Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September 30, 2009

Well, here we go with another "what were they thinking" wedding party attire photo. It was definitely the trend for many years for different colors for different brides maids. Here, too, the flowers are different. Bouquets of different shapes and sizes that are of one single flower to match the color of the dress. Goodness, light blue, pink, lavender, yellow, all set off by the white of the bride. Strangely enough, the bridal bouquet is the smallest one here.

Not Royal wedding flowers, definitely. But the somewhat broken theme of the the flowers here remind me that in one royal wedding in particular, the attendants flowers differed at bit. For the wedding of then Lady Diana, the younger attendants carried basket arrangements, however, the oldest and maid of honor, then Lady Sarah Snowdon, daughter of Princess Margaret, carried a nosegay of similar type and color flowers. So, the trend isn't so weird after all, and is part of at least one royal wedding that I know of.
Royal Wedding Tidbit of the day...When Queen Elizabeth married Prince Phillip in 1947 there were 8 Brides maids... the two young gentlemen pages were Prince William of Gloucester and Prince Michael of Kent.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

September 29, 2009

Oh my Lord! What were they thinking?????
Sorry to have missed so many days of my blog. I was feeling a bit uninspired, then had a busy weekend, then a little down in the back for a couple of days, so I got lazy and didn't do my blogg'n.
Decided to come back with a laugh. Found some truly dreadful but hilarious wedding pics on the web of some really bad brides maids dress choices. The pic here is one of my favorites. Not to mention the truly horrendous gingham aprons on the ladies, but what about that poor little dude in the brown polyester knickers! Certainly the florist working on this wedding had an easy go of the color selection, yellow and white was a given. And, most certainly, that bride looks back at her wedding album and thinks... what was I thinking??? Oh well, it was a trend of the times back in the '70's, a time when light blue or Burgundy tuxedos weren't all that uncommon. Happy to say that wedding fashions like these are gone, hopefully for good, but they do set us up for a good laugh.
On the subject of "what was I thinking", one of the things that has kept me busy the past week, and away from my blogging, is that I am taking another stab at doing wedding flowers myself. Yes, even though I know the schedule is rough and the work is physically demanding, I am so very much wanting to get back into something creative and fun. I had my first consultation this weekend and it was a huge success, just like riding a bike, I didn't forget how it's done. My first bride for back into the swing of it, is the daughter of a good friend. She is a truly beautiful girl, sweet and smart to boot. She has chosen turquoise for her color palate, so we are going to brighten it up some more with hot pinks and fuchias. Not giving away any secrets here, the wedding isn't until May of 2010, so you will have to wait patiently for the pictures.
A special thanks to Colleen for following my blog, and for being concerned about my absence from the Blogsphere. I am back! thanks Colleen!
Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... When Mette-Marit married Crown Prince Haakon of Norway in Oslo, here dress maker used 360 feet of silk.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

September 22, 2009

So, I have ranted earlier about children in weddings. Here is a pic from one of my San Francisco weddings. This wedding had four children. But, you will see that they are all of what I would call a reasonable age. I would estimate then that their ages were between 8 and 10, just old enough to do what they are told when they are told.

This picture reminds me a lot of the children that are included in royal wedding parties. All the correct age, and appropriately dressed for their ages. Also, their attire coordinates with the adult members of the wedding party, but doesn't exactly match, which is all refreshing to see.

The flowers for this wedding included Oceana or light peach roses, white freesia, white caspia for filler and Italian Ruscus for the greenery. I always like to make fixed arrangements in baskets for the flower girls in my weddings. I think that nosegays for them are good in some circumstances, depending on the style and feel, whether formal or casual. However, flower girls, to me, traditionally should carry baskets. But, I do not like the loose petals in the baskets. It's an old idea to drop rose petals for the bride to walk on. Oh, what a mess that can make. Especially since younger members of the wedding party tend to get a little fidgety, and often end up spilling the petals all in one place. Plus, they will have something pretty that will last a few days after the wedding instead of an empty basket. Pomanders have been used a lot lately for flower girls, but I don't prefer them after a bad experience I had with a pomander and an extremely disagreeable flower girl. Pomanders are extremely labor intensive. So, when this one flower girl decided to swing her pomander and then let it fly only to hit the ground at high speed, needless to say I was quite upset to see the hard work and the pomander explode on the ground. Sometimes, the most sound of mechanics can be no match for a misbehaved flower girl!

Royal Wedding Tidbit of the day... On the day of their wedding, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert both wore their insignias as members of the Garter Knights. Prince Albert was invested in the Order of the Garter shortly before he left Germany, traveling to England for his wedding.

