Several people asked in the comments yesterday what a kissing ball is, so here's your answer:
These three sisters are carrying kissing balls made of bells of Ireland flowers. Kissing balls are an alternative to baskets of flowers or scattering rose petals. Many churches will not allow fresh rose petals to be dropped, since they can damage carpet. They can also be dangerous if there is a bare floor; the possibility exists for a person to slip and fall.
The kissing ball above is made of cream and pale pink roses and small ivy leaves. They are made (as you can see) with a loop of ribbon or cording so the child has something to hold onto. It is always a good idea to caution the child not to swing the ball on the ribbon - or you'll likely see petals and flowers falling out at an alarming rate!
This one is made of hot pink and raspberry roses, and is used to mark the aisle to the ceremony for an outdoor wedding. There were six of them, and they hung on wrought-iron shepherd's hooks.
Kissing balls can hang from the ceiling - or from a chandelier - usually with mistletoe attached. We always have two of these in the foyer of the Governor's Mansion, usually made of holly and mistletoe. I have made kissing balls for a bride to carry instead of the traditional bouquet. For several years now, decor and floral magazines have shown kissing balls atop tall glass vases for table centerpieces and buffets, or hanging from gazebos and arches. I believe this trend stems from the popularity of gazing balls in the garden, and is a natural progression of the design.
Does that clear it up for you?
(I had a hard time titling this post. My original title was "All You Ever Wanted to Know about Kissing Balls", but something told me that wasn't a good idea ............LOL!!)
Happy New Year to One and All!!