Monday, August 31, 2009

August 31, 2009

Yesterday I mentioned that all of the royal bridal bouquets contained a sprig of myrtle from the same plant at Osborne House. Osborne was a favorite residence of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The Myrtle tree was brought from the Prince's home in Coburg. The picture to the left is the most representative photo I could find of myrtle. When in retail floristry, I often used myrtle on a daily basis. This foliage was sturdy, fairly long lived, and tall. I remember it was most used when trying to achieve height in vase arrangements, particularly vased roses. It was rare to see the white flowers on the myrtle, but I have seen them. I am assuming that this plant has a very limited blooming cycle. It's too bad that most pictures of the royal bouquets are not in close up. The view we have of the bouquets are not in close up, so, it is hard to determine the location of the traditional myrtle sprig. Again, this is a great example of the special touches of meaning and tradition that are part and parcel of royal weddings. This practice of including something meaningful and memorable, such as a piece of jewelry from a relative, or a ladies hanker chief, possibly from ones grandmother, a rosary used by an ancestor, carrying a prayer book or bible... this things make the bouquet special and carry a hint of family nostalgia on the wedding day.
Thanks to my friend Nannette for the comment on the pic from yesterday of Mother and her wedding party. I hope to post more soon.
Hope everyone had a great day. Terry.
Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... Both Queen Elizabeth II and her mother, the Queen Mother used the Wedding March by Mendelssohn as the processional music at their weddings in Westminster Abbey.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

August 30, 2009

Another weekend come and gone. A great visit with Mother and Daddy separately in Savannah on Saturday. While I was home, I snagged the wedding album, and spent a great deal of the day today scanning the pictures.
Wow, the good old days! Here is Mother and her attendants. It was the day in age when the maid of honor's dress and flowers were slightly different from the rest of the group. Here, my aunt Sylvia or "Sibbie" as we call her is wearing green, contrasted with the pink of the other ladies. The florist did an amazing job of dying only the centers of the mums, not the petals. A pale shade of green for the maid of honor and pink centers for the other bridesmaids. Gotta love those dresses, pure 1964... and, the head pieces with veils no less. I will be sharing more of the wedding album in future blogs, so you'll get to see more of the great early '60's fashion. I can name all the people in this picture! From left to right, Aunt Janice, cousin Jean, Aunt Sylvia, Mother, Lena the flower girl, cousin Faye and Aunt Alice. It was a beautiful wedding. I really am intrigued by the design of the wedding, I am under the understanding that my mother and grandmother put the look of the dresses, color, style together themselves. My grandmother was a true southern lady with impeccable taste. Mother inherited her eye for style and taste as well. The church, as I mentioned before is Grace Methodist in Savannah. It was interesting that we attended church there for many years. My father was baptised there as an adult, and all three of the children were baptized there as well. We attended church here until 1981 when we decided to attend a Methodist church closer to our home on the islands. Why didn't we think of that before? It was a long drive on Sunday mornings, and then a return trip in the evenings for youth group, but it was a wonderful congregation. I visited the church recently, not much has changed, but it sure does look smaller inside that sanctuary that seemed so vast when I was a child. And, it smells the same on the inside... like brewing coffee and recently extinguished candles.
I love this blog, as it is taking me on a wonderful journey down memory lane. Not to mention encouraging me to continue my research of royal wedding flowers. I just finished a great book today entitled Queen and Country, by William Shawcross. Mr. Shawcross' book explores the reign of Elizabeth II in respect to the changes in the world, politically, economically, and in respect to the public's view of the monarchy in Britain. There is some fascinating commentary on many of the Queen's relationships with her many Prime Ministers during her reign. A great read, I highly recommend it.
Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... Princess Elizabeth's (Queen Elizabeth II) bridal bouquet was made by Mr. Martin Longman, flowers given by the Worshipful Company of Gardeners. The bouquet was made up mostly of several varieties of orchids, all white. The bouquet also contain the traditional sprig of myrtle from the bush at Osborne which Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria brought to England from his home in Coburg. Pieces of the myrtle from this same bush were included in all royal bouquets since 1850.
Y'all have a great week, I'll be back tomorrow. Terry.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

