How often do you get two royal weddings in the space of four months? Although Zara and Mike’s was a much more low key affair than William and Kate’s, we still had the opportunity to admire the outfits, size up the flowers and of course, see just what they were wearing on their heads.
I’m glad that Princess Beatrice played safe with her head gear this time. Rumour has it that she hired actress Emma Watson’s stylist Charlie Anderson to avoid any further fascinator’s faux pas.
Zara looked fantastic and very relaxed in unaccustomed but very welcome Scottish sunshine in a dress designed by Stewart Parvin. She carried a simple hand-tied bouquet in blue and white, depicting the national colours of Scotland.
The focal flowers in the bouquet were white arum or calla lilies, set off by blue eryngium – a great substitute for thistle and very useful for weddings with Scottish connections. Delicate stems of lily-of-the-valley were tucked in between silver leaves of Senecio. The whole effect was a delicate balance of blue, ivory and silver and worked perfectly. Informal, but still individual. And somewhere in the bouquet would be a stem or two of myrtle, traditional for every royal bride, taken from a bush grown from the original myrtle in Queen Victoria’s wedding bouquet.
The bridesmaids’ carried smaller versions of the bride’s bouquet and had fresh flowers in their hair to match. There was a lot made of the meaning of the flowers at William and Catherine’s wedding, but what of Zara’s flowers?
Highly scented lily-of-the-valley, which also featured in Kate’s bouquet means ‘Return of happiness’, however, when it comes to reading the rest of the flowers, you get the feeling that flower meanings weren’t high on Zara’s list of priorities. Common thistle, which is the nearest I could find to eryngium, stands for ‘austerity’, a modern bride for modern times it seems. The arum is a different story, according to Kate Greenaway’s Language of Flowers (published in 1884 and still going strong) it stands for ardour.
Moving swiftly on, it’s interesting that Zara’s bouquet was a tied posy as royal protocol usually demands that bouquets are wired in the traditional style. Again, she was reflecting the trends in wedding fashions, as the tied posy is probably the most popular style of bridal bouquet carried today.
Two royal wedding bouquets in different styles, but both with something in common – they reflected in meaning, colour and style the personality of the bride and groom – this is I think, what brides’ will be looking for in their wedding flowers in the future – forget matching the colours of the flowers to the bridesmaids dresses, the personality of the couple is what counts.
Interflora has just launched a fabulous new range of wedding flowers.
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