It’s a chilly, rainy, fall day here in Virginia – perfect weather for reminiscing about a summer wedding, don’t you think?
Several of you have asked for post about my wedding flowers, and I’ll tell you: it all started with the lavender.
I don’t remember when I mentioned to Habou my idea of using lots of lavender in my (theoretical, at that point) wedding, but she took it to heart and immediately began preparing me a floral hope chest. I have emails from her from as early as four years ago (no boy in sight!), giving me lavender status updates. They often looked something like this:
I’ve been gardening almost non-stop and the lavender is doing better than I though it would. Have totally (or have started) revamping the slope with the idea of putting more lavender in next spring. Haven’t been able to garden near the house because of the roofers but that is nearly done now.
At times, she worried that the lavender might not be ready for me:
Still too early to tell about last year’s lavender which always a cause of anxiety for me.
Luckily for me, the timing worked out great: Habou and the lavender came through with flying colors.
(and then, a few days later):
5/19/09 I keep looking at the Lavender and chanting to it; “Hold back until the last week in June.”
(Isn’t she the cutest?)
In the weeks before the wedding, she would come in every day with several bundles of the beautiful, fragrant flowers, tie them up, and leave them to dry. When the time came to put it all together, we had much more than I needed!
From the start, I planned on doing the flowers myself (which is to say, with the help of my mother, grandmother, and sisters). Based on my minimal experience as an wedding florist (I put together bouquets for my now-sister-in-law Annie’s bridesmaids and flower girls when she was pressed for time the day before the wedding), I knew I would love doing it, and I also knew that I could get much more bang for my floral buck that way.
After much research, I ordered flowers in bulk online (it seemed like a huge leap of faith – especially after I heard how my friend received a shipment of dead flowers just a day before her wedding. ack!), and the flowers arrived as promised on the Thursday before the big day.
I originally was thinking just in terms of white, purple, and green (you know – lavender colors), but the truth is that I love bright colors, I especially love orange, and I absolutely love bi-color yellow and red roses.
So I ended up ordering them along with my white roses, and white and orange spray roses for the bouquets. I also ordered green hypericum (St. John’s Wort) as a green/filler, and of course I had my lavender.
I was so happy with it all. The roses were perfect, and I was so happy I’d gotten the spray roses and hypericum – they added texture to the arrangements that otherwise wouldn’t have been there. I also loved the way the orange popped (especially against my sisters’ bridesmaid dresses (which we snagged at TJMaxx and the clearance rack at Anthropologie, by the way!)). I put together all the bouquets Thursday night, leaving the orange out of mine.
This sweet little beaded purse was sent to me by my cousin Mary Ellen (actually, my grandmother’s cousin, I believe) before the wedding. It belonged to my great-grandmother (Nana), who was given it for her wedding by her mother. After Nana’s death, my grandmother gave it to Mary Ellen, who passed it on to me! I tied it into my bouquet to honor my grandmother and the other Collins ladies. Between that and my veil, I had my “something old” covered! (ps – Jen, your silver sixpence was in the purse, not my shoe. Is that cheating?)
The bridesmaids bouquets and the flower girl’s basket were mostly orange, with white, lavender, and green. Deirdre made some beautiful wrist corsages for the mothers and Habou and boutonnieres for the men.
Everything was perfect, right down to the “spirit sticks” Deirdre and Mom made out of fabric flower weeks before (not knowing what the real flowers would look like) when they decided on the plan to have everyone – bride, groom, guests – walk together from the church to the reception, a few blocks away across the town green. (They got the idea from the wedding scene in Sense and Sensibility, with all the kids running around and waving pretty things… do you remember this? I don’t think Marianne and Colonel Brandon would have called them Spirit Sticks, but somehow it just seemed right to us!)
For centerpieces, we filled Mason jars with roses, hypericum, lavender, and various other herbs my mother brought in from the garden (mint, chive blossoms, and I don’t remember what else), and tied each jar with purple ribbon.