Monday, September 21, 2009

September 21, 2009

Well, I have decided that since this is my blog, I can stray off the path of royal wedding flowers whenever I see fit. I am feeling a bit exhausted on the royal info. that is until I do some more research.
The pic here is of a bride that was one of my nicest clients, and no, I don't remember her name, it was so long ago (10 years) when I had my own wedding flower business in San Francisco. I love the white and green combination here in traditional bridal style is seen so much in royal weddings. The wedding took place at The Presidio Chapel, San Francisco on a bright spring morning in April. It was a lovely affair. The bouquet consisted of white roses, white fressia, white lisianthus, Lily of the Valley, white calcynia, stephanotis, and variegated ivy.
Royal Wedding Tidbit of the day... It caused quite a stir when Queen Victoria wore a white wedding gown... at the time, royal brides typically wore gowns of gold or silver, commoners typically wore darker gowns that could be worn on other special occasions. The young queen had set a trend that is still the norm for brides all over the world, wearing white on their wedding day.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hi Everyone, I have to admit that I haven't been able to come up with much today in the way of royal wedding flowers. But, a great weekend in Savannah and Hilton Head, any weekend with time spent at the beach is a fulfilled weekend. I have chosen a pic for the day at least. The bride here is Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester. Alice was married to Prince Henry Duke of Gloucester, brother of King George VI and aunt of Queen Elizabeth II. She was married in 1935. The other picture here shows the wedding party with then Princess Elizabeth as one of the young bridesmaids. The florist obviously went with an all white floral scheme. Her bouquet is a luscious crescent shaped bouquet of what looks to be white roses and possibly carnations, but, it's really hard to tell what exactly the flowers are in this picture. I am wondering what the significance of the bundle of red roses tied with blue ribbon can be.. lying at her feet. What a beautiful gown too. So '30's! Of course, as royal tradition seems to dictate, the wedding party picture is staged in the throne room at Buckingham Palace.
Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... Royal wedding rings are all struck from the same large piece of gold by the Crown Jeweler who also has charge of the crown jewels kept in The Tower of London.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Up until this point, I haven't mentioned Princess Anne. Here is a pic from her wedding day, on the balcony at Buckingham Palace. The Royal Family makes it's obligatory appearance for the crowds following the wedding breakfast.

The flowers in this wedding are not exactly striking. I have seen or can find only a couple of pictures of the event. The Princess's bouquet is a simple and somewhat small bouquet in the classic cascade or teardrop shape. It looks to be made of mostly white flowers, the standards such as freesia, Lily of the Valley, small roses, etc. The one bridesmaid for this wedding, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, carried a pomander (orb of flowers) of all white flowers. The gown was of a Tudor styling, quite retro for the early '70's. (this wedding took place in 1973) The groom, Lt. Mark Phillips, of course was attired in his military uniform, of the Queen's Dragoon Guards. The groom's one page was Prince Edward, youngest child of Queen Elizabeth.

Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... Princess Anne and Mark Phillips eventually divorced. Princess Anne and was married again in 1997 to Timothy Laurence. For her second wedding she carried a bouquet made entirely of heather.

Friday, September 18, 2009

September 18. 2009

O.K., I needed a little Fergie today. Here are a couple of great pictures, one of Fergie entering Westminster Abbey (right) and one of her turning to return to the inside of the palace from the balcony. The photos are somewhat old, scanned from a royal periodical from 1986, running a special picture-rama of Fergie and Andy's wedding. I was given a collection of vintage (80's-09's) royal magazines for my birthday. It was a wonderful gift and terrific source for my blog material...thanks Stan!
Both pictures here are great, as you can see the density of white flowers, especially the Lily of the valley in the pic on the left. The pic on the right shows a shot of the left side of the bouquet from the rear. The bouquet appeared to be so solidly constructed and very light-weight to carry. Mr. David Longman and his designers did a superb job on this bouquet. I think the pic on the right is great as it shows Sarah's father, Major Ferguson stooping to help her daughter on her special day, and also shows the beautiful dress in good detail. All that Lily of the Valley and the gardenias from the bouquet and head piece must have smelled heavenly.
Royal Wedding Flower Tidbit of the day... though Sarah, Duchess of York had requested all white flowers for her bouquet, somewhere in there was the traditional sprig of myrtle from Osborne House. The Duchess also returned her bouquet to the Abbey the day after the wedding to be placed on the tomb of the Unknown Warrior.
Thanks for checking in today. Terry.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

September 17, 2009

Today I have some information to share all the way from London, specifically, West Minster Abbey. I wrote a general email to the Abbey folks asking if what I heard about the royal bouquets being on display is true. Well, I got a prompt and much appreciated response from Laura Kinsey, Press Assistant at the Abbey.

