Snowflakes. As a child you watched them spiral slowly down. And you knew were on to something special. Maybe your mother let you play hooky from school on the first day of snow.
Grownups told you each one was unique, but you just wanted to touchcthem to your tongue, and they all tasted the same. At school, snowflakes were part of your first foray into art. They were innocent, complex, sharp and rational. They were almost synonymous with sour grade-school paste and the metallic taste of those blunt-end scissors.
Snowflakes mark the heart of the senses in winter. They’re the flip side of steaming cup of hot chocolate after a hard day at play. They’re your winter wedding in miniature. They have a sporty side, too. An alpine, après ski feel, fit for the march into adulthood. Put grownups in enough fresh-piled snow, and they play again. Which is why snowflake favors are perfect for your wedding. Did you want them sweet and fragile, rich and buttery, minty, shiny, or cool?
Even if the perfect snowfall marks the day of your wedding – a movie moment, where the snow falls thick and slow from a receding indigo dome, each flake tumbling down in its own distinct pattern, looking as if it had been falling forever – you probably won’t ask your guests to step outside and stick out their tongues. You probably won’t hand out red worsted mittens, tied on a string, to your guests and attendants, and ask them to play.
But they’ll remember. They’ll remember winter evenings in a concert hall before a string orchestra, where a kid niece stood and played the solo violin from Vivaldi’s Winter. They’ll remember the hint of a great-grandparent who sped along in the dark in a horse-drawn cutter. The slushy sound as the blades of their skates traced a curve in the ice.
And the awful-wonderful feel of frozen fingers warmed in the sink after a day spent defending a snow fort. The delicious weight of two or three extra blankets. Waking up in the middle of the night and seeing stars shine with brutal clarity through naked trees. They’ll remember leaving behind the roaming summer days for the dark, inner winter days where anyone can slowly become anything.
And you can ask them to join you in a quick little trip to the past. Gussied up in a grown-up package of course. With a little cellophane, a little glitter dust, a little tulle, a little tin. A small, sweet hint in a small tin of mints, or white chocolates, or the glint of a snowflake ornament warmed up with a ribbon.
Snowflakes: each one really is unique. Each couple is unique. Each guest is unique. It’s no wonder that brides are so set on this delicate, ephemeral little symbol that melts into time.