Here’s my take- there are two reasons why Wedding Flowers appeal to a Floral Artist, you love wedding flowers or you are a complete psycho for a good love story. If you want a sweet triple threat, you love weddings, love flowers AND are completely out of your mind for a good Love Story!
The year was 1987, I was 10 years old. The film was The Princess Bride. He was Wesley, and she, well she of course- she was Buttercup. It was and remains my most favorite, next to The Goonies.
If you’ve seen the film, you are smiling right this very second as you remember the cast, the dialog and how happy the film made you. If you haven’t seen it- definitely a bucket list item.
Quick break down: He was a “Farm Boy” and she was a pretty girl whose family, not wealthy- but comfortable, contracted his services. Wesley was the kind, patient, handsome service provider, accommodating every whim she possessed with a simple, “As you wish.”
She, slowly, but ever so passionately fell in love with this man. Trouble beget them early on, and suddenly they were separated.
When the time came that they were able to reconcile this wrong- this man and this woman committed to full fledged Combat with any obstacle that would threaten their union.
As you can see, I really do LOVE a good love story- especially when it’s peppered with a bit of chaos and human complication.
Fast forward 26 years and there I sat, my three year old petting my face with her grubby little hand- while I worked. The first note I received from Jenny Blackman told me two things; this Wedding would be Gorgeous and the woman on the other end of this cyber exchange was my kind of lady. Her note was witty and offbeat, her description of her vision for the wedding florals included the words “wild and willful”, “floppy” and “nothing too precious”. Pretty, colorful, organized chaos- this would be a glorious experience!
Because I’m nosy and nothing scratches my romance itch more than hearing about how my Brides met their Beaus, I asked Jenny to tell me how she and Jackson found themselves preparing to exchange vows. Much like my favorite film, the story was funny, ironic, tender and peppered with complication.
It goes like this. She was just out of college, and attending a Pow Wow for Jr. English teachers. She was all things fashion forward and feisty in her wedges and platinum dye job. He, wore a black t-shirt embellished with a cow (apparently this was the last time young Jackson was to wear the dreaded cow shirt!). He is quite the looker, and rounds out the package by also being interesting, compassionate, funny and intelligent.
Jenny is known to have a very specific “type”. Tall, thin Jew/Italian, pale skin, dark hair and striking eyes. She jokes that 90% of her exes could be brothers based on appearance. Well, Jackson, he is the Big Brother.
They were both in relationships with other people at the time they met, but this union was in the stars.
Upon disagreeing on some point or another, they engaged in a “Jane Austen” style witty debate and subsequent banter. Nothing says romance like witty debate and banter right?!
As time passed they separated from their respective partners.
Jenny and Jackson shared their first kiss in her parents’ backyard. This kiss marked the beginning of their adventure as a team. What love story is complete without a cross country move? They packed up a Uhaul and headed east. Jackson had only visited NY once before they embarked on a journey that would land them in the big city. Not to be out done, these overachieving love birds accepted an opportunity to cross the pond and live in the UK just one month after arriving in NY. This is where things got real.
Living in the UK, taking on life and this great big world together is where the love transitioned from sweet, superficial, surface level affection to mature, compassionate, substantial love. Always the rebel, Jenny had no interest in marrying. The quintessential Independent Woman was hell bent on maintaining her very own identity- which can make for a precarious union. People in the UK often referred to Jackson as her husband. This is where Jenny first tried out the word, h-u-s-b-a-n-d.
Much to his surprise, Jenny said in no uncertain terms, that if “he wanted to, she wanted to (get married).” Jackson’s Aunt Vicki helped him find “the ring”. He held onto it for months before asking for her hand.
After 1.5 years, their time in the UK had come to an end. They were ready to get back to the states and set up shop in NY again. The winds of serendipity arranged for the same friend they stayed with in the city before to have space yet again. Soon thereafter they were all settled into their own place, the time had come.
Nurturing Jenny was offering her fella some words of encouragement about life and career via Vampire Weekend lyrics. The song, Obvious Bicycle (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANznirklths) , goes a little like this:
So keep that list of who to thank in mind,
And don’t forget the rich ones who were kind,
Oh, you ought to spare your face the razor,
Because no one’s gonna’ spare the time for you.
Why don’t you spare the world a traitor
Take your wager back and leave before you lose.
So listen, Oh,
(Listen, ay hey ay hey ay hey)
So listen, Oh,
(Listen, ay hey ay hey ay hey)
(Don’t wait ay hey ay hey ay hey)
(Don’t wait ay hey ay hey ay hey)
It was immediately apparent that Jackson took the talk as an invitation of a different sort as the look of love appeared in his eyes. Fearless Jenny was suddenly aware of the fear that was materializing inside. A brief internal battle and the summoning of all things bravery allowed her to continue her talk.
She continued, assuring Jackson- there’s no such thing as the perfect moment. At this point the line between professional pep talk and encouraging him to just ask her already had been irreparably blurred. She concluded with saying, “I prefer life, the simpler moments, the human moments.”
Jackson retrieved the box from the drawer and sat on the floor, she on the sofa. He presented the box with no accompanying words.
He eventually asked her a series of three questions, all beginning with, “Do You Want To?”
- Marry me?
- Join me for dinner tomorrow night?
- Spend the day together tomorrow?
The answer, to all of the above, was yes.
The Wedding was perfection, seriously, every detail was perfect. The bride was a vision in her amazing gown and fuchsia pumps. Her makeup and hair- flawless. Jackson looked as good as any magazine model groom in his charcoal suit. Together they were a sight to behold.
Jackson’s cousin Juliana, the Events Manager at The Allan House is nothing short of Freaking Ah-mazing! She and her team executed every detail with precision and grace. After working with them for the better part of the day, it was profound to enter as a guest and see the culmination of these months of collaboration.
I don’t always attend the wedding as a guest, though I’m often invited. This is one I’m forever grateful I was able to accept an invitation to. Being there, among the people who raised them, love and nurture them- family and friends, was a tender reminder of why I love weddings so much. It’s not just a day, an event, a party, a job. This is the day that two people will celebrate their love and commitment with the people who matter most to them. This day was glorious, the flowers were floppy.
If you know me personally there’s no question as to whether or not I was overcome with emotion during the exchange of vows….hell I cried before a word was uttered! I danced to Prince with Jackson’s very kind father. I had amazing conversations with childhood friends, Jenny’s firecracker of a Grandmother, various cousins, aunts and other relations. When the time came for the last song to be played, I decided I should sit this one out and prepare to unload the flowers….aaaaaand then Beyonce’s Drunk Love wicked intro began…so I danced.
Thank you Jenny and Jackson for allowing me to be a part of the magic. I would wish you luck in your lives together, but what for? You have Love.