When I got married, I had to make sure that beads were a part of our special day!
When my husband and I were planning our wedding back in 2003, I wanted beads to play a big part in our special day. I had planned on making the jewelry for my bridesmaids and for my husband's sister, who was also in our wedding party, and the ladies in my weekly beading group were planning on getting together to learn how to make French beaded flowers for my bouquet.
Learning how to make French beaded flowers turned out to be a lot harder than we had all anticipated. But we had something very special at the little bead shop that I owned with two business partners: a treasure trove of antique French beaded flowers with a very special story.
One of my partners and I had gone out to Saranac Lake to visit a man who had come into the store and offered us a large lot of vintage and antique seed beads and supplies for making French beaded flowers. His wife had recently passed away, and he was preparing to move closer to his children.
As we looked at the breathtaking French beaded flowers that had been crafted by his late wife, he explained how she had started making them. She had been walking their dog one morning when she and the dog were struck by a car. The dog was killed, and his wife had been seriously injured. After that, she was terrified to ride in a car unless she had something to do with her hands – so she started learning how to make French beaded flowers as a way to keep her hands (and her mind) occupied during their long trips down to Long Island.
The French beaded flowers were amazing. Intricately and expertly crafted, his late wife had used intense, vibrant colors of vintage and antique seed beads to make these flowers that looked just like the real thing, but definitely with more sparkle! We bought the entire lot from him on the spot, and took them back to the shop.
My sister-in-law used her floral arranging skills to create a gorgeous wedding bouquet of beaded flowers for me!
As our big day got closer, I started to wonder what I was going to do for a wedding bouquet. Then my business partner suggested that I use the French beaded flowers we had purchased to assemble a small wedding bouquet for myself. With the flower-arranging skills of my soon-to-be sister-in-law, I soon had a stunning (and quite heavy!) bouquet of beaded flowers to carry as I walked down the aisle with my husband. It was the perfect wedding bouquet, and destined to become one of our family's heirlooms.
And no, there was no tossing of the bouquet at our wedding. We wanted to avoid the bodily injury that was sure to come from me throwing a three-pound bouquet of glass beads and wire over my shoulder into a crowd!
Have you ever used beads as a part of a special family event? Share your stories here on the blog!