May 25, 2011

{Your Wedding Crown}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
Even if your wedding gown is new, it has roots in the past. Today’s bridal “ball gown” styles borrow from thousands of years of fashion design. So you may be wearing a style of gown inspired from something worn by a queen or empress or even a goddess.

Feeling “regal” as a bride is part of your natural inheritance. No wonder that tiaras—elegance borrowed from another time—remain a favorite bridal headpiece today. Throughout history, there have been wedding ceremonies that “crown” the bride and groom, like in the Russian or Greek Orthodox services, symbolizing the “royal” blessings of their wedding day. Undeniably, your wedding costume brings out a bit of princess fantasy—like a little girl playing “dress up”—and combines it with something grown-up and royal like the beautiful goddess you are!

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

[Photograph: Laurie Lambrecht]

May 18, 2011

{Does This Path Have a Heart?}

Dear Bride-to-Be: This may sound a bit strange to say, but when you're planning your wedding, remember it's all about the love! Yes, there's the dress and the cake and the band and the flowers and the shoes and the vows and the list goes on. There are scads of "things" to be included and make decisions about.

But remember, that's only the "stuff" -- the trappings of the wedding. It's easy to get so caught up with the "things" that you lose your connection to your relationship, your family, your friends -- your focus on the love that brought all of this together. And a wedding that's been planned without the open heart of inclusion is a wedding where intimacy is missing.

“Weddings are increasingly notable for their amazing lack of intimacy, their evolution into industry,” NPR commentator Jacki Lyden stated in her story, “Spectacle of Matrimony,” leading up the wedding of Chelsea Clinton in the summer of 2010. Speaking about weddings in our celebrity-driven, appearance crazed culture, she explained how “they’ve evolved into must-haves and appointment-list mega-spectacles.”

But Chelsea's wedding -- a large, celebrity-list affair -- as well as the recent wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton -- an even larger, celebrity-list and royal affair -- were intimate, deeply personal expressions of love and relationship. Grand and regal, yes; however, you could feel the love and intimacy, the sense of relatedness, and the open-hearted connections throughout the celebration.

So it's not about the size of the wedding; we see that large weddings can be intimate and tender. It's all about you opening your heart (to everyone) and have your love come first in all the decisions you make. Keep this quote at your wedding planning fingertips: "Look at every path closely … then ask yourself one question: Does this path have a heart?"

Love. Listen. Let go.
....with love from Cornelia

[Top Photograph: Genevieve de Manio]

May 11, 2011

{Set the World on Fire}

Dear Bride-To-Be:
The words of a wedding -- whether from ancient texts, or poetic literature, or something composed by you and your partner -- can set the pace for not only a moving and tender ceremony, but also for a marriage of deep commitment and love.

This is how the Lord Bishop of London opened his address last month at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Elizabeth Middleton. Quoting St. Catherine of Siena, he shared: Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire. Then added that "marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and truest selves."

Choose words for your wedding that call forth your "deepest and truest" self; that remind you each day to "seek to bring one another into fuller life;" and that "move you toward your partner in love" in every moment, no matter the circumstances.

You don't have to have your wedding in a thousand year-old cathedral to stir your soul or "set the world on fire." But a start for such passion is to choose words that show you are "committed to the way of generous love."  

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

[Read the entire text of the Right Reverend Richard Chartres' message posted on my blog, End of the Fairy-Tale Bride.]

May 4, 2011

{Language of Flowers}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
One of my favorite parts of the recent beautiful royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was the couple's choice of "organic and local" themed flowers and other botanical features inside the Abbey -- all with a romantic and old-fashioned touch as well.

With a nod to the Language of Flowers, Kate selected a small bouquet design (a "shield-shaped" wired confection) of mixed delicate white and cream flowers and greenery. The flowers were chosen for their meaning and significance to both families:

~ Lily-of-the-valley signifies a return to happiness.
~ Hyacinth means constancy of love.
~ Sweet William stands for gallantry (and, of course, was added to celebrate the groom!)
~ Ivy is for fidelity.
~ Myrtle is also a Victorian symbol for fidelity as well as having close connections to goddess mythology. Kate's sprigs came from the "royal myrtles" at Fulham Palace in London, grown from cuttings from the wedding bouquet of Queen Victoria, William's great-great-great grandmother.

"In a sense, every wedding is a 'royal' wedding," the Lord Bishop of London declared to the world in Westminster Abbey at the grand, yet deeply personal wedding ceremony. So as a bride, wherever your wedding, not only are you regal and "royal," but you can use the precious and intimate language of flowers that was dear to a future queen on her wedding day.  

Love. Listen. Let go.
....with love from Cornelia