Orange blossom wedding bouquet

Rejection sucks, but often times it pushes you to strive harder and be the best you can be, and sometimes it may pave the way to bigger and better things. This scenario recently played out in the life of Indian American actress Janina Gavankar, who was among the 600 guests invited to the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle May 19 at Windsor Castle, England.

The “Sleepy Hollow” actress and Markle’s close friend garnered a lot of attention for her bold fringed orange outfit and black hat, but putting together that ensemble was no easy task. Gavankar revealed on Twitter that no designer would loan her the outfit for one of the most celebratory events in her life. And so, she went the failproof vintage way.

“As many do for events of this kind, my stylist @NikiSchwan & I reached out to designers and showrooms. …No one was responsive. Luckily, @westerncostume generously opened the doors to their private vintage archive, and we chose this 1930s dress and 1940s hat,” she tweeted.

She also said that she paired the outfit with Coomi Jewels, Sigerson pumps and a YSL clutch.

“(Strange to be talking fashion on a powerful day of love and union.)” she stated.

Her tweet came after a picture showing her with Indian actress Priyanka Chopra and several of Markle’s friends went viral, arousing curiosity about which designer she was wearing. Impressed by her fashion statement, many also wanted to know who she was. Some internet users called her the “mysterious woman in orange.”

On Instagram, Gavankar’s stylist Niki Schwan detailed the process of acquiring the striking look.

Schwan wrote that she was feeling “incredibly proud” to have had the opportunity to collaborate and create this look for her client and friend.

“To be clear, we requested several designer brands & showrooms (for her to wear to the wedding) who either denied us or just ignored us. & obviously this is not something you ‘shop’ for, as we were committed to creating something special and unique,” she wrote. “We were incredibly excited to have had access to the private designer archives @westerncostumecompany where we chose a 1930s dress (which we reworked a bit) and a 40s style hat.”

Schwan also added that “I kinda love being denied sometimes, it just forces me to work harder, smarter, more creatively & continuously think outside the box…@janina is one of the single most searched names of those who attended the wedding…Rejection is Gods protection, I always say!”

Gavankar’s closeness to Markle can be gauged by the fact that she was texting the bride the night before the wedding.

“We were texting last night, which is crazy,” she told Britain’s ITV, according to “If it were me I would not have any space for anything other than this. But it’s pretty usual. It’s not surprising. Meghan has so much space in her heart for all of the people that she loves.”

Before the wedding, Gavankar didn’t want to publicly announce that she was invited to the wedding as she didn’t intend to draw attention to herself.

“In the end this was a wedding, an actual wedding, between two people, who are real people that fell in love. And people who know them know that this is a private moment that was not allowed to be private,” she told

Revealing details about the most talked about wedding, Gavankar, who was seated along with Markle’s closest friends, her mother, and the royal family, said that each table was named for a food that is said differently in America and the U.K. “Potato, potato, tomato, tomato, oregano, oregano,” she told the publication. “It was so sweet. There were so many nods to the beautiful mashup of two cultures.”

Prince Harry’s speech, the former “True Blood” star said, left the “biggest impression” on her.

“The speech that Harry gave was so funny, self-deprecating, filled with love, and that guy just has her back. I left feeling so solid for them,” she told the mag.

Gavankar also recalled how the couple acknowledged their different cultures.

“As long as it’s going to be public, you might as well make the best of it and show the world what you stand for together, and they did that. Even just in who they chose as musicians. They chose to include parts of both of their cultures,” Gavankar said.

Markel’s longtime friend shared that at the evening reception at Frogmore House, which was attended by 200 people, she called “family and chosen friends.” “We all danced until the wee hours. We partied and celebrated and ate sliders at 2 in the morning.”

“It was such a beautiful day and a carefree night, and it was a very powerful day in history. And I think everybody felt it across the world,” she noted, adding that the two will “put their combined power into the world for good.”

When it comes to royal weddings, there are a number of traditions that have stood the test of time. For example, it’s likely that Meghan Markle’s wedding band will be made from Welsh gold, just like those worn by the Queen, Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge. Many royal brides have also chosen to include a sprig of Myrtle in their wedding bouquets. But there’s one age-old practice that is less well known.

Royal brides have an association with orange blossom which began with Queen Victoria when she married Prince Albert in 1840. Instead of a tiara, she wore a simple wreath of orange blossom flowers on her wedding day, which as the Royal Family’s website points out, served as an emblem of chastity.

