Monday, January 31, 2011

Lily of the Greek Valley

I heard so many good comments on the recent post about Lily of the Valley.  So, I decided to feature another royal bridal bouquet made completely out of this tiny sweet smelling flower.  In this picture, King Constantine of Greece and Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark.  This royal couple was married in 1964, in Athens, Greece.  Constantine had been king only about six months when they married.  However,  by the year 1974 the monarchy in Greece was abolished.  The King and Queen live in exile in London.  Recently, one of their sons, Prince Nikoloas was married.  The Prince's bride, Tatiana Blatnik, choose Lily of the Valley for her bouquet as well, but also included stephanotis and white freesia.

Royal Wedding Tid-bit of the day... The Greek and Danish royal families have many ties, as do most royal families of Europe.  Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, prior to renouncing his royal titles of birth, was a prince of Green and of Denmark.  Philip gave up his claims to the Greek royal throne when he prepared to become a British subject and marry Princess Elizabeth in November 1947.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Norwegians... the flowers were a sign of the times...

It's not often that we jump to the Nordic nations for our wedding flower analysis.  However, during research I reviewed some photos of the 2001 wedding of Crown Prince Haakon and Mette-Marit of Norway and thought these royal wedding flowers were definitely worth commenting on.  The couple were married on August 25th at Oslow Cathedral.  And, there was some controversy... of course, it's royals getting married, there is usually some controversy.  The bride has a child from a previous relationship.  Many Norwegians, especially in the media felt that Mette didn't make an appropriate bride for a many who will someday be their king.  However, Crown Prince Haakon didn't relent, and asked the media to step back on the negative reporting on the bride's past and her young son.

For me, most interesting here is the choice of flowers.  Some might call the bridal bouquet just plain bizarre.  But, you know what?  I like it.  Yes it's strange, and the flowers are dark, but, I think it shows some interest on the part of the bride in not being the same old thing.  Also, the floral designer here really took some chances... I mean, if I were making the bridal bouquet for the woman who would be the queen of the country some day... I dare say I would have been too afraid of criticism, and not gone forth with such an av ant garde design for the bouquet.  From descriptions I have read, this bridal arrangement consisted of orchids and other small florals affixed by wire and adhesive to a form of willow and moss.  Certainly it's not seen often for weddings, except perhaps in "conceptual" work possibly to be used in design competitions and bridal shows.  This bouquet really shows off the designers imagination and great skill in forming such a mechanically intricate piece.  Again, the bouquet I think is also a reflection of the generate floral trends of the early part of the last decade.  Unusual uses of botanical and natural elements other than flowers was extremely popular nearing the end of the '90's.  After reviewing floral work from European floral designers, I see where the influences come from.  Most floral designers in Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands really moved into using some out of the norm materials and design concepts.  I have even seen a bridal bouquet by a German designer that used a real bird's nest for it's central focus.

At another time before their wedding, Mette-Marit and Haakon posed for this photo above, I see here how the floral designer has kept a similar style them with the flowers, but has adjusted for the setting and wardrobe.  Excellent job Norwegian floral designers!

Royal Wedding Tib-bit of the day... the line of royal succession for the British throne is far reaching.  The royals of Sweden and Norway are also in-line for the most famous royal throne in the world, though, most are far down the list, all due to the marriages abroad into other royal families by Queen Victoria's children and grandchildren.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Another Day Down... Laura Parker-Bowles-Lopes

Great, another day down... in the countdown to the royal wedding of the century.  Yesterday we took a look at Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall's bouquet, from her wedding in 2005.  Of course, she had been married before... she just got tired of waiting for Prince Charles, so she married another guy.  Wondering what Camilla's first bridal bouquet looked like?  Well, here is a picture of Camilla and hubby #1, Andrew Parker-Bowles... the bouquet looks to contain white lilies and Stephanotis.
But, the topic for today's post is Camilla's daughter, Laura.  Laura PB married Harry Lopes, a former Calvin Klein model in 2008.  She had a very simple choice of flowers for her bouquet, all one type of flower, and her choice was Lily of the Valley... and lots of it.  Laura's bouquet was in a cascade shape, and surely was the result of some floral designer going home with terribly aching fingers and hands.  Each spring of L O V has to be individually wired and taped, and with meticulous care, for their stems are very fragile.  I would think that a team of designers and floral shop employees teamed up for the wiring and taping of all these tiny stems, probably to be brought together into one bouquet just hours before the ceremony.  Lily of the Valley, not only fragrant, delicate and pretty, is also difficult to keep fresh once the smaller shoots are cut from the main stem or "pip".  At any rate Laura's bouquet is a lovely one, and well worth the intense labor and technique involved.

Royal Wedding Tid-bit of the day... Westminster Abbey, the venue for William and Kate's wedding has been hosting royal weddings for some time...  the first is believed to have been the wedding of King Henry I and Princess Matilda, formerly Edith, of Scotland.  This first royal wedding in the Abbey took place in the year 1100 on November 11th.  And, Princess Matilda, upon her death, was buried in the Abbey as well.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Royal Bouquets... Countdown To The Big Day.

What big day you say?  Well, April 29th of course, when we will see Prince William marry Miss Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London.  I am looking forward to this event for many reasons.  Honestly though there is one reason in particular that is holding my fascination.  The big question for me is what will the bouquet look like, and what flowers will be used for Kate to carry.  Also, I am intriqued by what design will be used.  I realize that the design will rely heavily on what the dress will look like, and of course we wont know what the dress will look like until Kate steps out of the carriage at the abbey.  So, we will all have to wait, and wait, and wait.

As we countdown the days, I thought I woud feature or re-feature some of the royal bouquets or near-royal bouquets of the past.  I realize that I have not given a lot of attention to the Duchess of Cornwall, so, today I will post a pic of Camilla's bouquet which she carried at the blessing ceremony after her civil marriage ceremony to Prince Charles.  The blessing ceremony took place at the centuries old St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in 2005.
Camilla's bouquet consisted of Lily of the Valley and primroses in a variety of colors, all of which complimented the blueish, silver, and gold tones of her gown.  From this picture, we can see that the bouquet's construction is of a traditional wired technique, evidenced by the narrow carrying handle.  It was a lovely, and often overlooked royal wedding bouquet.  And, I am sure very fragrant with it containing such and abundance of Lily of the Valley.

Royal Wedding Tid-bit of the day... The flowers for Camilla's bridal bouquet (her second one), are said to have been grown in the gardens of Prince Charles's estate, Highgrove.  One wonders if Prince Charles possibly had been talking to these particular flowers to ensure their cooperation on the wedding day.