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A selection from the many Agony Aunt Columns written for local magazines...

Click here to view a sample from 'Your Wedding' March 2008


I would love my 3 year old niece to be my flower girl but she says she doesn't want to carry flowers! Any suggestions?

What about a basket of petals for her to throw? This is more fun than a posy of flowers and a responsible job to make her feel extra important. Alternatively, try making a favourite teddy bear a matching bridesmaids outfit - very cute!


I really liked your suggestions last time for the flower girl who wouldn't carry flowers! Do you have any alternative suggestions for favours?


Yes - loads! Although 5 sugared almonds are the traditional favours (representing health, wealth, happiness, long life, and fertility) so many people don't like almonds and I must have seen literally hundreds left on dining tables in my 11 years as a consultant. Here is a list of alternatives which guests are sure to take home!


Alcoholic miniatures, lottery tickets, flower seeds, chocolates, personalised key rings / pens / candles / bottle stoppers / golf balls / shot glasses or CD's of the Bride and Grooms favourite songs (watch out for copyright issues), hanging crystals, semi precious stones (such as rose quartz to represent love), miniature picture frames / lanterns / vases, chocolate name tags (to double as place cards), engraved champagne flutes or pocket angels! For children try miniature teddy bears, activity packs (crayons, paper, puzzles etc to keep them occupied during the speeches), jigsaws, jellybeans, beach balls (outside use only!) bubbles (good for the photographs) flower bulbs or seeds or a book!


I have been discussing my wedding flowers with my Mum who is not happy that I have chosen lilies as she says they are associated with death!! I thought you just chose flowers you liked but Mum says there is more to it than that. Can you help?


Oh dear! Lilies have, in the past been known as death flowers but I am sure it is because of their strong scent more than anything (used to cover up unpleasant odours!). A lot of flowers carry 'traditional' meanings, originating mainly from Victorian times, although younger generations (such as myself) are not as aware of this and would have to look up the meanings to be sure.


In ancient times, strong smelling herbs and spices were carried on wedding days to ward off evil spirits, bad luck and ill health. Flowers were introduced more commonly in Victorian times when lovers would send messages to each other using different flowers, for example carnations would be sent to show fascination and love and violets to symbolise faithfulness. Here is a list of the more common wedding flowers:


Lily - purity and chastity

Tulip - love

Gardenia - joy

Carnation - fascination and love

Daffodil - regard, chivalry and a sunny marriage

Ivy - good luck, eternal fidelity, happiness, friendship

Daisy - innocence

Ferns - fascination and sincerity

Honeysuckle - generosity

Sweet Pea - delicate pleasures

Violet - faithfulness

Roses (generally) - romance, love, happiness and beauty

Red rose- love

Yellow rose - friendship

Dark pink rose - thankfulness

Pale pink rose - grace

White rose- innocence

Peach rose- modesty


I have seen many Brides over the years choose lilies - they are also one of my favourite flowers. Don't be put off by your Mum. Let her know the traditional meaning is 'purity' and 'chastity' and she may not be so concerned. However, do remember lily dust is lethal and a good florist will always remove the stamen to prevent accidents! Good Luck!

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