Oh, I love a good wedding. I love all weddings. What's not to love? Sometimes it's the chance to save up and go somewhere you've never been before, a mini adventure with a big party thrown in.
There is something so poignant about two people, making a stand, in public and declaring 'I choose you, out of everyone there has ever been, you are my special person and we are going to walk into the unknown together'.
I arrive on the day, empty handed, as many of us do since the advent of the Wedding List, so there is nothing unusual, I don't arouse any suspicion, no one guesses that in fact, I am waiting for a moment, when the bride has left her bouquet unattended and the groom has got a bit hot from all his dance floor routines that he HAS to take his jacket off. Then I pounce...stealthily, carefully, like a ninja, disguised as wedding guest.
Sometimes I take a wingman with me, a co-accomplice who I have to carefully brief before the extraction can occur.
|Cuff links for the Father of the Bride, Cari-Jane Hakes, October 2014|
To obtain the leaves for this set of cufflinks I tested out a very young, but willing wingman, only 10 years old. I must say, he excelled in his task of pretending to take pictures of the wedding cake whilst I deftly 'organised' the positioning of the bouquet. At the same time, unbeknown to the packed room of wedding revellers, I lightly caught thin stems between thumb and forefinger, plucking and then concealing a few choice specimens.
With button hole blooms and thistle fronds carefully stashed, our job was done. The rest of the evening spread out before us and we relaxed knowing that another successful 'operation secret wedding present' mission was now complete.
|Button hole blooms from the Mother of the Groom, Cari-Jane Hakes, October 2014|
Once the leaves were pressed and the petals had dried out, retaining a beautiful blush of colour from the special 'Big Day', the hard work began.
Even though no one knows I'm creating these presents, I still feel the pressure of expectation. I have a finite resource. If the leaves don't transfer properly into the silver they are crushed beyond redemption and can't be used again. With these cuff links, the first attempt failed and I held my breath as the second and final leaf made its way through the rolling mill.
|A perfect rose leaf from the wedding bouquet for the bride, Cari-Jane Hakes, October 2014|
The same happened with a rose leaf from the bridal bouquet leaving me with just a small section left. Thankfully it was enough to create this monogrammed necklace for the bride. Just a little something from that special day when two people said 'I do, I do'. A little piece from a beautiful day to wear in the present and walk with into the future.