Photo Challenge, Week 7 – The Beauty of Flowers

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The photo challenge this week from The Studio Sublime was appropriate given the Valentine’s Day holiday. We are to present you with The Beauty of Flowers. Living in Montana and it being February and I can assure you that there are no flowers to be found outside right now. At least none that are living!

I had thought to show photos of my wedding bouquet as my anniversary is next week; I was a somewhat nontraditional bride – I carried silk flowers. They were just coming into vogue way back in 1982 when I walked down the aisle with my love and given that I wed in the doldrums of winter on an island off of New Jersey that was a summer resort destination as opposed to anywhere people would want to be in February fresh flowers were frighteningly expensive.

I was getting married on a budget. A serious budget. My parents didn’t have a lot of money, my husband had just started his law practice and both of us had student loans. I am proud to say that we had a wedding that people STILL remember 31 years later as one of the best parties they ever attended and the whole shebang – my dress included – only cost $2500 for 250 guests with alcohol. (Using an inflation calculator that would be just under $5900 in today’s money – pretty impressive, eh?)

The only thing not in that number is the honeymoon but that is another story altogether.

My bouquet was white roses and purple violets with some live ivy to trail. My mother took the ivy and got it to root. I had the flowers set into an arrangement that sat on my mantle for years until they disintegrated. I had my bridesmaids flowers made into baskets for them to display after the wedding as well.

You can tell it was an 80ies wedding. It was not the kindest era for wedding fashion. Or any fashion for that matter.

Life throws one surprises though and plans don’t always work out as one thinks they will. The hubby and I haven’t really done much for Valentine’s Day for many a year – he would get me a card and I’d cook a special dinner. Something we would not ordinarily eat. This year I bought scallops. Our budget is tight and spending money on silly things like flowers is just not done any longer. The scallops were expensive enough!

But he can surprise me at the oddest times. He went out to ostensibly run an errand and he came home with these….

I know to most they are nothing grand but to me they such a big surprise.
I adore carnations and they last so long. I’ll have them to look at for much longer than roses.

So I give you my Valentine from my love.
Bright, cheery, colorful and unexpected.
He knows I love surprises and this was one that made me smile and is keeping me smiling.
I sit and look at my carnations and think back on 32 Valentine’s Days (we dated for a year – well sort of. He proposed after 6 weeks so was it really dating all that time?) and the memories make me smile all the more.

There is much beauty in flowers.
Especially in Montana in February.
Especially when a complete surprise.
Especially from someone you love who loves you back.
Even a simple carnation.
>52 week badge


  1. says

    What a beautiful post! Carnations were always what my dad gave my mum too. They get a bad rap, but my mum loves them for the same reason, they last and last. I think they are quite pretty! Hope you enjoy another 32 years together – and more

  2. says

    flowers given ‘just because’ are THE best :) we got married on a tight budget too in ’89 – i think you just get more creative if you’ve only got £1000 to spend…

  3. says

    I love carnations!!! I remember in high school you could be a carnation for someone and they would be delivered in class to you. I always thought they were so beautiful especially when they are two different colors. I still love them to this day! I have a bouqet of pink ones my son made years ago for me sitting in my studio.

  4. says

    Surprise flowers are the best! Love your story – thanks for sharing it and the carnations are so beautiful,…I love that they always last so long and they look like pieces of lace all woven together! Not to mention they smell good, too!!

  5. Janet Bocciardi says

    Love the surprise a long time hubby can provide! Carnations are wonderful – great scent and pick up color so you can see them in any color on the wheel. Loved your post.

  6. says

    What a wonderful post! LOVE your back story…and has anyone ever said that your hubby looks like John Denver? I’m dating myself, aren’t I? :-)

  7. says

    Happy Anniversary next week! My wedding flower was actually a red wooden tulip and a wooden green leaf.. also feb flowers on a snowy winter budget! I prefer carnations to roses too because they last so long!

  8. says

    Patty, I love carnations, there colors are always so beautiful and they seem to last longer then other flowers. Beautiful story, my sister got married in the 80’s, I think she wore the same veil that’s in your photo! Her pics are interesting to say the least! :)

  9. says

    Ahhh what a beautiful post and hey and I say that is a great budget for what you did. LOVE the flowers and that he thought to bring you even home a little treat now.

    Sounds like a perfect day that many remember :)

  10. says

    First of all, I’m beyond impressed that you were able to budget your wedding like that! The wedding and 250 guests for $2500!? That’s incredible and unheard of now and days! I think those flowers your hubby brought home to you are beautiful. Honestly, as long as there’s thought behind a gift that’s all that really matters :)

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