May 2015 - Mandaps, Chuppahs & Canopies

A wedding Mandap is a covered structure that is temporarily erected for a Hindu or Jain wedding, where the main marriage ceremonies take place.

Written in Sanskrit, one of the oldest languages of the world, the Hindu ceremony is primarily based on the marriage of Surya, daughter of The Sun, (Savita) to Ashwinikumar. As the romantic story begins, the bride and groom come to the mandap separately, as if meeting for the first time. An auspicious cloth separates bride and groom as a symbol of their separate existence prior to marriage. They fall in love and ask the parents' permission to wed. After various rituals, the bride and groom leave the mandap a devoted, newly married couple.

Mandaps can be truly beautiful, as they should be since they are the core of the wedding ceremony. Other structures that look similar to the mandap are the wedding canopy and the chuppah, also a covered structure, for Jewish weddings. It's easy to see why these beautiful romantic displays are becoming more trendy and popular, as they emphasize the focus on the bride and groom. Click here to view a Hindu wedding.

More images of mundaps can be found on our pinterest page here

February 2015 - Tassels, Tassels, Tassels..

Tassels are pendant ornaments made up of a bunch of strands of strings or cords but some tassels can end with something other than strings, like a crystal. Usually the end tassel is hanging off cord that is made of fabric or string but it could be made of many things like ribbon, beads or pearls. These hanging fringe or crystal or combined ornaments have been commonly used on graduation caps, leaflets or menus, curtains and on pillows and furniture. Another way to consider this decor item is using it in table top decor. A simple way to add some regal flavor to your centerpiece is to wrap your tassel around a glass bowl or vase. When you step back and look at your centerpiece and say " needs something", tassels can often be the something you need to complete the look you're looking for. See pictures below to get some ideas.

Pearl Diamond tassel
Gold tassel Purple tassel Corded diamond tassel

January 2015 - Break Away Centerpieces

Break away centerpieces are centerpieces that are made up of several vases or containers, bunched together to form one centerpiece display. The purpose being is that guests can take a piece of the centerpiece in lieu of favors. So, it serves two functions, table centerpiece and favors. Vases can contain flowers, plants, candles or whatever fits for your event. Below are some pictures that show some of our past designs and some current designs.

While you may not have a piece of the centerpiece for every guest, this should work out fine since some guests will decline traditional favors anyway.

Mini urn and bead garland centerpiece Mini cube and diamond centerpiece

October 2014 - Water Gems

Water gems, are also known as water crystals and water gel. Water beads are similar but have a defined shape that look like clear marbles.

Water gems come in a crystal form which look much like chunky rock salt. The instructions suggest you add one teaspoon of crystals to 3 cups of water. However, you can adjust the amount of water to change consistency of your finished product. When you add water to crystals, the crystals will absorb all the water. This takes about 5 hours. Below you can see some pictures of finished product.

In clear bowls and vases, you can place items in water gems to make them appear as if they're suspended in water. You can add more water to make consistency more watery to add lighter weight items, such as rose petals. When the consistency is more watery the water gems appear clearer and more like plain water. When there is less water the consistency will be more dense. To suspend heavier items like glass gems or glass shapes you want a bit denser consistency.


-If you find that you've made your water gems to watery, use a colander to drain off excess water.

-If the water gems are too thick, just add more water.

-Add food color to water before expanding water gems to color the gems.

-The longer the finished water gems sit, the clearer they will become because a lot of the air bubbles will diminish. Surroundings suggests making your displays about week ahead of time. You can certainly do them weeks ahead but making them closer to your event date will keep them looking fresher.

-Water gems are great for floating candles because it keeps your centerpiece stable. Since there's no sloshing around there is less chance of your wicks getting wet and extinguishing flames. Also, because the display is more solid, you can easily move them around or transport if making your display ahead of time and off-site.

Water gems

Color Instincts

July 2014
What are you celebrating this year?
If it is special to you, then it is worth celebrating in
full color!
Allow Surroundings to inspire you. We invite yo
u to pour through our product line, where you will find an appealing selection of displays. We offer complete centerpiece kits, easy to assemble, easy to look at. Treat your friends and loved ones to the beauty of color.

