There is a lot of room for creativity in a table arrangement. The table is a great stage to tell a story through the use of candles, statuary, musical instruments …any objects that have meaning for you. You can convey a theme for the occasion using memorabilia or traditional decorations. The buffet table lends itself to an elaborate still life of flowers, fruits and vegetables. Create a centerpiece still life where you can’t tell where the decorations end and the food begins.
The placement of centerpieces fall into three main categories:
1. The arrangement is placed in the center of a table with guests seated all around.
2. The arrangement is placed at the ends or at one side of a table
3. The arrangement is seen from three sides and is designed for buffet tables where no one is seated, but where food and beverages are served.
In the first category, the arrangement is created to be viewed from all sides. It is fairly low, below chin level, so diners can see each other. Focal flowers are placed throughout the design and a few line flowers extend above eye level for contrast. Candles should be either very short or very tall so they don’t block conversation or isolate guests.
In the second category, where the floral arrangements are spaced at the two ends of a long table or where one bouquet occupies the center of one side of a table, the size of the arrangements can be much larger. They occupy space normally occupied by one seated guest.
Since there are no individual place settings at a buffet, the floral composition should be in scale with the size of the table and the amount of food being served. A very large buffet table may use a large arrangement place in the center towards the back with two smaller ones echoing the colors and style of the main design at either ends.