In the past, expensive floral centerpieces were common at most wedding receptions. Today, more brides are finding inexpensive, creative ways to "customize" their wedding receptions without spending a lot of money.

Here are some great centerpiece suggestions. The prices quoted are from Michael's Arts and Crafts, unless otherwise noted.

Candles - Arranging candles of different heights on a small mirror in the center of the table can be quite dramatic. The prices range from $1.00 to $3.00 for 3x3, 3x6, and 3x9 inch candles. Candles can also be placed inside 4" bubble/ivy/diamond ivy cut/swirl ivy glass bowls at $1.00 each. Floating candles are very romantic. A 10" bowl will cost you $7.99 and the candles range from .99 to $1.79.

Flower pots - A crafty friend or bridesmaid can purchase 3" clay pots at .69 each, and paint them an elegant white or the colors of the wedding. The bride and groom's name and wedding date can also be added. Plant ivy in the pots, and you have an affordable centerpiece and a memorable wedding favor.

Picture frames - You can place a grouping of your favorite pictures of the bride and groom on the table as centerpieces. Or, you can choose to have parents, family, and friends put framed pictures of their weddings on the table.

Paper and pen - Put pens and decorated pieces of paper that say, "My Favorite Part of Your Wedding Was…" near each setting. Collect the papers, and assemble them in a book you can read on your honeymoon, or read out loud at the reception.

Vase and silk flowers - Arrange inexpensive silk flowers that match your wedding colors inside elegant cube shaped vases (3x4x6 as low as $2.49). For a mere 99 cents more, place a lace doily under each vase. For more vase ideas, check www.ikea.com. They start as low as $1.99.

Themes - If the bride and groom are big NASCAR fans, love country music, or ride Harleys, use this opportunity to share this passion with family and friends. Use some of your less expensive collectible items to decorate the table. If the bride and groom belong to the military, or the groom is married in uniform, be sure to use 4 x 6" mini flags in addition to your other decorations.

These affordable wedding centerpieces will be great conversation starters. Browse around your local arts and crafts store, and you will find many more ideas.