My Bridal Bouquet

Documenting the creation of my handful of memories

Toronto Treasure May 30, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — macmorton @ 5:15 am

One month ago, our friend Lynn sat down and wrote us a letter. Have I mentioned how fabulous this project has been for hearing from our family and friends as the big day approaches? Reading your thoughts and wishes, your memories and expectations, has made this planning process so much more meaningful for us.

One of the hardest things about leaving Toronto to come home was leaving friends like Wes & Lynn. Lynn’s husband Wes is one of Alex’s oldest friends; he’ll be standing next to him when we say ‘I do’ – and I’ll be holding a childhood keepsake of Lynn’s. Lynn spent a lot of time thinking about what to send, searching through shops, before she found ‘the one.’ I’ll let her tell the story of this gorgeous flower:

I was digging through an old tickle trunk of mine and my eyes were drawn to a simple, pretty yellow brooch and my heart swelled. I knew that this was the piece that I was going to send to you. I am one of three girls and we spent MANY hours playing dress up – which included wardrobes of old dresses, shoes, hats, scarves, and of course, jewelry to finish off the outfits.

My grandmother was a great contributor to our growing collection, particularly in the jewelry category. She would pick up items on her adventures whether it was at a yard sale, her local jewelry store or even her own jewelry box. I was holding this pendant, my thoughts were drawn back to the carefree emotions during those hours of play, the childhood laughter, the delight in looking/feeling ‘grown up’ and then of course the disagreements that would erupt, ‘Not fair, you got to wear the pretty purple shoes last time … it’s my turn!’

When you add this to your bouquet, I hope that all of that wonderful range of emotions will accompany you on your wedding day and for all of the days to follow (but I am quite certain that Alex won’t be borrowing your purple shoes any time soon.)

Lynn, your letter touched me deeply – and made me remember the boxes of Jay Norris jewelry my Nana used to give to my cousins & me to play with. Those smiles and memories are priceless – thank you for reminding me of them, for making me smile, and for being here for us so many times in the past, and on our big day – and I’m sure for many, many years to come.


Childhood Friends May 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — macmorton @ 8:11 pm

Marcel Proust wrote: There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favourite book. I’d add to that, and a favourite friend. As a child, I spent many, many days with one dear friend, sharing our love of books.

Sherry and I wandered our separate ways throughout high school and beyond, but once again, my time in New Brunswick helped bring us back together – and I couldn’t be happier or more touched that she, her fabulous husband, and beautiful baby girl will be at my special day.

With their RSVP,  Sherry sent along a card with two lovely trinkets for the bouquet – and a touching note:

“Our lives are made up of moments, events and people … they help us become who we are and then we start our own family and the process begins again. You’re one of my oldest friends and I feel so happy knowing I’ll be there when you begin this new chapter of your life. I wish you both every happiness and all the love, laughs, and special moments your lives can hold.”

Thanks, Sher! Can’t wait to see you all in July!!


Dawn’s Evidence May 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized,Vintage Brooch Bouquet — macmorton @ 6:09 am

Creativity definitely runs strong in my family; it’s one of the traits that I cherish the most about us Dan Rory’s (my paternal grandfather’s lineage). I still rave about the gift my cousin Dawn gave me for my 16th birthday – it was a car ’emergency’ box. Each item was individually wrapped with a note – a quarter in case I needed to call a tow truck, $5 for gas, a rosary to hang on the review mirror, a map to her house, etc. So I can’t say I was totally surprised when her ‘evidence’ package arrived for my bouquet.

The first note reads:

I enjoy Law & Order, Criminal Minds, etc … so here’s your little packages of my evidence to you that I care about your bouquet … and you … and your marriage to Alex!
Enjoy & Open in Order!
Love Dawn

(PS – Alex is in love with your writing, Dawn. And we’ve watched every episode of Criminal Minds together. Love the packages!)

Inside ‘Exhibit A’ I found a ‘memories angel.’ This sparkly darling (made in Alberta) was the first piece Dawn found for the bouquet.

“I thought it spoke perfectly to the many hours, nights, days we spent together not only as cousins, but as friends!”

You’re very right, Dawn. It’s lovely & the poem on the card is perfect:

Memories Angel

This “Thoughtful” little angel carries upon its pearly wings,
A little bit of nostalgia to share with someone on a rainy day,
Of family fun, old school chums, childhood days, and lots of other things,
So tuck away your woes, toss aside your tears,
for only good memories are here to stay!

Exhibits B & C are linked to our shared interest and heritage – Gaelic.

The green & white pin is the symbol which was chosen to represent the Nova Scotia Gaels & was “fitting for you and your mom’s interest in Gaelic” (writes my cousin who was the first person to graduate in the province – and in the country – with Gaelic as her teachable subject!).

