27 October 2014

Liz got married...

I'm so happy to share my niece Elizabeth's October 4th wedding with readers. She and her now husband, ADAM, traveled from their home in California, to their once homes in Tennessee in the last days of September to organize the final details of their wedding that took place at Frozen Head State Park. Their families are in Tennessee, and North Carolina, so the pair accommodated them by planning a cross country wedding event. Liz had a firm spreadsheet to keep them organized, as they did all of the planning-and executing, with some help from friends and family.

Liz is definitely a child of summer, she was born on the summer solstice-June 21st, so an early fall wedding was the best she could do in order to work everyone's scheduling out. The pair previewed the park in July. Their wedding day was beautiful, clear, after a day of rain, sometimes torrential, and yes-it was cold. It was easy to guess the "locals," dressed in coats, lots of good looking parkas, scarves-gloves even, and one fur coat that I spotted (the official photographer). Though the sun was out, it was struggling to reach through the dense canopy of leaves-for the most part still green. (temp about 47 degrees)

I was impressed. Liz, who often walks around in sweaters year round, walked down the path to the park amphitheatre where the ceremony was held in her sleeveless dress. Though I'd suggested a sleeve earlier in the planning, she was firm about her choice, and braved the cold.

The bride wore a simple lace sheath dress made in Italy with an antique overskirt of muslin, circa 1850 (the something Old, something New). The dress was accessorized with a custom made diamond necklace- a graduation present from me & my brother (her father), and Carelle diamond earrings (the something Borrowed from me). The Blue came in the form of a brilliant blue silk velvet Edwardian era jacket of mine with lots of ruching & padding, later it was a gift to the bride!

Liz's talented neighbor where she grew up made a beautiful wedding cake, vanilla creme icing, and carrot cake.

The groom's cake made by another friend of the bride & groom-
a Buche de Noelle cake- smothered in meringue mushrooms

I did all the flowers for the day, including the bride's bouquet. 
Other than adding some blue, a request from the bride, all of the flowers were white.

 Lamb's Ear and Stock

bridesmaid's bouquets 
white Roses, blue Delphiniums, Stock, and Baby's Breath

the bride's bouquet 
white Roses, white Ranunculus, blue Delphiniums, Queen Anne's Lace, Baby's Breath

Flower arrangements of Roses, Lamb's Ear, and Baby's Breath for the tables were interspersed with sprays of Rosemary, Poet's Laurel, Passion Flower Vine, and Salal.

Flowers in large pine cone urns at the end of the bridal path were made of Erynguim, Queen Anne's Lace, Feverfew, Bupleurum, and Mistflower. I traveled up to Tennessee with a virtual garden in the rear view mirror. All of the Poet's Laurel, Rosemary, Lamb's Ear, Passion Flower Vine, and Mistflower came from my garden.

Four large arrangements in pine cone urns, and rusted iron urns for bridal paths and amphitheatre stage where the ceremony was held.

(note the rustic tree branch propping up the rustic pine cone urn)

tokens from the bride & groom.

A Straight Line is not Always the Shortest Distance between Two Points:

"We met sometime around 2001, we think. Always being in the same place at the same time, around the same friends, we don't actually remember the precise moment we met. However, the first thing that Liz remembers Adam actually saying to her is: "I have a sister in Chattanooga, who I think you would really get along with." He was right. 
We really didn't become what you'd call truly close friends until we began to play music together, about eight years ago.
Over the years, no matter if living in different cities, we stayed close friends, and began dating in the fall of 2012. And only good things have followed.  Over the past year and a half, adventures have been one of our primary focuses in life. We have tried to see most corners of California, including the far edges of Nevada and Oregon." (from the wedding site written by the bride & groom)


 the groom hand-printed their invitations on a Vandercook 4 Letterpress at San Francisco Center for the Book.

 the bride making some repairs to her antique overskirt

the harvest of flowers before the wedding

(the website devoted to their travels, here )

Liz and Adam are both graphic designers living and working in Oakland & San Francisco

When Elizabeth and I first discussed plans for what they wanted, she mentioned (having always loved the hymn,) Simple Gifts, that she wanted her wedding to reflect these sentiments . The song was first written in 1848 by Shaker elder, Joseph Brackett. In so many ways this expresses their own belief in what is best & enduring in Life.
Aaron Copland took the melody from the hymn for his Appalachian Spring scored for Martha Graham's ballet by the same name. Nothing is more beautiful than to hear this tune & ponder the depth and simplicity of Brackett's words. Copland's last passage of the melody is one of his finest to hear...
'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come 'round right


  1. thanks for sharing such a special event--love is all around

    1. Marilyn, it was a beautiful day. Liz has definitely found her better half. so happy for her.

  2. I don't think it could have been a prettier wedding. What a perfect day. What a perfect aunt.

  3. Oh Gaye - A WHOLE LOTTA LOVE - is in this couple. Their Blue Aura! To have begun their nesting within a woodland setting, both in shimmering blue cloaking them in warmth...and of course YOUR magical spun florals...A Blessing ALL shared in amongst the dew and leaves - a botanists dream...

  4. So very beautiful. Your niece and you seem to have aesthetics that aligned wonderfully.

  5. What a beautiful bride! and what a handsome couple they make! The understated and quite lovely flower arrangements are in perfect harmony with the bride and everything else we see here. My guess is the groom knows how lucky a man he is and my other guess is that it was remarked more than once how the beautiful bride resembles her talented Aunt PGT....I know I'm right on both counts!

  6. Such a lovely wedding and and the flowers are amazing. I love that you used things from your own garden, I think that makes it so special and enjoy doing the same myself. Thanks so much for sharing this occasion!

  7. Gaye what a wondrous wedding and your floral designs made it very special indeed. The blue velvet ruched jacket will be treasured by your niece for years to come, just as the memories of this day!

    The Arts by Karena

  8. Hello Gaye, I haven't visited in awhile, what a delight to stop by in time for Liz's wedding! The photos are stunning, she and Adam look like they just stepped out of (and into!) a fairy tale--the setting, the gown, the flowers! Just lovely. Thanks for sharing such a special event. Many blessings to the newlyweds!



  9. PGT - This is just so charming! It should be the inspiration for any wedding for the very simple reason the couple seem to have married for the right reasons, and not for some pre-packaged wedding.

    All the very best to them in their new status together.

  10. thanks to all for the lovely comments, I've added a postscript to this story-I hope you will take a moment to go back and read it and listen to the Copland passage I've embedded from you tube. xo PGT

    1. that song is so Aaron Copland and lovely!!!

  11. A beautiful presentation of family, flowers and their sustaining music, PGT.



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