will probably spend more time looking at the centerpiece than they do at your gown, so you want it to be attractive, yet not break your budget. Following are suggestions to consider when choosing centerpieces for your reception.

- Choose a centerpiece that is appropriate in size for the size of the table. A small arrangement placed in the center of a 72-inch table will be lost, while a large arrangement on a 36-inch table can be overpowering.

- Don't choose a centerpiece that visually obstructs your guests' ability to converse with each other or to see what is happening in the room. Either keep it low, or choose something that is tall and slender, such as a topiary. You can quickly assemble a centerpiece by using a round glass bowl (12" or more in diameter), adding colored rocks or marbles, water, and either several blossoms or floating candles.

- To visually increase the size of your centerpiece, center it on a mirror tile, a colored napkin, a crocheted doily, a straw mat, or another item. Mirror tiles can be rented; the reception center can supply napkins; you can find doilies and other items at craft stores, discount stores, and import shops.

- Many reception centers do not allow the use of candles with an open flame, though they may allow candles that are covered with a hurricane glass or another form of cover, or floating candles that are surrounded by water. Be sure to ask before purchasing candles.

- If you are planning an outdoor reception, choose centerpieces that can withstand wind and heat. A centerpiece that is low and heavy is best. One that is tall can easily blow over. Flowers and candles left in the bright sun will wilt or melt, so a more durable centerpiece would be a better choice. Plants withstand heat better than cut flowers and the pots will be heavier and less apt to blow over. For a Continental touch, choose potted herbs, such as rosemary and basil. Tie the pots with a raffia bow, and place on a straw mat. The plants can later be given to family members or guests as a favor or a thank you.

- For a classic look, place bowls of fruit on your tables. For a fall reception, choose cornucopias and create a cascade of fruit, or use hollowed-out pumpkins filled with fall flowers and surrounded by fruit.

With a bit of imagination, you can create a lovely centerpiece without spending a lot of money.

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