Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It’s a Nice Day for a Purple Wedding

Over the weekend a couple who are very special to my hubby and I got married.  I’ll spare you the details and get right to the good stuff – table decorations.  Maybe this isn’t true for every bride, but when I was getting married the décor became an obsession.  It creates the feel and the tone of your day and sets the stage for an amazing night.  I took one year to plan the details of the ambiance of my day; this bride gave me two weeks.  To be fair, the wedding date was decided only a month in advance.  When I got the word I could help (let’s be honest I begged to help) I got right down to business!  

The guest list was exclusive: 13 people including the bride and groom.  This was good news because it meant there was only one table to decorate, so we could get a little crazy and still come in on a budget.  Since the cylinder vases I used for my wedding were still sitting in the garage, it was a perfect opportunity to save some major cash.  The only thing left was deciding what to fill them with.  The theme was purple and the budget was small, so after one slight bout of panic I dug into my wedding files and came up with this:

After asking the bride at least 100 times what her accent colors were, and after hearing “I trust you just go with it” as a response I took a leap and decided on green and brown for accents.  I used varying shades of purple to create a monochromatic effect. 

The centerpieces were composed of 5 main fillers:

1 - Submerged tulips: I bought the flowers from Rainbow Foods, and they looked amazing.  I didn’t have a plan they day I went shopping, I just crossed my fingers and hoped for purple.  I was in luck and picked up a great bunch of tulips.  I used the leaves to make a ring around the bottom so the stems didn’t show.  It’s important to do this step before you add water to the vase!  I took the rest of the leaves off the flowers to make the vases less cluttered.  I spiraled the stems around the glass and pushed the stems down into the vase to secure them.  If you skip this step the flowers will float, but don’t worry if this happens you can use the handle of a wooden spoon to push them back down into the vases where they belong.  Then, fill the vases with water and you are done!  You can choose to submerge the whole flower, but I left parts of the tulip out of water to give it more interest.   

2 - Quartered limes: This one is very simple.  I bought 20 limes and quartered them and stuck them in the vase.  It creates a nice look and the green of the lime pulls off the green of the tulip stems to create a cohesive color scheme. 

3 - Coffee beans: This one is also super easy.  When buying the beans you are looking for whole coffee beans, not grounds.  You can sometimes buy these in bulk at a cheaper price.  Also, the beans smell great so that is an added bonus!  Pour them in the vase, add a pillar candle, and you are done!

4 - Tiered roses: I also got the roses at Rainbow Foods, major score! Start by putting an inch of water in the vase and cut the roses at three different lengths, starting off with the tallest one.  Make sure the flowers don’t overlap and there is even space between each rose.  For this one, do not submerge the flower. 

5 - Purple rocks and a floating candle:  I bought deep purple rocks at IKEA and I filled the bottom of the vases with these rocks.  I added water and a floating candle and I was done!

When setting the table I used wide ribbon to create a table runner, which adds a nice pop of purple.  I started by organizing the vases into their respective five categories.  I began with the vases that I had the most of, the ones with the purple rocks, and randomly scattered them evenly across the table length.  This created an anchor for the centerpiece.  Next, I added each category, one at a time, to create a balanced and eclectic centerpiece. 

Here is the budget breakdown:

Vases - Free
Limes – $11.80
Tulips - $5.99
Roses - $9.99
Rocks – $9.00
Floating Candle - $6.00
Coffee Beans - $12.00
Pillar Candles - $3.00

Total: $57.78

P.S. we made the cake too!  While, actually the hubby made the cake and told me I was too neurotic to help.  It was the most delicious chocolate cake by the Barefoot Contessa with hints of coffee in both the cake and frosting found here.  The hubby DID, however, let me decorate the cake.  I added a deep purple ribbon and a gorgeous white rose.  If you are using a satin ribbon the oils from the frosting are likely to soak through the ribbon.  For my ribbon the oils soaked evenly through so it looked uniformed instead of blotchy and oily.  Here is the final product:


  1. Beautiful job. I'm glad you're my daughter.

  2. LOVE this. I am having a purple and green wedding this September and we are on a budget to say the least. So these ideas are wonderful. I especially love the submerged tulips and the layered roses. AWESOME!!!
    -September Bride

  3. Thanks! This is a super easy DIY that you can do the day before to save on stress the day of your wedding!


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