Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our Perfect Christmas Tree

It's just a few more days 'til Christmas, and our perfect tree has been decorated for a few weeks now.  The search started in late November when I ventured to a local tree farm in Okatie, SC.  You have a choice there of Leland Cypress, Red Cedar, or Virginia Pine.  We find that the Va. pine is a good fit for us because they look like old fashioned Christmas trees, and because they look best with our vintage lights and vintage glass ornaments.

Since there is a definite lull in royal wedding activities and in my own wedding business this time of year... thought I would post some pics of our Christmas tree... showing that everyone has a different definition of the perfect Christmas tree.

So, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  Terry.

We really go for the Shiney Brite vintage look on our tree with tinsel garland, bead garland, and the finishing touch of real lead icicles.  The lights are all C7 ceramic and bubble lights, makes it warm and nostalgic in our living room.  And, for the first week or so, the tree gives off this very powerful pine scent... not so much after a couple of weeks have passed.

Enjoy the pics of our perfect Christmas tree for 2011.

Royal tid bit of the day... Christmas trees used at London's Chelsea Hospital are donated by HM The Queen.  The trees are cut from the forests surrounding Windsor Castle.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Flowers for October Weddings

During the lull in Royal Weddings, I was out creating a little wedding magic of my own.  September and October were very busy wedding months for me flower-wise, but, none of the weddings I participated in embraced the traditional Autumn floral themes so popular during these months.  Instead, hot pinks, purples, yellows, pale blues, and shades of green were the order of the day.  One wedding specifically requested a Sunset Color theme, close to Autumn with oranges and coral tones, but incorporating purples, blues and lavender.  They all turned out beautifully... so here is a little photo sampling of the past few months... enjoy!

These are from the Sunset wedding...

Here are a few photos from the purple, hot pink, etc. wedding...

And finally, the wedding using yellow/gold, green and pale blue...

Congratulations to all of these brides and grooms, it was a pleasure serving their floral needs for their very special occasions.  And super extra thanks for my best flower-friend.. Lauri Leber, owner of Flower Shop Bluffton, for he invaluable assistance in the execution of these lovely events.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Royal Bride - Zara Phillips gets her day...

The eldest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth has finally gotten her day to shine as a royal bride.  This wedding that took place in Edinburgh on July 30th, was in total contrast to the wedding we saw take place in London in April of this year.  Zara Phillips, daughter of The Princess Royal, Anne married footballer Mike Tindal at Canongate Kirk... the royal place of worship located close by Hollyroode Palace.  Hollyroode Palace, or "house" as it is also called, is the official residence of Queen Elizabeth when she travels to Scotland's capitol.

This royal wedding was quite subdued, and photographers and t.v. cameras were not allowed inside the church.  However, there are plenty of pictures of the lovely bride and her beautiful flowers.  Zara chose a rather rustic hand-tied bouquet of miniature white calla lilies, Lily of the Valley, Echinops Thistle, Dusty Miller foliage... all based with white hydrangea.  I think the combination of simple tones in white and grey is wonderful to compliment her ivory gown and the more informal setting.  But, the most dynamic aspect of the flowers are the many varying textures among the flowers and foliage.  Most appreciated is the use of Echinops Thistle... as a nod to one of the national emblems of Scotland. 

I think we are seeing a trend starting... having one's bridesmaids attired like the bride and carrying identical but smaller versions of the bridal bouquet.  Also, it appears that a more mature bridesmaid has been included to perhaps corral the younger members of the wedding party.

This blogger loves Zara's bouquet, and really appreciates the family traditions among the royals... as Zara is wearing a tiara on loan from her mother, Anne.  Well done Zara and Mike!
Three of the bridesmaids.... all in ivory, one with the palest blue bow on her dress, each one wearing flowers in their hair, arranged accordingly to suit the style of their individual hair styles. 

Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day.... The last royal wedding to take place in Scotland was the wedding of Princess Anne, when she married her second husband, Timothy Laurence.  Then as well, a floral nod was made to Scotland as her bouquet was a nosegay composed entirely of heather.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Duchess of Cambridge's Bouquet - The Royal Replica

Just recently a royal exhibit has opened at Buckingham Palace.  The featured attraction for the summer's tour of the palace is the currently most famous wedding dress in the world, that of The Duchess of Cambridge, formerly Kate Middleton.  Many thousands of advance tickets have been sold, bringing in money to support the renovation and repairs needed at the Palace.

In addition to the dress, other wedding items are on display as well... The Duchess's wedding shoes covered in the same handmade lace as her gown.  The diamond earrings commissioned by her parents as a gift can be seen as well.  The actual wedding cake, with the top three layers replaced, is also on display in the banquet room.  The crowning feature of the gown display is the veil and Cartier tiara that Catherine wore on her wedding day.  Finally, and not at all least important to this blogger... a replica of the bridal bouquet is also on display in the same case with the shoes and the earrings.  The original bouquet's designer, Shane Connolly, has recreated the bouquet in faux flowers.  The replica is so realistic, even this seasoned designer is pressed to see any difference in the two when pictures are compared.

Mr. Connolly has explained that the inspiration for the bouquet was the dress.  The intricate lace detailing of the Catherine's gown lent the suggestion that delicate flowers were needed.  Lily of the Valley, the bouquets main component were chosen for their very delicate features... massed together in what as been described as a "shield" shape with individual Hyacinth florets, delicate white Sweet William, and the ever traditional myrtle foliage always present in royal bouquets, the bouquet is finished quite simply with a small bow and ribbon wrapping on the handle.

With the wonders of the Internet, the identity of the florist for this wedding was well know months before the event.  While doing research on the florist for the royal weddings in the 1980's, there was months of searching and researching through old floral magazines and books.  Then to finding someone at the Worshipful Company of Gardeners that was helpful in getting me connected with David Longman.  Logman was the designer of the bouquets for Diana Spencer and Sarah Ferguson.  Then correspondence by old fashioned mail proved productive.  Now for the past four years, this blogger has been privileged to call Mr. Longman a friend.  He has shared with me the techniques used in Diana's bouquet, and some interesting stories about his involvement with the royal weddings some 30 years ago. 

Now for the next quest.  To contact Mr. Connolly, and ask him some questions about the most recent famous royal bridal bouquet.  It's certain that my search for information will be made much easier considering the massive progress made in information accessibility in the past few years.  It seems that we have known every detail about every aspect concerning the Cambridge's wedding.  I for one am grateful that so much interesting information has been made so accessible to those interested in Royal Weddings. 

If I manage to contact Mr. Connolly or his firm, I will certainly share any interesting pieces of information with my blog followers.

Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... Coming up this weekend is yet another royal wedding.  The Queen's first grand daughter, Zara Phillips will marry Mike Tindal.  Though Miss Phillips carries no royal title, at the request of her mother Anne, The Princess Royal, she will be afforded her share of the royal limelight.  Zara's wedding will take place in a few days, in Edinburgh, Scotland.  The location for the wedding is the quaint (compared to Westminster Abbey) Canongate Kirk.  Where the royal family worships when at Hollyrood House, official royal residence in the Scottish metropolis.  Below is a picture of the church.

Photo Credits: Shane Connolly still and close up bouquet still: The Royal Wedding Dress: A Story of Great British Design.  The Royal Channel, YouTube, July 25, 2011.

Canongate Kirk photo:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Royal Wedding In Monaco... more on the Monegasque wedding...

In Euroupe like in England, they seem to do weddings just slightly different from Americans.  The most recent royal wedding, the one that took place in Monaco last weekend, was no exception.  The newly married Princess Charlene had her attending bridesmaids dressing in traditional Monegasque costumes.  What a wonderful touch.  Someone told me they weren't to thrilled with the hats, but I do think they add a nice touch, especially since the wedding took place semi-outdoors, as it was held in the large central courtyard of the palace in Monte Carlo.