Laura explained that The Duchess of York (pictured to the left with Albert, Duke of York, later King George VI), later to be the Queen Mother, started the tradition of leaving the royal bouquets at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior. Miss Kinsey explained that The Duchess had a brother die in World War I, and it was of very great significance when then left her bouquet on the tomb as she entered the abbey for her wedding. Later, Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II) later followed suit in 1947, then others including Princess Diana in 1981, and Sarah, Duchess of York in 1986.
Miss Kinsey also went on to explain that the bouquets were left on display for a while "until the flowers fade," and that there are in fact no royal bouquets on display anywhere in the Abbey. Kinda sad to think those wonderful bouquets are gone forever, but what an interesting story. Thank you to Miss Kinsey and the Press Office of Westminster Abbey for her generous help and quick response to my email questions.
Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... In 1923 when Elizabeth and Albert, Duke and Duchess of York were married, it was the first time that a royal wedding was broadcast on wireless radio. There were concerns that decorum would be breached and men in pubs would listen to the broadcast with their hats on! How's that for being a stickler for manners?
A bonus pic for the day... some flowers that we had here in the house the past week, a wonderful combination of deep lavender roses and coral spray roses, and the ever present exotic yardsavaria (greenery cut out of the yard!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September 16, 2009

Hi Everyone, back today with another continental European royal wedding. This one, the marriage of Beatrix and Claus van Amsburg on March 10, 1966. They were married in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She was then Crown Princess Beatrix. Today she is Beatrix, Queen of The Belgians.
This royal couples wedding was marred by Dutch anarchists' protests prior to and during the ceremony. Claus was German, and many Dutch citizens objected to Beatrix marrying someone from a country that caused so much misery for the Dutch during World War II.
The couple were married at the Westerkerk church in Amsterdam and their union was one of the most enduring love match royal marriages in history. Their first born son, Willem-Alexander and his wedding was the subject of yesterdays blog post.
Now for the flowers, Beatrix is carrying a traditional cascade bouquet containing all white flowers. The larger flowers were a mystery to me for a few days, as I couldn't for the life of me remember the name. I shot an email off to my friend and favorite former boss Laura Little of Floramor Studios in San Francisco, CA. If anyone could name that flower, I knew it would be Laura. Sure enough, in just a matter of hours across three time zones, Laura produced the name for me... they are Amazon Lilies. The other flowers in the bouquet appear to be stephanotis or bouvardia buds still tightly closed. The two flowers look very similar when the flowers are immature and still closed. But, by the size of the buds, I am leaning more toward stephanotis. However, after closer study of the other pictures I have available... in some shots, the smaller white flowers look like they could be Lily of the Valley.
Royal Wedding Tidbit of the day... Beatrix and Claus' son, Willem-Alexander, to pay homage to his parents wedding, ordered orange colored smoke bombs to be set off during his own wedding celebration. At his parents wedding 36 years prior, it was smoke bombs set off by protesters to the marriage that marred the pre-wedding processions through Amsterdam.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

September 15, 2009

Hi Everyone, we are taking a bit of a departure today, from the British Royal family and looking at royal wedding flowers from a royal wedding on the European continent.
The pic featured here is of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, of The Netherlands and his bride Maxima Zorreguieta. They were married on February 2, 2002.
The bride's bouquet is a virtual classic cascade of roses, gardenias, and Lily of the Valley in all white. Upon close inspection of the photo, I see that the florist used salal, or lemon leaf, and Baker (leather-leaf) fern. I find this foliage a bit stiff and clumsy for wedding work, especially for bouquets and personal flowers. Not sure what the thinking of the designer was here. Possibly, it was a question of availability. Kinda surprised that, due to the region, tulips weren't used.
Royal Wedding Tidbit of the day...Instead of choosing a gown designer from the Netherlands, unlike royal wedding tradition, Maxima chose Valentino to design her wedding gown.

Monday, September 14, 2009

September 14, 2009

Here we have the reigning British Monarch, Elizabeth, now Queen. But, on her wedding day in 1947, she was Princess Elizabeth, heir presumptive to the throne of Great Britain. The smiling and handsome groom, of course, is Prince Phillip, created Duke of Edinburgh upon his marriage to the princess.

As I mentioned some time ago early in the blog, there is a mystery surrounding Princess Elizabeth's bridal bouquet. From some accounts, the original bouquet she carried during the wedding was somehow misplaced after the ceremony, thus did not appear in the family portraits taken after the wedding breakfast at the palace. So, what happened to the bouquet, and why is there an official picture with a bouquet?

One theory is that one of the palace staff simply mislaid the bouquet prior to the photographs being made. But what of the picture above? Well it turns out that as the couple passed through London during their honeymoon, Martin Longman, the royal florist, was called upon to create a duplicate of the bouquet. Then the couple re donned their wedding outfits and a photograph was made showing the princess with here bouquet. However, the wedding party was not available to regroup for the photo, since some days had passed since the wedding.

