Royal Wedding, The Bouquet

I love Kate’s bouquet for many reasons. I love that you can actually she her waist and the bouquet is small enough that it is the accent rather than the focal point. I am not a fan of a massive bouquet where you cannot even see the dress…or the bride. I attended a wedding once where the bride looked topless. Why? She carried the bouquet far too high (let your arms rest on your hip bones) but also it was too large for her size 0 frame.

What are my other two reasons for loving her bouquet? Tradition. She carried flowers that had been used in other royal weddings. Brides rarely want to wear than mother’s gown but they could copy this idea and carry the same flowers. I really like that idea.

Finally, Kate opted to follow the meaning of the flowers. Did you know that flowers have meaning? I haven’t heard of this tradition being followed in years but I do enjoy the significance. According to the official royal wedding website, Kate chose her bouquet to include:

  • Lily-of-the-valley – Return of happiness
  • Sweet William – Gallantry
  • Hyacinth – Constancy of love
  • Ivy: Fidelity; marriage; wedded love; friendship; affection
  • Myrtle: the emblem of marriage; love

What’s your favorite wedding tradition?

In the October 2010 issue of InStyle, celebrities were asked “What’s your favorite wedding tradition?”

“I loved not seeing her that day until we saw each other during the ceremony.”
— Ellen DeGeneres

“Brides tend to forget to wear something blue. I had a little blue ribbon sewn into my dress that I really loved.”
— Ashlee Simpson- Wentz

“The toasts! Sometimes they’re funny or inappropriate. You’re like, “Wow, maybe you don’t want to share that with 150 people.”
— Kate Walsh

“Well, I’m Mexican, so we have a lot of them. I love the lasso in Catholic ceremonies. It’s basically a rosary that they put around the bride and the groom.”
— Eva Longoria Parker

The article really struck me because it took me awhile to have a favorite wedding tradition. I absolutely love the anniversary dance and am thrilled to see it slowly replacing the bridal bouquet toss. I rather celebrate marriage at any wedding.

What is your favorite tradition?

Real Wedding: Liz + Calvin, The Evening

Yesterday, I posted about Liz and Calvin’s wedding day. Today, I am going to post about the rest of the evening.

After a few hours on the town, the couple came back to the Stardust Suite to rest up and have a few drinks before the ceremony.

The room was dimly lit for a romantic feel. The decor was done by A Perfect Event.

The groom, Calvin, is Hawaiian. To celebrate his culture, the couple wore leis. After being pronounced husband and wife, Calvin moved the flower behind Liz’s right ear to her left ear, signaling that she is married woman.

In lieu of a traditional guest book, the couple had a framed Cubs jersey for everyone to sign. It was quite the hit!

The couple opted to have a Suite Table.

The gorgeous centerpieces. I love that the candles were up high so that they did not interfere with the guests from talking across the table.

Below is a close-up of the centerpiece. It’s modern yet romantic with all of that warm lighting from the pillars.

Liz’s Dad, Ira, cut the Challah and said a prayer.

The couple had a delicious Candy Buffet with bags for guests to take some home as a favor.

The couple cut their cake after the salad course. The cake table was decorated with the bridesmaids bouquets.

After dinner, the couple had their first dance to “Better When We’re Together” by Jack Johnson.

At around 11PM, the Allegro brought out some late night snacks to feed the hungry crowd.

A really cute ring shot!
Thank you so much for letting me be apart of your wedding day!


I have had a few requests for how to perform a handfasting ceremony. Below is the exact wording and actions that happened. If you have any questions, please post a comment!

Declaration of Intent. A Scottish Hand Fasting Ceremony

Officiant: Know now before you go further, that since your lives have crossed in this life, you have formed ties between each other. As you seek to enter this state of matrimony, you should strive to make this real, the ideas that give meaning to both this ceremony and the institution of marriage.

Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?

Groom and Bride: We do.

Officiant: Groom and Bride, I bid you look into each other’s eyes.

Groom, will you cause Bride pain?

Groom: Yes

Officiant: Is that your intent?

Groom: No.

Officiant: Bride, will you cause Groom pain?

Bride: Yes.

Officiant: Is that your intent?

Bride: No.

Officiant: Will you share each other’s pain, and seek to ease it?

Bride + Groom:: Yes

Officiant: And so the binding is made. Join your hands.

(Place first cord across couple’s hands)

Officiant: Bride, will you share Groom’s laughter?

Bride: Yes

Officiant: Groom, will you share Bride’s laughter?


Officiant: Will you look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other?

Groom and Bride: Yes

Officiant: And the binding is made.

(Place second cord across the couple’s hands)

Officiant: Groom, will you burden Bride?

Groom: Yes

Officiant: Is that your intent?

