(Closed) How to keep guests from taking centerpieces! Help!

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 18
127 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Some people are just so pushy and tacky, at my friends wedding we put our bouquets in small vases in front of us at the head table(like pretty much everyone does) and towards the end of the night 2 older guests were trying not only to take centerpieces but they tried to take the bride’s and my(MOH) bouquet!! it was crazy! I had to explain to them why they couldn’t have them and they were so pissed…in the end I had to grab it out of an old lady’s hand…when I told my friend(the bride) what happened she couldn’t believe it…they were from her husband’s side so she was glad I did something so she wouldn’t have to call them later and ask for it back..nuts!

My suggestion is have your MC make an announcement to leave the decorations and centerpieces where they are.

Post # 19
610 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

+1 to what @laceydoilies:  suggested


I’m a wedding photographer and have been to my fair share of weddings. Typically if the certerpieces are rentals, the MC will mention it briefly in his/her kickoff of the night speech and that seems to take care of things. 

Post # 20
1278 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Do you have a Dj? Have the Dj make an announcement.

Post # 22
8482 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2014

I’ve never heard of people taking centerpieces. Is this a common thing?

Post # 23
344 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

If your mother is paying for the wedding and is wanting to “eat the cost,” you should let her. I seem to be in the minority here, but it is tacky to bring it up – especially if it is normal in your culture for guests to take home the centerpieces. It’s either insulting to the guests that you did not honor your family’s culture, or insulting to your guests that you assume they don’t know better than to steal from your wedding reception. 

Now, if YOU are paying and will have to “eat the cost,” by all means take precautions, but that is what staff are for. Have your DOC notify the staff that centerpieces must stay in the building and they should be able to take care of it.  Issuing a formal announcement is a little uncalled for.

Providing vases or bowls for the guests to take flowers in with a note explaining their purpose might be a good compromise. 

Post # 24
79 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

@allyfally:  I had no idea that guests would even THINK of taking centerpieces from a wedding….until my sister’s wedding was winding down and people started asking if they could take them or assuming they could!  My mom and sister knew it would happen, but I had to actually see it to believe it I guess. 

Post # 26
203 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

To me this is odd. Maybe, it’s a regional thing but, I’ve never been to a wedding where anyone just took the centerpieces or any decor items other than the favors. Half of our tables will have a tall cylindar vase with flowers and curly willow and the other half will have these awesome trio of faux mercury glass candle holders all of which I bought myself. I think I would have a heart attak if anyone took it upon themselves to just take them! Surprised

Post # 29
4522 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@Hyperventilate:  +1

@MochiBride:  I’ve never witnessed this, but nothing surprises me when it comes to humans.  I’m with Hyperventilate: I’d find some smartass way to say “don’t touch.” 

Post # 30
2633 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@MochiBride:  taking the centerpeices without permission is NOT normal to me…but I have been warned that this is normal for my FI’s family and culture (caribbean weddings)….I will no way in heck let this happen….I purchased all my centerpeices and I expect to sell all my vases to subsidize the cost not to give as gifts!! If i didn’t want to sell them I would have just rented!!

So I am going to have the MC wait till evenyone is seated and LISTENING and mention that the vases are NOT for taking home

I will also have family on the look out 

and I will have the DOC and staff on the look out

I like the idea also of having the note at the bottom….maybe I will just tell ppl they are rented…some ppl find out I own them they would not likely return (rude) but if they think I don’t then most likely they would return (hoping)


As for your mom…..she doesn’t need to know anything…if that’s her attitude about it….just plan ahead. I think the best bet is to announce that they are not for take home.

Also a good plan is to give away the flowers (just the flowers) for the centerpeices near the end of the night…it may make sticky fingers second guess (I think I am planning this as well)

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