I got married six and a half years ago. The day of Hurricane Earl, to be exact. In the middle of my bouquet, was a live plant. An African violet. They were in all the bouquets and featured as centrepieces on the tables. We had a wedding planner, and she put things all together for us. We made as much as we could ourselves, but our families do not live in Fredericton, so we wanted someone else to decorate and have things ready for us.
Our parents on both sides were skeptical. They didn’t want us wasting money for a professional, and they weren’t sure it was necessary. I don’t know what we would have done without her! I arrived at the church and she wrapped me up and ran me into the building without the weather ruining my wedding dress. A true miracle worker!
My mom and mother in law helped with the favours. We made them ourselves. They turned out cute as a button!
They held the nice chocolates you get from Costco. We put both light and dark chocolates in each one. I worked on those squares off and on for years when I picked my colours. When it came down to the night before the wedding, my mom took on the final push to get them all ready. It was an impressive little army of teddy bears when they were done.
When it came to planning the wedding, like a lot of things in my life, I decide on what I want, and then I go for it. I made up my mind about the African violet bouquet and searched the city until I found a florist that would make it happen. I found the pattern for the favours the same way. I decided I liked the idea and worked on making them. When I found my dress, I didn’t even try any dresses on at any stores. I found THE pic of THE dress in a magazine, after going through hundreds of magazines with thousands of pictures. I then approached a local seamstress, and she worked her magic. She did a beautiful job of making a wedding dress for me. Doing the things you can for your wedding makes it more economical, and gives it your own personal touch. Local businesses like printers, bakeries, seamstresses, florists and wedding planners benefit from your special day and make the effort to do right by you, so you recommend them to your friends. It is what they do. Not everyone has that luck with their vendors, but we had that part covered with the wedding planner. The only thing she didn’t handle was the weather, and we still had a lovely wedding. It was memorable.
Back to the bouquet, this is a picture of the trial run. We had several African Violets on all the tables, and by the end of the reception, they had all been sent with guests to new homes. All but one. Mine. I got a throwing bouquet and kept my own. I took it apart within a few days and saved the heather, which dried nicely and lives in my guest room, in a vase, on a decorative shelf. I replanted the violet. It grew to quite a size in the first few years, and then it started to fade. As long as I am alive, I want that plant to live. It symbolizes so much. It is a living memory of the most important day of my life. Like a marriage, it needs to be cared for and nurtured. I have it in a good place in my kitchen, now, and it is making a comeback. I thought it was a goner a while ago. So I took some time, found it a new place to live, and it is starting to thrive again. I turn it when it leans towards the sun, and keep turning it every so often, just like watering it. I don’t have a schedule, I just keep an eye on it, and if it seems a little wilted, I give it water.
I was pleasantly surprised this week when my husband announced there were flowers growing on it again. He has a greener thumb than I do, so he keeps an eye on all of our plants. His Christmas cactus is huge. I call it the Green Monster. It is also blooming for the second time this winter. That plant is over 20 years old. Someone asked me how old it was the other day. I couldn’t really believe it was that old, but it is. That is a chair behind it, in case you are trying to judge how large it is.
What’s my point with this? Well, to put it simply, if you take the time to care for your African violet, it may not always thrive, but with the right amount of nurturing, just like anything in life, it will bloom when the time is right. It gives me great joy to see the next group of flowers reaching for the sun, and gives me hope that my marriage will continue to blossom also.
Update: I am currently amazed at the number of flowers on my African Violet. The pic below was taken on June 4, 2017.
It is the same plant as the one in the first pic in this story. It is still making me smile!