Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My mom's last hurrah is golden

When my mom passed, I was finally free to tell my siblings that I'd helped my mom with a wedding in February while she was sick.

And even though we were all grieving, we giggled at my mom's audacity and subterfuge -- both me and my aunt and uncle (who also helped) had managed to keep the small wedding under wraps. Not only that, my mom was supposed to be sick but she'd managed to do flowers for a wedding!? Oh, mommy.

The wedding, she told me, was very small, with the ceremony at St. Elizabeth's in Rowland Heights (a church we're very familiar with). The aisle is short, so not a lot of draping was needed. And since Catholic churches tend to like sparse decorations, it was pretty simple.

Honestly, I'm not even sure how my mom did it all when she was well. Four of us cleaned the roses and star-gazers for my mom's funeral flowers and we were exhausted. How my mom put together an arrangement like the one above when she was sick is beyond me. But she really loved flowers, and I know she really loved making things extra fancy -- check out those gold-painted palms in the back of the arrangement.

These appear to be bridesmaid bouquets of yellow roses and calla lilies. My mom also loved accessories like gold rope. It gives it some extra oomph. It makes things just a little more ornate, and is perfect for a golden anniversary celebration.

The offering bouquet.

The reception was nearby at the Royal Vista Golf Club. The place was unfamiliar, but my mom told me I'd been here before. The place was a pleasant surprise -- lots of character. The draping and lights from the ceiling, however, comes with the place and was not my doing.

The cake table, appropriately golden. I'm really glad I got a final shot of my mom decorating a cake -- those were typically the shots I could take without her scolding me for taking pictures of her. As I mentioned at her funeral, she often scolded me for wasting pictures on her while we worked. But I don't regret it one bit.

My mom loved big arrangements and really loved incorporating fruit. While looking for pictures of her for a slideshow, we found my old 18th birthday photos -- every arrangement had all sorts of exotic flowers and fruit. It was awesome. If you can't tell, that would be bananas, grapes, mangoes and a pineapple in that buffet arrangement.

The party was a small one -- maybe 15 tables? My uncle and aunt did most of the heavy lifting on and off the tables, while I took care of draping the tables. The seat covers, however, belong to the site and are not ours. If my mom had contracted seat covers, she probably would have needed my siblings' help.

The head table, I think, had enough room for the couple and their kids. That backdrop was done on the fly -- initially it was just the tulle and lights, but I had some extra gold organza and my mom wanted me to dress it up a bit. It turned out well.

My mom really loved flowers and plants. She could make anything grow. In fact, she planted some really gorgeous palm, guava, calamansi and ti leaf trees in her yard and they are thriving, as are all her other myriad plants. In fact, at our old house, we used to joke that her green thumb kept making one banana tree grow, even though she kept trying to kill it.

My mom also really loved decorating weddings. From time to time, we grumbled about some of the people we had to deal with (not all bridezillas!), but I think my mom just really loved seeing everything coming together.

Aw, mom. Weddings won't be the same without you.

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