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Wedding Wednesday – A Bouquet of Friends

This isn’t an ehell story, really, but just such a nice idea I thought I’d see if you’d heard of it. I had not.

I attended the wedding of a couple in their very early 30’s. The bride has a sister, future sister-in-law and girl cousins plus a group of close friends. Instead of making all of her friends bridesmaids along with her relatives, she used the tradition started by those same friends as they started marrying off. Each close friend of the bride sat on an aisle seat on the side the bride would walk up. When the bride and her father started up the aisle, the bride had no bouquet. As she passed each friend, though, the friend stood up and presented her with a flower of her own choosing. When the bride reached the front, she was holding about eight or ten different large blooms in her hand. Her mother, seated in the front pew, stood up and wrapped the stems in a long ribbon coordinating with the bride’s wedding colors, then tied it, and that was the bride’s bouquet. There was a sunflower, rose, large daisy, and others I can’t remember. None of the flowers matched; each bloom was unique and lovely. I thought it was a very sweet thing for them to do, and a family member told us that it had been done and would be done as each girlfriend was married. Instead of worrying about matchy-matchy, the brides were choosing friendship first. I think it was just lovely. 0720-16

Lovely.  So sentimental and personal.

{ 45 comments }
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  • Mojo November 9, 2016, 3:26 am

    That’s beautiful.

  • Just4Kicks November 9, 2016, 3:36 am

    That’s a really unique and very beautiful idea, I love it!

  • Marie November 9, 2016, 3:52 am

    I love this idea.

    I had a normal bouquet myself, but I was quite happy with how it ended up. We did the traditional bouquet toss, and the friend that caught it took the bouquet home to dry it. She then put half of the flowers in one pot and the other half in another, and wrapped the ribbon around the lid. She then gave me one of the two pots as a gift, so we would both have a keepsake from that special day.
    It turned out even more beautiful some time later, as her boyfriend popped the question and she was indeed the first of our friends to marry after I did.

    • Annie November 9, 2016, 12:46 pm

      We had ivy as part of our wedding decorations, and my cousin’s wife took some, rooted it in water, and planted it in a pot. She gave us the lovely little ivy plant for our first anniversary.

    • Amanda H. November 9, 2016, 7:28 pm

      What a wonderful idea. 🙂

      My aunt did my bouquets, and had given me one for the wedding day (the day before the reception) for photos, one for throwing, and then a large one for at the reception. I couldn’t really dry and keep any of them since I got married near my hometown but had to travel via plane back to the city where I was attending college, so at the end of the reception I plucked the large roses from the big bouquet and gave them to my younger-than-ten girl cousins to keep. They were absolutely thrilled, and to me that was a much better option than simply tossing out a bouquet I couldn’t keep anyway.

  • Marozia November 9, 2016, 4:16 am

    Excellent!

  • o_gal November 9, 2016, 7:04 am

    I think it’s a lovely tradition and is nice personal touch and tribute to the friendships. However, can you admire a new tradition without denigrating other people’s choices? Just because a bride wants everything to match, doesn’t mean it should be poo-poo’d as “matchy-matchy,” and that somehow this new tradition is so much more superior to it. Some brides have dreamed of having a wedding for years that is done in a certain way. As long as they aren’t being bridezillas about it, it’s OK.

    • LadyV November 9, 2016, 12:39 pm

      I don’t have an issue with a bride being “matchy-matchy”. My problem is with brides that want everything to be 100% perfect on the wedding day, and either turn into bridezillas or completely fall apart if the least little thing doesn’t go according to plan.

    • Shoegal November 9, 2016, 1:38 pm

      I agree with this. I always wanted Lilly of the Valley flowers for my bridal bouquet. The florist ended up talking me out of it because they were difficult to get and keep fresh. I didn’t feel I was a bridezilla about anything in my wedding but yes, indeed I was particular. I hate daisies and I wouldn’t have liked being forced to carry that on my wedding day. I like the idea of incorporating friends in different ways into a wedding and there are other ways to do that.

