Project #178 – Cabbage Centerpieces

When I’m working on other people’s weddings sometimes I have to stop and remind myself that it’s not my wedding. Case in point: the vases above. The mother of the bride purchased about 8 narrow glass vases and a handful of silk roses, one or two per vase. She wanted them to be the centerpieces for each table.

My oldest brother-in-law (again, not the one getting married) and I both looked at them and hated them instantly, mostly because we both have black, black Martha Stewart hearts. The vases were too little to fill up space on top of the jumbo sized tables, and they were so narrow that they would likely fall over whenever a guest stood up or sat down. Plus, the itty-bitty rosebuds looked pathetic and forlorn all by themselves.

However, this was not my damn wedding. The mother of the bride spent her money and time picking these things out, so there was no way that they were not going to end up in the middle of each table. I needed to suck it up and design some sort of flower arrangement where the offending vase would be the star. Oh, and I needed to do this with the last $20 of the flower budget for 8 tables. Ah, and we were out of flower containers.

The solution to all of my problems turned out to be $2 cabbages from the farmer’s market.

We saw a truckload of lacy, organic cabbages at the market, ones that were a shade of purple and a shade of deep green that wouldn’t clash with the sage green table cloths. We purchased nine on the spot, the extra one would be used to experiment the day before the reception. Each cabbage would be cut into a vase holder. They would fill in the center of the table, incorporate the required decorations, and, hopefully, not look completely insane.

We prepared all of the cabbages the morning of the reception. First, we removed all of the outer, insect chewed leaves. Then we lopped off the bottom of each so they would sit levelly and not roll around. Next, we cut the hole where we would insert each vase. We used the lip of the vase itself to lightly bruise the outer leaves and give us a cutting guide.

Cutting the first few layers isn’t hard, but eventually you’ll need to start scooping out the middle of the cabbage, which won’t come out as easily. Keep a fork on hand to pulverize and scoop out the stubborn bits. We cut a tunnel deep enough to hold the first 1/3 of each vase.

We smelled like coleslaw for a little while.

I’m glad that I married into a family that does not think I’m nuts.

We also made a special display for the bride and groom. The mother of the bride seemed to be pleased at how it all turned out. Phew! She cared much more about the decorations then either of the newlyweds and she was the one I was most concerned about keeping happy.


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