A mannequin of Queen Victoria on display at Kensington Palace

Victoria’s affection for the fragrant flower lasted throughout her lifetime, with Prince Albert choosing an orange blossom wreath as a wedding anniversary gift. However, along with her white silk wedding dress, Victoria’s love for the bloom also went on to influence her daughters, daughters-in-law and generations of royal brides who incorporated orange blossom into their own dress designs.


Princess Louise, Queen Victoria’s daughter, at the time of her marriage in 1871

Orange blossom

When Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later the Queen mother) married the future King George VI, she wore an orange blossom wreath. Similarly, Queen Elizabeth II’s Norman Hartnell wedding dress featured an orange blossom border around the hem.


The Queen’s on her wedding day in 1947.

While the Duchess of Cambridge chose a variety of flowers with a different symbolic meaning for her bridal gown, she gave a nod to the tradition in another way. Her signature scent was reported to be Jo Malone Orange Blossom after she requested that candles burned the scent in Westminster Abbey on her big day in 2011.

From the lemon and elderflower wedding cake to peonies and roses in the floral displays, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have got a different scent in mind for their wedding. But their official wedding fragrance, created by royal-warrant holder Floris, is said to be inspired by the brand’s Bergamotto di Positano perfume, which has notes of orange blossom at its heart. It sounds like the perfect perfume for a spring bride.


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The Celebs At The Royal Wedding Range From Meghan’s BFFs To A Surprise Visit From American “Royalty”

Royal weddings only come so many times a decade, and it’s not often at all that Hollywood glamour gets to mix with regal formality. You won’t need a royal family cheat sheet to recognize all the faces at Saturday’s highly-anticipated nuptials. While not too many stars of stage and screen scored invites, the celebs at Meghan and Harry’s royal wedding all managed to bring a fun international twist to the affair.

As seen in the broadcast of the event on Saturday, stars including Idris Elba, Oprah Winfrey, and many of Meghan Markle’s former Suits castmates all showed up for the big day. And according to The Sun, some of the other stars in attendance at the wedding include Priyanka Chopra, Elton John, Victoria Beckham, Serena Williams, and teen cellist/Britain’s Got Talent star Sheku Kanneh-Mason. That’s not to mention some of Harry’s exes, including Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas, who are said to likely be attending the wedding per British royal tradition.

Although the celebrity guests at Harry and Meghan’s big day all came from different backgrounds, they shared one essential: hats. You gotta respect that dress code, and the below stars thankfully all did.

Idris Elba

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One of the first stars to arrive, and one of the first overall guests to arrive, was Idris Elba. By his side is his fiance, Sabrina Dowhre.

Oprah Winfrey

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An early contender for best hat is Oprah Winfrey. Have you ever seen anyone rock a blush peach more magnificently? Followup, are you surprised?

James Blunt

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Sorry that you know have “You’re Beautiful” stuck in your head, because James Blunt has arrived. Before his music career, he was in the military and guarded the queen mother’s coffin.

George & Amal Clooney

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Looking like actual sunshine, the power couple arrived at the perfect time.

Carry Mulligan & Marcus Mumford

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The actor and her musician partner made an appearance.

David & Victoria Beckham

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The British supercouple showed up, of course. Fellow Spice Girl Emma Bunton, who posted a picture of herself in a fascinator on Instagram, was unfortunately not there.

James Corden

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The late night host seemed thrilled to be in attendance.

Patrick J. Adams & Troian Bellisario

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Markle’s Suits castmate and the former Pretty Little Liars star documented their trip to England for the big day.

Tom Hardy

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The actor’s friendship with Prince Harry actually goes way back. Also, as fans of his films may be pleased to see, his face isn’t obscured!

Serena Williams

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The sports superstar and friend of Markle’s brought husband Alexis Ohanian as her date.

Abigail Spencer & Priyanka Chopra

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Markle’s Suits co-star and friend made sure to be there for the occasion. Chopra, a close pal of Markle’s, was unsurprisingly also in attendance.

Joss Stone

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Singer Joss Stone made a surprise appearance.

Elton John

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The legendary singer is said to be performing at the wedding.

Gina Torres

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Another Suits star, Torres looked beautiful at the wedding.

Gabriel Macht & Jacinda Barrett

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The Suits cast did not arrive together, but their arrivals were spectacular. Harvey Specter himself attended the wedding with his IRL wife and fellow Suits actor Jacinda Barrett.

Sarah Rafferty

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Who’s starting a Suits marathon the second this wedding is over?

Rick Hoffman

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Not to be left out, the final member of the invited Suits cast rocked his best tails for the occasion.

Janina Gavankar

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Slightly obscured but in the orange dress and cape above is the actor and musician.

