Flowers add visual beauty and a touch of romance to a wedding, they have their own significance and meaning like a language they speak to you.
What would you choose and why do Brides carry bouquets?
A Bride carrying flowers or wearing garlands dates back to ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian times.
Brides carried sheaths of wheat hand tied and embellished with grains, branches of fruit or nut trees anything to signify abundance, they also wore caplets of native flowers. Bride and grooms may have worn blossom circlets and wreaths of greenery.
After the wedding ceremony, the crowd would scatter flower petals before the happy couple which was crushed underfoot as they walked through the streets to their new home.
What do those flowers mean?
It was the Greeks and the Romans that gave meaning to certain flowers.
In ancient Greece ivy was used to symbolise “enduring love”
Today it also means fidelity in marriage.
In Roman and Egyptian times brides wore or carried flower garlands to signify “new happiness, beginnings, fidelity and hope of good fertility”.
By the middle ages strong smelling herbs and spices were added to the bouquets to ward off evil spirits, bad luck, ill health and maybe odours as bathing was not a regular practice.
Wedding bouquets were considered to bring happiness and satisfaction in marriage while the ribbon with which the bouquet is tied symbolised fellowship.
Today the significance is more personal and decorative, a modern bouquet does not have to be flowers, can be all different shapes and sizes, corsage, cascading bouquet, flowers in a basket, handbag bouquets.
Your bouquet can be made out of paper, silk, silk butterflies, jewels, fruit ,candy, feathers, buttons, seashells, metal or combinations of different things. You can add heirlooms, charms, something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.
Things that you love and mean something to you for a personal touch: your pets’ name tag, paper flowers made with pages of your favourite book.
What does your favourite flower represent?
Here’s a list from A-Z, to find the flower that’s meant to be;
Alstroemeria – Fortune, devotion and friendship
Amaryllis – Splendid beauty
Anemone – Greek word for ‘wind flower’- Anticipation
Thought to bring luck and protect against evil
Anthurium (Flamingo flower)- The heart -Hospitality and kindness
Astilbe- (or false Spirea) – meaning “I’ll be waiting for you”
Or “I’ll still be waiting for you”- symbolises patience and dedication to a loved one
Azalea – Love and romance
Babys’ Breath – Festivity – Everlasting love, innocence and purity
Birds of Paradise – (the flower crane) – Symbol of paradise, freedom and joy. Represents faithfulness, thoughtfulness and love
Bouvadia – Enthusiasm
Calla Lily – Regal – Magnificent beauty -Named after the Greek word for beauty
Camelia – Love, affection and admiration
Red – Love, passion and deep desire
White – Adoration
Pink – longing for someone and given to someone who is missed
Pink Carnation- Gratitude, pride and beauty
White Carnation- Pure love and innocence
Cherry Blossom- Symbolises “the fragility of life” -Only around for a few weeks in spring
Chrysanthemum – symbolism “joy and long life, fidelity and optimism
Clematis – Ingenuity and mental beauty
Coreopsis – Love at first sight
Cornflowers- Wild flower, legend has it that cornflowers were worn by young men in love. If his love was returned the flower would remain bright and fresh. If the mans’ love was not returned the flower would fade quickly
Daffodil – New beginnings and marriage
Dahlia – means from the valley – represents dignity, elegance and good taste
Daisy – Innocence and new beginnings – lovely for a wild flower bouquet
Delphinium – Light heartedness and vivacity -Comes from the Greek word for dolphin
Forsythia – Anticipation
Freesia – Innocence, friendship, sweetness and thoughtfulness and trust
Gardenia – Joy, purity, love and sophistication. Popular to wear in your hair.
Gerbera Daisy – Cheerfulness
Gladiolus – Generosity, sincerity, strength of character, faithfulness and honour.
Hellebores – Just to add beauty to your bouquet.
