Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Centerpieces Part 2: Lauren's Mock-Ups!

This weekend I worked on mocking up possible centerpieces for the wedding, to see if my ideas could actually work out well in reality.  Trader Joe's was having a sale where the beautiful, vibrant, giant orchids that I would love to have in our wedding were on sale for $10 per branch, a ridiculously low price considering that Koolau Farmers quoted Grammy $30 per branch.

Based on the ideas in the previous post, here's the first centerpiece I created:

This is a small centerpiece, only 5" tall, and would sit on the cocktail tables.  I used pebbles instead of sand and (I think) 3" circular bowl.  I bought the pebbles and the vases at Michael's.  This bowl cost $1, and one bag of "river pebbles," which was able to spread to all the vases in this post, was $3.30.

Based on previous ideas, I also tried submerging an orchid completely inside a hurricane vase:

But I have to admit not liking this one so much.  It looked a bit like a head floating in a jar (?!).

Then I went on to try the centerpieces for the tables.  First I took a 8.75" high cylinder vase filled with the river pebbles to hold up the orchid stalk.  Note that I had to remove about half the blossoms from the bottom of the stalk in order to create this effect:

It is a simple design.  I like the starkness of the elements and the simplicity of the lines.  I am concerned about the height of the piece (14" tall) that would prevent people from talking across the table.  I am also concerned that this centerpiece is so simple, that it would just look like a flower in a vase.

So here's my personal favorite:

I like that it looks like there's more thought to it; it clearly uses the "orchid and sand" imagery; there are more elements.  Problems include: the flowers tend to fall out; Will said (and I agree) the layer of sand is monochromatic and less interesting to look at.  Will also said that this centerpiece might be too small to carry a round table seating 8, and I also agree.  Perhaps if there were loose orchids around the bottom to cover some of the monochrome sand and make it look larger?  I really want to go somewhere with a table of correct dimensions and see what it looks like.

I also learned: we can't just take sand off of the beach and throw it into a vase.  Apparently in fresh floral arrangements, you need to use only sterilized sand, or the flowers will die or something.  

Here's what Asa Flowers said:
I always have concerns when family wants to do the centerpieces.  First its not that simple, to get all the materials together and set up a work room at the hotel.  Second, it puts a strain on the person doing this since they are not in their element and familiar with the process.  Third, guest should be there to enjoy your special moment with you.
The basic ideas here are OK.  I think firstly, beach sand should not be used, we have pure white silica sand which is beautiful and pristine.  We would do this by having the glass cubes with an insert to hold the flowers, Like a cube within a cube idea so the sand does not get wet.  A cluster of Pink Cymbidium Orchids can be placed within, giving it a crisp, clean look without seeing any of the mechanics.  A nice clean contemporary look.
 6" x 4" x 7" Glass Cube Vase, lined inside with Pure White Silica Sand, filled with Pink Cymbidium Orchids (built inside a plastic insert, can be taken) (Vase and Sand on loan). $165.00
This was very helpful, and I'll continue to price out options.  FYI, here's a pic of all of the centerpieces I put together, against a tape measure:

Mom, Will, Gram, Ellen - thoughts?!    Love, Lauren

P.S. I just found this other idea that I LOVE:

Here are some websites with pretty good prices:
  •, $13 per stem, Purple and White Phalaenopsis Orchids - Ten Stems Cut Orchid Flowers
  •, Spray Cymbidiums Stems, $21 per stem
  •, Cymbidium Orchid wedding flowers, $22 per stem