Groom: No

Officiant: Bride, will you burden Groom?

Bride: Yes.

Officiant: Is that your intent?

Bride: No.

Officiant: Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?

Groom and Bride: Yes

Officiant: And so the binding is made.

(Drape the third cord across the couple’s hands)

Officiant: Bride, will you share Groom’s dreams?

Bride: Yes,

Officiant: Groom, will you share Bride’s dreams?

Groom: Yes.

Officiant: Will you dream together to create new realities and hopes?

Groom and Bride: Yes

Officiant: And so the binding is made.

(Drape the fourth cord across couple’s hands.)

Officiant: Groom, will you cause Pam anger?

Groom: Yes

Officiant: Is that your intent?

Groom: No.

Officiant: Bride, will you cause Groom anger?

Bride: Yes.

Officiant: Is that your intent?

Bride: No.

Officiant: Will you take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union?

Groom and Bride: Yes.

Officiant: And so the binding is made.

(Drape the fifth cord across the couple’s hands.)

Officiant: Bride, will you honor Groom?

Bride: Yes.

Officiant: Groom, will you honor Bride?

Groom: Yes.

Officiant: Will you make every effort to keep that honor intact?

Groom and Bride: Yes

Officiant: And so the binding is made.

(Drape sixth cord across couple’s hands)

(Pick up the cords, tie them in a knot.)

Officiant: This binding ceremony reminds us how your lives are held together, not by these cords, but by your vows. For these cords may be dropped without real harm, but the making or breaking of your union depends on how you maintain the vows you have made with each other today. May you be blessed to do so.

M+D: Our Ceremony

For couples that are designing their ceremony, it can be really overwhelming as well as challenging. We spent a lot of time planning our ceremony. We opted to customize the entire ceremony to reflect us as a couple. Nothing reflected our personalities more than our ceremony. One of the ways we did that was through music.


Since we are both big fans of street musicians, we had a saxophone player greet the guests as they arrived at the hotel. I found the musician, Mike, while I was picking up jewelry from Tiffany’s on Michigan Avenue. He was excellent!


Since I love String Quartets, we splurged to have them play for a full half hour before the ceremony so that the guests could enjoy the musicians. As a wedding coordinator, I know that there are always those few guests that arrive early.

Our fabulous string quartet, Accolade Musicians

Just as I had anticipated, there were some early guests.

Bridal Party Processional

The first bridesmaid heads down the aisle. It was exactly as I had envisioned.

Bridal Processional

My song choice was absolutely perfect. I love this song even more when performed by a string quartet. I’m very happy with our decision to use non-traditional songs. Everytime I hear it on the radio, I think of walking down the aisle.


The guests were greeted by our Officiant. Bridget is a friend of ours that we had ordained online.

Bride’s Reading

I chose “I Carry Your Heart” by ee cummings. It was read by my oldest neice, Ashlynn. When I was in the early stages of wedding planning, we sat in Border’s reading wedding magazines. I mentioned that it was my favorite poem, and she told me that it was hers too. I couldn’t have been more pleased that my once shy neice read our favorite poem.

Scottish Handfasting

As I have mentioned in a previous post, we opted to have a Scottish Handfasting during our ceremony. We included a detailed explanation in our programs.

Groom’s Reading

Love sonnet xvii by Pablo Neruda was chosen by Denton. Part of the reason that he chose the poem, other than enjoying it very much, was that we visit Pablo Neruda’s home in Santiago, Chile. It seemed fitting for the occasion. Denton chose his former roommate and fraternity brother as his reader.

Exchange of Wedding Vows

As I had mentioned in a previous post, we wrote our own vows. It was important for us to express how we really felt. My husband’s vows were so much better than mine!

Exchange of the Rings

Pronouncement of the Couple

It was the most romantic kiss.


I will follow up with the details tomorrow.

Tying the Knot – Scottish Handfasting

My FI and I wanted to incorporate traditions into our ceremony. Since he is Scottish, we have decided to do a handfasting during the ceremony.

Ever wondered where the term “Tie the Knot” came from? Handfasting!

History of Handfasting:

The very word Handfasting derived its origin from the wedding custom of tying or hitching the bride and groom’s hands or actually their wrists together, as a symbol to their clan, tribe or village of their decision to be bound together in family living. The traditional length of time was a year and a day, or 13 moon cycles. If the marriage proved to last over this period of time, then the vows would be renewed for a life time or they renewed them for “as long as love shall last”.

My fiance and I will agree to a set of commitments and then our hands will be fasted with the Cunningham tartan.

We considered the idea of having him wear a kilt. Instead, he is going to buy a tux. It seems much more practical to buy a piece of formal wear that he can rewear.

Has anyone ever seen a Scottish handfasting ceremony? I have not but am excited to participate in the tradition.