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Creating Perfect Table Centrepieces


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Now that your table settings are perfection, you can move on to the more creative and exciting part of table decoration - table centrepieces!  As the name suggests, a table centrepiece really is the focal point of your celebration table and should reflect the party theme.  You don't need a huge budget to create a gorgeous centrepiece - you just need a little know-how and some fresh ingredients!

Planning the Perfect Centrepiece

Start by keeping your theme in mind.  If you're hosting a seasonal event, a colour themed celebration or a milestone party, think about the elements that will bring your theme to life.  For a summer beach party, you might like have large bunches of frangipanis mixed with wired starfish and scattered shells as your centrepieces. 

Also keep in mind what is available at the time of your event.  Unless you have an unlimited budget, you should plan to purchase flowers and other decorative elements that are in season.  You can see the times of the year that particular flowers that are in season for each month of the year right here.  Buying flowers in season will save you a fortune and the outcome will be much better as your flowers will be fresher and lovelier for much longer than ones that have been flown in from overseas or grown out of season.

The Elements of the Perfect Table Centrepiece

You will need a vessel of some description to hold your centrepiece in place.  If you are using flowers or water of some kind, you will need a vase.  Vases are available in all shapes and sizes, and we recommend you have a few available in your home for those lovely moments when you are given flowers for a special occasion, or when you are hosting an event.  You might like to have a couple of long or tower vases, a fishbowl vase, a few deep bowls which make lovely table centrepieces and some miniature vases or bottles which can be clustered for great effect.

Depending on your event, you can be creative about the vessels you choose.  Doesn't this colander look terrific for this kitchen tea table centrepiece?

You could use jars, buckets, plant pots, ceramic dishes... be imaginative about the way to display your centrepieces and you'll have a great effect.

You'll also need some candles in different shapes and sizes.  Candles make the best dinner party lights as they cast an ambient glow over the table and create intimacy in the space.  If you can turn down overhead lights, even better to let the candles twinkle on the table.  It's best to choose dripless and odourless candles for your table as you don't want to dull the aromas of your food with artificial candle scents.  Don't be too concerned about size and shape - some of the most beautiful dinner party tables we have seen have many different sizes of candles - tapers, votives, tea lights, pillars - all placed down the centre of the table with a simple floral arrangement - simple and beautiful and you can reuse these candles over and over and over again.

After this, the table centrepiece comes down to floral arrangements, fruit and vegetables or other creative arrangements.

Buying the Elements for Table Centrepieces

Creating the perfect floral centrepiece really starts with the right flowers.  Don't think that the more you spend on flowers the better your centrepiece will be, because although some elaborate centrepieces really are very spectacular, for most celebrations simple is far more effective and beautiful.  Just quietly - we have used clipped hydrangeas and roses from the backyard as table centrepieces and these have looked more heavenly than some of the monstrous floral centrepieces our brides have paid thousands for! 

Plan some time on the morning before your event to visit a local florist or if you are lucky enough to have one nearby, a flower market.  If you are purchasing your fruit, vegetables and meat for your party the day before, you will probably find that there will be a fresh flower seller near-by.  Talk with the florist about what is freshest that day and what will open beautifully in time for your party tomorrow.  Smell the flowers to make sure they won't conflict or overtake the fragrance of your food on the table.  Buying hardier flowers in one or two colours makes a better centrepiece than a mass of busy colours and styles.  Keep your choices as simple as possible for the best effect.

You might also like to purchase some florist supplies for your centrepieces from your florist.  Some handy items to have at home for creative centrepieces and flower arranging include florist foam (the dark green sponge that you stick stems into for support), florist tape and wire for wiring flowers that wilt, water pearls or stones or marbles to add interest to a clear vase, and flower prolonging sachets to keep your flowers fresh.

If you plan on using foliage, you could purchase that here as well.  Or think about adding some other fresh ingredients to your centrepiece recipe - gorgeous fresh herbs or fruit from the fruiterer makes a pretty centrepiece as well.

Arranging Your Floral Centrepieces

If you are using flowers, once have them at home you need to preserve their freshness as best as possible.  Trim the stems of the flowers to the diagonal and remove any leaves that will be submerged under water.  Generally speaking, you would arrange your flowers with the tallest flower in the centre and graduate the other flowers around this to create a symmetrical shape.  But you can create any shape you like and many table centrepieces look wonderful when they are not symmetrical at all! 

No matter what shape you are making with your flowers, it is always best to cut less than you think you need to from the stems - you can always trim more off but you generally can't add more on!  You can bunch the flowers in your hand or in the vessel as you go to see the best shape, size and length.  Take your time and shuffle them around.

If you're using a filler or decorative element in your vase such as pebbles or marbles, add this in first.  Then fill your vessel with fresh water and add a sachet of flower preserver.  Place your flowers into the vessel and place onto your table.

Here are some great ideas for beautiful floral centrepieces:

And some amazing non-floral centrepieces to inspire your creativity:



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