Wedding Reception Centerpiece Styles to Inspire Your Florals

From over-the-top glam to shabby chic, see what your options are and how to tell which will work wonders for your wedding.
Wedding centerpiece styles and ideas
Photo by Heather Scharf Photography

The Rustic Wedding Centerpiece Style

Why You Might Want It

The wedding ceremony or reception (or both!) is near an outdoor setting, whether that be a refurbished barn or vineyard estate. Most of the décor will be taken care of by the beautiful scenery, so the florals are there to enhance the setting, not battle against it.

But Is It Really for You?

If you embrace the just-picked look that earthy arrangements offer, you'll be right at home with natural groupings. Also, if you really want to get the authentic rustic look, you'll have to shop for in-season stems, giving you less of a selection. Still, that doesn't mean your centerpieces will look too uninteresting; just think about how beautiful forests and gardens are!

Common Elements

  • Unstructured shapes
  • Found-in-the-wild fillers (think: raspberries and thistles)
  • Wicker baskets, metal tins or wood containers
  • Mixed textures


Classic wedding centerpiece with white flowers

The Classic Wedding Centerpiece Style

Why You Might Want It

Everything about your wedding is timeless—a neutral color palette, modest gown, family traditions (or heirlooms) and formal attire are all must-haves, even in the early stages of wedding planning.

But Is It Really for You?

Since the look of these arrangements is so impressionable, adding any type of accent, like frilly feathers or glitzy crystal embellishments, changes the entire feeling of the arrangement. So if you're looking for classic, keep it simple.

Common Elements

  • Light-colored blooms
  • Classic bridal flowers like hydrangeas, roses, baby's breath and tulips
  • Medium- to small-sized arrangements
  • A structured design
  • Understated cases or urns


Modern wedding centerpiece with calla lilies in an ice sculpture

The Modern Wedding Centerpiece Style

Why You Might Want It

If your reception is in a less traditional space, such as an art gallery or lounge, modern centerpieces will play off the setting's trendy vibe. If you have a more conventional setting, they'll transform the venue to match your avant-garde style. Break the single-centerpiece mold with clusters of centerpieces displayed in varying heights.

But Is It Really for You?

Do you follow—or set—trends? These fresh ideas will likely make you happy. If you hate the thought of showing photos from the wedding years from now and everyone being able to tell that you had a 2015 or 2016 wedding, then tone down the progressiveness.

Common Elements

  • Graphic, exotic flowers
  • Square or rectangular vases
  • Minimalistic, like a single branch of flowers
  • Very little greenery
  • An architectural feel


Glamorous wedding centerpiece of orchids and roses

The Glamorous Wedding Centerpiece Style

Why You Might Want It

You're looking to impress and drop some jaws—in other words, go big or go home. If you've got a blank slate venue to decorate, like a tent or loft, these centerpieces will instantly dress up your space. High-drama arrangements can also match the regal mood of historic settings—or overshadow their most charming parts.

But Is It Really for You?

With big, ornate centerpieces, you're going for a dramatic effect at the sacrifice of practicality. Depending on your dining setup, guests may have a hard time chatting with each other across the table. On the other hand, a striking flower arrangement is well worth it.

Common Elements

  • Height
  • Large, full, cascading shapes
  • Crystal embellishments
  • Multiple colors in one arrangement


Vintage wedding centerpiece idea

The Vintage Wedding Centerpiece Style

Why You Might Want It

Not only is lace your best friend, but you're sourcing most of your wedding décor from antique shops and accessorizing your bridal look with sentimental family heirlooms.

But Is It Really for You?

“Vintage" can mean different things to different people, varying from glamorous art deco (orchids and tall feather accents) to simple shabby chic (roses and ranunculus), so you'll have to define your angle. The DIY bride should keep in mind that re-creating an authentic vintage tablescape can be a challenge—homecrafted centerpieces might end up looking a little too faux-antique or upcycled.

Common Elements

  • Muted color palettes
  • Low vases, footed trays or compote bowls
  • Antique props (clocks, books, old-school milk bottles)



Special thanks to Donna O'Brien of Beautiful Blooms, Philadelphia; Natalie Willett of Zuzu's Petals, Orland Park, IL; and Orly Khon of Tangerine Creations, Boston