@ Meshka: I can completely relate. I am ALSO having a black and white beach wedding (well, ours is on a boat, not a beach, but we’ll be on the water, so close enough).
It seems to me that flowers are one of those things that, when used in bulk, have major impact as a centerpiece. But when I see them as single blooms or in small arrangements, somehow they look… puny? Pitiful? It’s like if the arrangement isn’t huge it looks like it’ll be swallowed up by the whole table, you know? And let’s face it, floral centerpieces are expensive as heck!
The other thing is it’s hard to find centerpieces that won’t be wasteful. Sure, we can use all kinds of Martha Stewart supplies to create something elaborate and unique, but then we’re stuck with a bunch of stuff afterwards (unless we can manage to get someone to buy it for less than what we paid for it in the first place). We’re trying our best to find materials we can actually get use out of afterwards, as decorations around the house or whatever that aren’t obviously wedding-y.
And is it just me, or are the alternatives for non-floral centerpieces are lacking at best? (If I see one more floating candle I think I’m gonna barf!)
So far, the ideas we’re exploring are…
1- Chalkboard table runner with an activity basket (Mad Libs, cards, cootie catchers, guest book pages, pens, and chalk, etc. for our non-dancing guests to stay entertained)
2- Massive amounts of candles in varying sizes (not floating – but they provide lighting solutions too, so it’s nice to have centerpieces working double duty)
3- (Purely decorative) Birdcages with origami cranes suspended in them (we’re doing the whole 1,000 cranes thing as a nod to my Japanese relatives)
Hope this helps someone other than me (I guess I needed to vent?). Can’t wait to see what you end up going with. Good luck!