Practice what I preach! And you'll almost never fail. I can't help the fact that you're human and that can get in the way of perfection. Not my problem my dear. All yours. Own it.
I know what you want. What every bride wants. Gorgeous tablescapes that are gasp-worthy when guests enter to take their seat for the wedding reception. Well, you can achieve that and so much more. But you must follow the rules of good design, which is all about style and proportion and context. All three.
Keep your designs simple and in context with the venue of the space. Lastly, keep the proportions in line with everything else. It's a delicate balance but you want your eyes pulled to the beauty, not something that is off or out of place.
The pictures you see here are textbook examples of what you can achieve that is gasp-worthy and within your $50 Grand wedding budget. Low lying florals for the head table and simple candle holders for height. Tall simple slender clear glass vessels on the guest tables filled with water, orchid strands and a floating candle. How easy is that?!
Budget Bottom-line: $70 Glass vessels (rented) $70 Flowers $24 Candles $33 Misc (20% of itemization)
= $234 (per table)
Considering you have 15 tables at $234 each, that's $3,510, which is less than $5000. Remember, your tablescape budget should account for 10 percent of your wedding budget. It's okay to go higher, but you must make adjustments elsewhere.