Upon closer inspection of the pictures showing the bridesmaids, their flowers are nosegays that give the impressions of being recently gathered by the girls.  They are arranged simply gathered with roses, ivy, galax leaves, and what looks like to be lavender freesia.  I do really like the nod to the old traditional attire of the location.  The freesia is a nice touch as it adds a continuity from the bridal bouquet, which relied on white freesia as it's main component... here is another photo of the bridal bouquet, on the altar in the chapel in Monte Carlo.

Royal Wedding tid-bit of the day... Much disscussion and conjecture ensued in 1923 when Prince Albert, Duke of York prepared to marrie Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.  The reason for the controversy?  Palace officials oppsosed having the ceremony broadcast on the "wireless" (radio).  They feared that the sacred ceremony would be heard by gentlemen, in pubs, still wearing their hats!  I do wonder what those palace officials back in 1923 would think of the global expossure given to the most recent Abbey wedding?

Photo Credit: both from

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Prince Albert and Princess Charlene ... Cascade bouquet making a comeback!

So, it was Monaco's turn this past weekend to show the world how to do a royal wedding.  It was a different type of affair for sure, in contrast to the British royal wedding in April.  This time the reigning Prince of Monaco, Prince Albert was getting married to his long time fiance, Charlene Whittstock.  The new princess Charlene was quite a vision in her Armani gown.  I was particularly happy that her bouquet was of the more regal style... a cascade unlike the bouquet of Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge.  But, like Catherine's, Charlene's bouquet contained some very traditional bridal flowers.  White dembdrobium orchids helped form the slender cascade portion of the bouquet, while a tight cluster of white freesia and Lily of the Valley formed the round, main portion of the arrangement. 

Finally, and with relief, we have pictures of a royal wedding bouquet that show in close up, the details of this special floral piece.  The bride left her bouquet on a chapel altar, and a photo-op was born.  From the photos, we can see the flowers in great detail, and see something rather unusual.  The bouquet stems are wrapped with black ribbon.  I am anxious to research and find out if this nontraditional color for a royal wedding has any significant meaning.  Or, could it be the floral designers special mark, making this wedding quite different in style and expression from other royal weddings.

Royal wedding tid-bit for the day... A slew of European royals attended Saturday's royal nuptials in Monte Carlo.  On hand from the British Royal family were Edward and Sophie, The Earl and Countess of Wessex.  In tomorrow's post, we'll take a look at the bridesmaids serving at this most recent royal wedding.

Thank you to for the pictures so lovely posted on their site for us to see.

Queen Mother's Bridal Bouquet

During my last few years of researching royal wedding flowers, one mystery that I kept hearing about was the Queen Mother's bouquet.  The then Duchess of York left her bouquet on the tomb of the Unknown Warrior as she entered Westminster Abbey during a delay of the processional... when a abbey staff member fainted prior to the ceremony.  Thus, after the ceremony, back at the palace, there was no bridal bouquet in the formal portraits.

Some sources say that there was white heather and white roses, another I read said the bouquet contained carnations, fern, and two lilies... but, all sources reporting in on the subject stated that there are no photos of the bouquet to found, so the bouquet's contents cannot be confirmed.

Well, there may be no photographic images of the bouquet, but I thought, what about the film reels of the event?  Knowing that I had seen silent footage of the royal wedding in 1923, I decided to review those films on You Tube.  And, I wasn't dissapointed, as the first film I viewed shows an image of the bouquet being carried by an attendant of the Duchess, following right behind the father of the bride, The Earl of Strathmore.  If I have found it, then, I have another bit of royal flower sleuthing under my belt.  So, from that film I have tried to capture the frame where the bouquet is most visible.  And, to my eye, it does look like a round bouquet of all white roses, gathered with white ribbon.  The white heather may be in there, but, you really can't confirm that by the image on film.  But, I think that I will believe that the heather and rose account is the correct description of the bouquet.

