When my husband and I were planning our wedding and reception, we decided we didn’t want to make it the traditional girly, flower fluff image that most wedding are. We wanted it to be different and I wanted my husband to enjoy the look of the reception too. He’s a “manly man” and isn’t into all the flower, ribbon, and lace decoration stuff. We booked our wedding reception at the local zoo and had some restriction on what we could and couldn’t do for decoration. We decided to gear the centerpieces for each table toward the idea of the zoo. Each table had two stuffed zoo animals surrounded by artificial ivy on it. To add a fun twist for the wedding, I made one of the animals a bride with a veil and the other a groom with a bow tie. It was very simple and gave a unique look to our wedding reception.
I found that buying the stuffed animals over the first part of Spring at garage sales was the most cost efficient. You can get a range of sizes and animals for almost nothing! Also, I would keep an eye out for sales or coupons to craft stores, and bought the other materials over a few weeks time to keep the cost down. Here’s what you will need to gather over time:
Stuffed animals~ 2 per table
Stiff black ribbon
A needle and white thread
Garland of artificial ivy~ about as many as you have tables. Depends on how big your animals are and how thick you want the ivy to be around the animals.
Once you have all the stuffed animals collected, separate them into groups of 2. You can separate them any way you want. I paired up all the animals that were the same first, then paired up the single type animals in what I thought would be a “girl” and a “boy” animal. For example, I paired up a penguin as a boy and a white seal as a girl. Try to keep the size of the paired animals about the same.
For each animal that you are going to make a groom, tie a black ribbon around the neck and knot into a bow tie. Stiff ribbon or ribbon with a wire on the edges works best to keep the shape of the bow.
For each animal that you are going to make a bride, cut either a square or circle (depending on what shape you want the veil) out of the white tulle. Start at the top of the animal’s head and measure as far down behind the head and back as you want the veil to be. Make sure you cut it wide enough so you can bunch the tulle at the top to make a little ruffle on the head. Bunch up the tulle at the top and sew it down to the top of the head. Make sure it spans a good deal of the width of the head just like a real veil is. If you want to cover the seam up you can always glue little artificial flowers to it.
Now you have one groom and one bride for each table. Use the ivy garland to circle around each group. If the animals are large you may need to use the whole length of the garland. If they are small, you may be able to cut the garland and use the rest for another group. If you want thick ivy around the animals you can circle the ivy around twice.
Once you have all the centerpieces set how you want them, put each set in a separate bag for transport to the reception. If you can not set up your own centerpieces before the reception, make sure you put a note in each bag of where you want each centerpiece to go. For example, I labeled certain bags specifically for the bride’s family table, the groom’s family table, our head table, the wedding cake table, the food table, gift table, and all other random guest tables. That way, no matter who sets up your tables, you will have the centerpieces set how just how and where you want them.