Simple, natural flowers were the tone for the Royal wedding with Lily of the valley everywhere.
Ferndale Farm near Illogan received an order for over 600 stems of fragrant lily of the valley flowers and they took centre stage in Catherine’s bouquet as well as adorning the hair of her bridesmaids and sister Phillipa, who carried off her role as maid of honour with elegance and grace.
Brother, James Middleton wore a simple few sprigs of lily of the valley as a button hole, a refreshing change from carnations and roses.
The Bridal Bouquet
A shield-shaped wired bouquet of myrtle, lily-of-the-valley, sweet william and hyacinth, designed by Shane Connolly, draws on the traditions of
flowers of significance for the Royal Family, the Middleton family and on the Language of Flowers.
The flowers’ meanings in the bouquet are:
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.
The bouquet contains stems from a myrtle planted at Osborne House, Isle of Wight, by Queen Victoria in 1845, and a sprig from a plant grown from the myrtle used in The Queen’s wedding bouquet of 1947.
A traditional sprig of Myrtle from the Royal tree was included in the bridal bouquet but apart from that it was a very simple, moderate posy reflecting Catherine’s country tastes.
Flowers were also reflected in the style and detail of Catherine Middleton’s dress, designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen and made from white and ivory satin gazar.
The dress design pays tribute to the Arts and Crafts tradition, which advocated truth to materials and traditional craftsmanship using simple forms and often Romantic styles of decoration. The simple but elegant cut of the dress hinted at a medieval style, with intricate embellishment adding a distinctive, contemporary and feminine character.
The hand engineered lace appliqué for the bodice and skirt was made by the Royal School of Needlework, using the Carrickmacross lace-making technique, which originated in Ireland in the 1820s. Individual flowers were hand-cut from lace and hand-engineered onto ivory silk tulle to create a unique and organic design, incorporating the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock.
A trim of hand-embroidered flowers edged the soft, ivory silk, tulle veil, held in place by a Cartier ‘halo’ tiara, lent to Miss Middleton by The Queen.
Within Westminster Abbey, the eight trees softened the architecture to give a natural feel and the displays of white flowers containing, lilac, hydrangea, blossom, solomon’s seal and wisteria were centered on and around the high altar.
Shane Connolly, the floral designer ensured that the displays looked natural and elegant, as the couple had wished.
Official Royal wedding website – Read more about the dresses and floral displays.