We have researched and read so many articles on the true origins of Valentine's Day and how it came to be and the best we've ready so far was on the History Site. As Americans, we tend to take Valentine's Day to extremes. It's because we are such romantics and don't need much of an excuse to say "I LOVE YOU" or "I'm Sorry" or "Will You Marry Me?".
Enjoy this blog write-up by http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day
The Legend of St. Valentine
The history of Valentine's Day--and the story of its patron saint--is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?
The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first "valentine" greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl--possibly his jailor's daughter--who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed "From your Valentine," an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and--most importantly--romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.
Origins of Valentine's Day:
A Pagan Festival in FebruaryWhile some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial--which probably occurred around A.D. 270--others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to "Christianize" the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.
To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat's hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city's bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.
A Day of RomanceLupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity and but was outlawed—as it was deemed “un-Christian”--at the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds' mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine's Day should be a day for romance.
Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine's didn't begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.
Typical Valentine's Day Greetings
In addition to the United States, Valentine's Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine's Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one's feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine's Day greetings.
Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap." Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.) Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.
When planning your wedding day, do you have a theme already set? Do you have a vision in your mind that pre-sets colors, textures, a specific set of items that you'd like to use? Glass, brass, metal or wood effects? Vintage or traditional? Modern contemporary or rustic chic?
At Keepsakes, we believe that every wedding is as unique as the bride and groom tying the knot and whether you're getting married on a sailboat or in the heart of the historic district in Charleston, we should help you create the look that defines your personalities. Using props and containers from your floral designer or purchasing them yourself and re-using throughout your home afterwards is a personal choice.
Not only the containers and embellishments throughout the wedding make an impact on your decor and bouquets. Using different textures in your florals, allow your bouquets and centerpieces to stand out and as shown here, make even the tiniest succulents 'pop' to make a bold statement in even the most delicate of bouquets.
Mixing soft florals with wood or feathers is another way of making statements. You can use almost anything your imagination can conjure up. Just let your florist know your ideas and let them create the magic.
Don't be afraid of using color! Bright bold colorful flowers can be the icing on the cake in a wedding. Any celebration deserves to be memorable and color will stand out in photos and the memories of all that behold that day.
Last but not least, make sure everyone in your bridal party (in particular, family members) get included in a special way on the day itself. So often, mothers are already a little emotional that their sons/daughters are getting married. Presenting a corsage or floral nosegay right before the ceremony is wonderful. But how much more sentimental is it when you have a special floral piece with a note delivered to their door on the morning of the wedding? Some brides also include handkerchiefs for their mothers and fathers. This allows the love and emotional feelings of the celebration to come out in private and sets the tone for the day ahead. There is nothing like a surprise on the morning of the wedding...for ALL!
Most importantly, make your day special to you as a couple. Some additional tips:
"Karen was able to pull my vision together and add many more components that I never thought about to my bridesmaid bouquets, mother's wrist corsages and even all the guy's boutonnieres. It was amazing how well everything tied in together with the raffia and shells. It exceeded my expectations and I cried when I saw everything delivered on my wedding day." ~ Sarah Deerhurst Angle (Bride)
Yes, spring is officially here and along with it, comes all the pollen in the air and the abundance of 'yellow or green' dust coverings on everything exposed to the outdoor elements. Cars, sidewalks, decks, etc. are covered with pollen given off by the beautiful little buds of the Pine Tree shown above. Out of all the pollens, this is one of the strongest, mainly because you can see it....everywhere.
It's all a part of nature folks! The dormant winter leaves slowly and brings with it the awakening and new birth of life that can be seen through nature around us.
Bradford Pear Trees are one of next to bloom especially in the south. The beautifully shaped trees are adorned by delicate white flowers that gives everyone the hint that spring has really arrived.
Across the northeast, we'll soon to seeing streets lined with the gorgeous cherry blossoms, a favorite photo opportunity for all that visit our nation's capital in the springtime. Cherry blossoms are probably one of our favorites as they are used widely in weddings and christenings in the spring.
And who could resist the gorgeous and colorful forsythia blooms? So short lived and such vibrant colors.
I know some of us must face the allergy season with signs of runny and stuffed noses, itchy eyes and tickling throats. All the blooms will soon be gone and replaced by lush green leaves and we'll soon be sweltering in blazing hot temperatures. So let's try to let Claritin or Zyrtec do it's job so we can enjoy this bountiful color while we can. It's Mother Natures gift to us and it only comes once a year.
Happy Spring Everyone!
What a lovely surprise it was to find this featured Keepsakes Events wedding online last week by Borrowed & Blue Blog.
On June 16, 2012 we had the opportunity to work with the wonderful gals at Red Letter Events on Meg & Ike's Lagare Waring House Wedding.
The photographer, Riverland Studios captured some special highlights of the day as seen in the blog. Check out the rest of the BLOG and enjoy.
So much fun, vibrant colors and a great team to wor
So many brides love looking through wedding magazines and finding ideas on decorations, flowers and detail components.
Here's a great site if you're wondering what types of flowers those pretty little purple flowers are or if you're looking for florals in orange tones.
Teleflora is one of the country's largest online 1800 flower delivery service. This is a useful tool if you're wishing to send flowers to someone special. Let us know what you think.
According to "How Stuff Works" TLC's online reference column, the latest and hottest 10 wedding floral trends this year ranges from feathers and furs to fruity arrangements and bejeweled accents.
We love TLC for 'getting it right' because everything in this article is 'spot on'.
Check out their link for the TOP 10 Wedding Floral Trends of the year.
Citrus is hot for summer weddings!
Enjoy the interplay of flowers and fruits in an eye-catching centerpiece.
One of our favorite bloggers is Carol Caggiano .
Keepsakes florist only orders the finest materials and products for our events and deliveries. Oasis is one of the world's biggest suppliers of floral supplies. Just a tiny sample are the items below. We particularly love the latest trends in colored wire and flat wires. Combined with color coordinated mesh, beading and foliage and you've got a winner each and every time.
Loving these bouquet delivery boxes. Available in a variety of colors.
Outdoor weddings are some of the most beautiful of all. However, as a planner, there is a lot more work than traditional indoor weddings. Things to think about and which are covered in our courses are:
* Weather elements before, during setup and the event itself
* Rain backup
* Precautions and Emergencies
Making your wedding a reflection of your personal and individual tastes is important.
Things have changed quite a bit from the traditional weddings of years ago. Nowadays, it is customary and perfectly acceptable to incorporate something more than the 'something old, something new' into your wedding day. Brides are choosing to use Grandma's doilies, candelabras, photo frames, pillows and much more.
When you are planning your wedding, think about the things you love. Asking family members to be involved by donating items dear to them for your wedding day is also another way of bringing smiles to the faces of those who love you the most.
So don't be shy and use your imagination. You'll be happy you did with the forever memories you'll create to look back on.