AH HA!  there, it worked!  A film clip capture... thanks very much to my new computer snipping tool, then to a little file conversion with Photo Shop, and there we have it, an image of the Queen Mother's bridal bouquet, just there, to the right of the coachman... the large white puff above and to the left is the plume on the Earl of Strathmore's hat.  Yep, looks like some really precisely arranged white roses!  Thank you to The Royal Channel  on YouTube!  Check out The Royal Channel for many film reel and video images of history royal events, some as early at 1901 with film footage of Queen Victoria's funeral.  I am really excited to have this image clip as it really coincides with the above image in this post, having taken place just seconds after the above picture was snapped.

Royal wedding tidbit for the day...
This past weekend on PBS, a documentary aired entitled "British Royal Weddings." The first part of this series dealt with the wedding we see featured above, then the wedding of they current Queen, Princess Elizabeth back in 1947 when she married, and then, the wedding of Princess Margaret.  Very refreshingly, this documentary dealt with some really interesting and minute details such as the flowers!! And, for the first time, I got to see my friend, David Longman, in person, well... on video really, as he discussed the bouquet his father designed for Princess Elizabeth, sans Gardenias, since Princess Margaret was allergic to them.  How nice to see David on t.v., after years of writing, finally glad to have a face to put with the man from the emails.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day... wedding flowers from the past

It just wouldn't do for me to stop posting on the blog now that the wedding of the century has come and gone, leaving us with roughly 89 years to wait at least before there could be another wedding of the century.  I for one don't plan on being around for the next wedding of the century.  So, things may not be so royal for a while.

Wanted today's post to be about someone special to me, and honoring all mothers everywhere.  Every woman is special and many are the best mothers in the world.  When it comes to their wedding day, they looked particularly beautiful.  Before "we kids" came along, most of our mothers had their day as a princess in a beautiful dress and a bouquet of lovely flowers to carry.

Here's my mother, lovely as can be on her wedding day in 1964.  One of my favorite pictures of her.
Mother's boquet consisted of white Fuji mums and white Cymbidium orchids with pale pink throats.  The rest of the bouquet was a wired and taped bonanza of tulle, ribbon, lace, love knots, and faux Lily of the Valley.  The two orchids in the middle were actually a corsage that detached from the bouquet, and mother wore that on her lapel as she left the church after the reception.  Now, that's a floral trick from the past if there ever was one.  Maybe I should try to revived that technique!

Royal Wedding Tid-bit of the day...

Two of the bride'smaids from last weeks wedding have very close royal ties.  The two girls pictured here are Lady Louise Windsor, grand-daughter of Queen Elizabeth, and Margaritta Armstrong-Jones, grand-daughter of Princess Margaret.  Both carried out their royal brides maids' duties to perfection on April 29th.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Princess Catherine's Bouquet... a close up view.

It's not just with royal weddings, but with most weddings... you never get to see the back of a bouquet very well.  Of course I may be the only person in the world interested in seeing the back view a bridal bouquet.  But, something about the construction techniques used in floral design simply fascinates me.  In the picture above, we get what will probably be the best view ever of the back of this particular bouquet.  I can see for sure where the designer/manufacturer were going here... if indeed the "shield" or "heart" shape was intended, then it makes sense.  They probably started out with the longer stems, obviously, and added shorter stem lengths as the fan of the stems grew wider.  At one point the taped wires were simply bent downward at a certain point to make the handle, and the handle being well concealed with ribbon and a rather smart and understated bow at the turning point.  Interesting and simple, this bouquet doesn't have the typical "top half" that most all wired cascading bouquets would have... those stems wire and inserted so that they go upward towards the bride's face... all of the stems here are going down.  I dare say once the wiring and taping of the individual stems were finished that pulling them together in the order of longest to the shortest was not too hard of a task.  But, I know that no matter the simplicity... if I had been doing it, tension and stress would have been very high.
And so, the bouquet found it's way back to the Abbey.  Or, one of the bouquets, as I am assuming that more than one was made for the event.... Princess Diana had three identical bouquets.  This, in my opinion is one of the most poignant royal traditions.  And, for this royal wedding, one of the most talked about... would she or wouldn't she lay down the bouquet.  From the news reports and blogs I've read this week, some were surprised that Princess Catherine didn't lay the bouquet there on their way out.... But, go back and watch the videos and film clips... Sarah Ferguson, nor Princess Anne, nor the Queen for that matter laid down their bouquets on the way out of the Abbey.  There bouquets are returned to the Abbey later in the day by palace staff.

