Tag Archives: Flowers

The Ceremony: Before the walk

For our six o’clock wedding, we had to get to the church ridiculously early. The church ladies wanted us there no later than 4:30, and I was supposed to walk down the aisle at precisely six on the dot, come hell or high water. We arrived at the church right at 4:30 during the beginnings of the massive thunderstorm. Boys and girls were segregated in different parts of the church– the girls and I in the bridal suite, JP’s groomsmen in the narthex, and JP, his best man, and Quincy, our reverend/officiant, in the preacher’s office. And we waited.

While JP had some lovely pictures of the bouts taken, I nervously clamped my ink-stained hands downstairs. Oh yeah, and then I decided I was going to burst if I didn’t use the restroom soon. I know a lot of brides go DEFCON 3 over the whole bathroom-while-dress-clad thing, but I decided long before the wedding how I was going to do it. My plan was just to take the dang thing off, hang it up, grab a sheet for a little hippie toga, and go to the bathroom. The closest restroom to the bridal suite was a public one (good planning, church!), and there was no way I was going to drag my train through that. (A field and dirt? Sure. But bathroom? Just couldn’t do it.)

After I had my little restroom party with Laura laughing like crazy outside, I was plunked down to eat a protein bar and drink some water. Then I sat around and paced in my sheet for an hour. During that time, Mom came down and told us the awful tale of how there was a colossal storm going on outside. They had had to play emergency take-everything-back-inside-the-house-so-it-doesn’t-get-destroyed back home, and she was dressed, but a bit frazzled. For some reason, none of this fazed me, but I guess I was just in my  happy zen-bride place. In my toga. Actually, that whole sheet-toga thing was really a great idea in retrospect. It kept my dress from getting even more wrinkled, it let me cool off, and it was comfy and relaxing. If you have a big gap between portraits and the ceremony and you’re in a position to have a quick-change, I highly recommend it.

It came to be time to put on the veil. This was a large task, and somehow, no matter how many billions of bobby pins we put in my hair, it always just slid out. Having your hair down + having fine hair + veil = easy situation. Thankfully, photog Reagan came to the rescue with a magical little twisty hidden hair trick in the back, and we got the veil to stay on.

Upstairs, the musicians were playing as guests began arriving.

The pews were all decked out with our sticks, billy buttons, and twine. I really love what our florist did with all of our arrangements. We didn’t want too much going on decorations-wise at the church because it already was such a grand space.

Programs in use! All of that hard work nailing and sewing was put to good use.

We all lined up, and I was still tucked away at the base of the staircase. I so clearly remember these moments, and looking back on it all is so surreal.

I remember the moment I heard the sounds of Passacaglia trickle down the stairs, and I knew it was time for the parents to start walking.

I imagined my parents carrying the flame, trying not to let the flame go out before they got to the unity candle. Laura reached down and grabbed my hand, and I bit the inside of my mouth to stop the tears from welling in my eyes.

My father walked back down the aisle. He had another lady waiting at the base of the stairs to escort.

With Passacaglia still playing, the bridal party made their way up the aisle, boys and girls alternating.

Then, just as the song was ending, my father and I reached the top of the stairs and entrance to the narthex. The church ladies closed the doors to the sanctuary, and as my father and I readied ourselves behind them, Quincy asked the congregation to stand.

It was time.

*All photographs from Matt Miller of Our Labor of Love.

Need to do some catching up in the recap department?

It’s time to show you all my…

Interestingly enough, one of the things that I did not give a flying flip about in the beginning of wedding planning was flowers. I had no desire for massive amounts of flowers– nothing over the top, no girly stuff, nothing of the sort. No pink was to come anywhere near the wedding. During this minimalist phase of early wedding planning, I loved the idea of having billy buttons and low potted plants. After a few months of wedding research and idea-sponging, I began to have second thoughts. Maybe I did want flowers. Maybe these weren’t such a bad idea. A few couldn’t hurt, right?

Then enter Amy Osaba and The Free Wedding. Ich bin game over gegangen. [Sidebar: "I went game over." This is what JP used to say as a kid when he lost a video game. He didn't know what game over literally meant, but he knew it was all finished. Ok, sidebar finished.] I have a serious, major, epic, colossal crush on her floral designs.

