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meBonidie2be

Guests taking centerpieces

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Ladies, I would love your opinions...

 

So I have been spending alot of $ to order starfish and other accesories for the centerpeices at the AHR. I am also bringing a good bit of items from home that I have personally collected from the beach and they mean alot to me. I am concerned that our guests will just help themselves to these items. I know I will be able to sell all the starfish and other items (prob even on this site) after our special event.

 

My FI suggested placing a card on each table that says something like "these items have been rented and need to be returned".

I thought maybe I could put a small explanation in the program asking guests kindly not to take beach items.

 

My dilemma is more that i do not want to be rude, tacky or seem cheap or anything like that.

 

Any advice? How would you handle this?

 

Thanks!

 

 

*Casey*

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I think there's a bit of an unspoken expectation that guests get to bring home the center pieces. I have never been to a wedding or similar event where that did not happen.

 

I was determined to adhere to my wedding budget, so I totally understand your desire to sell the starfish, etc after using them in your decorations. If you want to be 100% safe, I would say to not use anything in your center pieces that absolutely want to stay.

 

A compromise is that you use the bought items in the center pieces, and accept that people may take them. I don't know what your guests are like, but lots of people in general get offended at things that I would never expect. So while I would understand a note requesting the center pieces to be left behind, others may not. Then your personal items can be used to decorate something else like the cake and/or food table/s, the windows/mantle/entryway, etc. You would get to maintain the sentimental aspect, and I don't think people would take things other than the center pieces.

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Hmmm...I would never "help myself" to anything or any part of the wedding decor (other than the individual favors of course)...and I would hope that anyone who had the urge to do so would approach you, your mother, your moh, SOMEONE...and ask first.  Personally, I wouldn't put a note on the table.  If something meant that much to me and I was worried someone might walk off with it, I wouldn't use it.  

 

We picked up a large, very pretty painted wooden shadow box (with a glass lid) that we will be displaying some of our precious wedding items in at our AHR. 

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I agree with jmastr05

 

All the weddings I have been to it just is normal for guests to take centerpeices with them following the reception.  This being said, If your stuff truly is sentimental and has special meaning then don't use them for your centerpeices.  Even if you put a card stating that you dont want them to take the centerpeices there still is a chance they may go missing or get broken (you can probably blame alcohol for that!).  I would suggest using them somewhere else where they wont go missing, such as at your head table or cake table perhaps.

 

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It's a given that centrepieces go home with guests, after all, what are you going to do with multiples of the same arrangement? If you have very special pieces, then it's probably best to keep them on your head table where your girls can make sure they're gathered up at the end of the night, and leave your not so special pieces on the guest tables.

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I really appreciate all your feedback ladies. I wasn't sure if it was a given that ppl take the centerpieces. I guess I won't be able to use all the cool things i have from the beach. I have a feeling there will be alot of drunk ppl toward the end of the night and no matter where those items are they could come up missing. Thanks for the advice!

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i just saw this now and i actually disagree with the fact that its a given the guests take take the centerpieces!  I have been to many weddings as a guest and i would never dream of taking something, other than favors, unless i was told so.  Yes, i have seen many "give aways", where the DJ will make it into a game.  Or at the end of the night, the bride and groom or bridal party go around and offer them (i got to take one home this way).  But i would hope that no one takes one without asking or being told they can!  And then if they ask, you can tell them they are not for give away.  At my wedding i don't think anyone would have taken them, and so i just offered them up and only had a few people interested in them.

 

Also, since its a DW, guests will have to think about what they are packing, so you may be "safer" than you think.

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Originally Posted by PurpleUnicorn View Post

 

i just saw this now and i actually disagree with the fact that its a given the guests take take the centerpieces!  I have been to many weddings as a guest and i would never dream of taking something, other than favors, unless i was told so.  Yes, i have seen many "give aways", where the DJ will make it into a game.  Or at the end of the night, the bride and groom or bridal party go around and offer them (i got to take one home this way).  But i would hope that no one takes one without asking or being told they can!  And then if they ask, you can tell them they are not for give away.  At my wedding i don't think anyone would have taken them, and so i just offered them up and only had a few people interested in them.

 

Also, since its a DW, guests will have to think about what they are packing, so you may be "safer" than you think.

 

 

 

Originally Posted by Thomasjsgirl View Post

 

It's a given that centrepieces go home with guests, after all, what are you going to do with multiples of the same arrangement? If you have very special pieces, then it's probably best to keep them on your head table where your girls can make sure they're gathered up at the end of the night, and leave your not so special pieces on the guest tables.

 

 

Thanks so much for your responses. Just want to clarify a cpl things and see if anyone else can add their opinion.  

 

The centerpieces will be for AHR in Pittsburgh. There will hopefully be no more than 25 tables.

 

All the centerpieces will be different. I have been working really hard and have spent alot of money to find a different glass vase for every table. Is it normal for guests to ask before they take? I have found a couple vases that I would really like to use in my home after the reception. Others, I have no problem giving away.

 

We plan on having a live Beta fish on each table and maybe a cpl in other places. Therefore, I was planning on letting some guests take home all but one of the fish. (I'd like to keep one).

 

Still wondering if I should say something about asking ppl not to take starfish? I was thinking i might get smaller ones and attach everyones name and table number to them and put them in a sandbox for seating arrangements. That way everyone/each cpl get to go home a starfish plus their favor.

 

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Obviously everyone is different, as proven by this thread. I think that the moral of this story is that you won't be able to predict how each individual person invited to your AHR will react. So I suppose the way that you will end up the happiest at the end is to assume the worst (everyone is a greedy little center piece monger who will snatch up those suckers in a heartbeat) and plan accordingly.

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I was in the same spot as you. I have been to many weddings where the centerpieces were given away via a fun little game or something. And I have also been to weddings where there was no mention of guests keeping the centerpieces and there were still those people (usually great aunts or friends of parents) who just helped themselves to the centerpieces. You could see them heading for the door all shifty eyed with a palm tree sticking out of their purse! undecided.gif I have even been to weddings where the old ladies would almost have a fist fight over who got the centerpiece when they weren't even told that anyone could have it. Crazy I tell ya! stupid.gif

 

Anyway, I originally thought about DIY'g my centerpieces to make it more sentimental but then, like you, I worried that all the hard work & thought that I had put into them would either be broken or walked off with. With that in mind I decided to bite the bullet and go to a florist to make centerpieces. I will be adding my own touches to the table w/the escort cards (I am attaching small sugar starfish to each escort card), cake table, & memory table (pictures of our grandparents & video/slideshow of our wedding). I figure this way I can give away the centerpieces that I purchased from the florist in some type of game & still not lose anything that I am sentimentally attached to. Hope this helps!

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