Peonies: the Queen of Flowers

Blush Peonies

Lovely Ruffles

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The sweet ruffles of the peony petals are possibly one of my most favorite things.  Peonies are one of the most requested flower for weddings. They simply exude femininity and prettiness; and embody romance and prosperity and are regarded as an omen of good fortune and a happy marriage.

Peonies are large, often sweetly fragrant flowers, ranging in color from deep burgundy, pink, white and yellow.  White peonies traditionally symbolize young girls who are distinguished mainly by their wit but also by their beauty. Peonies are great mass flowers and are admired for their natural composition

History of the Peony

The peony is significant both historically and mythologically, and thus is tied to many different meanings and symbols. Common meanings include romance, prosperity, good fortune, a happy marriage, riches, honor, and compassion — but peonies can also mean bashfulness

Peonies in Art

Peonies are the traditional floral symbol of China, the state flower of Indiana, and the 12th wedding anniversary flower.  Peonies are known as the flower of riches and honor. 

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Peonies are often depicted in Chinese art as they are a symbol of peace, stability, distinction and wealth. As early as the 7th century It is also an omen of good fortune. Chinese peony paintings of are often hung in the home for good luck and in the office for good business.  The complementary of opposites is another traditional Chinese meaning associated with the peony which is often understood as a positive influence for woman and man living harmoniously together. The Chinese peony is an emblem of love and affection and is a symbol of feminine beauty. 

Peony General Information

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Availability – Peonies are available during late spring through early summer, peaking in June.  Burgundy peonies are available in November and December.

Vase Life – Approximately 5 days.  Peonies last much longer in fresh water than in foam.

Peonies are glorious flowers – so just enjoy!!!


Myths of the Peony

There are two common myths about the peony. In one, the peony is believed to be named after Paeon, the Greek physician of the gods. According to the legend, Paeon was a student of Aesculapius, the god of medicine. When Paeon used a peony root to heal Pluto — the first time this was tried — Aesculapius became jealous of his talents and tried to kill him. To save Paeon (and show compassion to him), Pluto transformed him into a peony, because he knew it was a flower that people would admire and praise. Thus, one peony meaning is compassion.

In the other myth, the peony is tied to a nymph named Paeonia. Paeonia is beautiful and attracts the attention of Apollo, who begins to flirt with her. When Paeonia realizes that Aphrodite is watching them, she becomes bashful and turns bright red. In anger, Aphrodite transforms the nymph into a red peony. This is how the peony came to symbolize bashfulness.

As the first myth shows, peonies were valued for their medicinal uses. In ancient and medieval times their roots and seeds were believed to cure over twenty diseases including epilepsy and snake bites. In England, children wore peony root necklaces to prevent seizures and help teething pain.

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Sweetheart Table vs. Head Table

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The Table Debate: Sweetheart vs. Head

Which type of table do you prefer?

When choosing the layout for your reception venue, one decision is where the bride and groom will sit and where their wedding party will be seated.  These tables are typically set apart from the guest tables. 

Head Table

A head table is a table at which the bride, and groom are seated in the center with the wedding party sitting on either side. 

Traditionally, the Brides attendants are on her side, with the grooms’ attendants on his side.  More and more, couples are alternating brides and grooms attendants every other seat.

Something you need to think through if you decide to go with a head table, is where will their dates sit; at the table with them or elsewhere? If you have the space and you like the idea of having everyone together, go ahead and have them sit with you. And party on!  Some couples love to be closely surrounded by all their favorites people and in reality, it is very special.  Head tables also tend to make for beautiful focal points in the reception, and helps give your guests a hint as to where to look for toasts, speeches etc.

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Sweetheart Table

A sweetheart table with just the two of you is very intimate.   This selection is often to make the dates of the bridal party more comfortable by not separating them for the evening.  The sweetheart table gives couples a few moments to be together, allowing a little one on one time allows a moment to cuddle as the day flies by. Sweetheart tables are also more inviting for your guests to greet you, because they do not have to talk over or slide behind a long head table.

Once you select sweetheart or head table, then comes the fun where we can help! How to setup the table, what type, style, chairs on one or both sides…how to decorate on, above, behind and beside.  Some popular types of head tables are one long table, or horseshoe-shaped.  It is fashionable for a sweetheart table to bring in one of your own, or family heirloom to make the moment (and photographs) all the more special!

Now, where do you place the table?

Just about anywhere you want!  There are no right or wrong ways to place the table.  You will find that many venues will tell you that we typically place the table here, and in this way.  You can go with that, but it is your day, so if that does not suit your style, change it up!  Consider where your dance floor will be, buffet, and entertainment and go with what feels best to you.  At the same time, if you want a dramatic hanging piece over the table, the anchor points may dictate where in the venue such a drama piece can be hung.  These are the details that your wedding designer will be a great resource to you.

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