August 29, 2009

It's been a fun filled action packed weekend. A trip to the old homestead to help Mother with some chores, a visit with Daddy, and a road trip back, just in time to take in some sun and fun on the beach with Stan and Peggy.
While at Mother's, I dug out her wedding album and will be able to scan some more of those pics to share with you all.
Remember my mother's wedding picture for the newspaper? that was a couple of posts ago... the white bible with orchids and Lily of the Valley for her bouquet... It is reminiscent of the bouquet carried by Princess Grace of Monaco. Princess Grace's bouquet was a very simple cluster of what looks like to be all Lily of the Valley ( I am betting they were real flowers) attached to a white prayer book, a prayer book, not the Bible, I am assuming since Princess Grace's wedding was a Roman Catholic wedding. I think it's a great classic look, simple, and with great religious significance. Lily of the Valley, in Victorian era floral symbolics are said to represent the tears of the Virgin Mary. Attached as they are to a prayer book, very meaningful. I have made a couple of these types of bouquets in my career. Basically it's an over sized corsage, made as flat as possible on the back. I used a wider piece of ribbon (#9 size) to tie the floral cluster to the book. Don't use a tiny bouquet holder here! I have heard of designer tried this and pretty much ruined the heirloom Bible with the excess water that escaped the oasis as the flowers were inserted. Not something you want to have to tell a bride on her wedding day... "By the way, I ruined your grandmothers Bible with water and Oasis sludge while making your bouquet!"
Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... Grace Kelly traveled to Monaco on a yacht to marry Prince Rainier III, the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean lasted eight days.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 12 - Friday, August 28, 2009

Hi Everyone, I am off to visit the folks today after work and will be without my new wonderful laptop, so I thought I better go ahead and blog now so I can use a high speed computer... things are still a little behind the times at Mother's house as far as computers go.

After yesterdays blog about Mother's bouquet, I decided to continue on the them today and talk about fully wired bouquets. They are hard to come by these days in America. With the advent of the plastic and oasis bouquet holders, and the trend toward tied nosegays ( thanks Martha Stewart!) a fully wired bouquet is truly rare to see in these parts.

In my career I think I have done less than a dozen. Brides weren't really interested in the construction techniques when they came to choose their bouquet during a consultation. However, on a couple of occasions, the style chosen from my portfolio lended itself to wiring, so I did it anyway, and never got a complaint. I am really big on floral mechanics, the safer and sounder the better. In my time, I have had a stem or two slip out of the oasis, so I know the frustration. Working so much in the south with the terrible heat... bouquet holders are favored because of the built in water supply. Hand tied nosegays can also stay in a vase, drinking water until the last minute. And of course there is the labor intensity of a totally wired bouquet that can be a sure turn off to any designer when large and multiple wedding orders are looming in one weekend.

But, having a wired bouquet automatically creates some sort of keepsake, as everything is pretty much permanently attached... all together. the tape, wire, ribbon, decorative sprays (if any are used at all) and the heartier foliage's can dry out and leave a bouquet in it's close to original form, well sort of. I for one would really like to see the trend/style in bouquets go back toward this traditional, vintage style. I really leaves something of a keepsake (so important in my family (yesterdays blog was about this)) to hang onto... well, if you're into that sort of thing.

The picture in today's post is billed as being a wired bouquet on the Internet. I did not make this bouquet, nor did I take the picture. It cam from Google Images, I believe it was made by Joanna Brenton of Rafflesia Wedding Flowers, in Cornwall, England. I give her credit for this bouquet here, hoping that I wont get in trouble for using the image. I think this bouquet is one of my favorites for the colors and flower content shape, and overall design... lovely. If anyone has an objection to me using the photo, please let me know and I will remove it immediately. Thanks, Terry.

Royal Wedding Tidbit for today...The wedding of Princess Anne to Captain Mark Phillips on November 11, 1973 was the first royal wedding to be televised. They were married in Westminster Abbey, London. Princess Anne was given the prestigious title of Anne The Princess Royal in 1987 by her mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in recognition and appreciation for the Princess's work with charitable causes in the Great Britain and the Commonwealth of Nations.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 11 - Thursday, August 27, 2009

Today, I thought I would write a little about a wedding that holds great significance for me personally. In my mind and heart, the bride is royalty, a princess to me... my mother, young and beautiful in 1964, and still so beautiful to this day.

