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Friday, June 12, 2015

Pearls, Roses & Wedding Wonderlands

June is unquestionably the month of weddings, more than any other time of the year.

Weddings are such a great source of inspiration for romance authors, we write and launch many bridal romances just in time for the June wedding season.

When we think of weddings, certain visual images spring to mind. One of my favorite bridal visions is of an elegant young woman with upswept hairdo, wearing her grandmother's pearls and carrying a bouquet of pink and peach roses with a sprinkle of baby's breath.

Pearls are lustrous and alluring ocean treasures, although many of them come from fresh water sources, too. Traditionally, they represent wisdom, faith, charity, sincerity and innocence—each is an attribute that helps a marriage stay strong. They are costly and rare, and evoke an exquisite and exotic blend of magic and good fortune for the lucky bride who wears a strand of pearls.

Many ancient people thought pearls were a manifestation of tears of the gods and goddesses. Here are some mythological legends about pearls and their meanings:

In ancient Chinese myth, pearls were said to have fallen from the sky whenever dragons were in battle because they believed pearls originated inside the brains of dragons.  What a grim image for such a beautiful creation.
Ancient Greeks thought marital bliss was guaranteed if the bride wore pearls. They were also thought to be able to keep newly married women from crying. Greeks believed that pearls were tears shed by the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, and that they were her expression of joy when she was born of sea froth.

Even in the ancient Persian empire pearls were thought to be a hardened form of tears.

In sacred Hindu texts it is said Krishna discovered the first pearl, which he gifted to his daughter on her wedding day.

Muslims, it is said, believe the pearl symbolizes absolute perfection and is one of the rewards that can be found in the afterlife.

Some early Arabian legends portrayed pearls as hardened moon drops. As the story goes, the moon lured the oysters that birthed the pearls to the sea.

There are so very many different types and colors of pearls:

~natural pearls are entirely made by nature
~cultured pearls originated when humans put a foreign substance into an oyster
~baroque pearls are irregular in shape
~Biwa pearls are irregular and form in the freshwater at Lake Biwa, Japan
~blister pearls grow attached to the inside of the shell
~black pearls
~freshwater pearls form in fresh water mollusks
~Mabe pearls are cultivated blister pearls
~seed pearls are tiny pearls used in pouches, necklaces and unique works of art

Pearls are found in endless shades and colors from white to faint hues of colors and all the way to brown, gold and black. The color is usually determined by the type of mollusk and the composition of the water where it lives.

~Black or gold pearls are symbolic of wealth
~pink pears represent love and success
~blue pearls are serenity and love.

Nacre is the organic crystalline substance the oyster creates to cover the invading particle of sand or other intruder into the shell. Layers and layers of nacre form and are polished by friction over time until a lustrous pearl is birthed.

The word cultivation comes to mind. Both pearls and roses need to be carefully cultivated to come to fruition. Something of great beauty is born of the friction and challenges associated with birthing both rose and pearl.

In the same sense, quality relationships are not always easy. Every relationship can benefit when we nurture it in the same way we cultivate a rose garden.

Roses represent the depths of love, loyalty, beauty, adoration and passion. They can also indicate sacrifces we make for those we love, and the thorns on the stem represent protection and boundaries.

The beauty and fragrance of the rose easily transports us to the realm of love, but the thorns remind us not to entirely lose ourselves in the heady experience.

Pearls and roses are considered dated by many people nowadays, a reminder of historical or traditional weddings. In fact, even walking down the aisle is being traded in for travel to exotic locations where vows are exchanged in amazing settings.

Where are some of the most popular Wedding Wonderlands? The website the knot dot com has lots of insight. Destination weddings are the wave of the future.

Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, where just about every fantasy on earth can be made possible.

Hawaii, various Caribbean islands, and the Mexican Riviera, where beach weddings are popular.

Sky diving, amusement parks, underwater scuba diving, on the ski slope, on a mountain top… all of these are popular places now for tying the knot.

What are your views of traditional v/s destination weddings?

Did you wear pearls or carry roses?

Please leave a comment and share with us.

GEMMA JULIANA is a multi-published author who lives in an enchanted cottage in north Texas with her handsome hero, teen son and a comical dog. She loves making new friends and hearing from readers. Exotic coffee and chocolate fuel her creativity. You can buy Gemma’s books on Amazon.  

You can visit Gemma’s website
Follow @Gemma_Juliana on Twitter:


Rose Anderson said...

Loved all the pearl info, Gemma. Thanks for sharing. :)

Cara Marsi said...

Thanks for the information about pearls, Gemma. I didn't know any of that. Very interesting. I think I had apricot-colored roses in my bridal bouquet, but since that was 39 years ago today, I don't remember.

Paris said...

Great post, Gemma! I've always thought that pearls were beautiful but didn't know much about the cultural background you've supplied today. Although I didn't wear pearls or carry roses, these days I love both. Too bad I can only cultivate the roses:)

Judy Baker said...

I've always loved my pearl necklace that my husband gave me years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed the information. Thanks for sharing.

jean hart stewart said...

Interesting blog. I bought some black pearls years and ago and love them dearly. For some reason I like them better than pale ones. Saw an exhibit of different colored pearls once and I was astounded.

vicki batman said...

Hi, Gemma! I love pearls, but alas, didn't have any when I married. Later, Handsome gave me a beautiful strand and earrings. I did carry tiny pink roses which were overlaid on my grandmother's old fan. I couldn't think of anything to carry which seemed like me and my mom suggested the fan. Quite beautiful.

stanalei said...

Lovely post, Gemma. I think a wedding setting should be a reflection of the couple and the way they want to start their journey.

Melissa Keir said...

Very informative! Thank you for sharing. I never thought about pearls that much but I'll have to give them a second look!

Gemma Juliana said...

Thanks for visiting, ladies! Vicki, I didn't wear pearls at my wedding either. None of the ladies in my family had a strand, and I didn't get my own until years later.

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