Another information buzz is the still the dress... and it's striking similarities to two other vintage gowns that are the height of style and "Grace"... and one that wasnt' exactly an asset to the Abbey. ;)


Royal Wedding Tib-bit for the day...According to my wonderful friends, the Lloyds, in England...  the BBC did and interview with the woman responsible for making the big floral displays in the Abbey. Apparently the whole theme was to be as natural as possible with nothing imported from outside England. So the big trees, maples and horn beams were grown in England. The other flower displays were done by senior members of NAFAS (National Association of Flower Arrangement Specialists) and were told of their role just a very short time before the wedding.  NAFAS are a group of British flower enthusiasts, work non-commercially in an amateur status.  Another way this wedding was kept local and kept green.  All who worked on the floral and other decor did a Smashing job!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kate's Bouquet... the wedding of the century!

So the big day we had all been waiting for has come and gone.  What a day it was!  Princess Catherine, as she will now be referred to on this blog, was quite a vision in her dress.  After discussing the dress with a few people... while the wedding was still in progress... we had some very similar takes on the design.  First, that we loved it.  Second that it was perfect for her age and our modern age, while still capturing the elegant, formal, and royal style that this wedding demanded.  Many media commentators reflected on it's similarity to that of Princess Grace of Monaco's (Grace Kelly) wedding dress.  However, upon seeing Princess Catherine emerge from the car... I thought, Maria VonTrapp a la "The Sound of Music".  I think there are many similarities in cut, style and presence.

Now for what this blog is all about............... flowers for royal weddings may have reached it's pinnacle.  Even before the grand car reached the abbey, the television cameras were able to pick up some pretty good shots of the bouquet, Princess Catherine waving with her "bouquet-free" hand.  Immediately it was apparent that the grand cascade style would not be making a comeback... (but I hate that word) ahem... will not be making a "return", there, that's better.

I was really hoping for trends to set with this bouquet, and I will be honest and say that I was just a little bit disappointed with the bouquet.  The flower content will be difficult to emulate.  With the majority of the flowers being Lily of the Valley, pricing this bouquet for a proposal would send any bride into fits of distress.  Then the Hyacinth pips... lovely and fragrant, but only available for such a short time each year.  Interestingly, Sweet William was included for obvious reasons.  Actually I have never thought of adding Sweet William to wedding work ever, so there might be a good idea to try and go with.  If a bride today would ask for this bouquet, I would definately suggest using stephanotis as a substitute for the Lily of the Valley, if for nothing but the fragrance factor.  I will say that even though the size was slightly disappointing, I did very much like the shape.  The official wedding site from Clarence House is describing it as "shield" shaped, but I am going with my first impression of "heart shaped" which certainly is more a romantic description.

Surely everyone noticed that Pipa Middleton carried not one flower, only wearing flowers in her hair.  Of course she had charge of the two youngest bridesmaids, so out of necessity, her hands had to be free.  Let's hope this does not become the trend. 

Another notice to take is that none of the women, mother, step-mother, aunts, cousins, or Majestic Grandmother... none of these ladies wore a corsage!  This is a trend that I wouldn't mind having catch on.

                                               white Hyacinth pips
                                                          Lilly of the Valley
                                                        Sweet William

                                         So many similarities... I do hope that this dress will wake up the thousands of brides to be and show them that traditional can be elegant, tasteful, and most importantly... fashionable!

Royal Wedding Tid-bit for the day... just hours after the conclusion of the wedding, I heard from a good friend in England, by email.  She tells me that news shows there report that the trees from the Abbey aisle will be replanted soon at Highgrove, Prince Charles' country estate.  Nice way to keep it GREEN!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Kate's Royal Bouquet... maybe some Lilies?

