16 Short Centerpieces For Event Tables

Skift Take

For minimalistic tables or when you don’t want to inhibit good conversations, shorter centerpieces can be a wise option. Here are 16 ideas, from florals to props and signage, with inspiration to suit every event.

Shorter centerpieces can fill empty table space without blocking anyone’s view and ensure they don’t limit networking. Smaller, themed centerpieces can also be a unique way of tying in the event theme to the table décor without going over the top.

short centrepieces for events


  1. Modern Geometric

These funky light-up centerpieces can be personalised with numbers, brand logos or words and would be an excellent table lighting solution for evening events as well if you didn’t want to opt for traditional candles. They are small but effective and particularly good as they can be reused time and time again and for those who want to avoid flower costs and waste.

Credit: Event centerpieces

  1. Movie Night

This is a fantastically simple way to incorporate your theme without breaking the budget! You could use ceramic vases such as these or you could even opt for the traditional cardboard popcorn boxes and they would still have awesome effects, wrap around some admission tickets and you have a movie night centerpiece that will be the talk of the table. Using real or fake flowers to imitate popcorn is also a really nice touch and makes attendees look twice.

Credit: Design By Douglas

  1. Center Succulents

The succulent trend is really big right now. We have seen many turned into cute little story scapes such as fairy houses and adding intricate ideas that could be another unique centerpiece idea. These succulents do the trick just on their own however and add greenery and texture to the table without overpowering it.

Credit: Noosa Succulents

  1. Encased Roses

This low-key Beauty and the Beast inspiration is a really cute idea and one that doesn’t cost too much either as they are single flowers rather than bouquets or arrangements. Each rose is sitting in its own glass with a little water in the bottom and it’s a beautiful effect, especially as the glasses are different levels, showing that you can play with different heights while keeping the whole table setting low.

Credit: L’Atelier des couleurs Geneve

  1. Fish Bowls

Fish bowls are a classic idea that never gets old because they are so adaptable, you can literally fill them with anything (we’ve even seen them filled with actual fish) for the table. This sweet idea uses a mirror to give off natural light on the table as well as flowers and glass beads in the bottom of the bowl itself to give a watery effect.

Credit: Dreams & Themes Venue Dressing

  1. Blooming Stumps

If you are looking for something a little more rustic and DIY friendly, small tree stumps or pieces of wood can make excellent centerpieces with each one being a little unique from the next. Adding flowers makes it look like the stump is blooming and they can easily be arranged to cascade down and create a waterfall effect.

Credit: Lily & Lace Flowers & Decor

  1. Cookie Buckets

Include favorite characters for your centerpieces like these cookie monster buckets which are also filled with goodies for a children’s birthday party. Miniature buckets can be used for a variety of different events and are available in plenty of colors so they will always match the theme.

Credit: Dulces Fiestas RD

  1. Mixed Long Boxes

Short flower boxes can be a cute idea that can be pushed together for longer tables to give the illusion of a flower runner. Using smaller flowers creates a sweet set-up and combining with other foliage (notice the succulents) doesn’t overpower the box. The sign detail is a nice touch too.

Credit: The White Boutique – Flowers

  1. Musical Bouquet

You can mix up a standard bouquet with cardboard, wood or foam cut-outs that can be integrated and transform your centerpiece. This is a beautiful idea for a musical themed event that involved having harps, horns, and treble clef notes poking through the flowers. Also, the color scheme of the flowers matches those of musical instruments too, to tie it all together nicely.

Credit: Flower Fiesta

  1. Signed Boxes

Adding branding to your centerpieces can be an excellent sponsorship package idea or can be used to notify attendees of table numbers too. Alternatively, include the event hashtag and photo props to the boxes and centerpieces to create interactive photo opportunities at the tables.  

Credit: Ritual Diseno Social

  1. Props

Make props the center feature of the table like this masquerade mask for a corporate Mardis Gras themed event. Props can bring the table to life and also ideas such as this encourage attendees to pick them up and get involved. They can also be added to the flowers like this to accentuate the bouquet rather than detract from it and can be a cheaper alternative to buying expensive floral arrangements.

Credit: Jenn Grachow

  1. Wire Candle Holders

Candles are a staple for any evening event but you can make them the center of attention by using a beautiful votive or holder such as these. They are simple and effective and adding a few simple pieces of trailing foliage also helps to incorporate them into the table and make it look like the candles are being held up by the flowers themselves.

Credit: LLoguers BMB

  1. Trailing Cake

Many events require you to have food in the center of the table but that doesn’t mean it can’t have a little flourish. Add flowers or trailing plants around the food to make it into a centerpiece by itself, like the way this cake has been incorporated. Just don’t forget to ensure that the plants you use can’t contaminate the food in any way, for example, lily pollen has a tendency to get everywhere and shouldn’t be anywhere near the food!

Credit: The Outing Lodge

  1. Lantern Bouquets

Lanterns are a sweet idea for centerpieces that are also functional and you can get many designs including specific ones with your logo or design so that the shadows on the table are cast in the theme or brand which would be another clever sponsorship idea. In this example, however, the lanterns are both decorative and can help transition the table from day to night as well as creating an interesting alternating effect between the flowers and the tableware.

lantern bouquets

  1. Hollywood Action

Small props can also be integrated with flowers for centerpieces such as this stunning Hollywood themed event. The red, black and gold color scheme shines through with the flowers and the prop itself. Also, using items like this that not many people will have seen up close adds a little intrigue and gets attendees talking.

Credit: Greenice Events Services

  1. Beach Shells

Shells are a budget-friendly event planning idea that create lovely effects on their own but they really shine when used in a beach theme idea such as this one. The sand in the candles surrounded by the main vase brings some of the beach and the frosted glass centerpiece and shells represent the ocean to create a lovely understated beach effect.

Credit: Greenery Productions

In Conclusion

We have looked at a variety of different options to suit any event. Short centerpieces can still make a large impact whilst encouraging good conversation. Don’t discount using short centerpieces to compliment taller ones and using different height levels, particularly on larger tables to help to make it more diverse and enhance the décor.