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Lovely and yummy

Vegan to the core? Express your beliefs through your choice of bridal gear by walking down the aisle with a veggie bouquet. They’re attractive AND edible. Companies like Incredible Edible Bouquets and Veggie Bouquet can help you incorporate your love of vegetables into your wedding theme.

Remember designer Austin Scarlett? If you have no clue who I’m talking about, he was the fabulous prettyboy blonde from the first season of BRAVO’s Project Runway. Well Nina Callaway of About Weddings was lucky enough to meet Scarlett, and chat him up about his luxurious wedding gown designs and his experiences on Project Runway. Check out the interview here.

Don’t know your tanzanite from your topaz? Educate yourself at Jewely.com by browsing their collection of comprehensive articles and you, too, can learn to build a jewelry wardrobe from the ground up, judge diamond clarity, or buy the perfect baubles for your bridal party.

A forever fresh alternative to flowers

A bouquet with some sparkle

Up until today, I’d never really considered the plight of brides with hay fever or pollen allergies. What bride wants to walk down the aisle with watering eyes and a runny nose? Sure, there are always silk flowers and greens, but a lot of the silk bouquets out there look cheap. Reader Deena pointed out a fabulous and funky alternative: the crystal bouquet!

Like flowers and floral arrangements, crystal bouquets come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and, of course, prices. You can buy them pre-made or you can try making your own with a kit. A crystal bouquet featuring large Swarovski crystals can cost as much as $1,000 while less luxurious bouquets go for about $100. A kit from Wedding Day Originals will set a future bride back about $50 but I’m not sure wire weaving is for everyone.

Unlike flowers and flower arrangements, a crystal bouquet won’t wilt in the heat, doesn’t need to be preserved, and can be tossed about a bit without losing any of its beauty. The stunning bouquet above is sold by Advantage Bridal and features over 150 large Swarovski crystals on beautifully woven silvery stems.

Love you, like you…rejection?

Three Crimson Amaryllis in Nursery Pot - Harry and David

No, I’m not talking about the progression of most marriages these days. I’m talking about bouquets. Not that I hold much stock in flower meanings – considering that many of the meanings were derived during those periods in history were courtship was something kept strictly under wraps. A bouquet of daffodils and daisies wrapped in delicate fern leaves could tell a woman that her beau was enthralled by her yet put great stock in her innocence. Asphodel, on the other hand, would tell her that her beau’s regrets would follow him to the grave. Cheery!

When choosing nuptial blooms, it’s a good idea to consult a florist, even if you’re planning on doing all of the bouquets and arrangements yourself. A knowledgable florist will be able to tell you what will be in season, what won’t wilt after only a few hours, and what will match your color scheme best. If you’re going to work closely with a florist, it’s recommended that you choose one six to twelve months before the big day, as many of the best wedding floral designers are booked well in advance.

That said, I’m not sure many florists these days are going to know the meanings of all the different blossoms they carry. So, for your reference and amusement, I’ll point you to a rather comprehensive list as compiled by About.com. And then I’ll point you to some of the more interesting (and negative) ones:

ASTILBE: I’ll still be waiting

BEGONIA: Beware

PINK CARNATION: Capriciousness

CALENDULA: Grief and jealousy

BATCHELOR’S BUTTON: Celibacy

LARKSPUR: Fickleness

DAHLIA: Instability

STRIPED CARNATION: Refusal

YELLOW CARNATION: You have disappointed me

PRIMROSE: Inconstancy

WOLFSBANE: Misanthropy

AMARRYLLIS: Pride

About blooms

Purple calla lilies

Flowers. Huh. I’m pretty sure I have not tackled the subject of flowers. Not even once. And this makes me laugh because back in the day, when I was a lowly intern at a Manhattan editorial provider, one of my biggest assignments was working on a book about wedding flowers. I even interviewed famous wedding planner Colin Cowie.

Now Mr. Cowie (does anyone else think his name is laugh-out-loud funny?) was of the firm opinion that if he let future brides choose their own flowers, flatware, and favors, they would hate him the morning after. As you can imagine, I feel very differently. The guests may not like it. Grandma may not like it. And wedding planners all over the country may not like it, but brides (and, of course, grooms) can have whatever they damn well please on their wedding days.

The average cost of wedding flowers ranges between $800 and $1,000. All that means is that your flowers may cost a lot more or a lot less, depending on whim and budget. As usual, do-it-yourself is an option, though there are some things to take into consideration. Research is key here, since some flowers hold up better than others, and both bouquets and arrangements are created a day or so before the wedding. Cheap Chic Weddings notes that future brides and grooms can…

Enlist the help of family or friends to help you with the arrangements and bouquets. You will all have lots of fun and it will be very satisfying. They won’t be like every other wedding flowers, no cookie-cutter plan here. When the compliments start flowing it will be that much better. The guest will remember your handy work for a long time.

And there are silk flowers, which look more and more realistic these days. Or the always lovely and sophisticated single calla lily wrapped with a pretty ribbon.

Creative Wedding Florals You Can Make

And, of course, there are books like Terry Rye’s Creative Wedding Florals You Can Make. With step by step instructions on bouquets, decorative blooms, and centerpieces (and photos to go along with them) there is little chance of having to walk down the aisle with screwy blooms.

Stay tuned for posts about the various methods of bouquet preservation and just what those bridal blooms mean!

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