A few weeks ago I was at a fundraiser with my husband and a couple of our friends. When we sat down for dinner, none of us could see the person sitting across the table from us. There was a gorgeous (and very large) azalea plopped in the center of the table. We promptly moved the flower to the floor so we could all converse with ease.
We want centerpieces to be eye catching and attractive. It's important for the piece to not be too small, as well, or it will look dinky in comparison to the table or the room itself. There is a fine line between impressive and intrusive for centerpieces. If a centerpiece obstructs a view and has to be displaced, it's purpose is not being served. Here are a few photos of some appropriate focal points for the table that still allow conversation to flow.
Low & Spralling: A great go-to style that ensures your guests can see each other, talk openly and pass food without problems.
Clustered: An interesting grouping can create visual interest and varied levels of height that still don't interfere with the view across the table.
Tall & Thin: When the surface area of the table is important, shooting for the sky is a good idea.
If you have a table where guests will not be seated, than there are no restrictions as to height or width. Food tables are often a great place to do something very grand and over the top because function is not important.
The next time you host a party, keep these ideas in handy and create a centerpiece that works for you & your guests.