I have a thing for stemware and glassware and decided that I wanted to use that for the centerpieces at the wedding.
The decision was made early, so for over a year leading up to our wedding I shopped. Because I was in the thrift stores so often anyway, the glasses were acquired fairly easily.
I'd start each visit to the thrift stores by shopping for the props I was currently needing for work, but before I left I would swing by the glassware and pick up anything in a saturated color.
I had a spreadsheet where I kept track of how many glasses I had of each color so that I would be able to create a good mix.
A couple months before the wedding we pulled all of the glasses out in my parent's kitchen, washed off labels and arranged the glasses into mixed sets of eight.
We re-wrapped the glassware in newspaper and bundled each set in an individual bag.
On the day before the wedding, as we were decorating the hall, all my helpful aunts were able to open one bag at a time and arrange it onto each table.
We put a tea light candle into each, which added to the warm, colorful glow of the room when the lights dimmed.
On each table we left a note inviting people to take glassware that they liked with them at the end of the night.
Everyone seemed to love the glasses and some even turned choosing glassware into a game for the night, walking around the room and scoping out the glassware on other tables, trying to find matchign sets.
The best part was that ended up with centerpieces I loved, which doubled as wedding favors that our guests loved and I spend and average of $1 a piece.