Why I'm making my wedding flowers out of the Constitution

September 19 | Guest post by Warriorprincess

We talked about paper wedding flowers recently, but now let's talk about the actual paper you could use to make them.

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Thanks to Rageflower for uploading her paper flowers to our Flickr pool.

I came up with a wedding flower idea that excited me quite a bit. I decided that some of my paper wedding flowers will be made out of old copies of the current Constitution of South Africa. The more I thought about it, the more excited I got.

The reason is, I love the Constitution. I don't love it just because I'm a South African lawyer and we're supposed to like laws — I love it because of the freedom it represents.

Our Constitution was ushered in in 1996, and it symbolised the destruction of Apartheid, a system of government which saw the people of South Africa separated by of the colour of their skin. Non-white South Africans were treated horrendously, and got worse education, jobs, and healthcare than white South Africans. It was a system of institutionalised racism, where people of different races couldn't even live in the same areas, get married, or even go to the same beach. It caused 50 years of untold heartache, pain, and fear, and will undoubtedly cause many more.

The Constitution was promulgated and for the first time in South Africa, it was a human right that no one could be discriminated against on the basis of their race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. Finally all the people of this beautiful country were equal before the law.

This laid the foundation for marriage equality in South Africa. We were one of the first five countries in the world to legalize gay marriage. I'm so immensely proud of South Africa for that.

The Constitution reminds me that 30 years ago, I might not have been able to invite my non-white friends to my wedding. Maybe 30 years ago, I wouldn't have had non-white friends. It reminds me of the strength of South Africans who fought to change the law.

It also reminds me of my future husband. I had seen him around law school but had never spoken to him. A few hours after we wrote our final Constitutional Law exam, I saw him at our local fruit and vegetable store. Our first ever conversation was about the Bill of Rights of South Africa, and the right to adequate housing.

I think it is only fitting I get married holding the Constitution in one hand, and hand of my future husband in the other.

We love this idea too. How did you YOU decide what to make your paper flowers from?

  1. What a beautiful way to honour so many things in something so beautiful! And it'll make a lovely keepsake too I'm guessing.

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  2. Your idea is lovely! :)

    We just got married the other week, and my wife (!!!) and I carried bouquets made out of each other's childhood favourite books.

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  3. How beautiful!

    I also carried handmade paper flowers, and I chose the book that has one of my favorite married couples (Cordelia's Honor, by Lois McMaster Bujold) and used the pages where they met, fell in love, and married.

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    • OMG OMG OMG OMG THAT IS THE MOST AMAZING PERFECT GLORIOUS IDEA EVER, I HOPE YOU DON'T MIND ME STEALING IT.

      Cordelia's Honor shreds my heart into itty bitty pieces every time I read it. ;~;

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  4. This is such an awesome story. One of my good friend's father wrote a book about his experience growing up in Apartheid South Africa and it just horrified me.

    Our paper flowers are made from dictionary pages and sheet music as we're both lexophiles and music geeks. We courted over games of Scrabble and playing music together!

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  5. Anyone know where I can get custom paper flowers made for my wedding?

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  6. What a brilliant idea. As a fellow South African, I share your love of what our Constitution represents. I'm proud to say we have one of the best Constitutions in the world, especially when it comes to love and to non-discrimination. So you rock on with your bad, paper-flower-making self!

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  7. So beautiful. I love South Africa's national anthem too.

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