We (obviously) love flowers as a wedding centerpiece, but every now and then, it's great to see some innovative tablescape ideas that require no floral elements. While a peony-laden table will ALWAYS work, for the modern bride (or bride on a budget), thinking outside the box to create a flowerless reception is an exercise in creative thinking—and can result in some incredible displays of beauty. The possibilities are endless (but can also go tacky quite quickly, so be sure to edit yourself), and if executed well, can result in Instagram fodder your guests will be talking about well after the party has ended! Here are five of our favorite ideas to ponder as you start planning your reception décor.
No, not the tacky bedazzling types (those you should stay FAR away from)—rather, the natural element kind. Have your planner go monochromatic (shades of only white would be perfect for a winter wedding) or choose a palette (pale blushes, deep greens) when choosing the crystals—you could even do a different colorway for the head table if you have one. Cluster them together in organic (read: not uniform) bunches as a runner down your tables, and add in twinkling votives to catch the light of your creation.
It may seem obvious, but again, it's the execution of this idea that makes it interesting. Collect or rent TONS (we're talking hundreds if you can—after all, you aren't paying for flowers!) of vintage brass and copper candlesticks in varying heights and shapes, and then load all of your tables up with 'em. For extra drama, have your candles go ombre in color as they wind down the table.
This one goes out to all our color-lovers. For a real punchy table, collect beautiful loose tiles in different colors and patterns (but stay cohesive in your palette—as long as the two to three main colors are the same, it's okay if the accent colors and patterns are different) to act as a runner. Instead of lining them up perfectly, layer parts of them on top of each other so there is dimension and playfulness. Add taller candlesticks instead of votives so you get some height on your tablescape, but keep them simple so as not to distract from the tiles. For a more minimalist bride, use this same technique, but with marble tiles.
Add some drama to your tables (and the rest of your reception décor) with beautiful pampas grass—it's fluffy and beautifully muted. Kudos to the bride who can keep the rest of her reception and tables in line with this color—monochrome dusty shades of taupe, greige, and creams.
For those brides that want a little iridescent etherealness on their tables, we're really digging these tropical creations from Sophie Parker, perfect when showcased in a more traditional vase to juxtapose the whimsy of the foliage. As an alternative, have your florist spray paint similar foliage matte white and create a runner down your table.