Candlelight creates magic and stirs the heart with feelings of warmth, intrigue and passion.
Like a simple poem, the trace of a candle-strand swaying in the air brightens the atmosphere instantly, because it allows life to breath through. Colors embody energy, so splashes of color fine-tune the vibe.

Take yellow, for instance, it simply dazzles us. Impressionist painters like Kandinsky and Matisse describe the world of color to us intimately as a sensuous and metaphysical place. Spontaneously, they said, color transforms the environment. Because yellow is a warm color it sweeps the eye. All we have to do is visualize Van Gogh’s sunflowers to get the idea. Speckled with white, yellow is both innocent and confident. A centerpiece arrangement that includes accent spot candles of yellow and green suddenly suggests an image of life in bloom.
Then again, love is always hot! So why not show your true passion with red rose candles entwined with crystal garlands and add suspended crystal heart.

Colors can have special meanings:
1. The higher energy of orange is irresistibly friendly.
2. Green reflects the hues of nature and growth.
3. Blue mirrors the color of the sky and communicates spiritual and intellectual balance, angels are said to like blue.
4. Brown grounds the mind in the same way a walk through the forest does.
5. If you want the royal treatment, try purple.
6. For graduations, consider black, which is an intelligent color.
7. Silver, inversely, protects and echoes the spirit of the moon.
8. Pink traditionally symbolizes heart-energy and the gentleness of love.
9. Gold is considered illuminative because it links the mind to contemplation, good for meditation.

There you go, now you know the basics of color. Before you elect your palette experiment a little. We can help with the detail work. Dare to live life in your brightest light!

December 2012

A Glow in the Snow
What’s better than the warmth of a fireplace in winter?
Relaxing in candlelight.
And what is better than plain candlelight?
Candlelight flickering on snow.

Candles in the snow

Now we are getting warm! Here is how you can achieve the effect of casting a golden glow of light over snow, indoors, this winter. Surroundings offers you snow kits to achieve it.

Candlelight is synonymous with seeing in the dark in conventional wisdom, which is why Light is part of our myths all over the world. The image tells us that light is soulful and magical, particularly during the cold winter months when the days are darker. The reverence for the light, of course, is as ancient as we are and it will never go out of style. It is practically part of our brain tissue: light helps us thrive.

Every year the winter solstice falls on December 21st, marking it the shortest day on the calendar in the northern region. This year, however, there is much talk about the Mayan calendar inflecting a cosmic shift. Well the truth is, the cosmos is always in motion, and people in the north know this all too well. It is why the solstice is a big social event. In the Germanic cultural tradition, they celebrate it by burning a log called Yule. The community gathers in joyful festivity to play in the snow.

Ancient history tells us that candle light has not just been useful to extend the day-light hours. Candles were in the original sense, time keepers, or clocks. Here at Surroundings, we are a practical bunch and know how important it is not to get totally distracted when having a good time. Therefore, we offer candles that burn between 4 to 6 hours; it is the perfect time frame for getting into fun-trouble. Also, we can offer you graceful vases and eye-catching oil lamps to create your ideal winter-land.

Instead of piling snowflakes on the mantelpiece or the table, we thought it would be best to use simulated snow.

Here is how it works: all you have to do is mix the powder with water, and the snow appears instantly.

You can decorate the front of the house, a garden or pathway, the interior of the house, the bathrooms, you name it; with light. Use artificial fairy lights if safety is a concern, and decorate around them with snow; then, add natural pine cones, your favorite poem or prayer, just in case the Mayas are right about the oracle. Just kidding!

Keep in mind that the winter solstice is worth celebrating every year. Start your own tradition and be reminded that the light that burns in our heart is worth celebrating frequently. All we have to do is light a candle and hold it dear.

