One of the easiest and prettiest ways to combine your and your groom’s cultures, or pay homage to one or the other in ways that work with your wedding vision, is to use the Official Flowers of your families’ countries of origin. You might blend them into your centerpieces, or build your bouquet style around the perfect pairing of your roses and his plum blossoms – with each so meaningful to you and to your families.
You might wish to use these ‘emblem flowers’ in your site décor, such as vases filled with peonies to honor your Chinese roots at your cocktail party, or pedestals displaying dahlias as a floral tribute to your Mexican background. Floral emblems may also be used in the graphics used on your invitations or wedding programs – such as a pretty lily of the valley for your Finnish wedding, or an hibiscus for your Korean wedding.
The options are endless, so here is a starter list of different countries and their national official flowers. (Be aware that many countries’ regions claim their own individual flowers, and that some countries haven’t yet decided on specific flowers to call their own. And while legislation was put into place in 1986 naming the rose as the official flower of the United State, each individual state claims its own official flower.)
Antigua and Barbuda: Dagger Log
Australia: Golden Wattle [Australia has several different state flowers to consider]
The Bahamas: Yellow Elder
Barbados: Pride of Barbados
Belize: Black Orchid
Bhutan: Blue poppy
Bolivia: Kantuta and Patuju
Brazil: Tabebuia Alba
Canada: Maple leaf [And many provinces claim their own emblem f lowers, such as the mayflower, the emblem of Nova Scotia]
People’s Republic of China: Peony, plum blossom and chrysanthemum
Colombia: Cattleya Orchid
Denmark: Red Clover
Dominican Republic: Mahogany Tree Flower
Egypt: Lady Slipper
Ethiopia: Calla lily
Finland: Lily of the Valley
France: Fleur De Lis (Iris)
Greece: Violet and Laurel Branch
Republic of India: Lotus
Jamaica: Lignum Vitae
Japan: Cherry blossom [Not actually official, but the bloom of choice]
Jordan: Black Iris
Malaysia: Chinese Hibiscus
Maldives: Pink Rose
New Zealand: Silver Fern
North Korea: Magnolia
Poland: Corn Poppy
Portugal: Lavender, Sunflower, Red Oak and Carnation
St. Kitts and St. Nevis: Red Royal Poinciana
South Africa: King Protea
South Korea: Hibiscus Syriacus (Rose of Sharon)
Taiwan: Plum Blossom
Trinidad and Tobago: Chaconia
United Kingdom: Tudor Rose or Red Rose [Each region has its own emblem flower, including the Welsh daffodil and the Scottish bluebell, among others.]
Venezuela: Cattleya Orchid
Vietnam: Red Lotus
[Flower IDs were correct at the time of this writing; at any time, regions or countries may choose a different flower.]
We’re so pleased to share with you Anil and Elsa’s wedding highlight video from their big day here at the Westminster Hotel. The entire Westminster Weddings staff looks back on this beautiful celebration with such joy for this wonderful couple, and we wish them every happiness in their future together!
Everyone loves a fabulous wedding bar sign, especially when it’s clever! An ‘invitation to dance’ like the photo above from Etsy will bring a smile to guests’ faces and likely sounds like the fun-loving wedding couple’s sense of humor.
We love a great bar sign at weddings and parties. Guests love them as well, since a beautifully-described cocktail and list of wines, brews and spirits on a gorgeously-made sign is far more enticing than a wedding bar with no sign, leaving guests craning their necks to read the bottles behind the bar.
We invite you to check out our Wedding Bar Sign Pinterest page for ideas and inspiration as you plan your bar list and wedding décor.
We’re so happy to give you a sneak peek at some terrific wedding survey results, courtesy of The Wedding Report’s upcoming Wedding Report Quarterly issue. We know you want to give your wedding guests an amazing experience (we want that, too!) so here are the top ways to spoil your wedding guests, offering them even more than they would expect from such a special day:
The WRQ survey puts the top two ways to give your guests even more in the Drinks category:
- Offer a welcome drink or drink station upon guests’ arrival. (38.3%)
- Offer post-ceremony drinks or drink stations, so that guests can help themselves or be served your signature wedding drinks, a special post-ceremony drink, wine or champagne just after you say your I Do’s. With everyone having a drink in hand, a group toast may be in order! (36.5%)
The survey continues with a mix of gourmet cuisine offerings in your wedding menu, plus more drink options:
3. Offer a larger number of menu options at the cocktail party, including stations, passed hors d’oeuvres and a buffet. (26.2%)
4. Offer late-night bites during the dancing hours, since it may have been a while since dinner. Late-night bites let you treat your guests to even more of our wonderful catering options, and perhaps include some more casual items that didn’t make it into your final picks for your cocktail party or dinner menus…or maybe they did, and guests would just love to see that they get to have more! (22.1%)
5. Offer quick, light bite treats before the ceremony. Why make them wait? (21.3%)
6. Offer multiple signature drinks at the cocktail party. Such as His and Hers drinks, or a variety of cocktail choices. (19.9%)
7. Offer passed desserts in addition to cake and dessert hour options. Guests on the dance floor would love a mini pastry or other sweet treat! (18.3%)
8. Offer amazing entrée options. (15.6%)
9. Offer a food truck outside your venue for guests’ enjoyment as they depart (14.3%)
10. Offer an ice cream bar at the dessert hour. (13.3%)
Talk with our event coordinator and chef about your Westminster Wedding menus and drinks, and create a fabulous experience for all of your guests!
