First, a bit of business.  THE WINNERS!!!

Congratulations to the five winners of a subscription to the new magazine

“Southern Home!”

The winners are:

Jeanne Eige

Sabrina dawdlebythedaffodils (I know that’s not her last name!)

Pam Bolton

Sylvia Thompson

Kathysue Perdue

Congratulations to you all!!!!  And a huge thank you to Southern Home Magazine!!!


in really GREAT news!!!


Aidan Gray has picked the winners in the #AGwithanedge Contest!!!

I will be announcing who won the contest -----  SOOON!!!!!

Get ready!!!

And Now…on to Part Two of the Not Quite Royal Wedding.

Last Sunday when I wrote the story on the Pippa Middleton – James Matthews wedding, the couple had barely been married for 24 hours.  There were hardly any leaked details about the ceremony and the two receptions mostly because the couple had asked their guests not to post any photos to social media such as Twitter or Instagram.

I wrote that perhaps Pippa & James had sold the rights of the wedding story to a magazine such as HELLO! or PEOPLE, but, both new issues came out this week without any new reception photos.

Still, over the past week, a few tidbits about the wedding have leaked!!

Judging by the amount of comments left on the first story – there are a lot of you who must be as interested in the wedding as I am, so…

here are the latest updates on the Not Quite Royal Wedding!

First, most interesting is that a few of the Menu Cards from the reception were auctioned off on EBay – starting out at a $600 opening bid!!  One of the menus was Prince Harry’s, the others were Pippa’s and James’ menu cards. 

A smart waiter probably pocketed these forgotten and left-behind menu cards and now he stands to make a small fortune for it.  Unfortunately, the Middletons threatened to sue over these “stolen” menu cards – and they seem to have disappeared from Ebay.   Forget about that windfall.

The seller said the menus were printed on thick paper and the names were handwritten.  Pippa’s menu had a bit of spilled food on the card but James was clean!!!

Here is a photo of the actual menus:

From the menus, we now know what they served at the dinner/dance:   it was a surf and turf menu of trout and lamb with cheesecake, Champagne and something special for the groom:

Affric Trail 10 Year Highland Malt.

The Affric Trail Highland Malt Scotch Whiskey comes from the Scottish area where James’ father owns the Glen Affric estate and where he is the Laird.  Eventually though, James will inherit the title Lord Glen Affric and Pippa will be Lady Glen Affric.  Until then she may call herself Mrs. Matthews of Glen Affric, The Younger.  Easy for you to say!!

The cheesecake appears to have come from the Glen Affric estate itself.

It’s really nice how much the menu celebrated James’ Scottish roots – even if they are “newly bought roots.”

While there were a few photos taken by the press, like this one of the flyover by the Spitfire, not much else was seen from the evening party.

The bright spotlights were the security team’s idea and this was a “brilliant” idea, pun intended.  The spotlights made it almost impossible for the press to take photos although we were able to see the photo show that was screened on the back of The Manor house.  This photo looks like it was some type of abstract design.

This was taken the next morning after the party – with the blue velvet sofas and green velvet pillows all in a big mess.  Notice the big spotlights on the side of the marquee.    I was sure this was the last photo we were going to see of the glass marquee. 

I even cropped this photo of the cherry tree and flowers. 

And, then there was this tidbit - Kate had studied art history when she went to the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where she met Prince William.  Apparently she graduated with top grades  - but unbeknownst to the public is that she is also quite the artist herself!  Kate is known to be a good photographer – most of the official photos of her children were taken by Kate, as opposed to by a society photographer.  Pippa & James’ wedding program featured a pen and ink sketch of the charming church, St. Marks, drawn by none other than Kate!    The only photo of the drawing was taken from this picture, above, of Jane Matthews, James’ mother – who carried the Order Of Service Program as she walked from the wedding.  The news of Kate’s sketch leaked out to the press, so of course, everyone wanted to see it.

This is the only photo of Kate’s sketch!  Wish it were bigger and clearer!!