Just LOOK at these gorgeous flowers. Want, need, must have.

{ flowers by Amy Osaba for The Free Wedding }

The color, the variety, the styling, the EVERYTHING. It just sets my heart aflutter, and was one of the final deciding straws in choosing to have a colorful wedding. Screw my phobia of pink in our wedding, because this is some pink that I can deal with. This stuff is PERFECT.

Oh wait, maybe not. While I adore Amy’s work, we weren’t really sure how the logistics of booking a florist that was 70 miles away would work. However, I soon found out that Terry Dunn, a local landscape architect and florist whose work I have admired for years, was available and asked to be able to do the flowers for the wedding. We met, I went over my massive amount of inspiration shots, and thankfully he was totally on board with what we wanted flower-wise.

So, signed, sealed, and delivered– he’s ours. Also, he’ll be doing the landscaping for the house as well. I’m excited that the same person will be doing both the landscaping and the wedding-day flowers.

Now comes the task of taking all of these wonderful flowers and narrowing it down to what we actually want! With that being said, let me unleash a barrage of the rest of my (very pared down) flower loves…

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“I put a bird on my head.”

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“Is that what that was? I thought it was feathers. ”

“No, it was a bird.”

“It was beautiful!”

I think this was the movie that spawned 1,000 giant bridal headpieces. True, I wasn’t in the bridal-research-wedding-a-palooza that I am in now, but I never really noticed that much hub-bub about giant feather or floral headpieces before this.

While Carrie’s is a little too intense for me, or most people for that matter, I still am curious about hair doo-dads. Headbands, giant flower pins, fascinators (that word makes me nervous), what-have-you. I like them. I’m taking my veil off for the reception, so I need something to rock out for the reception so my hair isn’t all bland and shtuff.

When going the put-stuff-in-your-hair route, however, one must be careful. There is a fine line between awesome and nuckin’ futs. My personal problem is that I’ll bet that I tend to fall on the nuckin’ futs side of the line. I have to pull back the reins a little bit.

Let’s take a look at some of the adornments, shall we? (See how I’m tiptoeing around the “fascinator” word? I swear it really does make me nervous. Anyway, moving on).

First we have two feathered pieces by Etsy seller Jennypickle Designs.

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1 is awesome because it’s a flower… made of feathers. Hola, best of both worlds, my name is Lauren. 2 is just plain pretty. These guys are probably some of the more tame choices I’ve pulled, but they’re still pretty funky.

Sweetpea + Fawn has some ridiculously lovely headpieces.

sweetpeaandfawn3 and 4 are actually the same headband, but I just wanted to show how it worked. This one I really love, but I think it might be a little too much by most people’s standards. But then again, I’m not most people. 5 is a less intense version of 3/4, which might be a nice compromise. Heck, though, if you’re gonna go, go all out, right? I love the lightness of 6, but I’d definitely have to wear that more towards the back of my head, otherwise those fluffly things would drive me nuts. 7 reminds me of the lovechild of a seahorse, coral, and a be-dazzler, but I like it. A lot. I just don’t know if it would make sense with the dress. 8 is cute, but I don’t know if I can pull cute off.

Next we move along to these by Portobello.

portobelloNow we are starting to get a little funkier, at least color-wise, which makes me very excited in meinen Hosen. 9 is a peacock feather headband. The color is great, and it’s much more headband-y. 10 is awesome, because it just screams blue and feathers and fun and stuff, without being too over the top. I do wonder if it could be a little more intense, but then we might border on our friend Carrie’s bird up thurr. 11 is to die for, with the two giant flowers made out of feathers. I also like guys that are shooting out of it. Almost looks like a fireworks-flower-feather-attack, but in a good way. 12 is great because of that killer brooch-like center, but then with the soft feathers around it.

