February 21, 2011

How to Get A Phantom Wedding Like David Tutera's My Fair Wedding: Flower Centerpieces

We already discussed one part of the Phantom flowers, now on to the more challenging one...

Step 5: Create the centerpieces and complete the table decor.

Oh boy. This may be even harder than trying to figure out affordable linens.

Because it always seems like David Tutera's specialty is over-the-top centerpieces...to put this bluntly there really is no way to reasonably recreate his centerpieces. But you can do something on a smaller scale.

As mentioned in the linen post, the florist Studio Fiore posted some lovely photos of their grand centerpieces...

Large gold urns:

A large red rose centerpiece for the My Fair Wedding Phantom of the Opera episode.
Tall flower stands and candle holders:

Large red rose centerpiece and candles for the My Fair Wedding Phantom of the Opera episode.
All accented with fallen chandeliers, numerous candles, and red rose petals:

A complete and decorated table with rose and candle centerpieces for the My Fair Wedding Phantom of the Opera episode.
We'll tackle the easier elements first.

1) Lots of candle holders

Now I have been trying to tackle this one in my spare time. Candles are a universal design element so I know I can incorporate them into whatever I plan for my own wedding.

In previous posts I have mentioned the Dollar Tree as a great place to search for affordable candle holders, and I have had luck looking in other dollar stores finding wrought iron candle holders as well! You never know what you may find, and be sure to check every couple months to look for newly stocked items.

One site that is really helpful is Crafta! This site takes the cake when it comes to affordable candle holders. Sure, some can look plain, but they can be spray painted to be any color you like, and can be easily decorated!

I found a tall 11.5in wire pillar candle holder for just $2.09 when you buy 12 or more!

An extremely affordable tall wire candle holder from Crafta.comAnd for your taper candles, a shorter but still fitting 7.5in wire taper candle holder also just $2.09 each when you buy 12 or more!

An extremely affordable taper wire candle holder from Crafta.comCoat these with some gold spray paint, $4.99 from Joann Fabrics, and you have wonderfully thrifty gold candle holders!

For even more candlelight ambiance, go to Candles DLight and purchase 72 of these amber colored votives with included ivory candles for just $37.99! There are other deals like this online but this site had the cheapest shipping charges as well.

Bulk affordable colored votive candle holders with included candles from Candles DLight.Let's say you need one 14" candle holder and one taper candle holder per guest table, plus 2 of the 14" and 3 of the taper for the head table. Let's say you need 3 cans of spray paint to cover all of those.

Total cost for candle holders = $117.75

2) Lots of candles

In the show they used battery operated candles for safety, however if your venue allows flames onsite, real candles will be cheaper for you. All candles should be in a enclosed candle holder besides the tapered candles, which I don't recommend lighting at all.

The must-have tapered candles can be purchased at the wonderful Dollar Tree, for $0.50 per 10" candle.
For the small taper candles needed for the chandeliers, (mentioned near the end of this post,) go to DiscountCandle.com and get 20 ivory 4" taper candles for $5.65 each!
For pillar candles, try looking at Candles DLight again, 36 count 2"x4.5" ivory pillar candles for just $32.99 plus ship!

We need 15 pillar candles, 3 boxes of small taper candles, 48 taper candles, and the votive candles have already been purchased with their candle holders. Even though we have more pillar candles than we need, these can be distributed on the tables or around the cake, guest book, escort cards, or whatever they are needed :)

Total cost for candles = $73.94

3) Tons of rose petals

Because of the number of petals we need and due to the expensive costs of other parts of this Phantom wedding, we're going to use fake rose petals. Now, now, it won't be a disaster, and the price difference is worth it, so bear with me!

I don't know how the Dollar Tree can get their petals so cheap, but really their 300 white, red or pink petals for $1 just can't be beat.

Dollar Tree rose petals.But how many do we need?

We want pretty heavy coverage on the tables, and Petal Garden says that one needs 2-4 cups of petals to decorate tables with centerpieces. They discuss earlier in the article how many petals are in a cup, and I got an approximate amount of 22. So 88 petals per table for heavy coverage.

Another site Petal Toss, says that one bag will cover 2-3 tables with heavy coverage. One bag seems to be about 10 cups, which is equal to 220 petals, so each table would then need 110 petals. I like this number better, (rather estimate more than less,) so for 14 tables we need approximately 1540 petals, which turns out to be six 300 count red petal bags.

Total cost for rose petals = $6!!!

