The only flowers that I had at my wedding were my bouquet, my matron of honor’s bouquet, corsages and boutonnieres for both sets of parents, and a small bouquet for the hall table. Even this small amount of flowers was almost $500! Ah, weddings.
So instead of having flowers for centerpieces at the tables, we decided to have books, which also doubled as the favors. We chose a theme for each table based on our interests and tried to match them with the guests. Our themes were wine, Disney, cooking, Hawaii, Pacific Northwest Travel, running, and Paris.
Our guests LOVED this. They still talk about how much they “loved the books”. We just put together what we thought was an interesting selection of books on a particular topic, having one extra book for each table, and tied a wide ivory ribbon (I learned how to tie a bow here, and this was the ribbon we used) around the stack. We tried to keep our spending to an average of about $10 per book. People enjoyed going thru the books and picking one out, and it gave everyone something to talk about.
We were able to assemble the stacks of books the weekend before, so on our wedding day our vendors just had to put one stack of books on each table.
Of course, in keeping with the theme, our place cards were old-school library cards. We put a pocket for the card inside each book, so that people could put their place card in their book and keep it as a reminder of the day.