Don't mind me, I'm in a nostalgic mood. yesterday I celebrated my 20th wedding anniversay, aaah how lovely and congratulations I hear you say. I've been genuinely touched by the number of comments on my Face Book page, as I posted my (long serving) husband a happy anniversary message. He's actually away this week, so we had a brief chat over the phone and he gave me a lovely scented candle and of course a card. The candle was in a tea cup representing the material china which apparently, is what 20 years of marraige signifies - not quite diamond or ruby.. Thats another twenty or even forty more years off!
I remember our wedding day as if it were yesterday, I cherish it as one of the few days in my life that I truly felt beautiful - the star of the show, the belle of the ball you might say! Elegant and classic in my ivory silk gown and in my hair I wore a coronet of fresh flowers which matched my trailing bouquet of orchids and roses in a delicate palette of pale yellow, peach and ivory - very 90's!
It all went so quickly and I genuinely loved every second of our day. Nick, in his speech, discussed his desire for me to become a biker babe - his love of motor bikes he still enjoys today, we had fresh hops from a farm down the road twisted all around the poles in our marquee and I danced around in my dress until the very end, waving all the guests off. My dress was so grass stained by the end of the night but it didn't matter as I never plan on wearing it again!
What I also remember and see in contrast to some of the couples I see each week as a florist, is that in my day (old person comment I know) the whole wedding day evolved, we had a rough idea of what we wanted and most importantly, could afford and with the generosity of our parents, we did indeed have a glorious day which I consider to be one of the best days in my life. But it was, and always will be just the beginning. The start of my marraige, it was an outward sign to others of our committment to each other.
Since that day in 1992, Nick and I have changed and evolved both as a couple but also as individuals. I sometimes worry that some of the couples I see, focus too much on the wedding day itself, as if it's the be all and end all of everything. Magazines tell you what you should wear, to eat, the trends, the colours and the locations in which to marry, It's such an all consuming industry. Yet, amongst the pound signs, the favours and ever rising bills are two people who just want to celebrate their love and the beginning of their journey as a couple.
I hope that when couples come to see me, we can harness some of those basic requirements needed in a marraige. Love. Trust. Respect. Without these essential ingredients, the wedding day will be all that they have, that and an enormous bill. A little bit of everything is my idea of a starting point for those who are, quite rightly, working within some sort of budget. Some pretty flowers, be they simple and understated or extravegant and dazzlingly beautiful but not more than you can realistically afford. Let us not forget, it is just one day and the likelyhood is that a couple will go off on honeymoon shortly after leaving all those beautiful flowers behind. Don't bow to pressure, there's so much of it - other friends getting married and the desire to make your day stand out better than theirs, I've heard it all!
Work within your means, save up beforehand and remember this crucial tip: hire the best photographer you can afford. Yes I know I'm a florist, but these are your memories he or she is capturing, the people, the place and the atnosphere. Everything else you can do in a more measured and simplified manner if necessary, but the photographer will document that day so make sure he or she is up to the job.
One last thing, a marraige is supposed to be for life, not just one pretty day - however beautiful and outstanding you want it to be, it will be regardless. So start as you mean to go on and take these few wise words from a happily married florist, love, trust and respect each other, be open to changes that will occur in each other and you will surely grow old happily together.