Kate was thanked for the sketch at the dinner/dance:

James Matthews said at the reception:  “To Pippa’s sister, such ability – a beautiful drawing of St. Mark’s church in the Order of Service.”

Reverend Nick Wynne-Jones, who officiated at the ceremony,  said it was a “lovely piece.”

And then, there was this interesting detail about the party favors:

(OK, I think it’s interesting!)

Pippa’s handsome brother James Middleton has a company called Boomf which specializes in personalized marshmallows. 

Boomf is located in a grain store near his parents’ home, The Manor.   The marshmallows are ordered online, they are first personalized, and then they are sent out as gifts.

These marshmallows look like suckers.   Darling!

Boomf also sell personalized chocolate.  You upload your photo and it is put onto the gift chocolates.

And also, Boomf  sells “Flutter Cards” – cards where butterflies flutter out when they are opened.

According to Hello! Magazine,  all 350 wedding guests received Boomf marshmallow gifts with Pippa & James initials on them.

The company is somewhat new and Pippa’s husband James Matthews has invested over $100,000 in the company, purchasing over 12,500 shares.  The company has been having profit & loss issues and in 2015, it posted losses of nearly 930,000 pounds!   Last year, it took out a 500,000 pound loan from Barclays Bank.    Hopefully this bit of Wedding PR will pay off and set the company on the right road.  James Middleton also had a cake company and a cake-making kit company – both of which went under.  Still, with this large amount of  debt – Boomf will need to sell a LOT of marshmallows to get out of the red!!

Some of the reports from the wedding have been proven to be Fake News.  It was said that each guest first had to have their Photo-ID checked and then they had to give a password before they were driven to the reception at The Manor.  A guest has since said this was a false report.

Another Fake News Report was the story of Prince Harry driving back to London after the ceremony in order to pick up his girlfriend Meghan Markle.  Not True.  Meghan was, in fact, staying in a guest room at Englefield House during the wedding ceremony.   She had attended the champagne reception right after the wedding.

The above photo of Prince Harry and Meghan driving to The Manor for the dinner/dance is the only photo of Meghan from that night – so far!

And then there was this photo!  Once it was released of Kate and Prince George and Princess Charlotte in the car leaving the wedding – the public was up in arms.  George wasn’t wearing his seatbelt!!!!  Horrors!!!

The car ride was just around the corner and the driver was going five miles an hour with no traffic at all.  Still, the public went nuts.  He is, after all, the future King of England. 

And then there was the story of the wedding florists.  It was reported that Lavender Green did the flowers at the church.  It is unknown if they also did the flowers at the champagne reception at Englefield House or the evening dinner/dance.  Their truck was spotted, above,  driving by the church. 

Here is a photograph from Lavender Green’s portfolio.  They obviously do gorgeous rose sprays, like what they did for Pippa’s church ceremony!  So pretty!

Here is another photograph from Lavender Green’s portfolio.  Gorgeous! 

It wasn’t until later that we found that there were actually OTHER florists for the dinner/dance.

There were some new photos taken at the church of Pippa & James’ flowers.   I can’t get enough of their church flowers!!  I think they are just lovely.

Here are the new photos:

Here you can see more of the floral design at the church.  Notice the circle of roses around the columns.   And notice how at the center of the church, they paid extra attention to that area with tall greenery growing up sides of the arch.

A close up.   This is incredible - masses of roses tumbling down the stairs!

The sprays of roses under the stained glass.

There was a spray under each window.

One last large view of the church with the arch and columns.  Just beautiful!

Here is an aerial view of St. Marks and Englefield House.  I didn’t realize the house is so close to the church.   The champagne reception was held after the ceremony – in a tent that was probably erected right behind the church in that large plot of land where the lone evergreen tree is.  After the ceremony was over, guests were seen walking out behind the church.

The only photograph of the tent where the champagne reception was held after church!!

And The Manor, where the evening dinner/dance was held.  The kitchen terrace was cleaned up for the party – and if you look carefully you can see the row of flowering bushes behind the kitchen.  It looks like a secret garden back there -  must be beautiful!!!

