- Parent Category: Ideas 04 March 2010
- Published on 04 March 2010
- Stephanie Padovani
Ten Centerpiece Giveaway Games & Ideas For Your Wedding
Most brides invest a lot of time (and money) coming up with gorgeous floral arrangements or centerpieces to grace the tables at the wedding reception. The right décor elements really tie together your colors and the theme of your wedding.
But what do you do with those centerpieces when the wedding is done?
I doubt you'll want to take home 10-15 huge floral arrangements that will be wilted when you get back from the honeymoon. And you probably don't want your great aunts getting into a fist fight over who gets to take home the votive candles.
I've assembled some of our favorite centerpiece giveaway ideas that you can use for your wedding to avert a Fight Club outbreak after the last song.
1) Penny Under the Plate
Ask your caterer to hide a penny (or a sticker, poker chip, or cute photo of you two) under a single bread plate at each table. Have your entertainer ask your guests to lift their plates and announce that whoever has a penny under their plate gets to take home the centerpiece.
PROS: It's super simple and easy to understand.
CONS: It's not especially fun or suspenseful. You also need to remember to give your caterer the pennies or assign and trusted friend to place them at every table.
2) Pass the Object with Variations
Have your entertainer ask each table to pass a napkin (spoon, dollar bill or other object) hot potato style around the table while the music plays. When the music stops, whoever has the object gets to take home the centerpiece.
My Favorite: I like to give this simple pass the napkin giveaway idea a little twist. We tell the guests that the bride and groom will be giving away the centerpieces, "but we're going to have a little fun first." I ask guests to pass the napkin several times, each time requesting that the person who has the napkin do something cute, fun and/or slightly embarrassing. The person who has the napkin in the last round gets to take home the centerpiece.
Dollar Bill Variation: This version uses a dollar bill instead of a napkin. Have your entertainer ask guests to pass the dollar. Everyone expects that the person who has the dollar gets the centerpiece. Instead, fake them out and give the centerpiece to the person who lent the dollar, or allow them to choose between getting their dollar back and taking the centerpiece.
Lotto Ticket Variation: Ask guests to pass a lotto ticket placed at each table. Whoever has the lotto ticket when the music stops may choose to keep the (unscratched) ticket or take home the centerpiece.
Wrapped Gift: Pass a wrapped gift around the table. Whoever has the gift when the music stops can choose between keeping the gift...before opening it...or taking home the centerpiece.
Task Assignments: When your entertainer has your guests start passing the object, toy with them a bit before awarding the centerpiece. Perhaps the first person is the designated bartender for the table. Maybe the second person is in charge of taking all the pictures on the disposable camera at the table.
PROS: Passing the object is fun and suspenseful. When skillfully done it acts as an icebreaker that gets people laughing and talking.
CONS: If it's not skillfully done, this game can be obnoxious or just plain boring. Many people have played this game before, so I suggest talking to your entertainer to come up with a fun twist your group will enjoy.
3) Reward the Quick RSVPs.
One of the biggest complaints couples have before the wedding is guests who refuse to RSVP. With this giveaway idea you can award the centerpiece to your most prompt responders; it's good for a laugh as well as a subtle lesson in wedding etiquette.
Here's how to pull it off. As your RSVPs come in, keep track of the order. When you make your seating charts, put a sticker (a gold star would be appropriate) inside the place card of the person who sent in their RSVP first.
This was inspired by our bride and groom accountant couple. The announcement went something like this: "You've probably noticed that Bob and Sara are sticklers for detail and punctuality. (Pause for laughter.) They've decided to reward those of you who share their love for promptness. They kept track of who sent in their RSVPs first. Take a look inside your place card. If you have a gold star, congratulations! You were the first at your table to RSVP and you get to take home the centerpiece tonight."
PROS: If it fits your personality, the crowd will love it. This also gives your guests a reason to RSVP faster next time around.
CONS: Who wants to track the order of RSVPs? If spread sheets ain't your thing, ditch this idea.
4) A General Announcement.
If you can't decide how to give away your centerpieces, simply have your entertainer make a general announcement at the end of the night that guests are welcome to take them home. Then let your family and friends duke it out.
PROS: It doesn't get simpler than this.
CONS: Not very exciting unless a fight breaks out. Sometimes people are drunk and don't listen quite so well at the end of the night. Your centerpieces might not get picked up...and some people may stumble out the door with one tucked under each arm.
If you want certain people to take home the centerpieces (usually mothers, grandmothers and aunts) let them know on the sly when you visit the tables. This keeps it out of the public eye and lets you give them to specially chosen people.
PROS: You get to award the centerpieces to whoever you want.
CONS: You have to remember to tell them...which means adding another task on your wedding day to do list.
6) Bride and Groom Trivia.
Come up with a list of trivia questions with multiple choice answers about you and your fiancé. Hold a competition for the centerpieces by going from table to table and asking those questions. The first person to answer a question correctly at each table gets to take home a centerpiece.
PROS: The right questions and answers can be really, really funny. This giveaway game is also totally unique and personal.
CONS: It takes more work to pull off. You also need to have an entertainer who is skilled enough to keep the pace fast and fun.
7) The LEFT and RIGHT Story.
Have your entertainer instruct guests to pass a napkin to the right when he says the word RIGHT and to the left when he says the word LEFT as he reads a story. It starts out simple, but soon the story has your guests passing right and left so quickly that they will be laughing in confusion and amusement.
There are several story variations on the internet. It works best if you tell a story about the two of you, inserting personal details and jokes as appropriate. Check out this version of the Left/Right Story for ideas.
PROS: Totally personal, unique and fun.
CONS: Again, it's more complicated to plan and execute. Your entertainer also has to be game.
8) Pass the Poem.
Print a copy of the poem for each table. Have your entertainer read it aloud and ask your guests to follow the instructions as they pass it around. The last person gets to take home the centerpiece.
You can use the version that was originally written for a baby shower or create your own.
Pros – Fun, unique and interactive.
Cons – A little complicated. You have to write the poem and/or type it up for each table, plus get your entertainer to give the instructions.
9) Donate Them.
When the wedding is through, recruit one of your guests to collect them and drop them off at a nearby nursing home or hospital the next day.
PROS: It's charitable and you get to feel good about yourself. Plus, those centerpieces became a tax deductible write off!
CONS: You have to decide which of your guests to saddle with the responsibility of transporting the centerpieces, or be bothered with doing it yourself.
10) Birthday or Anniversary Presents.
Have your entertainer announce that you would like to give the centerpiece to the person at each table whose birthday or anniversary is closest to today's date.
PROS: Easy to do. It's a sweet way to acknowledge special events.
CONS: Your guests will need to chat amongst themselves to figure it out. There also isn't much suspense.
There you have it! 10 different ways to give away your wedding centerpieces. Mix and match for maximum effect and above all...have fun with it!
Have an idea I didn't mention? Leave me a comment.