So, what of the other photo here? Supposedly this is a picture of the mystery bouquet, lying on the tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey. The book Royal Weddings, by Konigliche Hochzeiten, states that the day after the wedding Princess Elizabeth sent her bouquet to be placed on the tomb. Hmmm, very interesting. A letter from Mr. David Longman, creator of several royal bouquets recounted the lost bouquet story in a letter to me a couple of years ago. So, if the original bouquet was lost, and a replica made weeks later for the photos... just which bouquet is this on the tomb of the Unknown Warrior? The mystery continues... very suspenseful, huh?

Royal Wedding Tidbit of the day... Princess Elizabeth's bouquet, created by Martin Longman, and the flowers themselves a gift of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, consisted of a few variety of orchids; cattelya, cyprepedium, and odontoglossom.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

September 13, 2009

Happy Sunday Everyone, Thanks to Stan for letting me borrow this picture he took today. Here is the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Savannah, GA. Stan and I took a day trip with our friend Rosanne, to attend mass at the cathedral, have brunch (Mother joined us) and to tour the famous Bonaventure and Greenwich cemeteries in east Savannah.

I have attended some great weddings here at the Cathedral in Savannah. I was a parishioner there for several years before moving out of state. It is a truly magnificent church, and the floral arrangements are always spectacular.

Lots of the royal weddings take place in cathedrals. Most of the royal weddings of European royal houses occur in large churches or cathedrals due to the size of the guest list and usually occur in capitol cities in cathedrals that hold historic significance in old European cities as they are usually national symbols, much like St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

The David Longman of Longman's Ltd. of London created Princess Diana's bridal bouquet and also the large floral displays in the Cathedral. Once Mr. Longman expressed his disappointment that the television coverage of the wedding didn't feature more shots of the altar and church arrangements... I have viewed several of the video clips available on YouTube, and he is correct, the flower arrangements are rarely visible. I am sure that all the cameras were instructed to be trained on the new princess, Prince Charles and the rest of the royal family. I wish I could find pictures of those arrangements!

Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... The wedding of The Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) on April 26, 1923 was the first royal wedding to be recorded on film.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

September 12, 2009

Hi Folks, we have two pictures to show today. Obviously, they are not of any royal wedding flowers. This bouquet, in two views, I made myself here at home. I modeled the bouquet to be somewhat like carried by Sarah, Duchess of York. My bouquet however curves the opposite direction for it's crescent shape. Also, I do these little projects on a very restricted budget, so I used fern out of the yard for foliage/filler. Also, the floral content is all carnations in white, both standard and miniature sizes. I haven't wired an entire bouquet myself in over 10 years, so it goes without saying that I am a bit out of practice. Also, when I got home with the flowers, I realized that I only had white floral tape available and had a limited amount of wire, which was of the completely wrong gauge. I needed a much sturdier weight wire, an 18 or 16 gauge, but I only had 20 and 22 gauge wire on hand. So, lesson learned, check to make sure you have the right supplies before you buy the flowers! Even with the lack of flower variety and correct wire, I am still very please with the outcome. I think it is a great first try at a fully wired bouquet after so many years and being out of practice. And, it smells great sitting over there on the breakfront.
I hope to sometime soon start designing wedding florals again, and I really want to use as much Royal Wedding inspirations as possible. Hopefully I will get to make a bouquet much like Sarah Ferguson's for a bride here in my area. I will steer her toward my blog so that she can see how important I think Royal Weddings are in the area of flowers!
Royal Wedding Tidbit of the day... When Princess Alexandra arrived in England to marry Prince Edward; Edward's father Albert had recently died. As the royal court was still officially in mourning, Princess Alexandra wore a grey frock at Queen Victoria's insistence.
Thanks for checking in! Terry.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11, 2009

Everywhere today in our nation, people have stopped to remember what happened 8 years ago today in New York City, Arlington, VA, and Shanksville, PA. May God bless all those who lost there lives in these hallowed places on September 11th, 2001. May they all rest in peace and may the perpetual light of God shine upon them.

One of my favorite flowers to use in bridal work is stephanotis. Small, delicate, white and highly fragrant, stephanotis has been a popular inclusion in bridal bouquets for decades. These little blossoms can be wired into arrangements on faux stems to make arranging easier, or they can be left on their natural vines for an elegant trailing effect (if a designer is lucky enough to find is available still on the vine) Often when stephanotis is used the hollow center of the flower is accented with pearl headed pins, crystal and rhinestones.

I had a friend years ago in the floral biz who was a great wedding designer. She went to live in London for a year to finish her graduate studies. While there, she worked in a flower shop part time. She also took several tours of Westminster Abbey. Royal tradition dictates that the royal bride's flowers are laid at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior, and some of the bouquets, apparently have been preserved and are on display there. Her comment about Diana's was, "way too much stephanotis". Well my friend didn't share my great love of this little flower. I am going to do some research and see if I can find out if the royal bouquets have been preserved, and if they are, try to get some photo evidence of this. We are starting to plan a trip to England for a couple of years from now, and I definitely plan to go on location for further investigation of the royal bridal bouquets.