These celebs were of course elbow to elbow with members of the Royal Family and other guests. Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie chose a slightly understated look compared to William and Kate’s wedding — though Eugenie’s Jackie Kennedy look proves she knew that American royalty would be a theme on the day.

On the anticipated occasion, the hats did not disappoint, and neither did the Hollywood guests wearing them.

By Dexter Bedd

Gabriel Garcia Marquez utilized the symbolism of the orange blossom in his novel, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, to magnify Angela Vicario’s lie and indecency. Angela Vicario, who was to marry the wealthy and mysterious Bayardo San Roman, dared to lay with a man before she was married and therefore shamelessly wore the orange blossoms on her gown. In the small Columbian town where the story takes place a woman’s honor: her purity, innocence, and most importantly her chastity were held to the highest respects.

The orange blossom has stood for purity, chastity, and innocence dating back to ancient China. In China an emblem of the orange blossom was placed on the gowns of young brides to represent these virtues. This tradition moved westward into India and up to Persia which is present day Iran. After many difficult years of fighting in the crusades many European soldiers brought back with them this flower and its meaning to their young blushing brides to be. Europe was introduced to the sweetly fragranced flower and the idea of decorating a bride with its beauty and meaning.

The custom was first brought into Spain and then moved to France and England. The Spanish of course took their newly found custom to the new world with them and all of their colonies therefore were recipients of respect for this flower. Citrus sinensis, the scientific name for the orange blossom also became a symbol of fertility in the Victorian era. The orange blossom took on this new meaning, because it blooms along side oranges. Being that the tree produces both fruit and flower caused people to consider it to be very fertile.

Queen Victoria herself wore a wreath of orange blossoms on her wedding day. Doing such increased the demand for the flower tenfold. Everyone dutifully followed the example of Queen Victoria and used orange blossoms to accent their weddings. Unfortunately orange blossoms were incredibly expensive. Sometimes orange blossoms were in short supply and could not meet the demands of the number of people that wanted them.

In the north it was very difficult to get orange blossoms, because orange blossoms can only grow in warmer climates like in the south. Since not everyone could afford these fresh flowers that were in such high demand, therefore expensive, they had to resort to alternative options. Wax versions of the orange blossom became the alternative to the incredibly expensive fresh orange blossom.

Women wore them in wreaths and other sorts of head garments. Orange blossoms were also placed along side roses in bouquet. The delicate white flower seemed to be complimentary with all other sorts of flowers. Outside of headdress and flower arrangements some women would actually pin orange blossoms to their gowns.

It is truly astounding how such a small flower could come to take on such big meanings. The orange blossom was given the task to remain forever innocent, pure and chaste. It cannot be like its cousin the rose a red hot lover the flowery symbol for passion and love. The ancient Chinese in all their wisdom selected it to be the everlasting symbol for purity and with its delicate petals and sweet smell the orange blossom holds true to that original idea.

Beloved Flower Lover,


Congratulations, we are so happy, we received another wedding announcement.

They are coming through and joyfully remind us of how we are all changing from the inside out. Coupled with the images of peaceful, affectionate vital love, we dote on beautiful images of marriage and friendships blooming into new love. Images of people, like us, who openly declare “I can do this”.

Pretty much, wonderful and life changing, we have found ourselves enjoying reading the most exquisite, enchanting, love poems, wedding vows and stories.

The world of chemistry confirms all this. Dr David Hamilton, Dr Bruce Lipton, Dr Jewell Pokram, Dr Candace Pert and others all describe how the brain and body starts to change through affirming epic love stories to ourselves, for ourselves, about ourselves. Dr Jeannette Haviland-Jones, and Dr. Nancy Etcoff carry the batton confirming what our poets, and sages remind us. Your biography produces your biology. Your stories grow new connections in the brain. So by choosing our words of love, adoration and giving and recieving flowers out of an ‘act of kindness’, then the chemistry in the heart system switches from fear to bonding trusting love.

Flowers have power and have become legendary for their effect on the body. They make people smile! We beam and immerse ourselves in the feelings of joy before, during and after we hear the various stories about each couple as they repeat “I can do it”. Flowers are always in the mix, somewhere.

We dote on the beautifully emotional effects of orange blossom, the flower and its oil. Coupled with creativity, we decided to look into it a bit more and found wonderful traditions and legends which all seem to turn out to create emotionally loving environments.

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Orange, is the common name for citrus fruit of several trees. Orange trees are evergreens, with flowers that are white and fragrant.

Three essential oils are obtained from oranges:

~oil of orange,~ obtained from the rind of the fruit and used principally as a flavoring agent;

~oil of petigrain,~ obtained from the leaves and twigs and used in perfumery; and

~oil of neroli,~ obtained from the blossoms and used in flavorings and perfumes.