Mother and Daddy were married Thanksgiving weekend in 1964 in Savannah, GA. The ceremony was held at Grace United Methodist Church. The attire and style of the wedding was pure 1964. Hopefully I can gather some more pictures and post those as well, some that are in color are truly amazing.

In the picture to the left, Mother is carrying a white bible, on top of the bible is a cluster of white Japhet orchids, Lily of the Valley (all the flowers are fabric, faux, or silk flowers... basically artificial) and trailing ribbon tied around more sprigs of Lily of the Valley. Not to fear! This is not her wedding day bouquet. The picture featured here is for the newspaper announcement. Remember when they used to do that in the Sunday paper?

The bouquet she carried in the wedding, well, I love it, and know it well as it remained in a box (the same box used by the florist to deliver it to the church in 1964!) We are a big keepsake bunch of people... locks of hair, first baby shoes, school year books, pictures galore. So, the bouquet, or what was left of it remained boxed in the attic until the early '90's before a big clean out of the attic took place. The picture on the right is Mother and Daddy just after their wedding, here she carries her real bouquet.

Mothers bouquet contained the following... white Fuji mums (w/pink dyed centers), white cymbidium orchids with pink throats, silk Lily of the Valley, seed pearl sprays, ivory satin ribbon, #3 and #9 sizes, and a multitude of tulle puffs. All of these were wired and taped together to form the bouquet. I studied that thing many times thinking, "Someday, I am going to make these!"

Like I said, the bouquet is no more. When I knew it, the Fuji mums had died and fallen away decades before. But, the tulle puffs, the ribbon, and Lily of the Valley sprays remained, discolored a bit from years of storage. In keeping with the times, the center of the bouquet was a corsage that was pinned into the bouquet. After the reception the corsage center was removed for the bride to wear as she departed for her honeymoon. Mother's was no different in this case, as the ribbon, tape and wire from that center portion corsage survived as well as a keep sake and was kept in the same box with the bouquet, along with what was left of the boutonniere that my father wore for the wedding, a white carnation with silk Lily of the Valley sprays, wrapped in black tape. Even though this keep sake is gone as a whole, I did manage to snag pieces of it for posterity. When my brother was married in 2002, I made his boutonniere with a couple of the Lily of the Valley sprays and wrapped the stem with the ribbon from Mother's bouquet. That boutonniere, that featured a single gardenia, sits in Mother's china cabinet... again as a keepsake.
Today's post is dedicated to the Queen of my heart, my mother. A beautiful bride, an exemplary parent, a dedicated and faithful Christian, and a very much loved grandmother.
I love you Mama! Terry.
Royal Wedding Tidbit for today... The wedding cake of The Queen Mother and King George VI (Queen Elizabeth II's parents) was 9 feet high and weighed 800 pounds!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Here is the picture of the day, the wedding of the Duke and Dutches of Kent on November 29, 1934. The wedding took place at Westminster Abbey, and I believe I am correct in say that the picture here was taken inside Buckingham Palace. Well, so much for my sermon on British weddings looking better because not everyone coordinated too much. The flowers are the same, the attendants' dresses are the same... same, same, same. Striking here is that The Duke is the only male in the picture. Certainly he had a supporter (best man), but obviously wasn't asked to pose for this photo. The Duchess, Princess Marina of Greece is the bride. Another picture I have seen shows her bouquet in more detail, and it appears to be all lilies. Most noticeable here is the young flower girl on the right. I am certain that this is Princess Elizabeth, future Queen Elizabeth II.

Even though that are all pretty much the same, I love the bouquets. They appear to be all white flowers, but who can tell, they may be pink in this sepia tone photo. Again, all the attendants are wearing white as well. Interesting concept. I remember that in the early '90's here in the US, for a while I saw the trend of brides maids wearing white as well as the bride, or an ivory tone gown. I like the look, but mostly for a very formal wedding... which I am assuming this one was a very formal wedding.

I think my next project for arranging will be to recreate a bouquet similar to these. With the economy the way it is, I can't splurge too much, so hopefully there will be some white carnations available this weekend. We have lots of springeri fern growing in the garden to act as my trailing foliage. I haven't wired an entire bouquet in quite some time, so I am sure it will be tough going at first. I promise to post a pic, no matter how it turns out.

