The Wild-Flower Wedding: 1898

Gathering Wild Blossoms

Gathering Wild Blossoms

The wild flower wedding is said to bring luck to the bridal pair; their children’s children will rise up to call them blessed. September and October are ideal months for weddings and share their popularity only with June and its wealth of roses. However, while the summer month offers only one flower in abundance, the autumn offers many blossoms, to be had for the picking.

The most beautiful decoration imaginable may be arranged from the small purple and white daisies, golden-rod and Queen Anne’s lace (wild carrot). The abundant rains of this summer insure vigorous and lovely wild flowers, during the next six weeks, and an hour’s trolley ride will place one in the midst of a wonderful crop of them. These will decorate drawing-room or church chancel gracefully and effectively.

It is a fact well worth knowing that the tiny Michaelmas daisy, as it is called in the old country, may be picked and used the day before it is needed and look only the prettier the next noon for its sleep in church or room over night.

Twice the writer has seen an “insider” at weddings where this fact has been proven. They were cut with long stems, and placed in masses over chancel windows, on the cross-beams and wherever the arrangement was most effective. By the next morning the flowers had closed and formed a tiny white bud. The exquisitely dainty effect may be imagined when the reader is told that every window had first been massed with cedar which had been picked in the neighboring woods.

Young light green branches which grew low down and sheltered from the sun were chosen, and left the trees none the worse for the loss of a little underbrush.

The bell which hung over the heads of the happy pair was made of these same flowers over a foundation of wire with asparagus green as a background.

On the wedding morning the more fragile flowers were added to the decorations, but golden-rod in abundance had been freely used the day before.

Just here comes to mind another hint for wild flower decoration, which is to use the drain pipe jars, such as are used for umbrella stands, and are very effective filled with golden rod, daisies and wild carrot.

Most country church societies possess a tent or two used for bazars, strawberry festivals, and the like, and will gladly rent them for a small sum. At the two weddings mentioned the breakfast or luncheon was served in one of them instead of crowding the guests into the house. The bride and groom with their attendants and the bride’s parents stood in the drawing-room only long enough for the company to file by and out into the open air again, offering their congratulations on the way.

After this, with appetites well sharpened, all repaired to the tent, which was forty feet long, the sides looped high and the poles covered with the same green and white decorations so effective in the church.

Many, beautiful garden flowers had been sent, and formed rich and varied coloring on the table, but they certainly had to take second place.

In case of a city wedding it would scarcely be possible to use wild flowers in the abundance described above, for a large haywagon was pressed into service to carry the golden-rod and greens for these occasions, but a basket trunk, with its contents lightly pressed down and damp cotton on top and bottom, will hold a surprising amount of material. But why not be bolder still, and charter a cart, such as is used to peddle fruit? Its owner will be made happy, while a merry party helps him to fill it with the most beautiful load imaginable.

Brides of today are too scientific to place any value upon signs, but there is no harm in the knowledge that a wild flower wedding is said to insure for bride and groom a long and happy life, with children and grandchildren to rise up and call them blessed.

New England Florist, Volume 4: 1898 p. 381

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Mrs Daffodil does not like to suggest that the editorial staff of New England Florist was paltering with the truth, but the notion of a wild-flower wedding being lucky does not appear in Notes & Queries or other standard folk-lore reference works. Still, newly-invented “fake-lore” or not, it is a charming thought and might prove popular with those people who are forever clambouring about things being “green.” Mrs Daffodil will tactfully not mention the old rhyme:  “Married in green, ashamed to be seen.”

Of course, the reality of the thing might prove rather different:

How lovely would a wild-flower wedding be—in theory! Wood anemones make an ideally-poetic ornament, but they are too fragile for practical purposes. Harebells shrink and shrivel almost immediately they are gathered. Even the sturdy foxglove droops it head within an hour, and the primrose lolls and lounges on its slender stalk like a delicate lady. A sunflower and hollyhock wedding would do for the Kilmanseggs of this world. The race is far from extinct, and loves the grand and gaudy as much as ever it did in the days of Hood the greater. [The reference is to Miss Kilmansegg and Her Golden Leg, by Thomas Hood.] We might have fruit weddings, and very pretty they would be for brides and bridegrooms who have reached the autumn of life; and for some weddings we wot of, winter berries would form a neat and fitting accompaniment. Truth, Volume 10, 1881: p. 722

golden rod

Mrs Daffodil would recommend that if golden-rod has been brought in by the wagon-load, as suggested by New England Florist, those wedding guests or members of the bridal party who are sensitive to its pollen, might wish to carry several pocket-handkerchiefs.

For a look at more conventional bridal flowers, (or “abnormal greenhouse products,” as a wild-flower fancier described them in 1892), see “Flowers a Bride Should Carry: 1902.”

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.



One thought on “The Wild-Flower Wedding: 1898

  1. Pingback: Mrs Daffodil on Flowers | Mrs Daffodil Digresses

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