In 1934, princess Marina of Greece and Denmark married Prince George Duke of Kent (uncle of Queen Elizabeth) at Westminster Abbey.  Above is a picture from the mandatory balcony appearance at Buckingham Palace following the Abbey wedding.  Princess Marina chose lilies for her bouquet... the bouquet appears to be an arm bouquet arrangement of all Longiflorum or Easter, or St. Joseph's lilies.  I am sure that bouquet was very fragrant. 

I think it would be a wonderful and striking choice for Kate to have these Easter time lilies in her bouquet since her wedding to Prince William will fall less than a week after Easter Sunday.  Churches this weekend will be filled with these bright white blooms with their very distinctive sweet and powerful fragrance.  Often Easter lilies have very large blooms, and the way they grow parallel to the ground would require removing the blooms at the stalk and subjected to very heavy wiring... in order for them to cascade properly in any hand carried arrangement.

With only a week to go before the big day, I can only imagine the controlled chaos that must be happening at a few of En glands floral design studios.  I hear that three florists have been chosen to share the flower duties.  You have to consider the importance of the bouquets that will be seen, some closeup by estimated billions of television viewers.  Also, the Abbey will be decked out with very large floral displays, then there are all the floral decorations required back at the palace for not one but two receptions to be held next Friday, April 29th.

Kate, like all other royal brides will not be tossing away one of her probably three identical bouquets, but rather, will send one back to the Abbey by some of the palace staff to lay on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior that lies just inside the great west doors of the Abbey.

Royal Wedding Tid-bit of the day... when Marina of Greece and Prince George married in 1934, one of the attending bridesmaids was an eight year old Princess Elizabeth of York, who in the matter of 2 and a half years would become the heir presumptive to the throne when her Uncle David a.k.a King Edward VIII would abdicate the throne making Elizabeth's father, Prince Albert of York, the next King... King George VI.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maundy Flowers... More Research Completed.

Well, if I had done the research first I could have lumped it all together in today's earlier post.  But this gives me a great opportunity to visit the blog dashboard more than once during the day.

Here is what I have found out about those fragrant nosegays carried by the Queen and others on Maundy Thursday.  The Maundy tradition of giving alms (money) to the poor had it's start as far back as King Edward I, in the 13th century.  Way back then, the monarch, like Christ before the Last Supper, actually washed the feet of the poor in his kingdom.  However, the tradition of foot washing was halted in the 17th Century during the reign of James II.

As for the nosegays.. they too have a long tradition, as well as served a purpose in the early days of the Maundy services.  The nosegays are always composed of fragrant flowers, freesias and daffodils usually are included in mass numbers.  Fragrant... why you ask, well simply to keep the "smells" of the poor at bay during the foot washing and alms giving.  I don't think the Queen has to worry too much about the odor of the poor these days, but the tradition of carrying the nosegays is a lovely one. 

The official nosegay maker for the Queen, currently is Rosemary Mason.  She received her royal warrant as nosegay maker to the Queen in 2008.  Mrs. Mason also holds the secret receipt for the nosegays, apparently there is quite a bit more to be included each year than the freesia and daffodils.  The nosegay maker only makes the nosegays this one day of the year and makes 12 nosegays, taking about 8 hours. 

Royal Flower Tid-bit Bonus of the day... Worthy servants of the Church of England are the recipients of the Maundy money these days... but the number of recipients is significant.  This morning in London, 85 men and 85 women received the bags of coins from the Queen.  A man and a woman to count for each year of the Queen's life so far, which, as of this morning is, 85.

Photo Credit: This Is Leicetershire, Norcliffe Media Ltd., Maundy Thursday edition, Friday, April 10th, 2009.

Maundy Money, Maundy Flowers April 21, 2011

Happiest of Birthdays to Her Majesty the Queen!  Soon Elizabeth will be setting records for eldest monarch as well as longest reigning... surpassing George III and Victoria, two of her predecessors that reigned just slightly longer than she has to date.

