How to Create Lighted Wedding Centerpieces

By Erin Watson-Price
Enhance floral arrangement by adding battery-operated twinkle lights.

Lighted centerpieces lend warmth to reception decorations and provide a romantic ambiance once you turn the lights down for dancing. Groups of candles provide light but burn out quickly and present a fire hazard, particularly when children are present, Battery-operated LED, mini-Christmas lights and candles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, allowing you to create glowing centerpieces even when electricity is not available. Depending on your budget, you can mix candles with battery-operated lights to create lighted centerpieces.

Lighted Floral Centerpiece

Fill the bottom of a glass vase with a string of battery-operated mini-lights. Faceted glass vases work best for this centerpiece because the glass will obscure the wiring and cast sparks of light on the table.

Arrange flowers in the vase.

Conceal the battery pack in the center of the arrangement, or add a large bow and conceal the battery pack behind it.

Glowing Paper Bags

Purchase small paper bags in a color that complements your reception decorations.

Use a stencil to draw a design on the outside of the bag. Select designs that complement your theme or use your monogram to personalize the decorations.

Open the bag and insert a piece of cardboard behind the stencil.

Trace the stencil design using a utility knife. Remove the cut-out pieces. For stencil designs that leave large amounts of negative space, use double-sided tape and a piece of tulle to cover the back of the design. This will help diffuse the light.

Weight the bag with gravel or glass rocks and place a tea light inside. If you back the design with tulle, only use a battery-operated tea light.

Shaded Containers

Wrap a glass container in one or two layers of tissue paper. Use wide-mouthed vases, Mason jars or wine glasses.

Secure the tissue paper with double-sided tape, or tie a ribbon or twine around the outside.

Fill the container with one or more candles, real or battery-operated.

Make a nest of fabric or tulle in the center of the table and fill it with various sizes and types of glass containers

Glowing Bowls

Place a single battery-operated tea light at the bottom of a glass bowl or vase.

Fill the container with colored glass rocks. If the light does not penetrate to the top of the container, remove half of the glass rocks, place a second tea light in the center of the container, and refill with the glass rocks.

Use the lighted container as is or add flowers. If you don’t want the flowers protruding from the top of the container, press flowers against the side of the container as you fill it with glass rocks.

Floating Candles

Fill a large bowl with water. Use glass or plastic bowls, clear or colored.

Place at least five floating candles in the water. If you want more light, add more candles. For a fun twist, float individual candles in wine or martini glasses.

Attach glass rocks to the bottom of silk flower blossoms using a hot glue gun. The added weight will allow the blossoms to sink to the of the bowl, preventing a fire hazard and adding extra interest to the centerpiece.

Surround the bowl or collection of glasses with greenery or fabric, or let the bowl stand on its own.

Tip

For small, lighted pieces, group several together. For large vases or bowls, use only one per table.

About the Author

Transplanted Yankee Erin Watson-Price lives in Birmingham, Ala., and has been writing freelance articles since 1997. She worked as writer/co-editor for Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue's newsletter, "The Long and the Short of It." In 2007 she obtained a certification as a copy editor. Watson-Price holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.