When planning an elegant wedding centerpiece on a budget, try to think of beautiful objects that are inexpensive. For example, flowers and bottles are relatively cheap, and they can be combined to make quite lovely centerpieces. You will need to spend time finding bottles of interesting shapes and the perfect flowers to fill them, but once you do, you'll be able to quickly assemble elegant wedding reception centerpieces on a budget.
Find tall, decorative bottles. Fill the bottles about 3/4 full with water. Add a few drops of food coloring. You can color the water to match your wedding colors.
Place the flowers in the bottles. Put in one or two flowers, depending on what kind you use. If the flowers are small, use several in each bottle.
Set one or two of the bottles on each table. Try not to block the view of anyone at the table.
Use flowers that complement the overall theme of your wedding. For example, if tablecloths, curtains and the cake are white, use white chrysanthemums.