Cheap Centerpiece Project

I don’t consider myself a “crafty” person. I can’t knit or sew, I don’t scrapbook, and I stay away from paint. But I also knew part of planning a budget wedding would include some DIY. What I’ve realized is that I can be creative with items without needing to make anything myself, or at least not anything time-intensive.

cheap centerpiece project

Close to my vision. Photo from Seattle chic on Flickr.

Bring on my cheap centerpiece project! My venue offers votive and tealight centerpieces for $8 per table. But I knew I could come up with something more unique and fitting for our fall-themed event for far less. First off we will be having fresh flowers in our centerpieces so I will obviously need something to put them in. I settled on using wine bottles. For the last several months I’ve been saving up nice bottles I buy (not always wine), peeling off the labels, soaking and cleaning them. Friends and family members, after hearing of my plan, have been generously donating bottles as well. I plan on tying red, burnt orange, or purple ribbons to each of these.

I’m calling these “free” even though in some cases I’ve spent something on them… I can definitely say they come to less than $4 per bottle. But just plopping one of these on each table won’t do. We’ll also be scattering these red, white, and orange glass pebbles on each table around the centerpieces. These were given to me for free from my boss. We used them for an event last year and they had been lying around the office ever since. I’m just glad I found them!


The third element will be framed photos of my fiancé and me growing up. These will also be free. I’ve asked family and friends if they were willing to donate frames for the day and so far I have a good sized collection of wooden, silver, and neutral toned photo frames. In a few weeks I’ll start digging around our families’ homes for some pictures to put in them. I think this will give our wedding a nice personal touch and who doesn’t like something cute to look at?

One thing I really like about these centerpieces is that they are not only inexpensive but almost completely waste-free. The bottles will be recycled, the pebbles reused, and the photo frames returned to their owners. This makes me feel really good.

Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more pandemic wedding resources here

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