Security was tight around The Manor.  It was reported there was a complete circle of security protecting the house.  The paparazzi must have used really long lenses to get the evening photos of the marquee.

There were security cameras that were placed in the greenery, which were supposed to be hidden!!

Once the spotlights were turned on, they proved highly effective against the paparazzi.

All hope for seeing the inside of Pippa’s glass marquee was fading fast when suddenly, there appeared …

three fabulous photos on Instagram!


Pippa and James had asked all their guests not to post any photos.  The wait staff had to sign confidentiality agreements.  Who posted the three photos to Instagram?

Apparently it was the internationally famed floral designer Djordje Varda who was the guilty party.


Varda lives in St. Barts where James Matthews’ family owns the exclusive resort Eden Rock Hotel.  I am assuming he is friends with the family because so many of the weddings on his portfolio took place at their resort.

Varda claims on his web site that he has been named one of the most talented floral designers in Europe – and he does have the awards to confirm this.

He won the “Best Floral Designer in Europe” 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 and Ad Magazine voted him Best Floral Designer in 2010.

So, he certainly has the credentials to have been hired to do the flowers for the dinner/dance.

The Instagram photos of the reception were a surprise – they announced the heretofore unknown florist.  Apparently Lavender Green only did the day flowers while Varda designed the night ones.  Here is what he said on Instagram:

“Let me tell you the story about a special wedding for very special and lovely people…..The Cherry Blossom Fairy Tale.   To create a special wedding you need beautiful flowers and you need to feel Love.”  #pippamiddleton #bucklebury #pippamiddletonwedding #lovemyjob #passion

“Many thanks to Rob Van Helden and his team! Thank you guys for your help and hard work!”

This message, along with his photos are now long gone off Instagram.  As soon as word got out, the photos disappeared.  I wonder who called him and asked him to remove them?

Pippa or her mother?

And how embarrassing is that?!?!

Varda teamed up with Elton John’s personal florist Rob Van Helden to create the “Cherry Blossom Fairy Tale” for Pippa and James’ reception.   Later Van Helden left this response on Instagram.  (Thank GOD for Instagram!!!)

“Thanxx SO much for allowing us to be part of it!!!

Love from us all at RVH xxx.”

Once the word got around the photos were on Instagram, everyone and their brother regrammed the photos – and the Daily Mail also published them.  At that point Varda quickly deleted his own photos – probably so he wouldn’t get sued.

But of course, the internet lives on forever.  Here are the photos of the Cherry Blossom Fairy Tale Wedding Reception:

And here is the first photo from the marquee.  Gorgeous cherry blossom trees.  I have no idea if they are real or fake?   I assume they are fake, but they look SO real.  Lovely,  lovely, lovely!!!!  Just gorgeous.  Wow.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a prettier reception.   Through the glass you can see The Manor, with its courtyard.  Must have been beautiful at dusk.   Isn’t this gorgeous!!!??!!??!!   Worth the wait, right?

OK. I’ll confess.  The only reason why I wrote Part Two was to show these photos!

A closeup of the roses and peonies.  Wow.  BOTH!!!  Roses AND peonies!  Huge roses mixed with small roses.  And dark pink mixed with light pink and lilac, peach, and white.  Beautiful.

Another view.  Masses of flowers on the tables beneath the trees.  I like the celadon chairs.  Perfect touch with the decor.  The only thing I don’t care for are the table numbers.  I wonder if those were removed later?

Honestly, I don’t blame Varda for posting these photos!  I would have too!!!  He took a gamble and won because after he erased his photos – they still live on the internet for eternity.

Care to see a bit of Varda’s portfolio?  After all, he is Europe’s Best Florist!

A party by Varda with masses of different flowers, grouped together, but not mixed, which is really interesting and different.

Here, the entrance to the wedding, decorated.

With a view like this, you don’t need large flowers.  I like the hanging spray.

Flowering limbs on the ceiling.

