Friday, July 10, 2009

Painterly flowers and armfuls of scented lilac.....

I was visiting one of my favourite blogs the other day, An Aesthetes Lament, where he did a little post about Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall's wedding headpiece. Though I remember how elegant I thought she looked that day, I was probably more focused on and completely charmed by her bouquet. Her flowers consisted of auriculas (English primroses) in unusal shades of greys, creams and golds, mixed with clusters of lily of the valley. It was so classical and chic. And from what I recall the flowers had been grown at Highgrove (The Prince's country home). How romantic.

Shane Connolly was the designer behind The Duchess's bouquet. His book on wedding flowers has always been one of my favourites. So, when I was reminded of the Duchess' wedding, I found myself pouring through his book again for the first time in a long time.

One wedding in particular stole my heart. It's titled fete champetre. I love it still -- ten years later.

Is this not the most wonderful setting for the croquembouche under a circular garland of lilac in shades of lavender and amethyst ?

And these ? An avenue of lilac garlands suspended from beribboned birch poles. Divine.

The bride, the flower girl and the pageboy

The flowers? Auriculas (like Camilla's), parrot tulips, jasmine, hellebores and vines.

I love, love how the flower girl and the bride share a garland rather than the their own bouquets ! It's so exquisite.

Shane's description "18th century ladies often used flowers in place of jewelry to adorn themselves. This brooch corsage manages to preserve modesty and make a novel alternative to a bouquet when worn with a sensual and elaborate dress. Love the fritallarias. Gorgeous!

Because the bride isn't carrying a bouquet, Shane has enbellished her hair with flowers.

The Maid of Honour wears a gorgeous headdress of auriculas, hellebores and jasmine. How very Jane Austin!

The guest tables consist of baroque tulips, lilacs and sprigs of whitebeam displayed in upturned straw sunhats. So charming.


  1. Yes I agree. I can see why ten years later it still speaks to you. It is timeless and picture perfect!

  2. How utterly intoxicating those photos are! "Fetes champetres" must be in the air...I'm so glad you pointed me to your post...Thank you for a lovely feast for the eyes! xx

  3. Oh you are simply making me swoon...lilacs are one of my favorite flowers of all time, and those may pole like posts are just perfect. And I have quite the soft spot for croquembouche and I adore the idea of a garland as well...these are truly unique ideas!

  4. Pure perfection.
    Just magical artistry for a wedding.
    Can you just imagine the fragrance of all those lilacs? Divine.

  5. Jacqueline, isn't it wonderful how some things only get better as time passes ?

    Lisa, Thank you for visiting. Your blog is totally inspiring!

    Laura, I love that lilacs are only available for a few short weeks. It makes them that much more special. And yes, aren't the may poles a great idea ? Thank you so much for visiting!

    Pamela Terry: I agree. I would love to be a guest at this wedding. But as you may know timing is everything with lilacs.... a brief window of two weeks and's over ! By the way, I find your blog so inspiring.



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