Your SOS for Table Decorations Using Little or No Flowers

Table decor

“Help! The flowers ate up our budget.” Ever hear this? Flowers certainly add life to a table display, but they can also take a chunk out of one’s decorating budget. So if you’re planning a bridal shower party for your daughter, sister, or friend, why not try table settings with minimal or no flowers—employing creative and even unconventional elements? Consider edible arrangements, for instance, that are full of color and texture. Or bring in objects you have at home for truly personalized tablescapes. Here, we share tips on how you can have stylish bridal shower table decor that’s both easy to create and budget-friendly.

How to Save on Table Decorations

1. Use food as part of the centerpieces – Food is one of the easiest ways to save on table décor. How? Just consider items in unique forms, colors, and textures. For example, you can set out breads in attractive shapes such as croissants, bread sticks, and hearty loaves with varied crunchy, flaky, and seed- or nut-covered crusts. You can also present canapés and hors d’oeuvres on pretty tiered platters and trays; and multi-colored pasta shells housed in elegant glass vases.

Fruits are another great table decor option. Tropical ones such as coconuts, pineapples, and bananas create an exotic luau look. While lemons,oranges, and limes are perfect for a summer party table display. For an example, check out Salute a Summer Wedding with a Citrus Theme Table Setting.

Even side dishes can double as decor accents. Just imagine an elegantly arranged cheese board for a bridal shower with a wine and cheese theme; or a colorful salad bar with varied greens and all the trimmings at a spa-themed party. In the sweets department, miniature cakes presented on cake plates trimmed with ribbons or frosted cupcakes arranged on multi-layered stands make irresistible centerpieces.

2. Try patterned table linens – Using a fabric with a distinct pattern and color is another easy way to make a table setting come alive. Depending on the theme or motif of your party, choose a fabric pattern that will best set off your table elements. Or if you don’t have a theme, select a fabric that can set a desired mood. For instance, a vibrant tropical print sets a beach-side ambiance, a damask tablecloth casts an elegant look, while a gingham runner says “country” or “preppy.”

3. Juxtapose decor elements – Pairing vintage with modern pieces, or bringing together mismatched patterns, textures, and even colors instantly adds style to the table setting. Here, we’ve used a variety of elements to create a striking look with a minimal use of flowers. Notice the lime green marbles, gerbera daisy heads, clear glass bowls and plates, and even rhinestone place card holders.

4. Infuse candlelight into the table display – By simply adding candles to a table, you bring instant elegance and romance to the party. White embossed candles look so lovely on pearl-ringed coasters surrounded by sparkling clear sequins, that only petite rose flowerpots are needed to complete the table decor. Then add pretty silver baskets that reflect beautifully against the candlelight. Fill the baskets with candies and arrange them on each guest’s place setting.

5. Assemble “favor display” centerpieces – With saving on table decor as a concern, what could be more appealing than centerpieces serving double-duty? For example, see how guest favors can be arranged in different fashions to create attractive table centerpieces. A simple gold plate charger can hold an assortment of little gift items packaged in tulle purses, pomander-shaped bags, and flower-shaped silk sachets. Mix and match the items to suit your party motif and to make the arrangement more interesting.

6. Set out drinks as table décor – Consider the shapely forms of bottles, pitchers, and decanters to form part of the tablescape. Assemble these containers artfully by interspersing them with wine glasses, water goblets, juice tumblers, or whatever suits the beverage selection you’ve prepared—as well as other edible table elements, like fruits, breads, and cheeses. To see an example, read A Fun Tropical Drinks Bar for Your Engagement Party or Say “Cheers!” With Party-Pretty Glasses & Goblets to get more ideas.

More ways to save on your floral décor:

7. Incorporate accents and embellishments – Place colored beads, stones, shells, baubles, confetti, and even candies in glass containers and, voila!, you’ve got a fantastic centerpiece. Add dimension by using containers in assorted shapes and sizes, such as cylinders, bowls, cubes, or even low trays. For a whimsical touch, you can even use balloons!

8. Experiment with non-traditional elements – Look around the house with a creative eye. You’ll probably discover a treasure trove of objects to make truly one-of-a-kind table displays. Objects such as books, antique jars and vases, tin containers, teapots, trays, and personal mementos can be interesting focal points for your table decor. Just imagine, for instance, a table with your favorite picture frames surrounded by scattered rose petals and a few stylish candle pieces.

9. Find less expensive flowers – If you feel you must have flowers, opt for more affordable ones such as carnations, marigolds, daisies, and orange blossoms. Or try simply using baby’s breath for a sweet, dainty look; or pure foliage for a stylishly elegant arrangement. Using in-season flowers is also a way to save for obvious reasons. In the end, less expensive doesn’t have to mean less attractive. Simply present your chosen blooms in interesting containers that suit your party theme, and you’re all set!

10. Use color as camouflage – When working with your event’s color palette, you can actually save on flowers by using those with more bold colors like fuchsia, orange, or yellow. For instance, in a color scheme with black set against white, you only have to use a few yellow flowers like sunflowers, callas, or tulips to create a striking impact.


  1. Me and my mum have come up with table center pieces at a next to nothing cost, having to rattle or brains for cheap centerpieces we came up with an idea that has virtually no cost!!!
    Filling plastic containers with water and placing all sorts of things in the water, petals, glitter, food colouring, gems or beads (the worlds your oyster) and freezing them.You can make vases by placing a smaller container in the middle and having the water freeze around the midddlle of the containers. Filling balloons and freezing them gives you a round ice sculpture…neat!!!

    You are left with decorated ice sculptures to place as a centerpiece and all that you would need would be a tray or plate for the sculpture to be placed on.

    Your guests will be wowed at your melting masterpieces and they look effective for a price thats next to nothing!!!

  2. Wow! That’s a real cool suggestion. It’s soooo original and cost-effective! Thanks for sharing it with us.

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