    • Dee November 9, 2016, 7:30 pm

      o_gal – Almost nobody notices when a wedding is match-matchy. For the most part, the only reason anyone notices little details (or even the big ones) is if someone tells them about it. If attendees or those in the wedding party are aware of all the match-matchy things then it’s because they’ve been drawn into the bride’s need for perfection. If they know that the intent is to have everything matchy-matchy then the problem is a bridezilla who unnecessarily drags people into her wedding choices and angst for perfection. If a wedding is match-matchy but nobody except those involved in planning and executing those plans knows it then there’s no problem.

      But, how can a bride plan, for years, for the wedding of her dreams? She is marrying another person, yes? Or is she so self-absorbed that she cannot conceive of the idea that her future wedding will be a compromise in consideration of another person’s wishes and needs? She can’t be planning a shared future with another person all while planning a day only her way. That’s a bridezilla, right there.

      • LadyV November 10, 2016, 10:21 am

        Dee, I don’t see anything wrong with women (often from the time they’re little girls) planning the wedding that they’d like to have. It’s all basically a fantasy, which may or may not come to fruition. But I absolutely agree that when it comes time for the real thing, the bride needs to realize that there may need to be changes, based on circumstances, finances, and above all, what her husband (or wife) to be would like. My son is getting married and he definitely has had input in the wedding planning. HOWEVER – I do feel that the prospective partner is the ONLY other person who should automatically have input. Other people can make suggestions, but when it comes down to it, the happy couple are the only people who should be making decisions. (NOTE: I’ve been watching episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress – Bridesmaids” lately, and it horrifies me how often a single bridesmaid thinks SHE should be the one to choose the dress – sometimes to the point of threatening to not stand up with the bride if she doesn’t get the dress she wants.)

        • Dee November 11, 2016, 1:55 am

          LadyV – A girl can dream about her future wedding day all she wants but she can’t expect those dreams to come true, since her dreams were conceived with the input of only one person (herself) and she is, presumably, marrying another person, with his/her own tastes and needs. There’s nothing wrong with having those dreams; the problem is when the goal is to make them become a reality. o_gal was referring to a bride wanting everything to be match-matchy and having things done only a certain way. That’s not what a mature woman does when planning a celebration with her life partner. It is what a bridezilla expects.

          • o_gal November 11, 2016, 7:08 am

            Dee, you’re putting words in my mouth that are not there. I said that some brides have dreamed of doing things “a” certain way. Not “only a” certain way. And that as long as they are not being bridezillas about it, it’s OK. For example, a bride has always dreamed of having an elegant black and white wedding, which includes matching flowers. It’s OK that she wants this. There is nothing in that statement that implies that she will demand anything more about that, or force anyone to conform to any bridezilla-ish “it’s my day!” sentiment. And if her vision includes matching flowers, it’s OK. What I was trying to point out is that the OP seems to be denigrating the concept of matching flowers over this new tradition. The new tradition is wonderful. However, it’s also OK to want things to match.

  • Michelle November 9, 2016, 8:45 am

    Very unique and beautiful idea.

    At my stepson’s recent wedding they also did something I had never heard of before- the groom was “presented” to be married by his parents, much like the bride is “given” in marriage by her parents.

    • Opal November 9, 2016, 8:22 pm

      This is nice. When our deacon performs weddings he tries to get the families to do this. At the minimum he has the groom and attendants walk down the aisle rather than come in from the side. He says he hates the magically appearing groom. He thinks the side entrance smacks of the transference of property rather than two adults each choosing to enter into marriage. He’s also the only officiant I’ve seen that has the bride and groom facing the guests and he stands with his back to the congregation. “No one is here to see me. They should be able to see the bride and groom exchange vows.”

    • Shannon November 10, 2016, 6:22 pm

      Really like that idea. I feel like that symbolizes “joining families” more than a bride being led by her father/father figure.

  • Laura November 9, 2016, 10:28 am

    I have a friend who had paper flowers made with sheet music and pages from Harry Potter. Unique and beautiful always wins in my book

    • Marie November 9, 2016, 1:07 pm

      We may have the same friend of our friends visited a website where they got their idea!

  • Kay November 9, 2016, 10:43 am

    That is very nice! Wish I had done this instead of too many bridesmaids

  • Lerah99 November 9, 2016, 10:46 am

    This is a really sweet idea. Love it!

