How Our Potter Made His Centerpieces and Wedding Party Gifts


Coming up with unique wedding ideas is never easy. Lanterns or glass candle holders are always a safe bet for centerpieces, but most bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts end up gathering dust in a closet or curio cabinet within a matter of years.

For those of us who are looking for something different that their wedding party can use once the wedding celebrations are over, this is where stoneware comes into play. In fact, we can’t think of a better way to deliver an iconic wedding toast. We’ve even got a firsthand example from one of our own artisans of how you can use stoneware in your wedding.

Cody Vaughn is a potter with Sunset Hill Stoneware. Having worked with us since 2015, he started out in the shipping department, packing hundreds of mugs each day. Eventually, he learned how to throw on the job and became a potter. During that time, Cody also got engaged.

Aside from throwing hundreds of custom coffee mugs every single day, Cody took the opportunity to make some pieces of his own for his wedding. With his wedding on the horizon in April 2020, he used his skills as a potter to make some unique wedding favors to have and to hold. Uncover how he created his own centerpieces and wedding party gifts, as well as how you can use custom coffee mugs as gifts for your bridal party.

Marriage in a Pandemic: The Challenges and Solutions


Originally, Cody and now-wife Samantha were slated to get married in April 2020. However, COVID-19 brought its own set of challenges to the mix. They had to pare down the number of guests at their ceremony from 210 to just 10 people. Any other celebrations they had planned were also delayed in the wake of the pandemic.

These challenges are familiar to any couple who planned to get married in 2020. Countless newlyweds had to either cut their weddings down to just a small handful of people or postpone their big day altogether. In Cody and Samantha’s case, they chose to follow through with their ceremony with a small group of witnesses.

However, this doesn’t mean their reception is off. The wedded couple have rescheduled the festivities for after Christmas this year in North Carolina, so their families and friends will be able to celebrate with them the way they originally intended. There, Cody and Samantha will also get to flaunt some custom pieces he handcrafted himself.


Handcrafted Wedding Centerpieces

Lots of couples search high and low to find centerpieces that capture their personalities and the theme of their wedding. However, Cody had other plans. He and Samantha decided to use his skills as a potter to make handcrafted centerpieces unlike anything else in the world. So, several months ahead of their original wedding date, he took to his wheel and got to work.

When he wasn’t throwing custom logo mugs for brands across the country, Cody threw his own centerpieces. Those who are familiar with some of our older styles may recognize the shape he chose for these unique pieces; The Wide Belly. This spiritual cousin of the Potbelly has been retired for a few years, but Cody knew it was the perfect style for his and Samantha’s wedding celebration.

For these one-of-a-kind centerpieces, Cody had the team use our Canyon Grey glaze to pair with his wedding colors. He also used a custom stamp in potter’s ink with their original wedding date. As a gift to their groomsmen and bridesmaids, he also threw custom, no-medallion steins. Respectively, they received Ale-House Barrels in Spanish Moss and the pint glass-style Speakeasy in Mulberry Blush.


Stoneware Mugs as Custom Bridesmaid and Groomsmen Gifts

Cody is far from the first person to come to Sunset Hill Stoneware for his wedding favors. Every year, we create stoneware coffee mugs as favors for wedding parties, often with custom logos and messages for each couple. Many come in the Potbelly or our other popular styles. But, those are far from the only options available.

Any one of our USA-made mug or stein styles makes ideal gifts for your bridal party. With quality your bridesmaids and groomsmen will feel to the touch, they’re sure to become keepsake pieces that they can use for their favorite pint or a particularly concerning amount of coffee. Plus, there are more than 70 different colors and color combinations to choose from in our glaze gallery. Chances are, no matter what your wedding colors are, we can create mugs to match or compliment them.

Although Cody and Samantha decided against medallions for their unique bridal party favors, this is an option some couples also choose. A classic choice for this is two wedding bands with the couple’s names and wedding date. However, we’ve also seen couples send us custom designs that were clever and unforgettable. For example, a couple with the last name Fisher with a penchant for dad humor might bring us a design involving a fish on a line. Some couples might even choose to have their state or a more detailed landscape on their custom wedding mugs. As with every other stoneware mug we create, your only limit with original artwork is your imagination.

When it comes to bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts, custom stoneware coffee mugs are works of functional art. To learn about pricing and see a free proof of what your design would look like on a mug medallion, contact us today.