Frequently Asked Questions: How do you secure those gravity defying centerpieces?

place settings, table setting,flowers,wedding centerpieces,bouquets,arrangements

Floral Centerpieces (Photo via).

Okay, I think it’s confession time. Around 1995, I did an amazing wedding in New York. My client was over-the-moon happy and, as in some cases, she invited me to be a guest for her event. (Though all of us in the event business can probably understand how exhausting installing an event can be. Most of the time after finishing the set-up I just want to go home and soak my hurting feet.)

I had designed these 6 foot tall arrangements for most of the tables. It was with great horror (seriously, it was like being in a bad movie) that I sat in this beautiful room and watched in slow motion as one of the arrangements fell and hit a gorgeous lady on her head! Needless to say, she was not a very good sport about it. This is what I’d call my ultimate floral nightmare moment, and one that I’ll never forget as long as I live. Not only was it humbling, but I swore never to repeat the mistake that caused this accident.

place settings, table setting,flowers,wedding centerpieces,bouquets,arrangements

I do think that centerpieces can be a great deal of fun to create. I have always tried to create my own version of an art sculpture on each table (I have not always been successful but I do keep trying). I love when guests sit down and wonder, “How the hell did he do this?” or, “I hope this does not fall on my head” (just kidding).

So, these are my suggestions for creating a secure tall centerpiece:


1) Create a very secure base as an anchor. In order to do this, I usually plant this base in cement. (This gives it no chance to fall.) To cover the cement, you can do something as simple as covering it with moss or extra flowers. See the picture above


2) Most of the tables and tablecloths are rented. I usually screw metal bases into the table (yes, a bit time-consuming but very secure) .

3) There is a fool proof test I do in my office to make sure the centerpieces are secure. Try bumping your body into the table with force. If nothing crashes, it’s working.

4) As you arrange your flowers, make sure your centerpiece is not side heavy or top heavy. The weight of the flowers need to be evenly distributed all around.

If you have no other decor in your event, strategically placed centerpieces could create the magic you’re looking for. Just please, make sure there are no casualties.

I’m sure this might be a little difficult, but could you share with me any “nightmare moments” you had that you learned from?