A Guide to Vases

One of the fun parts of planning an event is deciding what your tablescape will look like.  From elegant to rustic, a vase exists for every price point.  For my own wedding, which I guess would fall into the 'rustic' category, I had all of my family members hoard ridged tomato sauce cans which I then transformed with shiny off-white spraypaint.  The end result was a fresh looking, repurposed vessel that was super easy to arrange in.  

Given that there is a limitless range of vessel options for your event, I've grouped some here for you to get the wheels turning on creative alternatives to a basic glass jar.


I love the old school apothecary feel of Boston Glass.  Paired with fern fronds or tropical foliage, these bottles toe the line of clean and earthy.  They are super affordable and come in a range of sizes.  Good places to check out:  Amazon and Uline.


While these Helen Levi Stoneware Tumblers may be on the pricier end of the spectrum ($44 each), mix and matched with concrete, black, or clear vessels, they could make for a really beautiful centerpiece option.  I am personally a little obsessed with them.  Just think, you could buy a set of 8 to use for smaller centerpieces and then take them home to complement your new dinnerware set.  Even better - Register for these for your wedding shower and have a loved one splurge on them for you!


I love these brass trays from Terrain.  They are clean and modern, but could totally be softened up - in my mind - in one of two ways.  Fill them with a lush and airy composition of greenery - ferns, pale green hellebores, and sheet moss tucked low in between the stems (Do I smell a how-to?).  OR you could go more whimsical and fill these planters with cottage garden flowers - columbine, Larkspur, climbing roses, and gomphrena.  Neutral or girly, I think these classic trays are the bees knees.


Just because an object's intended purpose may not have been to hold water (or flowers for that matter), it could still be the perfect piece for your tables.  Take this pencil holder from Anthropologie.  I could envision doing one of two things with this.  You could do bright, 'pop' flowers in it by nestling a glass vial that fits the width of the triangle and filling with water.  Or you could skip the water all together and stick with a neutral, textural palette and fill it with fluffy grasses or feathers.


Another fun alternative (or complement) to traditional floral arrangements is a terrarium vessel like this one from Save-on-Crafts.  Tuck a grayish white or sage green tillandsia (air plant) in here and balance the weighty low vessel with either trailing vines along the center of the table or skinny, taller vases containing single stems.  Sleek brass candle sticks or straight edged stemware would also work well as part of this idea.


Footed bowls, urns, compotes, pedestal vases - all of these have shown up again and again on the most beautifully designed wedding tables as of late.  With good reason.  They're elevated enough so that you can achieve a beautiful draping affect with flowers and foliage.  They're relatively low and wide, meaning you get maximum impact without obstructing the view between guests.  And they come in a wide range of materials - terra-cotta, copper, nickel, or glass.  These Campo de' Fiori Venetian Aged Terra Cotta bowls are currently the cadillac of sorts amongst wedding designers.  They are a bit of an investment, and you either need to use a liner or brush caulk inside to water proof them, but they are absolutely timeless and would look just right in your garden after your wedding day has long past.  

While all of these options are a great start for covering a range of 'looks', dare I forget to mention another obvious resource for centerpiece vessels.  Flea markets, garage sales, florist studio sales (yes, these exist!), ebay, and craigslist could hold a treasure trove of objects perfect for your flower arrangements.  Word to the wise - if you are going to go this route, give yourself plenty of time (at least 9 months) to amass your collection.  While you're at it, recruit family members to join in on the vase hunting with you.  Often you can get lucky and find someone who is selling an entire lot of "like" items.

Vases are a subject that never gets boring, as trends are always changing and creatives keep thinking up new ways to showcase cut flowers and plants.  Have fun shopping and let me know what ingenious vase hacks you come up with!