One of the wedding elements I look forward to seeing at the reception is the table centerpiece. The default centerpiece is of course, flowers whether it's a tall or low arrangement, set in gigantic vases or fishbowls accented by candelabras or votive candles and sometimes, adorned with crystals and even feathers.
In one magazine a few years back, I saw photos of chandeliers used as centerpieces with sampaguita garlands strewn all over them -- it was an "ooooohhhh" photo for me.
Some couples are creative enough to make their centerpieces really personal or more in line with the wedding theme they've chosen. Some of the memorable centerpieces I know of (although don't have photos of) are:
1) Places (Cities/Countries/Restaurants/Trips) where the couple has been to or would like to visit. If the assigned table was "Paris," it would usually involve items associated with France/Paris like the Eiffel Tower, and other french or Parisian mementos and landmarks.
2) "I Love you" or other words of endearment in different languages. Te Amo, Je t'aime, Iniibig Kita are used instead of table numbers. I've also seen photos showing words associated with marriage like "Happiness," "Forever," "Trust," -- which can also be a great reminder of what marriage is all about. :-)
3) Mini cakes - actual, edible cakes (sometimes a miniature of the wedding cake) that guests can eat after the cake-cutting ceremony. Yummy!
4) Theme-related - if the couple opted for a beach theme, they had "beach items" like sand, petrified coral, starfish and shells as part of the centerpiece. If the wedding is during the Christmas season, the couple had pine cones, even a mini Christmas tree complete with bells and balls at the table! How festive is that?
It has been an unwritten rule that the centerpieces are usually taken home by the guests. After all, we wouldn't want those gorgeous flowers to just end up in the garbage bin, now do we? So most often than not, the female guests get the flowers and sometimes even the containers! As guests, we should always ask before taking home anything because some centerpieces are just rentals -- most of which are used by the florist or event designer for other occasions.
I attended a cousin's wedding in Toronto, Canada more than a decade ago. The centerpieces they had for the reception were silk flowers and each was given to one of the guests. The DJ had a game and the winner at the table won the centerpiece. Now that was way much fun than simply taking the vase. :-)
Whatever you decide on, just make sure your centerpieces still allow for great conversation for your guests and don't block your guests' view from the program, the AVP (if you have one) and the newlyweds' table. This is to ensure they'll see every kiss you and your hunnybunny will make throughout the reception. Awww.