Royal Wedding tidbit for the day... The bridegroom in the above picture, Prince George Duke of Kent, sadly died in 1942 in a plane crash in Scotland. His younger brother Albert would become King George VI, after their eldest brother David (Edward VIII) abdicated in 1936.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 9 - Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I have heard from a dear friend today. Our paths took us in very different directions back in 2001, but I still feel very close to her. Judy and I worked flowers in the trenches of San Francisco's retail shops. Both of us eventually graduated from retail to events. While I opted out for flowers for a desk job, Judy returned to her native Philadelphia and started her own design studio. She is an inspiration to me and I think her work is beyond fabulous. She incorporates some cutting edge design techniques to design decor for events and weddings. Congratulations Judy on your success!
Here is the link for Judy Campbell's blog...
The pic today is of me making the bridal bouquet for my cousin's wedding in Lincoln, NE back in June. This bouquet was featured in it's finished form on the blog a couple of days ago. I look pretty calm in the picture, but believe me I was somewhat stressed as creating the bouquet for a family member is all that much more demanding of my attention. I want it to be special and as near perfect as possible. Thanks again to Devin, Jordan, Karen, and Mark for having me be a part of their special day in June.
So, who loves white roses? I do for one, in fact white flowers are my favorite color field. My ideal combination for a bouquet I think would be all white, with some variegated foliage's, but light on the foliage. White flowers that I would bring together for my ideal bouquet would be of course roses, Eskimo or Vendella, then Lily of the Valley, Stephanotis, freesia, bouvardia, and lisianthus. All of these white flowers whether in nosegay or cascade form would be my ideal "white bouquet".
I would be very interested to hear what every one's favorite color field is, and what combination of flowers would make up your ideal bouquet. So, lets hear from you all.
Royal Wedding Tidbit of the Day... On April 26, 1923 The Duke of York (later King George VI) married Elizabeth Bowes Lyon (later Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother) in Westminster Abbey, London. As the soon to be Duchess of York made her way down the long aisle of the Abbey, marching toward the altar, she placed her bouquet on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. Her daughter Princess Elizabeth (The current Monarch), Princess Diana, Sarah, Duchess of York, and I believe the other royal brides followed suit and had their bouquets laid at the tomb as well after their own weddings.
Until Tomorrow... Terry.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Day 8- Monday, August 24, 2009

