See & Do: Tropical Wedding Centerpiece Using Coconuts + Leaves

Coconuts tablescape |

Are you having an exotic beach wedding out on a sandy shore lined with palm and coconut trees? Then this is one DIY centerpiece idea you can definitely pull off! Everything about it spells tropical paradise—from the all-natural materials to the lush colors to the whole laid back vibe of the finished display. This was the focal point of one of our Beach Wedding sets featured here, here and here. But we just realized we had never shared a how-to for those who may want to replicate it! So here it is!

How to Assemble a Tropical Wedding Centerpiece

Materials you will need

  • – Whole fresh coconuts (prepared as described in Step 1)
  • – Assorted tropical leaves and blooms (we used heliconias, staghorn fern, golden pothos, chamaerops)
  • – 10 or more yards of raffia straw
  • – Strands of tiny seashells

Step 1-Purchase Coconuts | DIY Tropical Centerpiece Using Coconuts |

Step 1: Prep the coconut vases
– With the help of your on-site florist, wedding stylist, or someone crafty, source whole coconuts that have been emptied of their coconut water and inner white meat. Explain that you need them to be whole, with just a portion of the top sliced off and a 2- to 3-inch opening on top. Don’t attempt to cut them yourself! Be sure to get someone with might and skill in both cutting and/or handiwork.

Hint: Fresh green coconuts from Florida can be purchased online. You may also try your local farmer’s market and ethnic food grocers.

Step 2-Make Vases from Coconuts | Tropical Wedding Centerpiece Using Coconuts |

Step 2: Craft the straw pom poms – Using the raffia straw, make pompoms approximately 3 to 4 inches in diameter, following the same procedure you would use for making yarn ones.

Step 3- Place Leaves into Coconuts | How-to Tropical Centerpiece Using Coconuts |

Step 3: Place the leaves into the coconut vases – Select an assortment of tropical leaves and blooms to insert into the opening of each coconut. The more varied the shapes, textures and colors, the more interesting!

Hint: If you can’t find real tropical leaves, consider faux ones that can be purchased in bulk online. Other types of leaves that you can use for this project include monstera, banana leaves, philodendron, and palm leaves)

Step 4 - Position the foliage arrangements | Tutorial Tropical Centerpiece Using Coconuts |

Step 4: Position the foliage arrangements on the reception tables – Create a lush “table runner” effect by placing 4 to 5 arrangements down the center of rectangular tables, or in pairs for round tables.

Step 5 - Add the tropical trimmings | Tropical Centerpiece Using Coconuts |

Step 5: Add the tropical trimmings – For the finishing touch, randomly place the raffia pom poms and the strands of seashells amidst the arrangements. And if your reception will be an evening affair, seashell trays with tea lights would be a lovely addition, too!

[*Hint: We found this tutorial for making colored raffia pom poms to embellish beach hats and flip flops. Perfect as gifts for the bridal party and guests!]

Step 6: The centerpieces are ready to go! Bring out the Mai Tais (optional!)

Step 6 - Set them on the table | Tropical Centerpiece Using Coconuts |

Hint: You’ll need about 5 coconuts for a table that can seat 8. For round tables, you’ll only need to make 1 or 2 at the most!

More Creative Uses for These Coconut Centerpieces:

  1. Display them as table decorations for a guest book table with a surfboard as the guest book! This would be ideal as an alternative guest book idea for a Hawaiian destination wedding.
  2. For an attractive tropical-inspired drinks table, display a few of these coconut centerpieces. Serve up refreshing piña coladas with mini cocktail parasols!
  3. For a tropical dessert table, include these centerpieces as the décor with a selection of tropical desserts like mango sorbets, coconut jelly, and coconut pineapple ice cream.

Stay tuned for more as our creative team will be bringing you more tropical-inspired centerpiece tutorials!

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