  • SianMcClay November 9, 2016, 11:10 am

    I like the sentiment, kind of, but I honestly wouldn’t like the ceremony. I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but it’s just my opinion. I guess I’m not really one for ceremonies and rituals.
    I don’t mind a simple wedding, but I always think that the marriage should really be between the bride and groom only. Possibly with the addition of a parent or two.
    But keep the ceremony short and sweet if you have witnesses.
    The celebration, is for the friends and family. The ceremony for the couple. I don’t get the addition of brides maids, friends, ushers, child or pet ring bearers, ect.
    I don’t condemn or judge anyone for choosing to marry that way, religious ceremonial procedures included. I just wouldn’t see this ceremony as any more significant than the usual.

    I have a feeling this sentiment may not be popular, just remember, it only an opinion on ceremony. Nothing else.

    • SamiHami November 9, 2016, 12:54 pm

      Eh, definitely one of those “different strokes for different folks” things. You aren’t wrong, and neither are the people who do things differently. It’s just a matter of what is important to each couple. 🙂

    • LadyV November 9, 2016, 3:44 pm

      Doesn’t matter if it’s popular or not – it’s your opinion, and you’re 100% entitled to it – especially since you don’t condemn other people for doing things differently. However, many people want those they love – friends, extended family, etc. – to be present when they actually seal their commitment to each other, and not just celebrate afterwards.

    • Dee November 9, 2016, 7:22 pm

      SianMcClay – I get what you’re saying about keeping things personal, but the ceremony is actually the only part of a wedding. The celebration is simply the party afterwards. So, for those who want to be at a wedding they would need to be at the ceremony. A reception without a wedding is just a party with no official purpose, which is why a lot of people have a problem with being invited to a reception for a wedding that actually took place weeks or months before.

    • NostalgicGal November 9, 2016, 11:32 pm

      I perform marriages. I am the on-call for the area and I have shown up at the courthouse with short notice to do pretty close to a civil ceremony wedding.

      Here it is legal if the officiant is registered with the county with the capacity to perform marriages (i.e., members of the clergy, justices of the peace, etc).

      The ceremony itself needs officiant, the HC, a legally issued marriage license by this county, two witnesses of legal age with ID, and to be performed in this county within five days of the issuance of license and turned into the county clerk within that time. The legal parts require each person being asked if they wish to be married, they reply yes and it is acknowledged by the officiant, then signatures all around, the correct county info is written in and it is turned in within time.

      “You?” “Yes” “You?” “Yes” “Done.” is enough ceremony to be legal. Five words. Everything else is window dressing at that point.

      HOWEVER, this is a serious lifetime commitment (or so it should be treated!!!!!) and most opt for more. Real vows, what they wear, how the venue is done up, who participates, and the reception (party) afterwards… That is the normal way it’s done. As you say, SianMcClay, it may not be for you, but it is between the others involved. In the OP’s reporting, it is something this group of ladies has decided on, and it’s rather sweet in it’s own way. Not for everyone, true, but for these people, this is what they want.

  • Cat November 9, 2016, 11:16 am

    It is a lovely idea, but I have to admit that my mind took a left turn; and I could see a true Bridezilla being paid back by ending up with a bouquet of sand-spurs and poison ivy by fed-up friends.
    “Tell me to lose twenty pounds and to get a nose-job, will you! Take that!”

    • LadyV November 9, 2016, 12:41 pm

      I didn’t think anything could make me laugh today, Cat, but you managed it!

    • NostalgicGal November 9, 2016, 11:34 pm

      With a big sprig of trailing bindweed, and a lovely stiff stalk of cockle burrs and rue that has seeded out (those things will grab you in the next room, they are organic porcupine quills)

  • LadyV November 9, 2016, 11:31 am

    I think this is charming!

  • LovleAnjel November 9, 2016, 11:40 am

    I did something similar. Instead of having a flower girl walk up the aisle, I had the nieces, nephews and my husband’s little sister stand at the end of the rows and each hand me a rose as I walked up. After the ceremony, as we walked back, I handed roses out to the parents, step-parents and grandparents.

  • Dee November 9, 2016, 11:42 am

    That’s a fantastic idea. What a wonderful way to include good friends in a wedding without requiring them to be a slave or spend a ton of money on dresses and junk they don’t want. It’s inclusive, everyone has an equal role, and creates something really beautiful out of it. This should be a tradition.

