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How exciting was it to see the royal wedding. As a wedding florist I was glued to the screen trying to get a first glipms of the wedding bouquet. The chapel looked absolutely stunning and well done to the gorgeous Philippa Craddock for pulling that off but for a lot of brides and for me its all about the bouquet….
Royal and celebrity weddings have a huge influence on what brides-to-be choose for their own wedding flowers. After Kate married Will there was a trend for small wedding bouquets and after her sister Pippa got hitched the popularity of Gypsophelia went through the roof, although it didn’t last for very long…
Anyway, so Meghan emerged from the car without her bouquet, and when it was handed to her I as a bit surpised at first by the size and simplicity of the bouquet. Aside from lots of Astilbe it was hard to make out which flowers were being used as there was a distict lack of a focal flower and it all looked a bit hand picked and thrown together.
So apperently it WAS hand picked, by Harry himself from his Mother’s private garden. The other flowers in there were Diana’s favourite: the Forget-me-not (in white), Lily-of-the-Valley, Astrantia and of course that famous sprig of Myrtle.
All these flowers had a personal meaning to Harry. The flowers were a connection to the mother he lost 20 years ago.
I have had many brides with special requests that had a deep personal meaning to them that they wanted to incorporate into their wedding bouquet. Most brides are only getting married once and this is the opportunity to incorporate special flowers or items that belong to loved ones that are no longer around to celebrate with you, by using these flowers and objects they are part of the celebration in a symbolic way.
These special flowers need to tick all the bride’s special boxes, scent that bring about a special memory, colour that means something, shape and structure. It doesn’t matter what is the flower fashion at the mo, or that the colours are a bit unusual, this is the brides (or grooms!) choice and it is special to them, even though it might not look all that grand or sophisticated.
I have made wedding bouquets from flowers that were specifically grown for the bride by her family. The family had planned it all out a year in advance, making space in their garden, sourcing the seeds and lovingly tending to the plants in the hope that the flowers would be at their best on the day of the wedding. Now that’s what I call dedication!
I have also been foraging flowers from a Grandmother’s garden. She had passed away and was a very keen gardener and by us using foliage and flowers from her garden to use in the wedding bouquet was a way of making sure that Granny was present at the wedding.
I have used antique silk from an ancestors wedding dress to wrap around the stems of a wedding bouquet as well as little picture frames that were sewn on the handle of the wedding bouquet.
Now back to Megan’s bouquet, I am not sure is she had much of a say in the flower choice. Her favourite flower is the peony and getting married at the height of Peony season I was a bit suprised they didn’t feature in her bouquet. There were peonies in the church flowers and I would love to have seen the venue flowers but unfortunately they haven’t released any images of those (except the cake, and what a cake it was!)
The flowers that were in her bouquet all have a symbolic meaning and as with Kate and Will’s flowers the symbolic meaning was an important factor in the flower choice.
The sectret languish of flowers was popular in Victorian times when expession of emotion was frowned upon and emotions were silently expressed through flowers.
Astrantia’s meaning is Strength, Courage and Protection, Astilbe meaning is Patience and dedication.
Lily of the valley meaning is Sweetness and Happiness and Forget-me not’s meaning is in it’s name.
According to the official release from kensington palace the myrtle sprigs used in meghan’s bouquet are from stems planted at Osborne House, by Queen Victoria in 1845, and from a plant grown from the myrtle used in The Queen’s wedding bouquet of 1947.
The tradition of carrying myrtle begun after Queen Victoria was given a nosegay containing myrtle by Prince Albert’s grandmother during a visit to Gotha in Germany. In the same year, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought Osborne House as a family retreat, and a sprig from the posy was planted against the terrace walls, where it continues to thrive today. The myrtle was first carried by Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, Princess Victoria, when she married in 1858.
So back to wedding flowers. If you are planning a wedding and you would like to use any specific flowers or ojects that are special to you and your family please let your wedding florist know. As a wedding florist it is so much more fun to provide a truly personal bespoke service rather than trying to copy the latest Pinterest trend.
We wish Meghan and Harry and all the other couples that got married this weekend all the best!