Lavender is for lovers true.
These words were written in 1584 by poet Clement Robinson. A few hundred years later, the Victorians were still in agreement with Robinson. The aromatic blooms were considered a symbol of devoted love, making the purple flowers a natural choice for a wedding. For a bride who is looking for something different from the usual bridal bouquet of roses or lilies, lavender can provide a fragrant, understated note.
Lavender isn’t necessarily a temperament plant. It likes what it likes—well-drained soil and lots of sun, and it seems to like a particular spot on the North Fork called Lavender by the Bay. Serge Rozenbaum and his wife Susan bought the land in 2002, after planting their own garden of lavender at their Southold home on the dunes. The sandy soil wasn’t ideal for most plants, but Paris-born Rozenbaum remembered the baskets of French lavender sold on Parisian streets that his mother loved, and he thought lavender might like the terrain.
The plants thrived. When the Rozenbaums had more than enough for their home and guests, they began to sell the surplus. The Rozenbaums decided to start their own business, the only lavender farm in the area, planting both French and English varieties.
Now, visitors can cut their own flowers with baskets, sickles or scissors provided by the Rozenbaums, or buy fresh or dried lavender, as well as lavender-infused bath and body products, or lavender honey from hives that Rozenbaum tends. The honey is in such demand that the Rozenbaums never have enough to ship. Lavender by the Bay is also kid and pet-friendly.
This past summer, the Rozenbaums welcomed a record number of visitors, who strolled through the fragrant fields or stopped into the shop to buy sachets or scented soaps and lotions. While the farm is not currently equipped to host a wedding, it is still a favorite destination for brides, in part as a location for wedding photos. For a bride looking for something other than a cookie cutter posed wedding portrait, a sea of lavender can make a beautiful backdrop. Anyone can enjoy a walk through the flowers for an $8 field entry fee (that is applicable toward a purchase in the shop), but for a professional photo shoot for the wedding, make sure that you schedule ahead of time and be aware that there is a site fee.
If lavender only figures into your bridal plans as a photo op, you’re missing out on the versatility of this member of the mint family. Lavender has long been believed to be beneficial in alleviating a number of ills—both physical and psychological—everything from stomachaches to anxiety. Soothe any pre-wedding jitters with a soak in warm water swirled with essential oils. Lavender by the Bay sells a lavender bud-stuffed eye pillow that would calm the most anxious bride.
Include lavender in your wedding floral arrangements, and you’ll add an element of fragrance to your walk down the aisle. You can also deck your bridesmaids out with sweet-smelling blooms, but one wedding planner cautions against pairing lavender flowers with lavender dresses. Choose a different hue for dresses and bouquets and avoid the dreaded matchy-matchy syndrome. Don’t forget the flower girl, either. Roses and lavender pair beautifully for a wreath to perch on your little flower girl’s head. After the ceremony, instead of rice, have your guests shower you with bird-friendly lavender buds.
If you want to bring lavender into your wedding in yet another way, think with your heart—and your stomach. Lavender has always been a part of the French culinary landscape. It can go savory and create that indescribable note of flavor in a main course, or easily embrace the sweeter side of food. Even something as simple as sprinkling lavender infused sugar over a dish filled with sweet, summer berries can make a wedding unique.
Consider lavender as a part of your wedding, and you’ll agree with Robinson, too. Lavender is for lovers true, and works very well for weddings, too.
Lavender by the Bay is located at 7540 Main Road, East Marion. For more info, visit lavenderbythebay.com or call 631-477-1019.