it’s always like this

April 20, 2009

but what does it MEAN?

Filed under: a wedding story — notsojenny @ 8:40 am

i’m a total read-into-it-er

i think everything has some hidden truth to it, some hidden meaning.  a sarcastic comment?  whether it’s meant to hurt or not stems from some truth.  tabloid gossip?  even the stuff that seems too outrageous to print was created out of some truth that is now slyly hidden within the overall tale they’re telling. 

so when it comes to our wedding i will not let the hidden meanings or messages escape me.  of course some will slip by without a whisper but other things scream to me “you can’t do that!  it’s just not RIGHT!”  with our save the dates we used a stamp we hadn’t planned on.  we used the year of the ox stamp which, when combined with japanese paper lanterns on our notecards and the embossed stamping i did, it gave off a feeling that is a little more asian inspired than i’d like.  don’t get me wrong, i love M’s heritage… i quite possibly embrace it more than he does, but we weren’t going for a “theme” wedding at all.  so now his mom is a little disappointed that we told her it’s not “asian themed” and my mom is relieved that it’s not “asian themed”.   what’s my point?  the message that a stamp and lantern image sent was WAY bigger than we’d intended, or not intended in this case.

but what this post is really about is flowers.  because i have my first florist appointments today and because i love flowers.  big.  fluffy.  fragrant.  blooming.  flowers.  what i also love about flowers is the message they can send.  now yes, in victorian times it was much more important that you send a flower with proper meaning since communication was more based in symbols than words, even the way a flower was presented sent a message.  and this is still important to me.  it may be true that i’m a 120 year old woman in a young ladiy’s body, but i don’t care.  i consider the message a flower sends when i buy it for my home, when i send it to others, and i’ll definitely be considering the message for our wedding day.  for the most part there are a few criteria to meet when picking the flowers for the big day…
1.  color – i’d like mostly white/ivory
2. size – i love flowers that are full with many many petals.  i don’t like spindly flowers, to me they look sad
3. scent – i want to make sure fragrant flowers are incorporated… i love smelling flowers and that unexpected whiff you get every so often when the breeze blows!
4. the meaning – while some flowers with less than happy meanings are already out because i think they’re ugly, others make me think 2x about the flowers that i think would help round out our day

the japanese call it Hanakotoba… the language of flowers, yet another way we can tie in the “asian theme”. 

some of the flowers i would love to use but probably won’t for varying reasons are (as with anything there are so many different translations and meanings attributed to flowers, these are the ones i associate with them)…
geranium = comfort ( not really a bouquet flower, i just love the smell of geranium leaves though)
camelia = graciousness  (M is a fan also, we’ve already decided that we’ll plant a bush when we move to our next house)
lilly of the valley = return of happiness  (they’re very fragrant and delicate but they’re also kinda bad if they touch your skin directly)
magnolia = dignity (i would LOVE a magnolia filled wedding… they’re so large and beautiful!  and how VA of me would that be?!  but it would also be very rich of me if you catch my broke-ass-drift)
gardenia = joy  (one of the prettiest flowers that just doesn’t cut it as anything other than a bout, and so damn pricey)
hydrangea = perseverance or to reflect sympathy  (they just don’t last very long out of water, i get them all the time for the house but no dice for the wedding day)

some of the flowers i will most likely be using or at least are still in the running to be used are (you can see all the flower images i’m using for inspiration over in my wedding section)
white carnations = remembrance (for both of our fathers that will not be there)
baby’s breath = festivity  (i’m really smitten with the idea of baby’s breath focused wedding florals)
white mums = truth (i love mums, so full!)
ranunculus = radiant (this has been the flower i’ve had a love affair with for years.  i’ve known for  along time i would use them at the wedding but then everyone else discovered them, and now they’re more expensive because of the popularity, no bueno)
yarrow = good health (makes me a little sneezy but so pretty)
yellow tulip = hopelessly in love  (who doesn’t love tulips?!)
cream tulip = i will love you forever
mint = virtue (these will be the bouts, so perfect as they smell great and M is a HUGE foodie!)
lilac = first love  (not sure if i want to bring another color in but they smell so nice)
rose = love  (not just roses, but David Austin roses.  they’re my favorite!  there’s nothing like them, so full and the most fragrant by far!  this is the other thing we’re going to plant when we move… many many varieties that i’ve already picked out!)
peony = good fortune & a happy marriage  (aren’t these the standard bridal bloom now?  only question is, do i want to pay to get them here out of season… hmmm)

and then there are flowers that are big in the wedding world that just are not my style…
cala lillies = a symbol of death and are most commonly placed on graves   (this one drives me insane because so many brides choose these because they believe them to be chic, i wonder if anyone has ever pointed this out to those girls… most flowers have positive meanings, this is one of the very few that have negative messages attached to it)
stephanotis = good luck
daisy = innocence and friendship
sunflower = adoration or big pride
poppy = consolation

i’m very excited about meeting with florists, especially since the ones i’m meeting with are both of my favorite flower markets!  the other thing i love to use in all my home arrangements is bear grass… something about it makes me very happy so i’ll be using that for sure… i don’t believe it has a historic meaning. 

another flower related thing i know is that the japanese put a single chrysanthemum petal in the bottom of a glass to symbolize a long and healthy life and we might do this for our first toast.  a nice nod to M’s heritage and also a wonderful message. 

the only part about this that i’m not looking forward to?  you guessed it, same as everything else wedding related, the price.  luckily i’m happy to cut out almost all flowers outside of bouquets & bouts so it shouldn’t be too bad… but we’ll see.



~ today i learned… british sailors were nicknamed ‘limeys’ because of the limes they used to suck on to keep scurvy at bay ~



  1. Wow, the images you’ve pulled for your flowers are SO pretty! I can’t wait to see what you decide on using!!

    Comment by stealthnerd — April 20, 2009 @ 11:19 am

  2. Dumb question. You mention bouts. What is a bout? (no pun intended “about”).

    Comment by Anna — April 20, 2009 @ 11:55 am

  3. This is such a happy post! I LOVE flowers, and in my head there are fountains and bouquets of white fragrant wonderfulness all around you and it’s lovely.

    On symbols, it’s strange what people intuit. I feel like there’s always a message if you look for it, but it’s not always the real thing … like anything, I guess, the secret’s in the balance of real vs. perceived.

    HAVE FUN with the florists!

    (And the calla lily means death, ahahaha. That’s actually kind of hilarious).

    Comment by magda — April 20, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

  4. so many people don’t think about this at all. the flowers of the moment seem to be poppies (last moment was anemone, before that peonies), but poppies mean death and eternal sleep. what can you do?


    Comment by beatrix — April 20, 2009 @ 8:47 pm

  5. I frankly don’t care for callalilies myself. In college one of my friends said she was going to start growing them in her yard bc she loved them so much and wanted them in her wedding but were kind of expensive. Ha, little did she know.

    I love the baby’s breath idea and the image taht you have on your other page of it is gorgeous. I saw that for the first time on weddingbee months ago (before I cut myself off) and thought it was the greatest idea. It’s definitely in my “ideas” folder. :)

    Comment by DanceintheRain — April 21, 2009 @ 2:59 pm

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