4) Large rose topiaries

Okay, this can be done, but it must be planned out efficiently. In order to be realistic, many steps should be done a few days in advance, in order to lesson the amount of work done the day beforehand. Bribing family and friends with food and alcohol is almost a must XD there is a lot of labor involved! Remember if you're DIYing your bouquets also that there will be less time and adding stress, however some steps will help out both projects.

What you will need for 13 tables:
-Many, many buckets, plastic tubs or containers
-Either 500 and 250 roses from Amazonia Flowers for $565 or 375 roses from Amazonia Flowers with 350 carnations from Global Rose for a total of $414
-10 bunches of leather leaf ferns from Sam's Club for $60.74
-13 count 19.5" high wire sphere bases from Crafta.com for $3.49 each
-13 floral foam 8" diameter spheres from Save-On-Crafts, 2 for $9.36
-2 cans of gold spray paint from Joann Fabrics for $4.99 each
-greening pins from Save-On-Crafts, 600 for $7.20
-spray bottle, $1 at the Dollar Tree
-floral clippers

Before you start: Ask yourself one question: Do I have air conditioning? Do I know someone who does and wouldn't mind me leaving hundreds of flowers there for a few days? The longevity of your roses depend on this. Heat can easily cause flowers to wilt, keep this in mind before attempting such a floral-intensive project!

Way in advance:
a) Purchase or borrow many buckets, plastic tubs, or large containers that can easily hold the bunches of roses, ferns, and possibly carnations you will receive for your wedding.

b) Purchase wire forms and floral foam.
Wire forms for floral centerpieces.c) Schedule delivery of flowers 3 days before wedding.

d) Spray paint your wire forms gold.

3 days beforehand:
a) Fill all your containers with plenty of water.

b) Once your flowers are delivered quickly put them all in the containers.

c) Prep your flowers. Since you don't need their full stem length, start by cutting each stem at an angle to about 5in in length. Look at my DIY tutorial for prepping reference, with the exception of leaving about 2in of greenery at the tops of the flowers.

The evening beforehand:
a) Fill up your bathtub or more containers with water and flower preservatives. (Read the preservative packet/container to see how much should be added!)

b) Place the foam spheres in the water and wait until they sink to the bottom on their own, approximately 30 seconds.

c) Try to push the 8in spheres into the 7.5in wire forms. If they don't fit, trim all sides a little at a time. You want a snug fit, so it won't move around while you are arranging the flowers. Since they are wire forms, they can probably be bent or moved without too much difficulty. (Hopefully! XP)

d) Start placing ferns around the sphere, in order to eventually completely cover the wires and foam, secure stems and leaves with greening pins.

e) Starting at the top of the sphere, start piercing the flowers into the sphere leaving approx 2in of stem sticking out of the foam. Make circles around this center flower as you move down the sphere.

f) Stop about 3/4 down the sphere, look at the floral photos in the beginning of this post for reference. You can do a full sphere, however you may want to secure the upside down flowers with greening pins to ensure they do not fall out.

g) Decorate the stand to your liking. Add ribbons, bead garland, or whatever your heart desires. (Give a break, this is a long research post! I kinda lost steam at deciding how to dress up the wire forms XP)

The morning of: Using a spray bottle, spray in between the flowers and try to re-moisten the foam to make sure the flowers will last until the evening.

Total cost for large rose centerpieces = $603.81 - $754.81 plus lots of labor

5) "Fallen" chandeliers

Obviously, renting a bunch of crystal chandeliers to just sit on your tables is pretty much out of the budget. I figured there had to be another way!

After lots of searching, I finally found a smaller chandelier that we can use for a wholesale price, without the sketchy wholesaler websites! Yea!

Here at the reputable Koehler Home Decor, you can get a Shabby Chic Scroll Chandelier for just $9.96 each!

An affordable small chandelierAt 9.25" wide and over 2ft long, they are a great size for the table design!

Total cost for chandeliers = $129.48

Okay, so now you have candle holders and candles, rose ball centerpieces, rose petals and fallen chandeliers. I think that's a very complete and decorated table! And if you also have the themed linens to boot?!

Complete decorated table for a Phantom of the Opera wedding.Okay, look past the bad Photoshop-ing...that's one lovely table! :D

So...the cost...

Cost for all centerpiece and table decor = $930.98 - $1081.98

I'll admit, that's a LOT for just some pretty table decor. But at least it won't cost you thousands from a florist.

Realize however, without the rose centerpieces, the total cost drops to $327.17! Remember, flowers are expensive! Just saying :)

On to Step 6: The Cake! :D