Here is a picture of stephanotis...
Royal Wedding "Flower" tidbit for the day. Longman's Ltd. of London made three identical bouquets for Princess Diana. One for the rehearsal, one for the ceremony, and one for portraits taken back at Buckingham Palace.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

September 10, 2009

Hello Everyone,

Well, what could be cuter than children in a wedding party? Some people think not much could be. Today's pic features a very young Prince William and I think maybe the girl is Zara Phillips, but I'm not sure. They are decked out in Victorian era finery for the wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. If you have ever seen any video of this great royal wedding (you can find lots of footage on YouTube) you will see, that with the exception of a few fidgety moments the children making up the wedding party are very well behaved. I am thinking that there are lots of royal ladies in waiting that are in charge of corralling all the youngsters at these big royal weddings. Not so the case in most American weddings I have attended. I think here in the U.S. brides go for the cute factor more than the well behaved factor and tend to have children in their wedding parties that are too young for the job. Maybe they feel obligated to have all their nieces and nephews... if not their own children be in the wedding party. I have seen a lot of weddings and know that often it is a big mistake, with the children becoming disgruntled and uncooperative long before the ceremony begins. Also, I have seen flower girls destroy their flowers in tantrums just prior to a ceremony beginning. I say let there be children in the wedding, but only at a certain age, like 7 or 8 years of age, give us all a break... some processionals are long enough without have to wait on a toddler to decide that he or she is good and ready to walk down the aisle. There was a recent exception to this situation for me... at the wedding of my cousins in Lincoln, NE, both the flower girls, though roughly 2 and 3 years old, were extremely well behaved and performed their duties wonderfully!

The costumes that royal bridesmaids and pages wear are quite stunning and unique. I much prefer the European and British custom of having them wear theme outfits, such as the nautical themed outfit that Prince William and the other pages wore during Andy and Fergie's wedding. Much better I think than miniature tuxedos for the boys, that rarely fit properly, or age inappropriate dresses for little girls. Later in the blog, I will try to feature more pics that show the interesting outfits worn by royal wedding attendants.

Thanks for checking in today... Terry.

Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... Queen Victoria carried a nosegay of one single flower that was a favorite of Prince Albert's... the flower was "snowdrops", see the picture here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

September 9, 2009

Royal brides have great veils. Diana, as well as the Queen, and the Queen Mother all wore long veils of tulle that matched the length of the magnificent trains on their dresses. Fergie's veil was no different... except, since she was a commoner, she was not yet eligible to wear a tiara, so I am told. Fergie's veil appeared to be affixed with the help of a floral crown that resembled her bouquet with it's floral content. Gardenias were included in both crown and bouquet as they are Prince Andrew's favorite flower. I think this matching floral head piece added an even more lush and and regal look.

Fergie's little attendants wore flowers in their hair as well in shades of pale pink and cream. Another stunning floral aspect to this royal wedding was the arrangements carried by the little bridesmaids. What an original idea for them to carry whimsy hoops decorated with flowers. I think this special added touch by the florist really helped set this wedding apart from others as flowers go. In my early floral career, I made whimsy hoops instead of baskets for flower girls and junior bridesmaids... it was appreciated by the brides and, again really set the wedding apart with an interesting twist on things. These whimsy hoops weren't hard to create. The simply consisted of wire or wooden hoops like for embroidery, covered with ribbon. I then attached floral clusters (made like corsages) and added bows and trailing ribbon, and wove greenery and tulle around the hoop as well. They really were a big hit.

Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... After Fergie and Andy exchanged vows, the moved behind the altar screen in the Abbey to sign the wedding register. At this time, Fergie became Sarah, Duchess of York, when she returned with Andrew from behind the altar, the floral crown had been removed to show a dazzling tiara, which she was now able to wear as a member of the royal family.

Thanks for checking in! Terry.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September 8, 2009

