#TBT: The Bride Wore Orange Blossoms

February 5, 2015

For Love of the Earl: Book Two of the Spy Series

For Love of the EarlShe just wanted to get this whole bloody thing over with.
Sarah scratched her arms under the itchy fabric of her dress.  She could understand why the War Office wanted her to get married, and she could even understand why it had to be done so quickly.  But really, was such a grand affair necessary?
She stood at the back of Christ Church Greyfriars, surveying the domain.  Her side of the church was pitifully empty, but what had she been expecting?  Her tutors were there.  Her voice and piano instructor.  And her governess.  Five people attending one’s wedding was better than no people.
However, the Earl of Stryden more than made up for the dearth of wedding guests.  She wondered if they wouldn’t have to pop over to St. Paul’s to pack them all in.  The wreath of orange blossoms on her head tilted again, and she shoved them back into place, pushing the lacy fabric of the veil off of her neck.  She scratched where the material had irritated her skin.

The History

Two things I want to talk about here:

  • The veil
  • The orange blossoms

Let’s start with the veil.  Veils were expensive, and not all brides could afford them.  But Sarah was marrying the son of a duke in this scene (the legitimate son that is).  A duke would have paid for such extravagance in this case.

Now for the orange blossoms.  This was a moment where I took liberty with history.  It may not have been totally unthinkable for a bride to wear a wreath of orange blossoms, but it was more likely that the veil was attached to a hat or a bonnet (the proper head wear for a woman in this period).  The orange blossoms are a call to Queen Victoria, who wore a wreath of orange blossoms when she married Prince Albert in 1840.  The reason I gave Sarah an orange blossom wreath is because her character’s struggle is with thinking she is not good enough to marry Alec.  So I gave her the head wear fit for a royal wedding.  That’s called foreshadowing.

Read On

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