6 Tips for Creating Amazing DIY Wedding Centerpieces

diy wedding centerpieces
Photos by Daniel Montoya

I’m the first to admit then when it comes to anything DIY I definitely get nervous. My mind starts racing and I start thinking of a gazillion ways to do something (or not do something) and then I end up chickening out. But what I’ve FINALLY realized the past couple years is that DIY is not as scary as I can sometimes make it out to be. Thinking about it as a creative process that can be whatever YOU want it to be has really made me come around to the idea of it…and guess what? I actually have FUN doing it! This is especially true of DIY wedding centerpieces.

Not only can making your own centerpieces help you save money in the long run, but they can turn out even more unique and special than ones assembled by the pros. To help you create the best DIY wedding centerpieces ever, we asked several experts to share their tips, below.

Our Experts

Joan Wyndrum O’Hear, florist and founder of Blooms by the Box
Ashley Greer, owner of Atelier Ashley Flowers
Amy McCord, florist and founder of Flower Moxie

Are DIY Wedding Centerpieces Cheaper?

Most floral and design experts agree that DIY wedding centerpieces can help you cut costs, as long as you have the time, energy, and dedication required. “Many people are intimidated by the thought of DIY wedding flowers, but they can be so easy and even fun with the proper resources and help,” says Joan Wyndrum O’Hear, florist and founder of wholesale flower company, Blooms by the Box. “There are myriad online tutorials available for virtually every shape and style of arrangement that can be used both for instruction and inspiration.” 

What’s more: You don’t have to use fresh flowers to pull off impressive DIY wedding centerpieces, according to Ashley Greer, owner of Atelier Ashley Flowers in Alexandria, Virginia. “Fresh flowers are not a 100 percent necessity,” she says. In addition to or in lieu of artificial flowers, “you can get creative with dried flowers, paper flowers, books, crafts or candles.”

When it comes to cost, if going with traditional flowers you can expect to save $50-$100 or more per centerpiece if you DIY. This will of course depend on the types of flowers you choose as well as how intricate the arrange is. DIY’ing your arrangements will also mean you’ll save on labor and delivery fees as well.

For floral and non-floral centerpeices, the average cost can range from $25-$50 per centerpiece.

How to Create DIY Wedding Centerpieces

Here’s everything you need to know to pull off amazing, one-of-a-kind DIY wedding centerpieces that save you money.

1. Research flowers

If you do decide to go the real-flower route, it’s a good idea to do some research so you know what will be in season and the average cost per stem. “Carnations are one of the least expensive flowers to use, while peonies are among the most expensive,” says O’Hear. 

2. Get inspired

Chances are, you’ve used online resources such as Pinterest and Instagram for much of your wedding planner. These are great places to find inspiration for your DIY centerpieces. “Remember, you can always swap out colors or leave out certain flowers you may not like, as well as include ones that aren’t necessarily in your inspiration photos,” notes O’Hear. “You can even find inspiration at other weddings or events you’ve been to.”

3. Start shopping with time to spare

You don’t want to wait until the last minute to figure out your centerpiece situation. The first step is to determine your specific flower count and the supplies you will need. “Your flower vendor will be able to help you determine this if you can share an inspiration photo and provide some details,” notes O’Hear. “It’s best to place orders at least two to three weeks in advance of the event to make sure you know what you want with a plan to receive them two or three days before the event to allow you time to re-hydrate, prep and arrange them.”

If you’re using faux florals or non-floral materials, aim to get your DIY projects done a minimum of one month in advance.

4. Look for smart substitutions for high-priced flowers

O’Hear recommends sticking to in-season blooms that are readily available. Not only will they look the best, but they’ll also be the most affordable. If you’re going the non-flower route, she suggests embracing candles with some greenery properly placed. “From votives to hurricane vases, floating candles, and pillars, they really set the tone for an elegant event,” she adds.

Amy McCord Jones, florist and founder of Flower Moxie, seconds this. “Centerpieces are often built around a color theme and the style of event to enhance the decor outside of the tablescape, but don’t always have to be fresh floral arrangements. They can also be lanterns, clusters of candles or artistic sculptures.”