Hi Everyone, tonight I am sharing a picture from the wedding of my younger brother and his wife, who were married way back in April of 1997. It was a fun wedding, I was a groomsman, as well as the designer of the bridal bouquet, groom's boutonniere, the flowers my mother carried and the tossing bouquet. This was a huge wedding, evening formal with literally hundreds of guests. The floral work load would have been too much for this designer, since I had to fly in from California only two days before the wedding, and be in the wedding party. As you can see from the picture, the bridal bouquet was huge. My sister-in-law had chosen and very traditional and simple white gown with long veil train and full skirt. Like Princess Diana, this bride's dress needed a full and flowing bouquet to compliment the dimensions of the the gown. I decided on a modified crescent shape with exaggerated cascade trail of plumosus fern and Italian Ruscus. The bouquet also included miniature calla lilies, freesia, roses, stephanotis, white wax flower, myrtle, and for that special touch... tiny paper mache honey bees wired in. The honey bees were a running theme, as they also appeared in gold on the bride's china pattern, "Duke of Gloucester" by Madahita. I wired the long trials of foliage and wired in stephanotis and freesia, then inserted the wired pieces through and extra large Lomey bouquet holder. In the holder, I inserted the heavier stemmed flowers like the roses and call lilies. My mother carried and Victorian era Tussie-Mussie containing white Iris (her favorite flower) and white waxflower. The mother of the groom sort of gets the short end of the stick when it comes to making the fancy wedding plans, so I decided to give her something a bit more special than the traditional mother's corsage. Since the bouquet was so large and involved, of course I designed a nosegay with the same flowers and added orbits of bear grass and long trailing ribbon to give a good visual effect as the small bouquet flew across the ballroom over the heads of many hopeful bride's-to-be. It was a fun and meaningful wedding that I am so grateful to have been a part of.
It was a huge wedding party as well. 11 bridesmaids, 2 flower girls, 2 ring bearers, and 11 groomsmen! Whew, a very long processional and recessional started and ended the ceremony.
Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... When George, the Duke of York (future Prince of Wales and King George V) married Princess May of Teck (future Queen Mary) there were nine bridesmaids, they were nine grand-daughters and one great-grand-daughter of Queen Victoria, the reigning monarch at the time.

Monday, September 7, 2009

September 7, 2009

Hi Everyone, it's Labor Day 2009. It has been a great weekend, seeing friends from near and far, and three wonderful weather days at the beach.

Today, I decided to feature a picture of another pipe organ, just for a change. What does it have to do with royal wedding flowers you ask? Well nothing, except for the music that I heard played on this on was very much worthy of a royal wedding. This organ is located at Grace Lutheran Church, Lincoln, NE. I didn't get the name of the organist, but she did a great job for my cousins' wedding back in June. The music selection was very classically styled, and the processional was "Crown Imperial", a very daring piece, I would think, and one I had never heard used as the processional. The organist played her heart out for this wedding, and at great length as the bride and groom chose to have a traditional receiving line, immediately following the ceremony... a the back door of the church, and there was organ music throughout as the the wedding party welcomed some 200+ guests. Great Job!

The processional for Fergie and Andy's wedding was an unusual one I thought... I think of it because Fergie's bouquet is my favorite royal wedding bouquet. For that royal wedding the processional was "Imperial March" by Elgar, the composer of "Pomp and Circumstance".

Yes, Fergie's bouquet is still my favorite, the unique shape and all floral content (no foliage) makes for a beautiful effect in my opinion. Plus the all wired construction really puts me in awe of the designer who put that bouquet together. Here is a small picture of that bouquet.

Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... Sarah Ferguson took a very active role in the design of her wedding gown. She had the long train decorated with crystal and pearls making the shape of the letter "A" for Andrew, and adding helicopters for the groom's military position as a pilot, and symbols such as honey bees and thistles reflecting on the grooms heraldic emblems.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Here we are with another great vintage wedding picture. I found this on one the Internet and I liked the look of it. The picture, I think, was taking at a wedding in the 1950's somewhere in England. If it hadn't said that it was in England, I think I would have guessed that anyway. It just looks like a wedding in England to me. In fact, the bride's gown and bouquet look a lot like Princess Margaret's dress and flowers. The clean lines and simple design of this dress and the muted cascade of the bouquet is what is similar in my eyes.

The bridesmaids flowers are interesting because of their shape. The floral content looks to be carnations and plumosus fern. However they are designed to be carried across the left forearm. But, they aren't necessarily styled to be arm or presentation bouquets as I refer to them. These are quite a bit shorter than an arm bouquet you would see these days. I do like the look. I am sure the florist was able to make them ahead with plenty of time since carnations are so hearty and long lived. This kinda make me wish that brides today would turn their tastes back to the heartier flowers like carnations, orchids, and chrysanthemums. It would make things a lot easier and less stressful on the florist, especially in respect to the heat we have to consider in my part of the world. Today's brides with their demands for garden roses, tulips, gardenias, freesia, lisianthus, etc. really make it difficult for the florist to get work done ahead of time when considering temperatures, storage and transportation. Bouquets of carnations and mums dry very nicely for keepsakes too.

Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... Princess Diana wore a gown designed by the Emanuels, it consisted of antique lace sewn on with gold thread and the taffeta train was 25 feet long! The dress was kept top secret, so tight was the security that the designers made fake sketches and threw them in the garbage in an attempt to throw the media off the trail of the true design.

