In a moment of brilliance (I do have them sometimes), I turned to Mr. T and said, "We should ask your mom to do the table centerpieces for us."
Mr. T's mom is an advertisement for DIY; she refinishes furniture and has single-handedly (well, Mr. T helps when he can) decorated her house and landscaped her yard. We showed her some inspiration pix and asked her to run with it.
This is what she presented us with on Thanksgiving (the flowers are a bit wilted b/c I didn't think to take pix till a few days later):
The pumpkin is an artificial one from Michael's that she got for 75% off. As tempting as it was to stock up on these after Halloween, I think having real pumpkins will add a certain something. The flowers are a mix of a $7 bouquet from Trader Joe's and stuff from her yard, as well as a few things from craft stores (the feathers and fruit, dunno if you can see these in the photos).
The wreath underneath is to cover up the dish with DRY ICE underneath, which I love. I don't want folks to be breathing it in during dinner, but I think it doesn't last very long, so we could just have it billowing around during cocktail hour and then it would be done by the time folks wanted to sit down.
So, I imagine Mr. T's mom will come up to stay with us a few days before the wedding, and we'll go flower shopping...it's funny, as much as I thought I didn't care about flowers at the reception, it looks like we'll have them after all, but we'll do it DIY, not the florist route. I'd like more fall colored flowers than what's shown here--reds and oranges--but otherwise I love these. I also got inspired as we were talking about these centerpieces and asked Mr. T's mom if she'd help us DIY the bouquets and corsages, etc. She said she would! I think this will lower our costs considerably.
I'm not sure how we'll work in the candy jars. I know we could have a candy bar, but part of me likes the idea of having them on the tables. We're still thinking about that part.