Wedding Recap: Centerpieces

In an effort to re-live my wedding for as long as possible, I give you the Wedding Recap Series. If you don’t care, click the X and I’ll see you on my next rant about normal mundane life shit.

I knew from the beginning that FRUGAL was going to be the name of our wedding game. I also knew that I did not want to use flowers as decorations. I wanted to reflect the theme we chose for our wedding: Wine. We chose that theme because it’s basically how our relationship started. On our first date (at my apartment, eye roll).. I asked J to bring wine. When I opened the door, he was empty-handed! Turns out he was so nervous that he forgot the wine in his car.. and that has always been a fun joke between us (me thinking he left the wine in his car to provide an easy get-away option, him thinking when he came back upstairs with the wine that I wouldn’t answer the door).

My DIY Wine Themed Wedding Centerpieces:


Black Cherry Candles (Dollar Tree)

Wine bottles (collected from ourselves and friends)

Wine corks (collected from ourselves and friends)

Wine glasses (various SMALL sizes, Dollar Tree and Goodwill)

Ribbon (Michael’s)

Artificial grapes (Dollar Tree)

Ivy leaves (JoAnne Fabrics)

Charger plates (pie plates from Dollar Tree, purple spray paint from Michael’s)

Iridescent cellophane shreds (Dollar Tree)

Green wire (?? already owned)

Heavy cardstock (I used 110lb weight)


This project started with the wine bottles. I knew that I would be using them as the center of my center pieces, and the labels had to be removed. I did this by first soaking the bottles in soapy water for a day (or two in some cases), scraping off the paper, then using peanut butter on the sticky parts to remove the glue. The peanut butter had to sit for another day or so to really work…. it was a long process.  There were wine bottles filling my sink and kitchen counters for WEEKS! I looked like an alcoholic with a peanut butter obsession. Which is partly true… although I’m not telling which part.

I originally wanted to put a string of battery operated lights in the bottles, but was unwilling to buy a diamond drill bit to drill holes into the bottom/side of the bottles to string the lights through and leave the battery pack sitting outside of it. I didn’t have any clever ways of covering a battery pack hanging out of the top of the bottle either, so I had to scrap that plan. My next inspiration occurred at Dollar Tree, when I saw the iridescent cellophane shreds! I knew that it would mimic the look of light bouncing around inside the bottle, so I went for it. Stuffing them into the bottles is not a fun task, but the effect is great:


Next up.. wine glasses.  After seeing something on Pinterest using upside wine glasses, I knew that I wanted to somehow incorporate that idea into my centerpieces.  However, I also knew that there would be some sort of paper product with the table number on it directly above the bottle and was worried about.. oh you know… starting a fire. I did some testing with different wine glass and candle heights, and positioned the paper in a couple of different ways. I finally figured out that by using only SMALL wine glasses (the largest of which was about 6″ tall), I could get away with this idea and not burn the venue to the ground.  Being the ultimate cheap-o, I first scoured Goodwill for wine glasses. It was a great idea because I made out like a bandit! Most of them were 95 cents, and there were as many shapes, sizes and varieties as you could imagine! After cleaning Goodwill out, I headed to Dollar Tree to get the remainder of what I needed. Each table was to have 3 wine glasses on it. (PS – carry a measuring tape with you, makes life so much easier).

Finding the right candles was a much simpler process. When I was in Dollar Tree buying wine glasses, I picked up a couple of different short pillar candles as well. I brought them home, put them on the bottom of the wine glass stem to make sure they all fit, then did a Burn Test. I made this technical term up. I lit each one and set a timer for 4 hours, the length of my reception. Keeping a VERY close eye on them, I was waiting to see if any would last the whole time without dripping wax all over the place or otherwise making a humongous mess (or… starting a fire). The Black Cherry scented pillar candles won the test, smelled delicious and were the PERFECT color. I needed them in bulk though (one for each of the three wine glasses on each table), so I ordered them online from Dollar Tree. As you can see, I also tied ribbon around them. I can’t make a bow to save my life, so I just left the ribbon hanging and wrapped it around the candle while storing them to make them a little curvy.

The picture I saw of upside wine glasses had flowers underneath. Rejecting the flower idea, I thought it would be cool to use grapes instead! You know, sticking with the whole wine theme and everything. I had seen pretty decent quality artificial grapes at Dollar Tree so I ordered them in bulk online as well. I’m extremely pleased with all of the things I purchased from Dollar Tree.. I love when cheap looks good :)


That purple plate you see was another mini project to make the larger one possible.  I spent days searching online and in stores for the right shade of purple charger plates without much luck. The ones I did find, were $2+ per plate! I only needed 15, and didn’t want to spend over $30 between tax & shipping, so I made my own damn charger plates. Dollar Tree (of course) has 11″ pie plates in silver for $1 each. I bought 1 can of spray paint from Michael’s and went to town:

At that point, all I had left to add was the table numbers and something around the plate to make it look less “empty”. I knew I was going to use corks to hold the table numbers but wasn’t sure exactly how. At first I thought I might try finding those plastic 3-prong picks that a florist would use to put a card in a bouquet, if you know what I mean. After experimenting with a couple of different “holders”, I scrapped that idea. Having something sticking out of the corks looked stupid. Then on a random internet search, I came across the idea to use wire and bend it into a usable holder that could go around the corks! BRILLIANT!

Table numbers

I am not going to lie to you, this was the most painstakingly tedious task of all the wedding tasks I did. If you don’t have patience.. and you don’t want your fingers to be super glue-y for a few days… skip this and do something else! I first cut the wire into a length that would wrap around the cork quite a few times, extend a couple of inches up, then wrap in another few circles to hold the papers. I wrapped the cork first, held it on with pliers and put super glue all over the wire. When I was sure it was dry, I straightened out the wire then twisted the top part into circles, usually 4 or 5 overlapped. When I printed the table numbers, I stuck the card in, made sure it was center and level, then super glued the wire circles to both sides of the card. Like I said, tedious… sticky… I may or may not have glued my fingers together many a couple times.

Printing the cards was simple enough. I’m fortunate to have access to Microsoft Publisher at work, which is the program I used to make these :) I may or may not have used their printer. And card stock too. Don’t judge me!

The very last part to the puzzle was a little flare for the charger plates. I wanted to use extra rose petals that I purchased for my cute little flower girl but my best friend/Matron of Honor threw a fit saying the petals blended in with the plates and were too dark. I really didn’t give a shit at that point, I was ready to be done with it! I went on one last shopping trip to find some ivy, on the premise that my friend would be adding it to the plates. I didn’t know how to do it without making them look like shit!

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I stretched this project out over a span of 3 months, slowly gathering the parts and pieces and doing it in small chunks. I stored the completed centerpieces in boxes, with anywhere from 1 – 3 “tables” in each box. I kept all of the wine bottles with table numbers in their own box together that was open at the top so the papers didn’t get bent. After being packed up for weeks, everything sill looked great when we opened the boxes on June 29th!





7 thoughts on “Wedding Recap: Centerpieces

  1. Pingback: Wedding Recap: Favors | Write in the Wrong Way

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