I have just spent a very nostalgic weekend in my hometown of Knysna watching old home videos and plunging into the family photo cupboard where I came across this photograph (see above) taken at my parents wedding in 1984. One hundred percent 1980’s perfection! Wasn’t my mom a babe? Even the perm and puffy sleeves can’t conceal her exquisite beauty.
In every culture and througout time, flowers have been an integral part of human emotion and experience. They are there from the day we are born in our mother’s hospital room until the day we die. They mark most special occassions- birthdays, Valentine’s Day, graduation day, the birth of your children, Mother’s Day and perhaps most importantly – your wedding day.
Wedding bouquets are our favourite part of creating wedding flowers. Not only do they enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of your wedding attire and give a naturally fragrant scent, but they highlight the bride’s indiviual personality and taste. Crazy colourful for some brides, soft pastels for others. We love them all!
The custom of bridal bouquets has its origin in ancient times. Women carried aromatic bunches of garlic, herbs and spices to ward off evil spirits. In ancient Greece and Rome, the bride and groom wore a garland around their necks symbolizing new life, hope and fertility. Traditional Celtic bouquets were not made of flowers but of strong-smelling herbs and spices. The strong-smells were thought to have mystical powers and meant to keep away evil spirits. During Victorian times, the tradition of herbs and spices was replaced by fresh and often edible flowers. Often these bouquets included dill which would be consumed by the bride, the groom, and their wedding guests during the reception as it was meant to increase sexual desire. Brides would also select the flowers that made up the bouquet by paying close attention to the symbolic meaning of each individual flower, otherwise known as floriography.
Today, however, most brides pick their flowers based on their colours, shapes, textures and of course – fashion.
Upon a recent trip to Kalk Bay, I found a collection of old photographs showing different styles of bouquets from different eras. The image above, of the couple gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes is my absolute favourite. How gorgeous is that dress?! Taken in London in the early 70s, this bride’s simple bouquet is made up of St Joseph lilies and Asparagus fern where the groom’s boutonniere consists of two white carnations. Clean, simple and oh-so-glamorous.
The second image was taken in London, 1938. The bride’s bouquet is a flat net-like bouquet consisting of full white carnations and asparagus fern. Again, the boutonniere is made from matching white carnations.
I just love this image. The luscious, overflowing bouquets are made up of gypsophila, sweet peas and asparagus fern. I wonder how much those bouquets weighed! They are half the size of the women themselves!
When choosing your bouquet, what style do you think you would go for? Soft and delicate or bright and funky? Romantic or modern? Would you want your bouquet to look like your bridesmaids? Should it be long and trailing or small and compact? We think that most importantly, your bouquet should be a reflection of yourself. It is, after all, your special day!