Weddings and tradition go hand in hand, with our modern culture embracing the same symbolic wishes for luck, fortune, fidelity and happiness as brides and grooms from ancient eras. So many of our current wedding elements come from old-world superstitions, with each of them getting a twist to personalize the meaning and style. That’s what’s happening with the well-known tradition of Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue.
You’ve heard the rhyme before, probably with the ‘penny for your shoe,’ and countless brides before you have excitedly planned to have the Old, New, Borrowed and Blue traditions as a part of their wedding preparations. On the morning of her wedding, the bride would be surrounded by her closest and most special female relatives and friends, and they would present her with the four symbolic items representing the Old, New, Borrowed and Blue items. There’s a lot of sentiment in receiving your grandmother’s handkerchief or the same necklace your mother wore on her wedding day, and getting to wear or carry these important heirlooms during the walk down the aisle can make your day all the more meaningful when you’re entrusted with a symbol of family harmony and happiness.
Here’s what Old, New, Borrowed and Blue represent:
Old: This item represents a link to the bride’s family traditions and relationships, culture, religion, her life before this new union with her groom.
New: This brand-new item represents hope, happiness, fortune and success in her new life.
Borrowed: This item is most often one borrowed from a happy bride or a long-married female loved one, bringing the luck and happiness of her marriage as a good luck charm to the bride’s marriage
Blue: Borrowing from some religions’ symbolism, the color blue may represent holiness, purity, fidelity and other wishes for the marriage.
Here are some creative ways to incorporate your Old, New, Borrowed and Blue into your wedding day:
- Jewelry of your mother’s, grandmother’s or other female relative’s that has now been handed down to you as a wedding gift and your Something Old
- The shawl or wrap your mother or grandmother wore at her wedding. More brides are happily accepting the wedding shawl or wrap from their sisters, and even from their mothers- or sisters-in-law.
- Your mother’s, grandmother’s or great-aunt’s wedding day tiara or headpiece and veil.
- An heirloom headband or headpiece to which a new veil has been attached.
- An heirloom charm that is attached to the handle of your bridal bouquet. It might be your mother’s, or it might be yours from when you were a little girl.
- Incorporating an old family tradition into your wedding ceremony or reception, such as a toast, a reading, or a song.
- Incorporating an old cultural tradition, or both of your culture’s marriage traditions, as your ultra-valued Something Old.
- Incorporating family-honored religious or spiritual rituals into your wedding day.
- Marrying at the same church where your parents or grandparents were married.
- Using the same music in your ceremony that your parents had in their wedding ceremonies.
- The jewelry you wear on your wedding day – perhaps a gift from your groom or from your parents
- Your wedding gown
- Your wedding shoes
- The flowers you carry as your bouquet
- A meaningful charm that you and your groom have selected as your first charm in a new collection you’ll start; you’ll attach this charm to your bouquet, then wear it as a pendant, to be joined by future meaningful charms
- The decision not to have the same wedding style or location as everyone else in your family, breaking from tradition to have what you really want for your big day
- The prior bride’s headpiece, tiara or veil [one of the most commonly borrowed items between brides!]
- An heirloom wedding gown, perhaps your grandmother’s or mother’s, given a freshening and perhaps a bit of a restructuring by a qualified seamstress
- The bride’s gloves for a formal wedding
- The bride’s handkerchief, to be carried at the handle under the bouquet
- ‘Borrowing’ the same reading or song from your parents’, grandparents’ or in-laws’ weddings
- Borrowed jewelry, including necklace, earrings or bracelet
- Borrowed jeweled hair clips or jeweled barrettes worn by the prior bride
- A religious medal or symbolic charm that has been in the family for generations
- A pretty wrap or shawl worn by the prior bride
- A pretty bridal purse carried by the prior bride
- The ring pillows used by the prior bride and groom
- A little blue bow on your garter
- A little blue bow sewn into the underside of your train
- A little blue bow sewn into the underside or handle of your bouquet
- An ultra-light blue hem sewn on your veil
- Blue embroidery on your bodice, skirt or train
- Blue toenail polish
- A surprise, blue temporary tattoo on your hip or ankle
- A bit of blue color in the flowers of your bridal bouquet
- At a beach or destination wedding, your Blue could be the color of the ocean
- At an outdoor wedding, your Blue could be the color of the clear, blue sky
- If you have blue eyes, your Blue could be the smile in your eyes
And a Penny For Your Shoe
The traditional ‘penny (or sixpence) for your shoe’ has been a longtime good luck charm to bring fortune, abundance and security to the wedding couple. These days, many brides like to tuck a penny from the year they met their groom or from the year of the wedding into their shoe, so that it’s there for good luck during the ceremony. Then, they remove it during the standing, walking and dancing hours of the reception so that they don’t experience pain or discomfort. That fortune charm penny is tucked away someplace safe, perhaps glued into a scrapbook and otherwise held as a wonderful good luck charm from the wedding day.
These are just some of the delectable desserts that your wedding and party guests can feast on at your unforgettable celebration, ending with your choice of plattered, station or individually-plated desserts. We invite you to come in and talk to our wedding and event planner, meet our chefs and plan the perfect choices for your wedding menu and dessert hour!