5. Choose a manageable vase size

McCord Jones recommends against the use of large vases for DIYers due to the hefty volume of product they require. “It’s best to stick with a vessel that has a 5-6 inch opening or smaller,” she says. “This is not only less intimidating for a newbie, but does not take as much volume of flowers to fill out.”

6. Enlist help

“If you are taking on a decent number of centerpieces, you’ll want your wedding party and/or family and friends to help you with this task,” says O’Hear. “The best way to incorporate folks to help is to create a prototype centerpiece and let the helpers follow suit.”

Have an assigned team of friends and family to not only set up the decorations, but to remove them at the end of the wedding night as well.

Try This Farmer’s Market-Inspired DIY Wedding Centerpiece

There are so many great farmer’s markets across the country, and I’ve always thought it would be so great to incorporate that theme into a spring or summer wedding centerpiece. I also wanted to challenge myself by using artificial flowers. So when I went to JOANN and saw the gorgeous floral AND a super cute garden tote, the idea of combining the two for a fresh and unique wedding centerpiece came to mind. I just love walking around markets seeing the flowers and vegetables overflowing from tote bags, which was definitely the inspiration for our DIY wedding centerpiece, below.

The best part? It was SUPER easy to put together. I’ve outlined the step-by-step process, below, but I basically took two ceramic pots and put them into the garden tote bag, then began bending the floral stems to the height I wanted and filling the pots and bag with various types of flowers until I got the look and fullness I wanted. We layed some extra greenery around the bag so it didn’t look too sparse, then put a great sign we found at JOANN (for under $5!) in front of it. We topped it off with a David Tutera chalkboard stake table number that we used white paint pen on (though you could totally use chalk which we would actually recommend more in case you make a mistake) and that was it! Easy peasy!! And it took under 6 minutes!

What We Used:

  • Garden Tote
  • 2 6-inch Ceramic Clay Pots (though any heavy flower pots would do)
  • Chalkboard Sign Stakes
  • Assorted Faux Floral (we used around 11 stems for this centerpiece, including Peony Sprays, Eucalyptus Sprays, Queen Anne Sprays, and Ranunculus Sprays)
  • Asparagus Fern Garland (any greenery would do here. Just snip it off the branch so you can spread it out)

Step 1: Start by laying your greenery on the table followed by the tote. Re-arrange as needed.

diy wedding centerpieces laying greenery
diy wedding centerpieces putting weight on it

Step 2: Insert two, 6-inch ceramic pots (they’re great because they have a good amount of weight to hold the bag down). Next up…the flowers! We started with peony sprays because they’re large and well, who doesn’t love a peony?!

diy wedding centerpieces pots in bag
diy wedding centerpieces pick flowers

Step 3: We bent the stems about halfway, since cutting these would be difficult as they’re very sturdy. Then, I placed them one at a time into the pot. I started with the larger blooms (peonies), then moved on to filler like eucalyptus after the other blooms (like ranunculus) were in.

diy wedding centerpieces cutting flowers
diy wedding centerpieces add flowers in bag
diy wedding centerpieces flowers in bag
diy wedding centerpieces add white flowers
diy wedding centerpieces cutting white flowers
diy wedding centerpieces roses
diy wedding centerpieces yellow flowers
diy wedding centerpieces add yellow flowers
diy wedding centerpieces fill empty space

Step 4: Once you have a general idea of how you want it to look, go back and fill up more space as needed. We love how the peonies give you a TON of impact with just one stem.

diy wedding centerpieces complete the look

Step 5: Use chalk or a paint pen for each table number stake. We then placed it in a round piece of floral foam and inserted that into the middle of the bag.

diy wedding centerpieces table number
diy wedding centerpieces table number with foam
diy wedding centerpieces add table number
diy wedding centerpieces final

Step 6: Add a framed photo of the two of you or a sign (like this one) to round out the table.

diy wedding centerpieces add frame
diy wedding centerpieces add frame with note

Step 7: And you’re done! Our new favorite wedding centerpiece!

diy wedding centerpieces final decoration

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