So pretty!  Hanging votives.

Climbing flowers.  Hanging votives are his trademark I guess.  That view is just gorgeous.

More hanging votives.

What a cake!!!!

Indian wedding.  Notice the columns – those are INCREDIBLE!!

The Indian Wedding at night.

First birthday!

A huge thank you to Djordje Varda for posting the pics of Pippa’s party!  Tongue twister. 

Even if these two don’t think so:

And here is the happy couple, a little worse for wear – a day after their wedding – at the airport, leaving for their honeymoon at The Brando!!

The atoll where The Brando resort is.  This is such an incredible photo – you can really see the formation of the atoll!!! 

Myself?  I think this is just gorgeous.  I love the juxtaposition of the raw wood park bench and table with the dressy flowers.  I’m going to save this photograph for my daughter!!   As if!!!


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  1. That was fun!!! How stunning was that room????!

  2. Loved the wedding coverage-- & very interesting excited to see that I won one of the subscriptions to Southern Home!! What do I need to do to receive it?
    Sylvia Thompson

    1. let me know if they replied to you?

    2. And congrats!!!! I would love one myself!

    3. Anyone know if they had the ceramic phallus-shaped salt and pepper shakers on display from their party line?

  3. What an absolutely stunning wedding!! I can't even imagine the aroma from all of those glorious flowers. Well done, Joni! You always know what we want to see! Happy Weekend and congrats to all of the magazine winners!! xo, Emily

  4. Oh yum.......I absoluuutely enjoyed that Joni! Those large Cherry blossom Trees at the Wedding Reception are simply stunning - I love the romantic and magical garden setting- what a wonderful idea. And again, I love your commentary - too funny!

  5. Thank you for sharing...amazingly beautiful! I would love to see more of Kate's sketch! One thing I noticed...the flowers around the base of the cherry trees...could guests to see the person across the table from them? I think the flowers at the church were the most magical I have ever seen!
    Linda Floyd

    1. I don't think so - and I don't think they cared! I think that might be why couples were not seated at the same table - so you were forced to talk to the people right next to you.

  6. Honestly, Djordje Varda can't pay his staff enough...can you imagine the details!!! Just awesome!! franki

    1. I have a feeling he pockets the big tab himself.It can't be cheap to live in St. Barts.

    2. He certainly has all the motivation to do right by his new bride!

  7. This must be one of the prettiest and most romantic wedding receptions ever! What a difference a creative floral artist with a big budget can make to a special day. Thank you for posting. Best wishes, Pamela

    1. I agree!!!! you have to have the budget - but they were really talented too.

  8. Unrelated to this amazing post but last night I watched a week-old episode of Andy Cohen's Watch What Happens Live. Carole Radziwill was a guest and confessed that the leopard sofa was off being reupholstered- in a new fabric! Not sure if you've been watching RHONY this season but I noticed she was doing some redecorating after her cats completely destroyed the couch. RIP. Sad news!

    1. i KNOW!! I saw that - I had been watching the show and the sofa looks horrible. I don't understand why she isn't recovering it in the velvet like it was. Big mistake!!!! It's iconic!!! oh well.

  9. Wow and Wow! Only you can sleuth out all of the details..loved it!

  10. How delightful! They must have chopped down most of Sherwood Forest to get these! Totally worth it the hefty price tag, no doubt.

  11. Wow. Beautiful, romantic and totally worth every penny they spent.

    1. Still use those in that neck of the woods?

    2. The English penny is still in use, but the ha'penny (halfpenny) went out of use in 1967.

  12. Wow, amazing, how was your experience in that room?

  13. What a wondeful blog post - thanks much for posting this :) This is currently my favourite blog! Notice how in the menu there aren't really any carbs... that's because Pippa famously doesn't eat them ;)

  14. How do you manage to dig up this stuff!
    Although some of the aspects, like the flowers, seem quite harmless to share, on the other hand, I kind of admire them for keeping it under wraps. And for so long!

  15. Thank You!!!!!!! So excited to win :) !!