It's a busy month for the the Queen and her family.  First, today is her true birthday (the "official" State occasion is celebrated in June with the Trooping of the Color - June has better weather in England apparently).  Then, next week her favorite grandchild is getting married in the most celebrated wedding since 1981.  Finally, and possibly most importantly, this Sunday is Easter Sunday.  Which means that today the Queen has distributed the traditional Maundy Thursday purses to well deserving British subjects.  This mornings ceremony, which was a tradition carried out as far back as King Henry VIII, took place at Westminster Abbey... possibly a test run for next Friday's wedding.

Of course when the Queen and other royals are about, there are flowers involved.  In the above picture, the Queen, Prince Philip and the Dean of Westminster are seen carrying very sculpted and uniform nosegays.  Very traditional are the doily collars backing the flowers.  The flowers are composed mainly of freesias in purple, yellow and white.  I will be doing some research into these bright and fragrant arrangements and try to find out their significance to Maunday Thursday.

Everyone have a great Easter!

Royal Wedding Tid-bit of the day... Kate Middleton has reportedly paid her respects to William's mother, Princess Diana.  Reportedly, the couple, getting married in 8 days, paid a private visit to Diana's grave on the island located on the Altrop estate... and laid flowers at the grave.

Photo Credit: ABC World News,, April 21, 2011.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kate's Dress and Flowers... a look back at a 1953 wedding.

So much speculation going on now that we are coming up on one week until the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.  Yes, I do realize after next Friday that we will need to refer to her as "Catherine".  But, protocol or not, we still refer to Sarah Ferguson as "Fergie".

Speculation over the dress Kate will wear has grown to a feverish frenzy of ideas from color (ivory or white) to style (large skirt or more fitted) to the decoration (sequins, pearls, and crystals or simply undecorated silk or taffeta), that from all the media, it's getting confusing to put all the ideas together.  Also too, and thankfully many of the networks have put together many documentaries covering the wedding.  In these t.v. specials, often there are retrospectives where the royal wedding gowns of the past are featured.  Seeing these old pictures and sometimes movie footage has given the royal watching novices a great lesson in royal weddings of the past.

Just this week I have seen a royal wedding documentary that featured movie reels from the royal wedding of 1923 when Prince Albert of York (King George VI) and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother).  It's just a few seconds of movie footage, but you get to see what I believe was her bridal bouquet.  Over the years I have read several accounts of that wedding day... but none of the stories seem to agree on what flowers were included in this royal bouquet.  As the bride left her bouquet on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior near the west door of the Abbey, the bouquet was not present for the photographs taken back at the palace after the wedding.  However, in this few seconds of film showing Lady Elizabeth leaving her London home and being helped into a carriage for her trip to the Abbey.... you see a woman walking behind her holding her flowing train, and holding a large bouquet of what appears to be white roses and plumosa fern tied with a wide white ribbon.  So, the mystery may have been solved.  Accounts of the bouquet describe it containing white roses, but also some say pink carnations, and some say Heather from the bride's native land of Scotland... all of which I think would have been appropriate.

But back to the dress for Kate.  Most everyone seems to have an idea of what they want Kate's dress to look like.  Above is my favorite for it's regal style and vintage traditional design.  This dress is being worn by Jane McNeil as she weds the Earl of Dalkieth in Edinburgh, Scotland, the year, 1953.
Jane's bouquet, upon closeup examination appears to contain roses, Lily of the Valley, and stephanotis still clustered on their stems.  Of course, in 1953, the construction of the bouquet, I am sure is totally wire and tape.  It's a gorgeous little bouquet that really highlights the floral-in-lace pattern of the gown.  So, as for me, I think this is what Kate should wear next Friday!

Royal Wedding Tid-bit of the day... with all the media/Internet coverage concerning the upcoming royal wedding, it's hard to choose a tid-bit... but, here goes.  Although Kate's brother James isn't officially a part of the royal wedding party, as Prince William will only have Prince Harry as a supporter, James will have some benefit from his sister's "marrying-up".  The Middleton family has been honored with it's own coat of arms.  This newly designed family emblem will be of use to James as well as all his descendants.