Surroundings is grateful for your patronage!

diamond tassel for centerpieces
November, 2012

Surroundings' selection of floating candle accessories remains popular because we believe candles symbolize the warmth and hope of life. We have devoted our energy and creativity to customer satisfaction, and want to share our confidence in what we do. Even in this tough economy, it is important to rejoice in style. A social gathering can be beautiful and affordable at the same time.
One thing is for certain: our elegant yet pure-and-simple designs reflect the current trends of the day. It is all about showing elegance in a display of light that effortlessly suspend luminosity in water-filled glassware adorned with striking crystal gems, glass bubbles, gels, submersible lights, and garlands. For example the Crystal Tree centerpiece is popular with many brides, because it is a classic motif. It is telling of the bliss of two lives joining. On the opposite side of the scale, a teenager, or quinceanera, may do well in selecting small accent spots of color and glitter. Our corporate clients often demand more clear-cut outlines such as the Lucy & bubbles centerpiece.

We serve a wide spectrum of distinguished clientele that includes patrons like Bebe, Anthropologie, Comcast, Auntie Anne’s, Harrah’s, Hilton & Sheraton hotels, and even the U.S. military. By the way, cheers to our women soldiers getting married this year!

We ship all over the U.S., Canada, and other countries using a third party, OPAS. Just give us a call to discuss the details. A consultant at Surroundings is eager to discuss your order over the phone. We are prepared to help you at once and look forward to creating a centerpiece that is perfect for your special event. Just tell us what color, design, and theme you want, and where to ship your package and we will make sure you get it in plenty of time for your event.

Local clients can keep in mind that our off-beat showroom is on Durham Road, in Tigard, at an eclectic and vibrant business park, neighboring award winning Portland businesses. Stop by and visit with us. Our hours are from 10-3 Monday through Friday.

Whether you are on the market for floating candles, pillars, decorative glassware, or utility candles it does not matter, because exploring is half the fun. The point is that Surroundings is conveniently located in the Portland area, and we offer custom centerpieces for your important celebration. Candle light has a timeless quality to it, yet offers a contemporary alternative to floral layouts. So, dare to shine bright. Clearly, quality is not about how much you spend -but how clever you are- with the inexpensive elements we offer you.

Cheers from Surroundings!

Surroundings, a national candle centerpiece company has a showroom in Tigard, Oregon.

What: October 2006, Surroundings Centerpiece Showroom Opens
Where: 8184 SW Durham Road, Tigard OR 97224
When: Showroom Hours: 9am to 3pm Monday to Thursday, 10am to 2pm Friday
Products: Floating candle centerpieces, floating candles, glassware, accessories

Surroundings sells a large selection of centerpieces and accessories specializing in floating candle centerpieces. Surroundings has been an online presence for over 13 years. Started from home, the business has grown into a national leader in floating candle centerpieces. Surroundings’ web site serves customers nationally and is especially popular in the New York and East coast market. Increased interest in the local market prompted the opening of a showroom to serve local customers who have discovered Surroundings online or in magazines like Modern Bride, Bridal Guide and Martha Stewart’s Weddings.

While hugely popular with brides, floating candle centerpieces are now widely used for corporate events as well. Some of Surroundings corporate customers include Comcast, Auntie Anne’s, Harrah’s, Hilton and Sheraton hotels and the U.S. military. Centerpieces have been ordered for a wide variety of events. With a large selection of table accessories, such as submersible LED lights, floating glass bubbles and garlands there are unlimited combinations that can be created. Surroundings’ consultants are on hand to help customize centerpieces around customer’s colors, theme or location.

Although the showroom is tucked away in a business park off Durham Road in Tigard, don’t let the exterior throw you. Once you open the door you will be surrounded with the sparkle of glassware the light scent of candles and an explosion of color. Whether you are looking for a simple round
candle to match your china pattern or an intricate lily pad to float in your pool you will be able to find it at Surroundings. Surroundings has seen a steady growth in sales as many brides and event planners turn to floating candles centerpieces for their events. Floating candle centerpieces add drama and elegance and have become an affordable alternative to the more common floral arrangement.

Gilded roses