Picture #1: Various textures and a natural arrangement make a rustic and unpretentious centerpiece. Many of these plants can also be found in a preserved form.
Picture #2: A simple cotton and thistle arrangement can provide a solid foundation upon which to build a holiday centerpiece that is made up of mostly preserved organic materials.
Picture #3: A huge variety of textures and natural materials that can be used over and over.
Picture #4: Assuming that a table that sits 15 will be roughly 90 inches long and 40 inches wide, I propose using 2 of these long wooden planters at 20"x4"x4" and 1 smaller 12"x4"x4" for the middle, presented end to end. This way, the centerpiece will span the length of the table without being too wide and taking up too much space, and also have the benefit of being easy to transport and assemble once at the ranch. You will also have space around and between the arrangements to put your candles.
Pictures #5-13: All of these materials pictured are preserved plants and foliage; only some have been dyed to accentuate their natural color. The centerpieces will be composed of autumnal and winter colors, with emphasis on reds and greens. The introduction of certain golden yellows keeps the arrangements from looking too "Christmasy" and will allow you to use the centerpieces for different fall/winter occasions. There are many different textures for interest, from soft raw cotton to pinecones. I will also introduce dried botanical pieces, ie seed pods, dried mushrooms, etc. The resulting effect will be informal, rustic, and elegant. I will keep your height limitations of far under 14" in mind when composing the arrangements so that people can see each other over the table. I also would like to accent the arrangements with fresh flowers, which I may end up putting in individual plastic tubes so that they can be easily removed once they have wilted and new flowers can be used for the next occasion.
For time and materials, the final cost for this proposal will be $350.
Preserved materials are usually more expensive than cut flower arrangements, but have the added benefit of being reusable!
The Next Step
Please let me know what you love, like, and hate; I will make the adjustments necessary, even if that means going a different direction!