The three pearl circles are to represent the Celtic knot ideal of past, present and future … “or MacNeil, Morton, MacMorton … Jenna, Alex, progeny … single life, together life, married life …” You get the idea where she was going with this, eh?

(PS – Alex was impressed by the teacher in Dawn, who included website links to more information about these symbols; I added few more.)

The final Exhibit was, of course, the best. I’ll let Dawn explain:

“Since you first tweeted it, first blogged about it, I’ve been on the fiercest hunt to find the perfect red brooch; one that would encompass heritage, family ties, song, stories, sugar cookies, well water, late nights, great conversations on the stairs, concerts on the cistern … A brooch with Red Points.”

For those of you who didn’t grow up around Dawn and I, let me explain. Our parents grew up in a place called Red Point. Most of our bonding time as children was spent at that old farmhouse, a gaggle of girls all within a span of seven or eight years, who shared more great times than any one person should be so lucky to enjoy. I will think of all those great memories as I see the ‘red points’ of these roses staring back at me from my bouquet – and as I get to look around and see all those cousins supporting me as I walk down the aisle to Alex in July.

Dawn, you made your case. 🙂 Moran taing!


Oma’s Earrings May 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — macmorton @ 7:32 am

My bouquet will be full of love, full of thought, full of memories – and full of earrings! There have been more than a few people kind enough to send me earrings from family jewelry boxes, including Alex’s grandmother.

Oma is a lot of love wrapped up in an imposing personality. I think it’s fair to say she has seen a few more ups and downs than most, and that’s she’s come out with a sharp wit and a steel core that is an inspiration to her family – and to me. I can only hope that an ounce of her ability to handle life with grace finds its way into our marriage.

Earrings themselves might be small, but the meaning behind them is just as powerful.

Good things come in small packages – like Oma and her earrings!

(Kay, so one of the pieces wasn’t an earring – but isn’t it fabulous!! So sweet, so fun, so perfect!)


Happy Mother’s Day! May 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — macmorton @ 9:55 pm

My cousin Carla is celebrating her first Mother’s Day – Leland Patrick Belleville chose to join our family on April 26. I’ll never forget how I found out she was expecting; the RSVP for the wedding had a +1 I wasn’t expecting!

Carla, her sisters Joanna & Donna, and their mother, Joan, were some of the first people to contribute to my bouquet: a lovely pink flower from Joan, and a family ‘heirloom’ from the girls.

I have so many great memories of times spent with these lovely ladies – both as a child and as an adult; Leland certainly has picked some amazing women to welcome him into this world! One of my fondest childhood memories is summer trips to Antigonish to take in the Highland Games. I’d spend days at Columbus Field with the girls, pretending we could play & dance like the competitors, going home to practice & put on our own mini-concerts for our indulgent audience. The support and love we felt during those days remains as strong and vivid now; a true treasure that I don’t take for granted and am so glad will be a part of Leland’s life.

A constant during those long-ago days were little MacNeil tartan tam pins – so I’ll be happy to have one with me when I walk down the aisle, with my dad in his tartan kilt and all the MacNeil ladies (and Leland!) looking on.


Pinks & Purples May 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — macmorton @ 7:43 am

I’m blessed to have many role models for how to create a loving marriage and home. One of those I feel so privileged to have experienced first-hand is that of my friends Dave and Erin. They are raising three amazing children in an environment of support, encouragement and respect that is truly inspirational. It’s also a lot of fun — you can get a taste of it at Dave’s blog, Tomato Transplants. Erin recently sent me a package for the bouquet (a very fun package, I might add – filled with mini-chocolate bars, wrapped up in a polka-dot bow – so awesome!).  Inside, I found two sets of funky clip-on earrings that Erin found at Value Village; it’s amazing how much joy such little baubles can bring! There’s something about these earrings that are just perfect for this project – I can’t decide if it’s the colour, the size, or the dimension to them – but I smile everytime I look at them! I can’t wait to work them into the bouquet – and to show them to the kids when they come to wedding!

(Jane, I think a yellow dress would be beautiful, and Henry, ties are very cool.)


Little Treasures May 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — macmorton @ 10:08 am

The RSVPs are making their way back & I’ve had not one but two good friends decline for the same reason – they’re expecting and are due right around the date of the wedding! It seems fitting that one of these friends, Kat, has sent me a brooch that belonged to her mother “back when she was a hippie.” I’ve always been inspired by Kat and her six siblings; all around my age, they enjoy an incredibly loving, loyal, fun-filled relationship that to me is the embodiment of the word family. I’m sure Kat’s brooch will bring me all the “peace, love and happiness” she imagines – as will having her and her family as role models for the way I hope to raise ours.