O.K. so besides being interested in royal wedding flowers, bouquets, and such, I am also interested in pipe organs. My interests are unusual, in my estimation. But, they are my interests and they keep me comfortable and very happy.
The organ pictured here is located in St. Mark's on the Campus, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. The day after my cousin's wedding back in June, my mother and I were taken an a site seeing expedition that included the U of N campus. It was Sunday morning, and church was just letting out, so, I was able to hear this magnificent instrument played. The organ's appearance itself is in stark contrast to the church. The church is very modern in design... I estimate it was built in the mid to late 1950's. The organ is styled in what I would consider a toned-down Baroque cabinet with gilded wood scroll work and brilliant silver pipes. It was a very nice treat to see and hear this instrument during my visit.
Now, about flowers... I was thinking today that the British and Europeans seem to just get weddings right. The look of a British wedding, royal or not seems to just work. In contrast, I think American weddings tend to look contrived and way over planned. All the coordinating outfits, coordinated invitations, coordinated flowers, coordinated favors. Really, it just looks like we are trying too hard. I was in the wedding floral business for over 15 years. I constantly strove to impress upon brides and their mothers that the overall look of the wedding should be natural and appear effortlessly put together. So many of my brides were trained to think that if the brides maids dresses were pink, then the bridesmaid's flowers must be pink. If the invitations were styled with blue ink, then the altar flowers must have blue.
I have to think that when a florist in England puts together a look for a wedding that all of these "musts" might not necessarily come into play. Some of the things that Americans do wrong with weddings, strictly in my opinion, is the wedding parties' attire. So much effort put into making sure that everything is ultimately coordinated, in my opinion isn't necessary. When things are so matched up, it looks so overly contrived, like they tried too hard... never be caught trying!
Over the years of floral work I have been asked to do things that I felt were inappropriate for weddings. I had to be firm but polite and guide the client to something more tasteful and respectful, as much as I saw fit without insulting the client. But, at the same time preserving and protecting the reputation of the florist I happened to be working for.
So, back to my original thought for today's blog... simply, that a European wedding, British weddings in particular seem to have an air of dignity that is lacking in most American weddings.
Going for the largest stretch Hummer limousine doesn't make you classy, it only shows how little you care about the environment. Things like having the florist add hundreds of "Swarovski" crystals to your centerpieces doesn't show you have taste, it shows that you have a disregard for your parents' money. Having your wedding party participate in a choreographed dance routine instead of walking down the aisle of a church in a dignified manner doesn't show everyone how much of "your own personal style" you put into your wedding, but shows that you don't have any regard for a sacred space and for a sacred occasion. Spending hundreds of dollars for a hair stylist to pile your hair up on top of your head for your wedding doesn't show everyone that you have good fashion sense, it only shows that you are following the herd of hundreds of thousands of brides before you that don't look like themselves one the most important and memorable days of their lives.
Surely I didn't mean to get on the soap box this early in the blog, but I guess it's what it's all about, sharing your thoughts.
Here's hoping that decorum and dignity make a speedy return to weddings, especially here in the United States. Along this line, I will give my praises to Martha Stewart. Without Martha, we in the floral industry would not be where we are today, in regards to weddings. Martha reminded us that wedding days are special and they can be ultimately classy on any budget. Without her influence in wedding florals, I think that most of use would still be churning out the same nosegays in plastic holders (don't get me wrong, I am a fan of the use of the plastic bouquet holder for certain applications) filled with daisy mums, mini carnations, and baby's breath. Thanks Martha!
Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day...Princess May of Teck (later Queen Mary) was originally betrothed to Prince Albert Victor, Grandson of Queen Victoria. However, after Albert's unexpected death, Queen Victoria encouraged that she should marry Albert's brother George, then Duke of York. George eventually became King George V and Princess May, became Queen Mary, mother of King George VI and paternal grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Video of Boat Trip on Calibougue Sound, Hilton Head, SC

Here is short video from my camera of a recent boat ride.

Day 7 - Sunday, August 23, 2009

I am very proud of myself for completing the first week of my blog... and I am hoping for many many more days of chronecling my thoughts on flowers for royal weddings, flowers for weddings, weddings, and floral design.

The picture I am sharing today is of my most recent bridal bouquet creation. This bouquet was created for Jordan Lantis Billings, of Lincoln, Nebraska. Jordan's bouquet consists of roughly 48 ivory "Eskimo" roses, trailing variegated "English" ivy, and galax leaves for the backing. I had the honor of traveling to the mid-west for the first time, and being part of a joyous family event. Jordan married my cousin Devin in June of this year at Grace Lutheran Church in Lincoln. The groom's mother, Karen, is my first cousin. That's me in the picture with the bride shortly after the ceremony.

I finished the bouquet with crystal beads to coordinate with the crystal beading on the gown as well as the crystal choker created by the groom's mother, who is very talented at making her own bead jewelry. The bouquet's carrying handle was wrapped with white sating ribbon, and decorated with pear headed pins arranged in groups of three for the "Swiss Dot" effect.

This trip to Nebraska was about 49 years in the making. My cousin, the mother of the groom lived separately from her family from the south for roughly 45 without knowing that she had family in GA and SC. The story of our reunion is a complete story in it's own, but we have enjoyed the last four years of getting to know each other and helping my cousin re-establish her southern heritage.

Few other weddings I have attended have held such meaning for me. It was a privilege to be invited to stay with the grooms family and to be allowed to create the most important floral arrangement of the entire celebration.

Thank you Karen, Mark, Devin, and Jordan for a truly meaningful and memorable experience.

Creating a bridal bouquet for a family wedding, to me, is such a wonderful gift, me and I hope for the bride. To be part of such a special time is quite remarkable, they will remember the bouquet forever, as every time they open their wedding photo album, there the bouquet will be, front and center, looking as beautiful as it did on the wedding day itself.

