An elegant ladies' luncheon benefits from centerpieces that fit the mood and decor of the event. Distinctive centerpieces can be made from a variety of materials and don't have be expensive. As you plan, consider whether the centerpiece obscures vision across the table, since ladies' luncheons are often designed for maximum socializing.
Cut Crystal and Roses
Cut crystal sparkles as it catches the light in the room, while red or pink roses are a classic touch of elegance. Choose shallow, round or square crystal bowls. Gather dense bunches of roses in the bowls, clipping their stems to the same height as the bowl, so that the petals and buds rise just over the lip of the bowl. Use a small piece of floral foam in the center of the bowl, if needed to keep the roses in place. Place the bowl of roses on a round, lace mat or runner. Surround the bowl with matching cut crystal votive holders and candles.
Candelabras invoke a sophisticated and regal feeling at the table. Matching candelabras or candlesticks create a seamless look in a room, while mismatched pieces lend a shabby chic feel. Pewter or silver plated candelabras with a mirror finish are elegant topped with simple, cream-colored tapers. Think tall and narrow as you plan this centerpiece, to avoid the candles becoming an obstruction to talking across the table. Surround the base of the candelabra with flower petals and glass votives filled with large incandescent or pearlized beads.
Tall Floral Pieces
Tall, narrow, trumpet-shaped glass vases give height to striking floral centerpieces. Long-stemmed flowers work well in these vases, or wrap short stems in floral tape for stability. Your florist can help you come up with a bouquet shape and colors to work with your decor. Round, globe-shaped bouquets have a modern style appeal, especially when made with monochromatic flower colors. Or present textural interest with bouquets with large central flowers, such as lilies, and a few pieces of greenery weeping over the edge of the vase. Place the vases on a table runner loosely topped with a layer of tulle in a matching color.
Find inspiration from natural, seasonal elements. Winter holiday centerpieces look striking with the addition of cranberries. Fill a wide, shallow bowl with water, cranberries and silver floral pebbles. Float small candles on the water. Surround the bowls with silver or crystal ball ornaments. In the fall, scatter red and yellow leaves on a metallic gold table runner. Add gold-trimmed crystal goblets filled with gold candles or small rose and mum bouquets. A monochromatic setting turns common spring daisies or tulips into an elegant option. Use white ceramic urns with a handled, Victorian flair, white flowers and tall, thin pieces of greenery in a bouquet.
Nadia Nygaard has been writing and editing since 2005. She is published in "Farm and Ranch Living" and has edited projects as diverse as grant proposals, medical dissertations and tenant law handbooks. She is a graduate of the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in English and women's studies.