Thanks for checkin in, see you here tomorrow, which is Labor Day 2009. Terry.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

September 5, 2009

Here is a royal wedding picture we don't see much of. This group is the wedding party of Princess Margret's marriage to Anthony Armstrong-Jones, who was created Earl of Snowdon on his marriage to the princess. I don't know very much about this wedding. The princess's gown was a good one, but very simple compared to that he her sister Queen Elizabeth. Her bouquet is a smaller composite tear-drop shape. I am assuming that this bouquet was created by Longman's Ltd. of London, the same firm creating the bouquets of Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana, and Sarah Ferguson. Once I read somewhere that there was stipulation that Margaret's bouquet was to have no fragrance flowers since the Earl had allergies. I don't know about this, as upon a closer look, the bouquet looks to contain freesia, which is very fragrant. If anyone knows the real story of this royal bouquet and it's content, please post a comment and set the record straight.
Royal Wedding Tidbit of the day... At the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip in 1947, the music for the procession of the bride down the aisle was "Wedding March" by Mendelssohn... very traditional!

Friday, September 4, 2009

September 4, 2009

It's been a busy long week at work, sometimes very stressful, but I am always looking forward to doing a little blogging in the evening, no matter how tired I am. Today is Mother's birthday and she is here visiting with us for her special day. The weather is giving us a break with slightly cooler temperatures, and we hope that the rain will stay away long enough to go to the beach for a while tomorrow.
One of my favorite royal wedding pics is to the left. A wonderful informal moment caught of Princess Diana and her bridesmaids, and the bonus of Her Majesty the Queen in attendance. I am surmising that this picture was taken after the ceremony on the return to Buckingham Palace just prior to the wedding breakfast. I truly love the combination and color of the bridesmaids flowers. They are pink, pale blue, and yellow. From studying this picture over the years, I see pink miniature carnations, yellow freesia, light blue bella donna, English Ivy and baby's breath. So many floral designers these days see baby's breath as a very lowly filler flower that belongs in the '70's. Yes, I agree that it was over used for many years. But, it really works in these arrangements to add the delicate aspect of the bouquets. David Longman knew what he was doing when he put this floral design look together for this wedding. The light and delicate arrangements of gentle colors really compliments the Victorian era attire of the bridesmaids. Once for a wedding I was doing in San Francisco, I had a bride ask for delicate pastel colored flowers. This bride wasn't picky, so, I decided to replicate these arrangements almost exactly. The wedding I was doing also had all young children as attendants, and I decided to give the youngest of the attendants flower baskets with fixed arrangements inside. A co-worker was very vocal in saying that I was taking a chance using the baby's breath as we all considered it out-dated and "cheap" looking. But, once the arrangements were finished they looks so lovely and sophisticated, that my wary co-worker agreed that it was a chance well taken.
Let me know what flowers you have an aversion to, and what flowers are your favorites for use in arrangements that will be carried by younger attendants. It was great remembering back to my SF floral days, I did so many weddings there, that I have many stories to tell of my wedding design work in San Francisco.
Thanks for checking in on my blog. Terry.
Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... Lady Sarah Snowdon, daughter of Princess Margaret and niece of Queen Elizabeth II, was Princess Diana's maid of honor. Lady Sarah carried a nose gay of pink carnations and pink roses, yellow freesia, blue bella donna, ivy, and gypsophilia (baby's breath)... all the other female attendants carried the same floral combination, but arranged in baskets. All of the attendants wore floral crowns made up of the same flowers. It was a great, classic look, designed by David Longman of Longmans Ltd. of London.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

September 3, 2009

Here is one of my favorite pictures from my mother's wedding album. This picture holds great significance for me because all four of my grand parents and both parents are in the same photo. I think it is one of a kind as this group, I believe never were captured in another picture together. All the grandparents are gone now and I do miss them all. They were the best grand parents I could imagine. They all had very interesting childhoods, both grandfathers served in the military during World War II, and both grandmothers were "working mothers" long before women in the workplace were the norm. At the time of the wedding my parents were both 23 years old, and they went directly from wedding to honeymoon, to first home.
These old wedding pictures, the way they are posed don't seem to happen too much anymore. Brides and grooms today go for the natural un-posed and unrehearsed photo opportunities. Photographers these days go for more relaxed poses, and choose locations a bit more romantic and unique than the church or reception site. But, a lot can be said for the old form. There they all are, the four people jointly responsible for this wedding happening. I feel very fortunate to have this picture of six people all together for that one moment in time back in 1964. The six people that would play the biggest roll in my formative years. The six people in the world who, without knowing it then would be the greatest influence in my life.
There are many many pictures of royal weddings, and most that you see, the ones not snapped by reporters, news cameras or paparazzi, have a lot in common with the picture above. They seem posed and predictable, but they serve a purpose... to chronicle all those important people who are witnesses to a very important occasion. Sure, the picture here at my parents' wedding didn't take place in the throne room at Buckingham Palace. But, those pictured are kings and queens in my heart.
Thanks for checking in. Til tomorrow, Terry.
Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... On May 14, 1962, Princess Sofia of Greece married Prince Juan Carlos of Spain. The marriage took place in Greece, they were married first at a Roman Catholic Cathedral, then married again in a Greek Orthodox Cathedral following the Byzantine rite for the ceremony. Two weeks later, Princess Sofia converted to Catholicism, four days later, they were invited for an Audience with Pope John XXIII.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