The Flowers for Royal Weddings tidbit for the day... Prince Edward, Prince of Wales married his bride, Princess Alexandra, not in The Chapel Royal at St. Jame's Palace as his parents (Victoria and Albert), but rather, their ceremony took place at St. Georges Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day 6 - Weeky Arrangement

Here I am at day 6 of the blog. It's Saturday, so I have created another arrangement for home. I am still thinking that this is a great way to lift the spirits, as well as keeping my hands on floral design. We have a Fresh Market store here on the island. Today they had an exceptional selection of fresh flowers. I chose Vendella roses (ivory) and pink roses, as well as pale yellow stock and one of my all time favorites, white carnations. I think that my love of white carnations is a carry over from my designing days at Rossi & Rovetti Flowers in San Francisco. At that particular store we what seemed like hundreds of funeral set pieces based with white carnations. We always had several bunches on hand. I like their clean and traditional look as well as the slightly sweet almost creamy fragrance.
The foliage used here is what a former employer of mine called "exotic yardsavaria", his very classy term for stuff you cut out of the yard! Thanks Billy for that inspirational term. So, I went out in the yard and cut some standard fern, variegated ligustrum, and a few snipets of what my grandmother always call "Wandering Jew". The purple tones in the Wandering Jew really compliment the pink roses.
So, this is the look I really prefer in wedding work... soft tones accented with foliage with a bit of variegation, plus, very important to me, the blending of textures, from the flat fern with it's pods of spores on the reverse side of the fronds to the waxy look of the ligustrum, and the fuzzy coat of the Wandering Jew. Again, in this arrangement as in last weeks, I went for a profusion of blossoms arranged tightly together, giving is a more lush and full effect. Thanks to Stan for letting me use his Trifle bowl once again as a container!
Royal Wedding tidbit for today...On her wedding day, Queen Victoria wore a circlet or wreath of orange flowers/blossoms with veil, as she married Prince Albert in the Chapel Royal of St. Jame's Palace, 10 February, 1840. I will talk more about Queen Victoria's contributions to later royal weddings as the the blog goes on.
Take it from me, do something good for yourself and buy some flowers for you, to arrange as simply or as formally as you like. It brightens the mood as well as the room.
'Til tomorrow, Terry.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Day 5

Hi Royal Wedding Fans!

Well, it's the day after my birthday, and this years' celebration was quiet and low key, and memorable and great.

Most of my gifts from my significant revolved around a Royal theme... several books concerning QEII and the roayl family, most noteably, two books, one "Five Gold Rings" covering the 5 British Monarchs' weddings from Victoria to Elizabeth II... and another book "Royal Weddings", focusing on royal weddings from all over the world... can't wait to get into that one.

My brother, who's birthday it also was yesterday, since we are identical twins... wants to pose a question for discussion... wants to know if it's true that brides started carrying bouquets to keep bad odors to a minimum... I have heard this theory before, and it does sound feasable and practical. But, I don't think it sounds all that romantic. I have heard that the original wedding bouquets were normall of wheat or other grain stalks, and herbs both tied traditionally to fertility. There, that sounds so much better than trying to cover up body odor! Tossing the bouquet of herbs and grains ensure that fertility would be transfered onto the next lucky young maiden. Well, that's the story I am sticking to for now.

Getting late, as most of the day was taken up by buying a new computer and getting it set up and now finally finding my wireless connection.... the day is dragging on. Once I do more reading in the "royal" books I received from Stan (loving partner) for my birthday, I should have few new interesting topics to present.

til tomorrow, Terry.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day Four

Thanks for visiting the blog, it's my birthday, and of course, I am at work, not too much work right this minute, but will be getting to it soon.

Posting a pic today of my favorite royal bridal bouquet, that of Sarah Dutchess of York. The bouquet was designed by Mr. David Longman, and created by the designers at Longmans Ltd. of London. Mr. Longman was most kind to share with me the sketches he presented to the Dutchess prior to the wedding. The original design called for an "S" shaped bouquet, to contain white flowers with virtually no greenery/foliage... I believe the combination was Lily of the Valley, gardenias, lilies, freesia, ect. A similar comibnation of flowers were used for the headpiece that the Dutchess wore for most of the wedding ceremony. The flowers were removed late in the ceremony after the vows were exchanged... after she became Dutchess of York... to reveal an heirloom tiara. Enjoy the pic, and please feel free to share any comments, or facts/knowledge you might have about this particular wedding.

