Are Candle Centerpieces Cheaper Than Flowers?

Flowers and candles are two of the most popular centerpiece options for weddings, parties, and other events. Centerpieces serve not just a decorative purpose, but also help set the mood and ambiance of an event. Striking the right balance in terms of beauty, cost, and practicality is key when selecting centerpieces.

Fresh flower arrangements have traditionally been a top choice for centerpieces. Their vibrant colors, lovely fragrances, and ability to complement different styles make floral centerpieces a timeless option. However, fresh flowers can also be quite costly, especially for large events.

Candle centerpieces have surged in popularity in recent years as an attractive alternative or accompaniment to flowers. Groupings of candles create a warm, cozy glow and romantic ambiance. Candles come in a diverse array of sizes, shapes, and colors to match any event theme. Additionally, candles tend to be more affordable than fresh flower arrangements.

This article provides an in-depth cost comparison of flower vs. candle centerpieces. We’ll analyze the cost factors for each option, including pros, cons, and creative ways to save on your wedding or event decor.

Cost of Flowers

When it comes to floral centerpieces, some of the most popular flower choices tend to be roses, calla lilies, orchids, tulips, daisies, and hydrangeas. The average cost per stem for these types of flowers can vary:

– Roses – $2-$6 per stem depending on variety and season

– Calla lilies – $2.50-$5 per stem

– Orchids – $5-$10 per stem

– Tulips – $1-$2 per stem

– Daisies – $0.50-$1 per stem

– Hydrangeas – $3-$6 per stem

For a medium sized floral centerpiece, you may need around 50-75 stems of flowers. Factoring the average cost per stem, a flower centerpiece could range from $50 on the low end up to $500 or more on the high end depending on the types of flowers used.

Cost of Candles

Candles can be an affordable option for wedding centerpieces. Basic pillar candles or votives typically cost $1-5 each. You’ll also need candle holders, which can range from simple glass vases for a few dollars each to more ornate candlesticks for $10-30 apiece. Candle accessories like mirrors, gems, or vase fillers add another $5-20 per centerpiece.

For a low-end estimate, consider $10 for a set of 3 pillar candles plus $5 for a basic glass holder and filler beads, totaling around $15 per candle centerpiece. For more elaborate designs with pricier holders, expect to spend $25-50 on average for each candle-based centerpiece.

Other Flower Cost Factors

When budgeting for flower centerpieces, there are a few additional costs to keep in mind beyond just the flowers themselves:

Vase/Container Rentals – Most florists will provide vases to display the arrangements, but there is usually a rental fee for these. Vase rental costs can range from $2-10 per vase depending on the size and material. This is an extra expense to account for.

Flower Preservation – Fresh cut flowers only last about a week or so. To extend the life of floral centerpieces and save the keepsake, options like flower drying or pressing can be used. However, these flower preservation methods have additional service fees attached.

Flower Availability – If using roses, lilies, tulips or other popular flowers that are out of season, the cost can be much higher. Having a flexible view on flower types based on seasonality can help lower the price of arrangements.

Other Candle Cost Factors

There are a few other factors that contribute to the overall cost of candle centerpieces:

Candle Holders

The type of candle holder used can significantly impact cost. Simple glass or metal holders tend to be inexpensive. More ornate holders made of silver, crystal, or ceramic can be much pricier. Candlesticks and candelabras also boost costs.

Flame Safety

Measures to ensure flame safety, like having holders that enclose the flame or using LED candles, add to the price tag. But this helps reduce fire risks.


Higher quality wicks that promote complete wax burning are ideal. These tend to cost more than basic wicks.


The type of wax also affects candle expense. Beeswax and soy wax generally cost more than paraffin.

Flower Centerpiece Advantages

Flowers offer certain aesthetic and sensory advantages over candles and other centerpiece options. Their natural beauty provides visual interest and vibrancy to any table or event. Flowers come in a vast variety of colors, sizes, and textures allowing for unique arrangements tailored to your wedding theme and style. Unlike candles, flowers emit delightful floral scents that fill the air with pleasant aromas. The fragrances combined with their beauty makes flowers an unrivaled centerpiece choice for creating a sensorial atmosphere. Whether you want bold, romantic, or minimalist floral designs, there are endless possibilities to craft centerpieces that wow your guests.

Candle Centerpiece Advantages

Candle centerpieces offer a number of benefits over floral arrangements:


The warm glow created by candles sets a lovely ambiance for weddings and events. Candlelight creates a romantic, cozy atmosphere that complements any venue.


Well-made candles can be reused again and again, while flowers are a one-time expense. Candles make great keepsakes from special events.


From floating candles to creative candle holders, there are many unique candle designs to choose from. Candle centerpieces allow for novelty and personalization.


Candlelight provides gentle lighting and illumination for centerpieces and tables. Candle centerpieces eliminate the need for extra lighting.

Centerpiece Alternatives

In addition to flowers and candles, there are other attractive centerpiece options to consider that can also potentially cost less:


Fruit centerpieces have a fresh, natural look and usually cost less than flowers. Popular fruits to use include lemons, limes, grapes, berries, kumquats, figs, and pomegranates. Arrange them artfully in bowls or tiered stands.


Lanterns give a warm, cozy glow to any table. Group different sizes and styles together for interest. Fill them with flowers, candles, feathers, beads, or other decorations.


Small metal, glass, or crystal sculptures make for unique centerpieces. Look for pieces that represent the style or theme of the event. Display them on mirrors, plates, or pedestals for maximum visual impact.


Miniature indoor gardens enclosed in glass containers have become a popular centerpiece choice. Succulents, air plants, moss, and other small plants can create stunning living arrangements.

Final Cost Comparison

When all factors are considered, candles generally end up being a more budget-friendly option for wedding centerpieces compared to fresh flower arrangements. The base costs of candles, holders, and accessories tend to be lower than the wholesale prices of enough fresh flowers for a centerpiece. Additionally, candle centerpieces often require less labor for assembly, delivery, and setup at the event venue. However, there are some exceptions based on the types of flowers and candles chosen.

The main advantages of flower centerpieces are their natural beauty, fragrance, and ability to match wedding colors and themes. Flowers also bring life to a room. Yet they require more care in transport and storage, as well as frequent watering at the event. Candles create an elegant ambiance and work well for evening weddings, but lack the vivid colors and scents of flowers.

In the end, candle centerpieces can provide an affordable alternative to fresh floral arrangements, while still offering an attractive table focal point. But flowers may be worth the extra cost for some brides who envision a vibrant floral motif for their wedding. The choice comes down to budget, theme, and personal preference.


When it comes to choosing between flower or candle centerpieces, the decision often comes down to budget. Fresh flower centerpieces can be quite expensive, especially if using roses, orchids, or other premium blooms. The cost goes up exponentially with the number of tables and arrangements needed. Candle centerpieces provide a more affordable alternative. Basic pillar candles or vases with floating candles cost just a few dollars each. However, there are ways to get creative with candles to make them appear more high-end. Using an assortment of candles in different shapes, sizes, and colors creates visual interest. Adding candle holders and other decorative touches elevates the look as well. Both flowers and candles have their advantages. Flowers add vibrant colors and natural fragrance while candles create ambiance and romance. But for those on a tight budget, opting for candles ultimately allows saving money without sacrificing style.

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