September 2, 2009

Hi Everyone, another day for flowers and flowers for royal weddings. The picture to the left is a bouquet that I created way back in the year 1999. I was, at the time subscribing to a magazine entitled Flowers &. It is a monthly floral design magazine that I was turned onto while working retail floral. Every year they hosted a design contest. In late 1999 the yearly contest was announced for vintage wedding flowers and entrants were asked to submit a wedding arrangement from the past 100 years, since it was the turn of the millennium that year. The design I chose was of a "shower cascade" bouquet. I had always admired the bridal bouquets from the early 20th century with their trailing foliages and abundance of ribbon decoration. The bouquet I created contained white cymbidium orchids, stephanotis (some threaded on the trailing ribbon), miniature white calla lilies, viburnum (green snowball looking stuff), and tons of feathery trailing plumosus fern. Well my entry didn't win, however, I learned some great lessons from designing this and photographing my work. Later a more seasoned designer told me in the future to always use a black fabric for a back drop. The black background would show the flowers in more detail in the photo. Also, I went backed and looked at a lot of turn of the century 1899-1900 ear bouquets and realized that the ribbon I had used was way to thin. A broader ribbon was always used. The thin variety I used was simply swallowed up by the fern and really made no impact... live and learn.
Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... President and Mrs. Truman sent a wedding gift to the young Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. The President and First Lady's gift was a covered Steuben glass vase with a design of a carousel or merry-go-round etched in the glass.
Till tomorrow, Terry.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Thank You Post

I just wanted to say thank you to Colleen, Judy, Stan, Mark, Lynda (Mother!), Vicente, and mfjbr for signing up as followers to my blog. I appreciate your comments and support. Terry.

September 1, 2009

Hi Everyone, and welcome to September! Dare I say that the weather was a bit cooler today? I need to watch my words, we will probably get hit with another heat wave to make us want for the cooler days of August! Plus, Stan tells me that Erika has been named, and currently we here in the Low Country are in the feared "cone of destruction" according to the Weather Channel. We will pray that the storm weakens and doesn't do any damage anywhere.

So, I was thinking about all the little traditions and rituals that make up the weddings of today. The bride and groom feeding each other cake. The something old, new, borrowed and blue, and then there is the throwing of rice or birdseed, and the most famous I would think, the tossing of the bouquet. When I was younger and attended weddings, I thought this was the most exciting and fascinating part of the wedding reception. Though I was never in the running being a young gentleman, I always took great interest in the young ladies lining up to snag the flowers, hopefully insuring that they wouldn't end up old maids.

I have placed a pic above of the bouquet carried by Princess Diana, the ultimate and definitive bridal bouquet... in my opinion. The bouquet was designed and created by Mr. David Longman of Longman's Ltd. of London. David's father, Martin, designed and create the bouquet for Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II) for her wedding to Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh in 1947. Now, I can't imagine the princess being able to lift this bouquet over her head, much less tossing it to a crowd of eager young ladies. Perhaps, the British, or the royals simply don't practice this wedding ritual.

Sometime in the '70's, I remember seeing a second bouquet or "tossing bouquet" or "throw away bouquet" used so that the bride could keep her bouquet for memories sake. I think that was a wonderful idea, being is that I and many of my family are really into keeping and cherishing mementos. When my mother tossed her bouquet away, it just so happened that her sister, my aunt caught it. (This fact is chronicled in the front of Mother's wedding album!) So, the bouquet found it's way back to my mother, then she kept it in the attic for many years. During my years as a floral designer I was asked to make literally hundreds of "tossing bouquets". Most of them were smaller versions of the real bouquet, and others, for budget sake were made of whatever flowers were left over once all of the wedding order had been completed.

It's a great tradition, and I like to still see it happen at weddings today. It gets a lot of the quests involved, and helps all of us remember that happiness will continue on to someone else. The bride gets to toss a little happiness on to someone else. So, the other picture is my Mother tossing her bouquet from behind the cake table in the social hall of Grace United Methodist Church in Savannah. This picture always made me laugh as it appears that the young lady on the end of the lineup, my cousin Merna, has about 10 arms... interesting picture.
Royal Wedding Tidbit of the day... You know the borrowed? Well, Princess Elisabeth's "borrowed" item was a diamond tiara that was on loan from her grandmother, Queen Mary, the wife and consort of King George V.