Thanks, Terry.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day Three

So, I have been thinking about what to write about today. I don't want bloggers to feel they have to talk about royal wedding flowers necessarily. So, the invitation is out to add any comments concerning wedding flowers or floral work in general.

Yesterday, I checked out another blog that concerns royal weddings and one had a great section on bouquets. It gave descriptions of the biggies, Diana, Sarah Ferg., The Queen Mother, QE II, etc. Hopefully I can find that blog again and post a link here so everyone can check it out.

My topic of the day is bouquet construction...

After hearing from David Longman, designer of Diana's and Sarah's bouquets, I learned that he used, what he called the "moss ball" method. In my years in floral design, I had never heard of this technique. If anyone can offer some insite here, it would bel appreciated.

Simply by viewing pictures of these bouquets and others, especially from the 40's, 50's and 60's, they appear to be mainly "wired and taped". By this I mean that the flowers have been stripped down almost to the blossom in most cases and false stems of floral wire wrapped in tape are added. When these are combined and sculpted and further taped together, the bouquet takes it's shape. Basically, in my mind, making a bouquet this way is like making a giant corsage.

Only about three times during my career did I construct bouquets using this method. By the time I was making bridal bouquets, Martha Stewart was on the scene with her wonderful Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. At which time, almost all brides I dealt with wanted the hand tied nosegay, round bouquets. There were very, very few brides who really wanted to leave it up to the designer to create the look, shape, size, and floral content of their bouquets.

My goal now is to take up the "wired and taped" challenge and create one of these bouquets myself to see how it turns out.

If anyone has some suggestions for me on the wire and tape method, please let me hear from you.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day Two of Flowers for Royal Weddings Blog

Hell Everyone, well, day two, and I am really looking forward to sharing ideas, and pictures of wedding flowers and flowers in general. I am attaching a pic of a simple but wonderful flower arrangement I made at home this weekend.

I was in a serious funk about work and thought that some fresh flowers in the house would be just the ticket to lift my spirits, and I was right. They don't have to be expensive, nor does the arrangement have to be complicated and intense. These alstromeria were available at the local grocery store and looked to be in good condition (for grocery store flowers).

Currently, my floral design style leans toward profusion. Lots of the same flower massed in a vase gives a really favorable impact in my opinion. Enjoy the pic and I invite you to try this arrangement at home. Take a picture of your arrangement and post it on the blog here for everyone to see.

Next time I sign back on, I hope to tell you all about how I came to contact David Longman, the designer of the boquets carried by Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson.

Thanks for visiting the blog! Terry

Monday, August 17, 2009

Welcome to my blog for Flowers for Royal Weddings

Hello and Welcome! My name is Terry, and I was encouraged by my brother to create a blog about whatever interested me the most. Also, I saw Julie and Julia this weenkend which helped give me the nudge that blogging could be fun and a great way to share my ideas with the world.

My favorite thing to do is work with flowers. I was a career floral designer for over 15 years, and specialized in wedding flowers. Currently, I am not working full time in the industry... about 4 years ago, the economic climate and a need for a normal work schedule ruled, so I left flowers for a desk job. I am truly greatful for having a job, a good job, in the current economic confusion. But, there are times when I have to get my hands back on the flowers in order to stay sane.

My main focus as a floral designer was weddings. I have studied vintage pictures of brides carrying their bouquets, followed the trends in the major magazines, and tried to put something of myself in many or the bridal bouquets I have created.

Simply the most inspiring to me are the bouquets carried by the royal brides of the British and European royal families. I will go on record as saying that the bouquet of Diana Princess of Wales, to me is the epitome of bridal bouquets. But, my all time favorite, for it's precision construction, floral content, and overall look is the boquet carried by Sarah, The Dutchess of York.

I wont let my first post go on so long.... I wanted to open with a general description of me and my interest in the subject. I hope to hear from flower lovers, floral designers, Royal enthusiasts, or anyone interested in this narrow, though interesting topic... interesting to me anyway.

I would like to hear what others think, and do invite floral designers to leave a post and add a pic of your floral work, especially bridal bouquets, corsages/boutonnieres, ceremony/altar work, etc. Thanks for taking time to check out my blog.

The attached picture at the top of this post is a bouquet I created for my sister-in-law, the wedding was way back in 2002... but, it still remains one of my favorite and most meaningful pieces of work.