The Pros and Cons of Tall Wedding Centerpieces, According to Florists

Are there really downsides to the elegant statement pieces?

tall centerpiece with red and pink garden roses
Photo: Jen Dillender Photography

There is something stunning about a large ballroom with rows of tables that are covered in tall, elegant centerpieces. They can create a false canopy of flowers and add whimsy or formality to your event depending on the array of blooms you choose. However, that impactful effect gets lost once your guests have all been seated, and suddenly their cross-table views are blocked by whatever vessel is holding your display.

There are both pros and cons to using tall wedding centerpieces, so we asked the professional florists to explain their thoughts on these floral details.

They're dramatic from afar, but may leave you wanting more up close.

Meghan Moloney, a wedding décor specialist at DC Engaged, says tall centerpieces create an awe inspiring and dramatic effect when guests first enter the reception space. However, to keep that effect going once your guests are seated, you will essentially need a second centerpiece at table level so there is something for everyone to enjoy while they are seated for dinner. That will increase your flower budget.

They'll help show off your venue, but can feel too formal in less opulent spaces.

Tall centerpieces, especially when combined with low centerpieces, can create more visual interest in your venue. Wedding floral designer Liz Mally, owner of LPF Blooms, says, "In venues with high ceilings and beautiful architecture, tall centerpieces draw the eye up." It can also save space at the table level—an important consideration if you are serving a family-style dinner or have large place settings. Of course, this can make many venues feel inherently formal, which is something to keep in mind if you are going for a more intimate, casual vibe.

They're easy to make out of repurposed décor, but they'll be less surprising for guests.

With a little advanced planning, Diane Joyal, owner and lead designer at Bowerbird Flowers, says you may be able to stretch your budget by making your centerpieces play double duty. "These arrangements can also be an item that is easily repurposed from ceremony to reception," she explains. With that being said, by the time guests enter your reception they'll have already seen these blooms, and it's therefore less exciting and surprising.

You might have more flower options to choose from, but that can impact your budget.

Tall centerpieces open your options up to materials that you cannot use with shorter centerpieces. Christina Averkin of a Bud & Beyond Floral and Event Design explains, "Designers can use certain flowers that would not otherwise be used to their full effect in low arrangements. Flowers like French tulips, tall dendrobium orchids, and hybrid delphinium are examples." That can increase your spending, though. Less common and higher volumes of materials, transportation, and rental fees will increase your price point.

They'll fill empty spaces, but can look too bulky on smaller tables.

If you have fallen in love with a space that is too large for your guest list, or you had fewer RSVPs than you expected to, tall centerpieces may help offset that emptiness. Joan Wyndrum of Blooms by the Box says that tall centerpieces can organically fill these empty spaces while providing also wow factor. The downside is that tall centerpieces can only safely fit on large enough tables. "If you plan on having a sweetheart table for you and your partner, you're typically looking at a 3' or 4' round table, which doesn't work well with a tall arrangement," she adds.

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