This Guinness World Record Flower Girl Attempt Is Blooming Wonderful
And there was a lovely reason why.
You think you have issues trying to get your two flower girls, a page boy and the mother of the groom organised for your wedding?
Spare a thought for this couple -- Charlene Pearson and Leon Watts. The pair married in April 2017 and had a staggering 253 flower girls at their ceremony.
Yep, you read that right.
The couple chose to celebrate their marriage in the town of Hita, Japan, on 2 April 2017, and at the same time go for the Guinness World Record for "The most flower girls at a wedding."
And there was a lovely reason why.
"I was living in the town for three years, teaching English at nine of the schools in the town," Charlene told ten daily.
"While I was living there, the Kumamoto earthquakes [of 2016] happened, and afterwards I saw the community go through so much -- so we developed this idea of doing something positive, a big community project, with everyone and for everyone. The students at school were always looking in the Guinness World Records books at lunchtimes and they were always excited to see something especially when it was a Japanese record."
I found that a lot of my students were really interested in Western wedding traditions and they didn't know what flower girls were -- with all of that combined we decided to go for the record!"
The pair teamed up with their friend Luchi, a restaurant owner and respected community representative in the town, to make things happen. "He talked about community resilience and the importance of having a strong spirit and we talked about the idea and developed it with him," said Charlene.
The wedding was a total do-it-yourself affair. And with 253 flower girl dresses to make, that wasn't a small undertaking.
"We had a basic dress design so everyone and anyone could help," Charlene laughed to ten daily. "People were cutting ribbons and elastics and there was sewing and cutting out of material... the wedding cake was cooked by one of the mums of the flowergirls, we made all the decorations, our ring bearer made origami for the wedding arch. Everyone did what they could."
And if you're thinking you'd be hard pressed to find 53 let alone 253 flower girls (or guests!) you could ask along, then you're not alone. While the Guinness World Record rules state you're not allowed to have strangers in the bridal party, wrangling that many people wasn't easy for Charlene and Leon. They spread the word with the help of friends and put posters up around town to get everyone they knew involved.
"I even rode through town on my bike with a poster on the back of it," Charlene said.
Even though there were so many people in attendance, Charlene told us that she didn't feel the ceremony lacked intimacy. "The community there feels like a family to us -- we call that our second home," she said. "There was a lot of warmth around us. When we said our vows, we said "I do", "I do" and then our celebrant -- Luchi, their restaurateur friend -- asked "Does everyone here support them in their marriage?" And everyone said "we do".
Then began the long wait to see if they had done enough to snag the record.
"We had to wait a few months," said Charlene. "By the time we found out I had just moved back to Australia. We were so excited -- we called over video chat and we told Luchi first. Then he arranged for us to have a video session and projected it on the side of his restaurant so people from the town could come and hear the news, and we celebrated with them there!"
No, you're crying.