We have all seen it: one minute they’re there, the next minute they’re gone. I’m referring to centerpieces, of course. It is very prevalent for guests to walk off with them toward the end of the evening as if just the act of dining at a table means the centerpiece is a party favor, waiting to be taken.
We all know that it’s proper etiquette for guests to ask the couple’s families if it is appropriate to take home a centerpiece. Emily Post would have it no other way. It’s great when that actually happens because often, families have made prior arrangements for the flower’s next life once the happy couple has waved farewell to their guests.
We also know that vases are often rented and an additional cost will be incurred if the vase is not returned. No one wants to intentionally do that to a newlywed.
Photo Josh Baker
Today the modern couple has a few different options when it comes to the outcome of floral centerpieces. Here are three ideas to keep in mind when addressing this issue with your client-couple:
1. A gift for the guests. If the bride and groom consider the vases into their florist cost, they are free to do whatever they want with their centerpiece(s) after the wedding has ended. This includes leaving them for their guests to take home and enjoy.
2. Spread the pretty throughout the party. Today’s event flowers can transform into something entirely different after their work as a centerpiece is through. For example, create a “flower bar” where people can pull apart centerpieces and create their own designs, or have an on-site florist producing everything from flower crowns to posy bouquets, corsages, or boutonnieres.
3. Donate to different centers of their choice such as a hospital or nursing home. This is a great idea that gives back to the community. Place a small card near each floral display, explaining the donation of the florals. Couples can discuss this choice with their florist in advance, who will be delivering them, and ask if they will be re-arranged in a different vase for delivery.
Photo Josh Baker
At Malleret Designs, we make sure to have this conversation with the couple during our consultation, and share each option.
Centerpieces are often the heart of a table. No matter what a couple decides to do, guests presuming they can whisk flowers away is a real issue. Wherever the florals land, hopefully their ongoing beauty will be appreciated.
Marcela Bogado Dhar is the founder of the luxury floral and event design company, Malleret Designs, Austin, TX.