During the romantic Victorian era, brides used to carry fresh bouquets of white orange blossoms on their wedding day.

Fresh garlands were made into little circlets, and attached to bridal veils. A simple perfumed orange blossom garland was often used to adorn a bride’s hair if she chose not to wear a veil, making a tiara.

Neroli was discovered in the late 17th century. It is said to be named after a Princess of Neroli or Nerola, Italy whose name was Anne-Marie. It was named after the city Neroli, she was Princess there. She used it as her personal perfume.

Neroli oil is a wellbeing oil. It relaxes and relieves anxiety, as the brain can imagine relaxation and the body in response moves in the direction to calm, compassionate, caring love, thus traditionally, orange blossoms were used in weddings bouquets and to calm nerves before the bridal couple retired to bed.

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Orange blossom is in many cultures a traditional feature of wedding ceremonies. This custom probably originated in ancient China where orange blossom was an emblem of innocence and chastity. It is one of the few plants that blooms and bears fruit at the same time and is therefore associated with fertility.

Symbolically, in Spain, France, and Greece the flowers are used in wedding ceremonies as a symbol of good future, chastity, innocence or purity. In Mexico, a garland of orange blossoms is placed in a figure of eight around the necks of the couple as a sign of unity.

Honouring and reconnecting to your own inspiration. The scent and medical properties of the oil, are regularly used in self-care rituals to support change. Women and men are encouraged to decide for themselves when they are ready to dedicate themselves to love. To gently immerse and inspire themselves in their own feelings of self-love. They are invited to deepened and reshape self admiration for their divine nature, the same nature shared with others. These sorts of celebration rituals allow that feel good to outflow in generous ripples and then huge waves of energy.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaah so so so lovely

We have caught it. We mirror it… love experienced through unfolding our wings and watching the dancer of adoration in the front of our minds eye. The invitation to concentrate our intentions with you to stimulate the picture of reciprocated love continues.

Flowers encourage that ’emotional contagion’ of the cherished love kind. So as we shape and alter our own energies, just by being a sponge for the divine love messages we receive from this most fertile energy, we enjoy one thing. How it awakens, inspires and lives on.

What happened next?

One of our teams concept for, orange, blossom and self-care for married life.

Thanks and enjoy

Willing you peace, love and joy

The Team

The London Flower Lover

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Something Modern : Orange Blossoms

How traditional are you? As you’re planning your wedding, you will ask yourselves that question frequently. Many couples want to avoid the moments they find awkward (hello, garter toss), or unnerving (i.e. dancing in front of 200 people), but still may want to include traditional or superstitious touches that do have meaning for them. I love the idea of doing a modern twist on an old tradition, entwining something old with something new. As non-traditional as a couple may be, there’s still something sweet and romantic about incorporating something their great-grandparents may have had at their celebration 100 years ago.

Recently, as I was scouring the internet for the perfect bridal headpiece for a client, I came across the history of orange blossoms used in wedding bouquets and head wreaths. The practice began in ancient China, with the flowers seen as a sign of purity and innocence. The custom spread, eventually making it to Spain, France and England. Orange Blossoms were a symbol of fertility in the Victorian era, and the style grew wildy in popularity after the Queen Victoria wore a crown of the fresh blossoms for her own wedding. The fresh flowers were very expensive and in high demand, so wax versions of the floral crown began being used. Following the wedding, they would often be kept on display in a glass bell jar in the home. Those delicate antique crowns can still be found online, and Spain’s Le Touquet recreate headpieces inspired by what their great-grandmothers wore. If you love the symbolism of the orange blossom, there are plenty of creative ways to include the flower in your special day in unexpected and subtle ways.

1. Vintage wax-flower headpiece. 2. Orange Blossom Cutting Cake 3. Specialty Cocktail Recipe 4. Ellie Saab ‘Le Parfume’ 5. Art Deco Orange Blossom Ring 6. Flower crown from Whichgoose

Need some more inspiration?

Something sweet:
Pistachio Orange Blossom Cake
Orange Blossom Cocktail
Almond and Orange Blossom Bridal Cookies
Orange Blossom & Thyme Lollipop

Something scented:
Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne
Nest Orange Blossom Hand Soap
Mermaid Hair Shampoo

Something lovely:
Claire Pettibone Dress
Handmade Orange Blossom Headpiece
Minted Orange Blossom Invitations

My bride ended up purchasing the most gorgeous antique headpiece from Ruby Lane… you’ll have to wait until June to see it!

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