On my desk lies an rsvp card for a summer wedding—indicating a time when one chapter of a love story concludes and the next begins. I’ve found that much can be revealed on such a festive day, bits of the past and the unknown future combining to form the present moment. Some of these personal subtleties we invite, yet others arise unexpectedly of their own accord.

My stepdaughter married earlier this spring, and I was graciously asked, then enthusiastically offered, to create certain articles for the wedding- bouquets, boutonnieres, favor boxes, and accessories for the flower girls and ring-bearers. It was a delightful experience, one that allowed me to delve into new artistic experiences.

For me, the design schematic of black and white proposed a creative challenge. I admired the elegant and whimsical examples that were shared with me, but the strong contrast between black and white left me searching for a mediating element. I eventually found it in the inclusion of a vibrant green. 

Green is often utilized as a symbol of new life, reflected in images of emerging sprouts, leaves, and grasses. In this instance, its partnering with black and white seemed particularly appropriate.  Both the bride and her fiancé had experienced the dark and light of life during their young lives.  Actually we all had, as families that had been divided and then blended together again. As I commenced my creative efforts, I sought not only a mediating color but also elements that would symbolize this familial blending, thus unifying what had been separated due to distance, circumstance, or loss.  Consequently, I began crafting bouquets interspersed with sprigs of green and pieces of family jewelry and morphing ring bearers’ pillows into jeweled glass boxes containing personal spiritual medallions. While many who viewed the small ceremony were not aware of the woven threads of remembrance, the lack of recognition did not dispel their loving intention.

Long ago, I had been told that my stepdaughter adored the movie musical, The Little Shop of Horrors, or as she called it “puh shoppa huh.” She was often seen dancing and singing to its “doo-wop” score.  When I first heard this story, I thought it unusual that a young girl would be drawn to a story featuring a man-eating plant. Now, however, as I view some of the green filtered photographs of her wedding day, I realize how the innocent heart of a small girl could identify with the young heroine, Audrey, who’s seeking an exit from a troubling life, as she longs for love and  “somewhere that’s green.”

On her wedding day, interestingly the “greenest” day of all, St. Patrick’s Day, I think a young woman found that “somewhere”, in a new beginning that had grown out of the union of life’s black soil and white light.  Perhaps we all did.

Celisa Rae Meals/Polar Eyes Photography