Wedding Centerpieces Using Live Fish in Lighted Bowls

My daughter is planning her wedding and we are looking for special centerpieces. She would like to put a fish in water with a light. Does this sound totally off the wall? She wants a blue fish because her colors are blue royal and light blue. Please tell me if this is totally unacceptable. Thanks.

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By Maureen from Montreal, Quebec

October 16, 20100 found this helpful

I think it sounds creative and fun. This is after the wedding and at the reception. A time to enjoy and have good food and be entertained. I don't think this idea is strange or abnormal. I've know of one couple getting married under the sea in the tropics and the guests were in a boat watching the marriage take place from a monitor screen. After that was the party reception on the boat. It's very different and unique, but very memorable and special nonetheless.

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October 16, 20100 found this helpful

I know of one couple that got married in the cab or the tractor of the semi truck that they drove.

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October 17, 20100 found this helpful

I'd like to know what she's going to do with all the fish afterwards.

It has been years since I had fish, but I remember that betta (fighting fish) can be in a bowl without a filter. When you go to the pet shop, they're usually sitting in little cups of water (one per cup, or else they'd fight to the death). The male fish are very colorful, including blue. I always feel sad for them when I see them in their little cups.

But like I said, I'm concerned about what she's going to do with them afterwards. Off the top of my head, all the blue colored fish I can think of (besides betta) are salt water fish. They have specific requirements, and set up can be costly. I don't know about the logistics of putting an individual salt water fish into a little bowl with a light, and how long the fish can be there like that. I never had a salt water tank, but with a regular tank it takes time to get the water right before even adding fish. You can't just go adding fish to any water willy-nilly, or they'll die -- probably not what she wants at a wedding reception. And the temperature needs to be right. Maybe they could go into a large tank afterwards, for her to keep as pets. If she chooses the colorful male betta fish, she would NOT be able to put them into tanks together afterwards. They'd have to be kept separately for the remainder of their lives.

In my opinion, your daughter needs to do a LOT of research on this, and be willing to take on the long-term responsibility of taking care of these fish. If she goes with salt water fish, she needs to set up a tank to take care of them, and the larger the better. If she goes with betta, she needs to be willing to take care of all those individual fish, and those little cups just aren't humane on a long-term basis. She could probably start by talking to someone knowledgeable at a local pet shop about putting fish into bowls with lights (and I assume no filters) for the entire wedding day/night. She'd need to make sure the guests don't mess with the fish (put anything into their bowls). I think that well-grounded adults would know, but children or young people would probably be tempted to tap, move around the bowls, poke their fingers into the water, or drop things into the bowls. If she can find a way to do it responsibly, then it would certainly be unique and memorable.

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October 18, 20100 found this helpful

I was going to recommend bettas. They can live without heaters or filtration, sort of like goldfish. I'd be sure to have someone that knows about fish to be in charge of them as floating fish won't have the same impact and it is pretty easy to kill any fish.

It is possible that there are rental places that would rent you the fish. You might be able to make an arrangement with a pet store to take back the fish when you are done with them.

Good luck!

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October 18, 20100 found this helpful

I am thinking that she is going put a bowl with a fish and a floating candle on each table? In that case. Does sound great to start but the candle will heat up the water and the fish will cook a little and well you get my drift.

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October 18, 20100 found this helpful

If you put a layer of salad dressing above the water, you can float a metal candle, the 12/1.00 kind, in the water and dye the water a light blue with food coloring. It's do'able.

Good luck!

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Anonymous Flag
October 18, 20100 found this helpful

I am sorry but this sounds cruel to me. :-( What if some of the guests get out of control and mess with the centerpiece fish in one way or another (people can do weird things) and who is going to take care of those fish after the festivities are over? I like Poor But Proud's idea of simply coloring the water blue. Then place a tea candle floating on top of that and no harm done to a living being! Perhaps your daughter can find some fish shaped confetti to float in the water?

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October 18, 20100 found this helpful

Remember that fish are god's creatures too and feel pain. What are you going to do with them if they survive? Don't be cruel!

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October 18, 20100 found this helpful

I think it's sad to have all these opinions about how you are going to treat the fish instead of a response to your question. This is not a site to judge others on. I trust you will take care of the fish, I've seen people give them away in the vases or in little clear cups (like they have them at the pet stores) Beta's are easy fish to have.

About your question. I think you could have a small vase, possibly tall and skinny with a tea light in it, they even sell tea lights that are battery operated (so not hot) I think Oriental Express has them. You would probably have to glue the vase in, or weight it with small rocks. Set this in the middle a larger vase that is filled with water and your fish. The fish can happily swim around the middle lighted up vase.

Have a happy wedding!

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October 19, 20100 found this helpful

This is cruel.

Marg from England.

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October 19, 20100 found this helpful

How many centerpieces are we talking about here? Fish, especially ones in two shades of blue, can be expensive. And I also ask you, as have others, who is going to deal with all these fish after? And who is in charge of the fish prior to the reception, setting them on the tables, and so on? What is your contingency plan if any of the fish die (something dead floating in a bowl is not how you want people to remember your wedding) or if someone accidentally knocks over a bowl and you have a fish flapping and dying on the table.

If this was a small wedding, with maybe 4 tables, it would be one thing. But I suspect we are talking about lots and lots of table centerpieces. It just doesn't seem worth the effort and expense to me, especially if you are not experienced in the care and keeping of fish. I don't think you can expect to give these fish away to the guests either, not everyone wants the bother. Fish are living things, and you have to take that into account.

I like fish, but this isn't something that I would consider at my daughter's wedding. There are so many other lovely things that you can do with candles and vases of flowers and floating tea lights and so on. Who needs all that extra stress on the wedding day!

As someone said, it is a "time to enjoy and have good food and be entertained", so why would you want to burden someone with the care and maintenance of 20 to 50 fish, before, during and after this celebration? And can you really rent fish? Is there a damage deposit?

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October 19, 20100 found this helpful

Hi, I have just been doing some online research, and you know, this just may be doable. If you have a lot of money to spend on centerpieces, access to a great pet shop, and some plan for dealing with these fish afterward (not giving them to guests! That's not a plan!) I see there are several kinds of nice blue fish, ranging in price from about $2 to $5 apiece (probably more expensive as well) and then beta lighted mini fishtanks for $20 apiece, or unlighted regular fishbowls for about $7. Glass bowls would be more expensive. I suppose you could use rose bowls for a short time, and then transfer to an aquarium after the festivities.

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October 20, 20100 found this helpful

Sounds like a lot of stress and effort for something so insignificant. In the scheme of things, the centerpieces are given about 10 seconds of attention. So why put all this fuss into them? Spend your time and energy on more important stuff.

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Anonymous Flag
October 20, 20100 found this helpful

Am going to add one more thing here just in case you and your daughter do choose to continue with the idea of using live fish and especially if you choose Betta's in particular! They are an aggressive species and especially to one another, whether male or female, and will kill each other if placed together in the same bowl or community tank. Just thought you should know for being humane sake.

And, Lisa Kay, Maureen did ask if this was unacceptable so if someone finds this to be cruel that is stating, in our opinion, that it is indeed unacceptable!

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November 7, 20100 found this helpful

Uhm, Beta fish fight each other, why do you want to cause a riot for your blessed wedding day? How about shining a blue light from the ceiling onto a mirrored turning ball? Beta fish are not very active unless disturbed. Oh, yeah, the water will smell.

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