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This project started two years ago when my son and his fiance first asked me to do the centerpieces for their wedding. They had already chosen their venue, Khmaira farms, located outside of Luray, Virginia in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. The farm was originally a goat farm, but now , while they still have a small herd, is primarily a wedding venue. An October wedding was planned for 2013.
It was a lot of pressure to come up with the perfect centerpiece. It had to fit in with the rustic nature of a farm, not too tall, so people could still chat, and it had to be fairly large for the farmhouse sized tables. It took a couple of weeks but I finally had that aha!! moment….pallets. Of course, I was making everything else out of pallets, why not centerpieces.
Being that it was October, just a year early, I set out to scout the local nurseries to see what kind of flower was available that time of year. If you live in the northeast, you basically have a choice of either pansies or mums. After a quick consult with the bride-to-be it was settled on pansies….she doesn’t like mums, who knew?
This is what I ended up showing the bride.
I had approval..yeah!!…with a couple of little changes. The bride, Stephanie, wanted all white pansies , easy change. And the lanterns would be provided by the farm, fantastic, I wouldn’t need to buy lanterns for 15 tables.
I had a year to gather enough pallets for 15 centerpieces. Each of the centerpieces measured about 10 by 17. They actually started out a couple of inches wider but had to be cut narrower to make room for plates.
These were all straight cuts and nailed together with a nail gun…what could be easier.
To personalize the box a bit, I added the date and initials of the happy wedding couple with a wood burning tool. It actually gave me something to do while I was anxiously awaiting the big day.
To keep the boxes from leaking, I added a heavy piece of plastic to the bottom of each box.
Next a simple block of wood set in the middle which would serve to elevate the lanterns and keep them out of the dirt.
I was ready for dirt. You can see how easy these were to assemble.
Of course , flowers were next. I used 2, six inch pots of pansies and filled in with a couple of smaller plants.
To cover up the dirt, I added bits of sheet moss around the flowers.
Only thing left to add was a lantern and a couple of pumpkins or gourds. The gourds were added to both sides so count on 2 gourds per centerpiece.
This was my inexpensive “test” lantern picked up from Ikea. The “real” lanterns were being provided by the farm, but this provided me with a stand in to make sure everything fit.
This is what the centerpieces looked like at Khmaira Farm. You can also see the finished project here, where their wedding was featured in a DC area wedding website, United With Love. The total cost for 15 centerpieces and 4 windowbox type flower arrangements, also made out of pallet wood of course, was about $230 which was for flowers, gourds , dirt and flameless candles. (the moss and pallets were free ) As an added bonus, many of the bridal party got to take home a large floral arrangement as a parting gift.