When I was asked (via twitter) from @studiowednash what flowers I’d choose to arrange for the Royal Wedding, I started playing fairytale wedding flower dress-up. I, like most red-blooded American women, admit to at least a small fascination with the Royal Wedding. Ok, small is an understatement— I’m bummed I don’t have a tv at the studio to watch the nuptuals unfold, and I already have set the Tivo to record it in all its glory. I’m hoping there’s some good web content for me to keep my need for updates!
There’s rampant speculation about what Kate will wear, what the style of their wedding will be, what the wedding colors will be….so much speculation that industry greats like Colin Cowie have weighed in. On the 26, news was released that the couple hired Shane Connolly—a floral designer known for his use of seasonal and organic florals with a sustainable bent—as their royal florist. This fits in perfect harmony for my own thoughts on the floral design for the Royal couple.
While much emphasis has been placed on Miss Middleton’s penchant for fashion, I think it’s important to recognize that while she’s fashion forward, she’s sure to keep in mind the timelessness of the occasion. Nearly 30 years ago Princess Di carried an abundant cascading bouquet and was surrounded by flower girls in halos of multicolored roses. This iconic image of her surrounded by her darling entourage became immortal:
I’m sure that Kate and William kept the immortal nature of their nuptuals in mind as they planned their wedding. Living in a place known for fabulous gardens with a rich history that incorporates flowers as part of culture and life no doubt added influence: the pair have chosen to pay special attention to the language of flowers— a concept developed in Victorian England— as part of their wedding floral design.
During the Victorian era, flowers were used as a means to send and convey messages— from secret exchanges between lovers to establishing societal norms. From roses that symbolized love (with special emphasis placed upon different shades—from the deep red of passion, the soft sweet of new love, or a yellow of friendly love–). We know that the wedding will feature in-season and in bloom Azaleas (a symbol of passion’s fragility); and that the processional will follow down an “arbor” at Westminister Abbey of six towering English Field Maple, which symbolize humility and love and were used to make “Loving Cups” during the middle ages (traditionally exchanged at large gatherings to symbolize trust and friendship) and two Hornbeam—which symblolizes the common man, the salt of the earth.
Trees lining the aisle at Westminister Abbey:
The couple plan to let the trees remain a week and then will have them planted at the Highgrove Estate of the Prince of Wales— planted in the Earth as a visible reminder of this most happy day.
Other flowers that will make their appearance in the royal wedding are all native blooms. It’s reported that Catherine said, “ ”It has to be British” (Rayner, Daily Telegraph)
These blossoms include Soloman’s Seal (confirmation of love), Lilacs (first love) and an abundance of blossoms. Designer Connolly tells us that the bride’s bouquet is a secret, but that ”green is a very important thing” (Rayner, Daily Telegraph).
Lilac (though I’m sure it will be white!)
So, if I were to speculate, I’d say that clearly the royal couple are adopting a sustainable, green theme for their wedding. Green itself is clearly a dominant color, but I can see how the couple will integrate whites and creams to tell a richer and classic color story that is both modern and beautiful. What follows is my guesses to the scope of flowers that we’ll see on the big day tomorrow:
Shades of white and green with lots of texture
Perhaps some artichokes and succulents for a green, sustainable bouquet?
I personally love the idea of Kate carrying something wild!
Miss Middleton’s bouquet: perhaps a blend of lilacs for first love, bells of Ireland for good luck, English garden roses in white to symbolize purity, balsam for green and symbolism of passion, stephanotis (for marital happiness), and ranunculus (for dazzling charm).I can see her bouquet as being relatively grand—not because she wants something crazy and overstated, but because immediately following the ceremony Kate will place her bouquet on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior—a tradition held since 1923 when the Queen Mother placed her bouquet there.
I can see the reception as a very green, very natural affair— since the royal couple wish to have blooms that can either be replanted or repurposed, I can see tabletop topiaries festooned with fresh, seasonal floral. Medley of potted arrangements in beautiful crockery could be another idea, with guests invited to take a reminder of the celebration away with them. Green and white will be the primary theme.
No matter what they choose, I can’t wait to look at everything and ooh and ahh with the rest of us— I am certain that the wedding will be one for the ages!