Bride Elect (Evolution of a Bridezilla)
Chapter Seventeen—Bridal Bouquet Shopping
Prior to my engagement, I was teased by the adage “always a bridesmaid, never a bride”. I had been a bridesmaid four times prior to my engagement (twice I was maid of honour), and during this tenure, I observed that bridal flowers were one of the more stressful elements of the actual wedding day. Fresh flowers are gorgeous and fragrant. They are also nowhere near as hardy as they are expensive. Moreover, selecting wedding flowers often requires an in-person consult weeks, sometimes months, prior to the wedding day.
I was very disinclined to use fresh flowers. I did not have the budget to travel to the BC Interior to shop around for a florist, nor did I want to travel across the prairies in the heat of summer with tender little bridal blossoms packed tightly along all of our other stuff in our car. Also, I really did not want to be swatting at wasps while in all my goddess bridal glory. Silk flowers were lovely, but nothing I saw really seemed to scream “goddess bride”. Then, I found a genius!
Once upon a time in Winnipeg there was this lady named Stella, and she had a bridal shop. Life twisted and turned for her, and as it did so, she sold her bridal shop. Life kept twisting and turning, and Stella actively sought her next venture. Before she knew it, Stella had found it: KaTon Giovi Designs. In addition to amazing jewellery, Stella also makes something called “crystal bouquets”. She combines silk flowers, blossoms made of beads, and Saworksi Crystals ™ to make breathtaking bouquets—in an understated word: genius! One visit to her website, http://www.stellamazza.com, and I was hooked. Clearly, this women spoke “Goddess Bride” fluently, and she didn’t live in New York, LA, Milan, or Paris—she was Prairie-Proud Winnipeg!
I showed my maid of honour, and she was very excited to go with me to meet Winnipeg’s own Goddess Bridal Genius. Getting a crystal bouquet from Stella Mazza would ensure many things: no blossom wilting, no wasps, and a bouquet I wouldn’t want to throw away. I know that sounds a bit extreme on the balking traditions front, but keep in mind the petite size of our guest list. To my count our truly single women head count was five. One of the five was in her eighties, and two were under the age of ten. If people really pushed things, I would buy some flowers to throw at the single women once we got to BC, but until then I had a Goddess Bride bouquet to custom order.
It was a cold and blustery Saturday in early February, and my maid of honour and I had a day packed full of girlfriend stuff. We were going to meet Stella Mazza, have supper and then go out and enjoy an evening of theatre! I wanted to dress warm, but pretty. Layers were my best bet, so I layered and crowned it all with my ebullient and resplendent peacock maxi coat. That maxi coat was a head turner and could very nearly dress up jeans and a tee-shirt if one were so inclined. It was a sparkly, beaded, and fringed joy to behold.
KaTon Giovi Designs is located on one of the more popular and funky avenues in Winnipeg: Corydon Avenue. Depending on the day, time and season, parking on Corydon usually ranges from formidable challenge to blood-sport. On this fortuitous day, my maid of honour and I not only found a spot right in front of the shop, but it was so spacious that she did not have go through the aerobics of parallel parking. Things were off to a brilliant start! We ascended the stairs to Stella’s boutique, and both of us managed to do so without tripping or stumbling. I was feeling pretty confident walking into Stella’s boutique, which probably explains why I hit my head on the store sign hanging in her doorway.
Before sitting down with Stella, we were encouraged to tour the boutique and check out some of her ready fashioned crystal bouquets. I am sure there were many a squirrel in forests around the world that had longer attention spans than I had in that moment. There was so much to take in, and it was all so sparkly! My maid of honour corralled me to the bouquets. They were all so stunning that the only way to choose one was to have one custom made.
We sat down with Stella and discussed what my dress looked like, what colour my maid of honour’s dress was, and my whole Goddess Bride vision. Perhaps it was my pretty maxi coat, but we got to talking about peacock feathers. I told Stella that I was very fond of the whole colour palette for peacocks—it would work with my maid of honour’s dress of saturated turquoise, and would offer my groom, and all of our family a variety of colour options. So was born the concept for the bridal “flowers”: feathered fans.
To honour my grandmother’s love of flowers, and my mom’s namesake, I asked Stella to include small blossoms representing the flower my mom is named after. Stella asked if I preferred her beaded flowers or the silk blossoms, and I said, wrapped in my heavily beaded peacock maxi coat, that I preferred the silk since I wasn’t one for a lot of beads. Stella looked at me quizzically but carried on. The pièce de résistance would be aurora borealis Saworski crystals used with the silk blossoms. My maid of honour’s bouquet would also be a fan, but would feature more white feathers, and beaded blossoms. Like two little girls in a toy store we giggled with glee—we were going to be so pretty!