Weddings

How to Make Wedding Centerpieces With Submerged Flowers

Go for a modern, chic look with an underwater arrangement

By Julie Hampton

Tall Centerpiece with Red and Blue Lighting
Photo by Brandon Humes/courtesy VP Events, Inc.Bookmark and Share

Contemporary centerpieces are simple to create by submerging flowers in large glass vases. The submerged flower is magnified by the glass and water, showing the detail of the flower's petals and leaves. Large vases filled with crystal-clear water on each table make striking centerpieces. Additional items, such as rocks and candles, add to the wedding decor. The finished look is simple, yet very beautiful. Submerged flower centerpieces take several hours to create; make sure to plan accordingly on your wedding day.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Gather the items you'll need to create your submerged flower display, including glass vases, flowers, aquarium glue, fishing weights, clear fishing line, decorative glass marbles or rocks, and distilled water.
Underwater Floral Arrangements

Step 1:

Choose large glass vases of varying heights. For most tables, one large vase or a group of three is appropriate.

Step 2:

Pick flowers for each vase. Orchids are one of the most popular choices for submerged centerpieces because of the broad range of colors available. Most flowers work well submerged in water. Coordinate colors with other wedding decorations. Real flowers are recommended over synthetic flowers. Artificial flowers may bleed dye, and flaws will be magnified.

Step 3:

Glue the flowers to the bottom of the vase using aquarium glue. A second option is to tie fishing weights to the bottom of the flowers using clear fishing line. Allow the flowers to sink to the bottom of the vase. Bamboo and decorative tree branches can also be glued to the vase for additional height, texture and color.

Step 4:

Add decorative rocks, crystals or glass bobbles to the bottom of the vase if desired. Black pebbles are a popular modern route. Filling the vase with added rocks is optional; however, the rocks will hide the fishing weight.

Step 5:

Fill the vases with distilled water, which does not contain additives or chemicals that may be found in tap water. The flowers can be submerged for several days in distilled water. But if your arrangement includes unsubmerged flowers as well, create the arrangements either the day before or the day of the wedding to avoid wilting flowers. Watch the flowers as you fill the vases with water. If they begin to droop, consider only partially filling the vases.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • For floral arrangements that have both an under and over water element, tap a florist. You'll need an expert to pull off this more complicated task.
  • If there's room, considering adding floating candles to your arrangement.
  • Avoid using tap water which may contain sediment making the water murky.
  • Take a sample flower to your cake decorator to have her match the color and design.

About the Author

Julie Hampton is a regular contributor to DexKnows.

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Planning Reminder:

mixed flower centerpiece

Order reception flowers

Don't just think about the flowers' colors, consider scale. Big venues require big floral arrangements that won't get lost in the space. If you want to save money, look to large blooms that fill out a centerpiece and often cost less than two or three smaller flowers that equal its size.

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Wedding Glossary

PEW VASE

A container for flowers that is placed on or by a church pew.

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