While wedding centerpieces can be designed to fit whatever your vision is, sometimes less is more. Choosing just a few details to highlight within your tablescape can bring a polished elegance to your reception table. Simple doesn't have to mean sparse either. A thoughtful curation can still absolutely make a statement.
“Centerpieces need to match the feeling you want the space to say,” says wedding planner Lacy Geary. “When designing a table, I look at it as a gathering space as opposed to just a place where people sit. The mood it evokes and the experience it is providing needs to be very thoughtful, whether that be simple and modest or simple and luxurious.”
Meet the Expert
Lacy Geary is a destination wedding planner and stylist, and owner of Lacy Geary Designs, a South Carolina based wedding planning company.
Whether you’ve opted for a grand wedding with a large guest list or an intimate elopement with just the two of you, a simple centerpiece can find its place in any style, from romantic to rustic. “The centerpieces need to match and compliment the overall tabletop design and not take away from the other elements,” says Geary. “Bringing what is near your venue to your tabletop gives the design a very cohesive feel, which is something I always like to have incorporated.”
Want some simple centerpiece inspiration? Read ahead to see stunning designs from real weddings.
Rely on a Runner
The ultimate exercise in simplicity, table runners don’t have to work very hard to elevate a tablescape design. Whether complemented with the addition of candles, minimalistic floral arrangements, table numbers, or loose leaves like this rustic outdoor wedding, runners can transform a table and still embody a simple design style.
Use a Greenery Garland
A fresh flower garland can range from lush and overgrown to small and sparse. With this large all-natural runner, there is no need for additional arrangement to fill up your table designer.
Add Taper Candles
Romantic and at times whimsical, taper candles undoubtedly cast an otherworldly glow on any additional design elements in the vicinity. For an extra punch, opt for taper candles only, housed in simple brass or gold candlesticks, for a luminous design.
Choose an Accent Color
One easy way to tie your tablescape together? Pick out a shade to use as an accent throughout the design. Light blue florals within the arrangements perfectly match the taper candles and napkins, bringing an elegant cohesion to this display.
Light It Up
A tribute to weddings in the style of a bygone era (we’re looking at you, Old Hollywood fêtes), we love the idea of table lamps having their moment. Inspired by their favorite New York bar, this couple hired artist Julie King to hand-paint 12 lampshades for lighting that ran the length of their head table.
Choose Big Blooms
Perfect for a tropical or desert wedding, sugarbushes are equal parts striking and simple. Also known as protea, sugarbushes need little else to complement them in order to make an impact. When fully bloomed, they’re sure to leave a lasting impression.
A subtle and sensible way to embrace simplicity when it comes to centerpieces can absolutely come to fruition with a variety of vessels and vases for floral arrangements. “A gorgeous table is not complete and the story hasn't come to life until the flowers are put on the table and the candles are set,” says Geary. “They play a huge role in completing the vision, but can't take away and overpower the overall vision either.”
Play Off the Tablecloths
Since the gingham tablecloth establishes a palette to this tablescape, only a few items are needed in addition to bring style to the design. We love how this wedding uses fun candle holders and long-stemmed florals to create an eclectic feel.
Have a Central Arrangement
While you can fill your tables with all sorts of blooms, why not keep it simple with just one central arrangement? This gold vase filled with roses, hydrangea, and other blooms feels elegant but not overwhelming.
Keep It Petite
Love a petite bouquet? Why not consider a petite arrangement to go along with it? Charming and appropriate for almost any wedding style, a small, simple vase containing an equally simple, but nevertheless vibrant, arrangement of blooms will more than pull its weight on a bistro table come cocktail hour.
No matter what flowers are used, ikebana-inspired arrangements are simplistic by nature, like this arrangement at a Charleston wedding. Embrace a centerpiece uniquely wild in its design by pairing with an even simpler vessel for that minimalist finishing touch.
Use Unexpected Natural Materials
At this rustic wedding in Oregon, the floral budget went towards moss and leaves instead of blooms. The choice absolutely makes a statement in a low-key and earthy way.
An easy way to create a simple yet classic tablescape is to embrace an all-white palette. Baby's breath played a starring role at this wedding, so the couple chose to incorporate it into arrangements of white blooms like dahlias, cosmos, and butterfly ranunculus. A sheer white runner added definition to the centerpieces.
Celebrate the Season
If you're hosting a winter wedding in a snowy locale, embrace the holiday feel and create a tablescape immersed in tree branches, pine cones, and dreamy candlelight.
Opt for Oversized
Simple doesn’t have to mean small. Go big with an oversized floral arrangement with candlesticks and votive woven throughout the tablescape. While far from basic, the singular centerpiece will pull focus right where you want it to be within the overall design of the reception space, creating an elegant, luxurious feel, without being busy.
While a tall arrangement is absolutely show-stopping, it doesn't have to be that intricate. A simple mix of palm fronds and monstera leaves all in the same green shade brings an elegant and tropical feel to this wedding reception. Not only are the centerpieces stunning, but the glass vase also makes it easier for guests to see each other across the table.
Consider Your Vessels
Looking to fill space across a long table but want to keep the tablescape simple? Choose vases that take up space like this long rectangular vessel. A few blooms and greenery are all you need to complete the look.
A trip to the farmers market is all you need to create this stylish and simple centerpiece. Potted herbs and a beautiful display of fresh produce brought a beautiful color and vibrancy to this Spanish garden wedding.
Play With Pottery
Displaying collected vessels in neutral tones accented with taper candles and sparse blooms is a stunning way to create a minimalist tablescape at your wedding.
Think in Black and White
It's as simple as black and white. Pair white florals with bold black plates to create a minimalist contrast that pops. Greenery within the arrangements at this golf course wedding helps warm up the design.