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Water-based Centerpiece Ideas for An Engagement Party

Water-based Centerpiece Ideas

Work wonders by incorporating water into your party tablescape. And one of the easiest ways to bring water in as a decorating component is in your centerpiece. There, it can bring in a whole new dimension to the scene—whether it’s an air of freshness, a hint of mystery, a feeling of calm, or so much more. Consider it, then, for an occasion where you’d like something extra special—your engagement dinner party, for instance.

Below are three EASY floating centerpiece ideas, each using water in an enchanting way. We’d love to have you recreate something similar for your own memorable event!

Use Water to Float Candles and Flowers

In place of a single floral arrangement, assemble a composite centerpiece of water-filled glass bowls holding flower buds and floating candles.

Use water to turn a traditional floral centerpiece into a captivating presentation of not just flowers, but candles, too! And rather than having a single large arrangement, make it a truly appealing composite centerpiece of petite water vessels—fragrant with flower buds and aglow with floating votives.

Highlights to recreate:

  1. Prepare several clear glass bowls with a pretty textured surface.
  2. Fill these with water and add your preference of floral buds or single flower heads. Think floating mums, magnolias, plumerias, or lotus flowers.
  3. Place a floating votive candle in each bowl, alongside the flowers.
  4. Position a few bowls on top of decorative vases or urns to create some height, then lay out the rest in a random grouping down the center of the table. Here, we used decorative flower vases and set them upside down!
  5. Light the floating candles, and expect the oohs and aahs!

Use Water to Create a Colorful Display

Take the floating candle idea to the next level with a multi-colored water centerpiece. Simply combine the right proportions of food coloring with the chic-est glass vases, and you have a winner!

Water is a wonderful light reflector. Use this to best advantage in your party centerpiece by adding the visual treat of color to the often-used floating candle concept! You could match the event’s chosen color palette, or create a kaleidoscope of hues to bounce the candle glow off of.

Highlights to recreate:

  1. Select large clear glass vases of different heights and in chic modern shapes. Consider cubes, cylinders, or elongated rectangles. Fill each about 3/4 full with water.
  2. Add a few drops of food coloring to each vase in combinations to create your desired colors. Hint: Experiment with the mixtures in small glasses first and take note of the proportions needed.
  3. Position the vases in a stylish arrangement, varying their heights, angles of placement, and the contrast of colors for visual interest.
  4. Place a floating candle in each vase. Light them up and see the sparkling, multi-colored reflections! Hint: You can even place flower heads or fruits that are submerged below the floating candles.

Use Water to Evoke a Mood

Go for a zen feel with water-filled earthenware bowls and dishes—holding bamboo sticks and leaves. For a finishing touch, float origami lotus blossoms on the water.

Depending on your engagement party theme, you could use a water-based centerpiece to evoke a whole range of moods—from playful and dynamic, to cool and refreshing, to calm and serene. The latter is what we aimed for in this example. We combined organic elements like bamboo sticks and leaves with floating origami lotus blossoms to create a zen-like lotus pond in miniature!

Highlights to recreate:

  1. Set out earthenware containers in various shapes and sizes, from deep bowls to open dishes.
  2. Fill these with water and add bamboo sticks and leaves as organic accents.
  3. Add a single origami lotus blossom to each container.
  4. Display a grouping of these earthenware vessels on the welcome table at the engagement party entrance.


  1. I was thinking of using large wine glasses to serve as my table centerpieces. I have many of them at home and think that this would work. Do you thinking placing some floating tealights would be ok? Would this make my table look funny?

  2. Hi, Lois — Actually, using large wine glasses to hold floating tea lights would be lovely! You could line the glasses up along the length of the table for a dramatic effect, or group them together at mid-table for a glowing candlescape (you could even save on floral centerpieces that way!). 🙂

  3. Beautiful! I did something like this at my reception! Thanks for linking up to Give Me the Goods!

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