Going to weddings in New England growing up, I saw so many hydrangea centerpieces and bouquets that I always assumed they were prolific in our area. Turns out? Hydrangeas are just one of the most affordable wedding flowers you can work with. They’re cheap and fluffy and easy to come by year round. The problem is, if you look around online or even on Pinterest, there’s not a whole lot of Hydrangea inspiration that looks like it belongs in 2015. So today we teamed up with Kaci Muller of Damsel Floral in Grand Rapids, Michigan to help us with a series of modern hydrangea centerpiece tutorials that anyone can do.
The best part of these tutorials is that you don’t have to have any kind of artistic eye to set them up. Which means you can teach it in about five seconds flat to whoever is helping you set up for the wedding, and they can wrangle up whoever else is around, and your decorations will probably get done in time for everyone to have a pre-ceremony cocktail. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Wooden vase (this one comes with a plastic liner, which you’ll need)
- Silver Dollar Eucalyptus (5-10 stems)
- White Hydrangea (2 stems)
- Pink or Champagne Alstroemeria (3 stems)
- Dark Pink Spray Rose (2 stems)
COST PER CENTERPIECE: $17–$25 depending on where you get your flowers. The flowers used for this tutorial are often readily available in bulk, so check out places like Costco or Sam’s Club for volume pricing. Prices will be higher if you order smaller quantities online.
DIRECTIONS: NATURAL WOOD VESSEL ASSEMBLY
1. Prep your flowers first, by removing any thorns and any sad looking petals or foliage.
2. Fill the box insert about half way with water. Filling up only halfway will make it easier to transport or move around.
3. Start to build the centerpiece by layering three to five pieces of Silver Dollar Eucalyptus around the edges, slightly bending the pieces for a dripping effect. Criss-cross the stems as you add them, and try to touch the back of the vase with the bottom of the stem if you can—the grid will help hold other stems in place.
4. Trim two Hydrangea stems where the bottom of the stem will sit in the water (the blossoms of the flowers will just lay at the lip of the vase). Add another Hydrangea stem on the opposite side and adjust eucalyptus leaves so that they are intermixed with the flowers.
5. Trim three Alstroemeria stems so that they are just slightly taller than the Hydrangea and add into the centerpiece, filling in gaps between the Hydrangeas or poking out of the Hydrangea blossoms.
6. Trim two spray rose stems so that they are slightly taller than the Hydrangea and fill in any remaining gaps with each stem. Rearrange or add additional Eucalyptus leaves.
7. Add more water to make sure all stems can remain hydrated. Enjoy!
NOTE: Hydrangeas are notoriously thirsty flowers, so you want to give them as much water as possible to prevent wilting. If you’re getting married outside in the summer heat, they might not last long. We recommend doing a test run in a similar climate to see how they fare. (In other climates, hydrangeas can last for days. Your mileage may vary.)
MODIFICATION: ROUND PLASTIC VASE
If you want an even more affordable centerpiece, you can skip the wooden box and use an inexpensive plastic vase (like this one) and paint it a cool color. Kaci used copper spray paint here. (Pro tip: I always find that stores like JoAnn Fabric and Michael’s have better spray paint colors than Home Depot or Lowe’s.) The process to build your centerpiece is exactly the same as above, though Kaci added an extra Alstroemeria to the side of the arrangement for a bit of asymmetry.
MODIFICATION/EXTRAS: BUD VASES
If you have larger tables that you’re decorating, or want to do smaller containers using the same flowers, you can follow a similar pattern using bud vases. Start each vase with a stem of eucalyptus leaves, slightly bending the stem to lay over the edge. Add stems of hydrangeas to one vase and Alstroemeria and spray roses to two vases each. Try creating different heights of vases and stems for added variation. Kaci used recycled amber glass here, but you could easily do this with affordable bud vases like these or these.