Some brides choose to make their bouquets out of brooches or buttons. Some are classicists — flowers, the kind that really lived in the ground once. Some (read as: ones far more crafty and talented than me) lovingly craft their flowers out of paper.
Me? I prefer my bouquet to be capable of inflicting blunt force trauma. That right there is seven pounds of bridal awesomeness, hand-forged out of motherfucking iron.
When my husband Mike and I got engaged, we knew three things: we weren't getting married in Florida, our friend Ron would officiate, and my artisan blacksmith brother Bobby would make a stand to hold our photo album. A stand, I reasoned, wouldn't be too hard, wouldn't detract from his paid commissions, and could be knocked out in an afternoon. I tentatively asked him if he thought he could make the stand, maybe even with a flower on it, because his iron flowers are my favorite thing.
“Shut up,” he said. “I'm making your bouquet.”
And I fucking cried. I cried with gratitude. When he presented it to me, just a few seconds before I walked down the aisle, he told me there was nothing he had ever been prouder to make.
It's weird, I know, to be writing about your wedding bouquet instead of your wedding, your brother instead of your husband. But truth be told, the day was so enormous to me that I am still having a hard time wrapping my head around it. I know you're probably rolling your eyes right about now – is overdramatic bride a meme? – but it's easier, in some ways, for me to fixate on small moments and small components, because none of them are really small, not really.
How? How are all these people in my life so beautiful? How is the world so leaking with love? How do weddings do this to us, and how do we recover? And how do we ever forget? There is so much universe still stuck in our heads. We survive our childhood and spend the rest of our lives peeling back scar tissue, only to find healed flesh underneath.
I love my artist brother. I am so proud to be his sister. And I will love what he made for me on the day I married my husband until the day I die.