My Bridal Bouquet

Documenting the creation of my handful of memories

The Hay Family June 26, 2010

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There’s something about this big flower that makes me think of the old Hollywood glamour¬† – of posh hotels and fancy cocktails; I think it will bring a little sophistication to my bouquet. The colourful ribbon and the sparkly shine of the other two brooches will be treasured, as well.

These lovely pieces of artwork are courtesy of Lillian (Hay) MacKeigan of Sydney Mines. They belonged to her sister, Mary, and their mother, Irene (Wells) Hay, who moved to Sydney Mines from Wales as a young girl. They found their way to my bouquet through Eleanor (Sexton) Marks, my step-mother’s aunt, who has been incredible to me in searching out pieces for my bouquet. I can’t thank you enough, Eleanor, and I’ll be sure to send you lots of photos of the finished product to share with everyone who gave so generously!


Sydney Mines some more! June 24, 2010

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The ladies of Carmen United in Sydney Mines are making sure I’m carrying the best bouquet possible when I walk down the aisle in July. My step-mother’s aunt has been sharing my quest for brooches – and the response has been overwhelming! Two of the prettiest contributions came from Loretta Colburn. I’m a big fan of shades of green these days – and look at the lovely piece Loretta sent! There’s also a fabulous pink brooch that reminds me of the early June roses that my Nana loved – and that now bloom outside my house. It will be my pleasure to carry these brooches with me in July – when a United minister who grew up in Sydney Mines marries me to my best friend.


Cape Breton Generosity June 22, 2010

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I have been overwhelmed by how generously people have shared their treasures with me for this project. For some, it’s been the time and effort they put into finding something just right to send. For others, it’s been passing on family heirlooms. And for others still, it’s been a chance to be part of something they see as special, and that means the world to me.

The next few posts are going to feature brooches that found their way to me through Eleanor Marks. Eleanor’s brother, Howard, was my step-mother’s father. Like her brother, Eleanor has a big heart and an always helping hand. When she found out I was collecting brooches to make my wedding bouquet, she went to work recruiting pieces from her friends. I shall forever be grateful to all the lovely women of Sydney Mines who wished me well as a bride by taking part in this project.

One of the first sets of pieces (oh yes, sets – everyone Eleanor talked to sent multiple pieces!) I received via Eleanor was from her friend Joyce Gardner and her mother, Lena Patrick; my understanding is that Eleanor had a hand in choosing which pieces to send my way. Joyce grew up in Sydney Mines; her mother, Lena (now a spry 95!), was originally from Advocate Harbour. Here are the lovely brooches they’ve contributed to my bouquet: I couldn’t be more thankful for their generosity.¬†


One Bride to Another … June 20, 2010

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We attended a lovely beach wedding on the weekend – and did the weather ever decide to co-operate for Karine & Jamey! We couldn’t be happier to see our friends so in love and so loved. And in the midst of all the celebration, the bride took a moment to give me a brooch for my bouquet. I don’t think I really need to say much more about Karine’s generous, loving nature than that! To stop during her big day to think of someone else’s upcoming wedding speaks volumes about this lady’s class and style. And the brooch is a perfect reminder of their beach wedding – it makes me think of a starfish in the surf! Karine & Jamey, congratulations on your beautiful celebration – can’t wait to see you again in July!


BFF June 18, 2010

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Remember that one? BFF – Best Friends Forever!

When I was younger, ‘best friends’ pendants were popular – you know, one heart engraved with the words, then split in two so each best friend had one to wear. I always envied the girls who wore them – so it was beyond fabulous when I got my brooch gift from Crystal!

I’ve watched Crystal grow up from a quiet young girl at her mother’s wedding to my cousin, to being the best big sister to her younger brothers and sister, to being a thoughtful, intelligent, beautiful young lady — who made my day when her parcel arrived.

Crystal sent a photo along with her package — it was of the brooch she sent, and another one. Turns out the brooch she saw that she wanted to send me came as part of a pair – so she kept one so we can have ‘friendship brooches!’ I love the sentiment and the thought behind it – and can’t wait to show my friend her contribution, tucked into my bouquet, on the big day!


Baby Blue Eyes June 16, 2010

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My friend Carol is one of the most incredible spirits I’ve ever met. Whenever I find myself getting caught up in life’s details – not the good kind of details, like working on this bouquet, but the mundane, consumer-driven ones that shouldn’t eat up my time and attention – I try to remind myself of Carol and the way she faces the world. I recall the lovely nights spent sharing wine and laughs in her home in Sydney – surrounded by the loveliest of gardens! There are so many things about the brooch Carol sent that remind me of her – the blue flowers, the strength behind the dainty exterior, the timeless elegance … I know having this brooch peeking up at me will help keep me balanced and focused on what’s truly important on a busy, potentially stressful, day.


The Cat’s Meow June 14, 2010

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Anyone who knows me well, knows I’m a huge believer in social media – I would’ve lost touch with so many people without Facebook, would’ve missed out on meeting so many more through Twitter, and of course, would never have had such a wonderful experience with this blog!

I haven’t seen Catriona Beaton in years – but I’ve watched her son grow-up, thanks to Cat’s amazing photography and Facebook. It’s also how Catriona knew about my brooch project – and she sent along the most lovely little flowers that I can’t wait to add to my bouquet!

I have wonderful memories of ringing in the New Year at Catriona’s parent’s house, surrounded by family & friends – a wonderful example of hospitality, love & a happy home that I know I will recall and try to emulate many times in my life with Alex.