What Really Grinds My Gears: Wedding Reception Table Centrepieces

vaseThe Tiger’s recent post about wedding protocol reminded me of the two weddings I’m due to attend this summer, and the many I’ve attended in the past.

I’ve never understood the deal with reception table centerpieces.  Yes, they’re supposed to look nice and add a certain elegance to the dining experience, but mostly they just block your view of the other guests at your table.  Then they get given away to some “lucky” guest who finds a ribbon or other identifying clue stuck to the bottom of his or her chair.  Congratulations!  You’re now the proud owner of some kitschy monstrosity that coordinates very well with the theme of the reception, and not at all with the style or theme of your actual residence.

I have been the lucky winner of these things a few times, and by the time a year or two passes, I’ve completely forgotten where they came from and what awful colour scheme they were supposed to coordinate with.  All I know is that some ugly vases and curio-cabinet goods have stolen into my home, unbeknowst to me, and when I finally corner them they will be smashed with a mallet.

This is why I propose a radical change in reception table centrepieces.  If we’re going to insist on giving these things away, can we at least make sure that they’re practical gifts that actual human beings would want to utilise inside their own homes?  Like an Xbox 360.  I know, an Xbox is not very attractive aesthetically—but it’s available in white, which is the predominant colour scheme in 99% of all weddings.  And as a guest you’d be pleased as hell to win one at the reception; you’d probably bail out early just to get home and plug that baby in!  Blending in with home decor is not an issue, since it’s going to be stuffed into an entertainment console below the TV.

I’m trying to sell Wanda on this concept but she’s hung up on traditional notions of aesthetic beauty during the dining experience.  She’s thinking about how it’ll all look and coordinate.  I’m thinking about afterward — years later when you pull some ugly crystal beast out of storage and scratch your head thinking “Why the hell would I buy that?  How did it get inside the house?  Where’s my mallet?”  With an Xbox, there’s no such problem.  You’ll remember where you got it, and you’ll gladly let the groom play a few rounds of Halo XVII when he comes over.

Think about it, future grooms.  Functionality, not frou-frou.  You’ll thank me later.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
7 Responses
  1. Gorthos says:

    Hear Hear!
    Centrepieces are the reason persons developed the word Fugly.

  2. Chris Taylor says:

    There’s a lot of guest-gifting gear out there that looks like it was made to be chucked off an apartment building roof by drunken mischevious teenagers. Not that I would ever endorse such a thing.

  3. Colin says:

    Do you really think the groom has any input at all? Weddings are just one big day when the bride gets to play dress-up one last time. Grooms just need to be told where to be, what time, and what to wear. Men are window dressing.

  4. Chris Taylor says:

    Well that kinda depends on who’s footing the bill, doesn’t it? If a big chunk is coming from the bride’s family then yes, the men are window dressing.
    For my own wedding, I would rather that Wanda and I foot the bill entirely. I would not want to hit up my relatives for anything other than their presence, good wishes, and a (modest) gift—if they so desire.
    And to put it bluntly, where I pay the bills, I call the shots. So no stupid vases with zero post-wedding utility. =)

  5. Sean says:

    “Well that kinda depends on who’s footing the bill, doesn’t it? If a big chunk is coming from the bride’s family then yes, the men are window dressing.”
    I paid for the majority of my wedding and I was *still* window dressing. So sorry to disillusion you.

  6. Chris Taylor says:

    Sean: A lot depends on the personalities of the couple.
    I really detest modern wedding receptions, they drag on far too long for my taste. And I have some newfound strong opinions on nuptial decorations and the like.
    Wanda is also not a typical girly-girl who has had her wedding all planned out in advance since she was six or seven. She’s very reasonable and is willing to accommodate a lot of my outlandishness.

  7. Colin says:

    “She’s very reasonable and is willing to accomodate a lot of my outlandishness.”
    So, TNG Trek dress uniforms at dawn?