Last, but not least, we have whichgoose.

whichgooseWhichgoose specializes in natural crowns, which is amazing, and makes me want to dance around in the forest with Puck, Oberon, and Titania. (Bonus points for those of you that get that reference). Out of all of the headpieces here, I think that these might make my heart beat the fastest. 13 is awesome, the color, the pearl-things, the giant-ness. I love it. 14 looks so wonderful and Southern-fairy-princess to me. I love the stick tendrils. I love the shape of the arrangement of flowers in 15. It’s more oblong, and I like that it almost looks like a half-headband. Almost. 16, oh 16. The color is so fantastic. The everything-about-it is so fantastic. The only thing that concerns me is that this one is more of a “crown,” which, sadly, might be too much.

Then again, I could just make the dang thing. *lesigh*

Which are your favorites? How do I (or how did you!) straddle the line between awesome and too much? Should I make my own appropriateness-line, or try not to ruffle too many… (wait for it…) feathers? Any other great headpiece-makers out there that I’ve forgotten? Should I just scrap buying one and just make one?

Honoring my Grandmothers

Since I have done a lot of research on German wedding traditions, I thought it was appropriate to search for traditions from the South. I am nowhere near finished compiling them, but I just stumbled upon one that makes my heart ache.

“A deep connection with family, especially symbolically, then continues through the wedding. The classic Southern bride wants to honor her family with special remembrances such as incorporating flowers that her grandmother had chosen for her own bouquet.” (source)

I started tearing up almost immediately after reading that. Neither of my grandmothers will be able to attend the wedding. My paternal grandmother passed away in 2004 from pancreatic cancer, and my maternal grandmother has very advanced Alzheimer’s. I’ve begged that she be able to come, but it’s not possible given her health condition. The fact that neither will be there is a fact that is hard for me to stomach, especially given that my maternal grandmother is still alive.

That is why this tradition struck me so significantly. I need and want to honor both of them, and thought that having one flower for each that they used in their bouquets in my bouquet would be a wonderful way to honor them.

Now here comes a roadblock– My maternal grandparents were too poor to have a wedding, and we are trying to hunt down photos from my paternal grandmother’s wedding to see what flowers she had. The family sleuths are on the mission, but until then, I think I may have two very good substitutions.

My maternal grandmother’s favorite song, and flower, is The Yellow Rose of Texas. She has always fancied herself as the yellow rose of Texas, and loves, loves, loves, loves, loves yellow roses. It is always the flower I buy her, and she never ceases to be less than overjoyed by yellow roses, even now.

yellowroseoftexas(source)

To honor her, I can add in a single yellow rose to my bouquet, which would work well because of the wild bouquet that I’m going for. (More on that later!)

My paternal grandmother’s name was Hazel. Hot damn, that’s an actual plant! Off I trotted to see what it looked like in the wild. Basically, we’ve got sticks, some occasional flowers, and nuts.

hazel

(source)

So the flowers aren’t much to look at, and I’m not sure how we would even get ahold of them, since they bloom in the early spring, or so my research tells me! I think the absolute coolest thing to do with the hazel-stuff would be to use the nuts. I could take the nuts, dremel/drill a hole through a few, and then either have them sticking out of my bouquet, or string a few onto it. Trust me, it will look super cool.

Another amazing thing that I can and will do to honor them both is to affix an old locket to my bouquet with both of of their pictures in it. My mother actually already has a locket with both of their photos in it, so there you go! Also, that would take care of my “something old” for the wedding.

How are you honoring your grandmothers, both alive and deceased? Has anyone else considered using their grandmothers’ flowers as their own flowers, or one of each in their bouquet?

Houston, we have a florist.

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Today the florist-slash-landscape-architect came over with contracts for our wedding flowers and landscaping. I wasn’t at home when flower-guy was was here, so I asked for a rundown from my father.

“So, what happened?”

“Well, he brought over some paper. And we signed it. And your mother wrote him a check for a lot of money.”

“Uh huh. Is that all?”

“Well, we’ll give him more money later. And then some more money. Then maybe a little more. Then he’s supposed to give us the flowers.”

“…”

I guess it’s obvious where my smart-butt nature comes from.

Poppies, peonies, dahlias, billy-buttons, and whatever-else-I-forgot, here we come!

Flowers, flowers, flowers!

Here is the product of a day’s worth of searching through eleventy billion saved flower things on my Google Reader. I’m about to pull my hair out, but at least now I have some more honed-in things to show the florist on Tuesday!

Image sources after the jump.

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