Fashion designers may be abuzz about Kate Middleton's wedding dress, but floral designers know it's all about the bouquet. The new princess is already getting major props for going small and tasteful (most expected a cascading, ostentatious Diana-style affair) and for choosing local, seasonal blossoms with sweetly sentimental meanings: Myrtle, for example, is the emblem of marriage -- and the sprigs carried by Kate came from a plant grown from the myrtle used in Queen Elizabeth II's bouquet, who married in1947.
But I'm high-fiving Kate in my head for another reason: The same qualities that make her bouquet so quaint will make it extremely difficult for brides-to-be to replicate her look, especially if they get married during a different season. Hyacinth, a bulb, blooms just once a year; the availability of lily-of-the-valley is similarly limited -- and even then, it's one of the priciest cut flowers on the market due to its delicacy and difficulty to harvest. Can't you just see the potential Bridezilla meltdowns now? What do you mean I can't have lily-of-the-valley?! Kate Middleton had it! You call yourself a florist?! Maybe it's because the bizarrely socially acceptable "but it's MY day!" mentality has always irked me, but I sort of love imagining those bratty bride tantrums.
Most of the other components to Kate's bouquet won't be any easier for wannabe royal copycats to get their hands on. Myrtle has its own quirks. It's common enough -- you might have some in your backyard and not even realize it -- but that's because most of the time, it's just the green leaves that grow. Those cute little white (or purple) flowers only show up for a couple of weeks every spring.
Ivy, on the other hand, ain't the symbol of fidelity for nothing: it's a hearty green that sticks around for a long time and is a cinch to score. Then there's Sweet William, chosen (obviously) in honor of the groom. Compared to the others, Sweet William is more steadily available and sturdily built. I can't help but hope that's a good omen for Kate -- and any other bride who's actually marrying someone named William. In that case, the flower choice wouldn't be a rip-off.
What did you think of Kate's bouquet?
Image via Leo-seta/Flickr