  • myfamily November 9, 2016, 12:03 pm

    We hear of so many brides who are worried about making sure their bridesmaids match, down to their hair color, so to see a story about one who celebrates her friends uniqueness and individual beauty and personalities in such an original way is a refreshing change.

  • lkb November 9, 2016, 1:34 pm

    Very sweet idea. Thanks for sharing.
    FWIW, we are about to celebrate our 29th anniversary. I had the traditional bouquet and processed into church in the traditional way. About a month before our wedding, my husband’s grandfather passed away. We wanted to remember him and also the only grandmother I’ve ever known, so as we started out on our honeymoon, we stopped at the grandmother’s resting place at the cemetery and left my bouquet and the grandfather’s resting place and left my husband’s boutonniere and a flower from my bouquet — all unbeknownst to our families. My mother, who had never stopped grieving the loss of her mother, discovered my bouquet while we were on our honeymoon, said “it was the nicest thing” we could have done with flowers that were just going to wilt anyway.
    Just sharing in case others wanted ideas to do with their flowers.

    • BellyJean November 12, 2016, 10:31 am

      I absolutely love this – thank you for sharing. 🙂

  • stacey November 9, 2016, 3:40 pm

    What a lovely thought! The flowers could even be pressed or dried as a memento!

  • Ashley November 9, 2016, 4:03 pm

    I didn’t have flowers at my wedding, because it would have been an allergy disaster, plus we didn’t want to spend the money on them anyway.

    But, if I had done flowers, I would have done something like this, it’s so lovely and sentimental.

  • viviennebzb November 9, 2016, 4:15 pm

    A very sweet idea, I like it.
    Personalize your wedding and make it your own, fill it with things that have meaning to you. Our daughter was married in a park under the trees, surrounded by a ring of friends and family, the simplest of ceremonies. As our new son-in-law said, “Everything that was important was there”.

  • bap November 9, 2016, 5:07 pm

    I love this idea, but it makes my eyes leak . . . .

    • babs November 10, 2016, 2:30 pm

      Yeah, dang it! I hate when that happens!

      • Miriam November 11, 2016, 9:51 am

        Maybe it’s the grit?

        There’s a lot of grit about, today, I’ve found…

        [Armistice Day]

  • Lomita Momcat November 9, 2016, 9:19 pm

    It’s a lovely idea, but if I was the mother of the bride, I’m afraid my hands would be shaking so much I couldn’t wrap the bouquet with the ribbon!

  • crebj November 9, 2016, 9:42 pm

    Lovely idea!

  • Rings90 November 9, 2016, 9:44 pm

    I just went & bought bouquets at the farmers market the morning of the wedding. It was an outdoor ceremony and I only had a flower girl & 1 bridesmaid. So we went & had one of the vendors make our bouquets. My poor niece. We asked for a smaller one for her & it still was way too heavy we had to break it apart farther before the ceremony. It was nice easy & budget friendly.

  • Jolie November 11, 2016, 11:41 am

    I love this idea. Each of our attendants processed alone and carried a single white flower to the front of the sanctuary and placed it in a vase, as did our family. Red flowers were already in place prior to the procession representing those who had already passed on. I also carried a single flower and after I got to the front of the sanctuary my husband and I processed together to add our flowers. These were the only flowers we had. The completed vase made its way to the reception where it sat on our table. Kept the costs down and was incredibly sentimental.

    I am all for doing a wedding however you would like, but we chose those traditions that were meaningful to us because we wanted the ceremony and reception to represent us.

  • AJ November 13, 2016, 9:09 pm

    There are some lovely ideas in this thread!

    I had a pretty bunch of foam roses (that I could use for the toss) with amazing feather butterflies on them that my Mother made – if I could have just had the butterflies, I definitely would have, but needed something for the butterflies to rest on…

    It turned out that my MoH’s Mother, A, did not get to have a bouquet, and 10 years later, A still has her bouquet in her dressing room, she brings it out to the entryway for when guests come for dinner and uses it as an ice-breaker when there is a new person in the group, she tells me it’s amazing how everyone has a secret craft interest.

    A friend had lilies gilded, as the wedding was out of season for her favourite flower, and each attendant carried just the one each, they all still have them.

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