Heather – Good luck, protection and admiration
Honeysuckle – New beginnings and resilience
Hyacinth -Constancy and sincerity. Symbolises sport or play – Named after a Greek boy Hyakinthos
Hydrangea – Perseverance and heartfelt emotion
Iris – known for its purple hue it represents three important entities – Faith, Valour and Wisdom
Larkspur – Beautiful spirit and fickleness
Lavender – Devotion and virtue
Lilac – Of first love – Good to use if this is your first love, First child or any first love
Magenta lilac – Love and passion
Lilies – Fertility and purity
White – Modesty virginity, purity, and refined beauty
Orange Lily – Passion. Yellow Lily – Gaiety
Lily of the Valley – Sweetness, humility, purity of heart, Can also represent a return to happiness
Lisianthus – Gratitude, charm and everlasting bond
Lotus Flower – Symbol of purity, enlightenment, self regeneration and rebirth
Magnolia – Nobility and dignity
Muscari – Tenderness, softness and caring love
Orchids – Refinement, charm, with exotic beauty and glorious femininity
Peonies – Happy marriage, a happy life, good health and prosperity
Poppies – Red poppy – Pleasure
Yellow – Wealth and success
Protea – Diversity, courage, change and transformation. Named after the Greek god Poseidons’ son Protea who could change his shape at will.
Queen Annes Lace – Femininity and complexity
Rannunculus – Radiant charm and attractiveness
Roses – Love and romance – Red Rose -Passion
– White Rose- Innocence and purity
Pink Rose – Gratitude, grace, joy and Admiration
Orange – Enthusiasm and passion
Yellow – Friendship
Snapdragon – Graciousness – known as Gracious lady or Deception, if you squeeze this flower a certain way the flower looks like a dragons’ mouth
Statice – Success, sympathy or remembrance
Stephanotis – Symbol of good luck
Stock – Everlasting beauty, a joyous happy life and a lasting loving bond
Sunflower – Dedicated love, warmth and adoration
Sweetpea – Blissful pleasure, appreciation and departure
Tulip – Red tulip – declaration of love, perfect love and faithfulness to your partner, undying love
Pink – Caring, good wishes, friendship, joyful occasions
Madonna lily (Lilium candidum), Euphorbia marginata, Cyperus (papyrus), stephanotis, jasmine, lilac, narcissus, gypsophila flower
You may want to choose your flowers by your birth month.
January – Carnations and Snowdrops
February– Violets and Primrose
March – Daffodils and Jonquils
April – Daisies and Sweet peas
May – Lily of the valley and Hawthorn
June – Roses and Honeysuckles
July – Larkspur and Water lily
August – Gladiolus and Poppies
September – Aster and Morning Glory
October – Marigolds and Cosmos
November – Chrysanthemum
December – Narcissus and Holly
Flowers that symbolise marriage:
American Linden: – Matrimony
Ivy Geranium: – For the bride
Orange Flowers: – Bridal festivities
Pea: – Happy Marriage
Peony: – Happy Marriage
Safflower: – Marriage – Welcome
Stephonitis: – Weddings
Flowers that symbolise love:
Ambrosia: – Love returned
Anthurium (Flamingo flower): – The Heart
Azalea: – Love and romance
Cabbage Rose: – Ambassador of love
Coreopsis: -Love at first sight
Forget-Me-Not: – True Love
Myrtle: – Love
Philodendron: – Loving tree
Purple Lilac: –
Red Catchfly: – Youthful love
Red Chrysanthemum: – “I love”
Red Tulip: – Declaration of love
Rose: – Love
Rosehips: – The fruits of loveDo you have a favourite colour?
You may choose your flowers by colour.
Wedding flowers do not have to match the decor, but you should choose blooms that compliment the colour palette of your surroundings and be bold with your colours.
Look at the colour of your invitations, bridesmaids and groomsmen outfits, linens and more.
Don’t forget the seasons–
Choosing flowers that are seasonal
May make your flowers more readily available and gives you and the florist an opportunity to get creative with your bouquets and decorations.
Spring: In season are delicate anemones, ranunculus, mixed with garden roses and textures of greenery, lily of the valley,sweet peas, tulips and lilacs.
All white bouquets feature heavily too or in late spring deep berry and lime.
Summer: Early summer blousy peony and garden roses. Scented sweet peas , ammi, sweet william, delphiniums, freesias and hydrangeas.
Mid-summer: Dahlias are in season to incorporate into your bouquets. Dahlias photograph exceptionally well and come in a variety of colours.
Autumn: Subtle Autumn colour of soft rusts, toffee roses and mellows, dahlias, gladioli, gerberas, Hypericum berry, delphiniums, sunflowers,and poppies are in season . Dried flowers can be incorporated here also. Add fruit and candles to your reception tables to continue the theme.
Winter: For a decadent opulent winter look, rich deep burgundy or reds with blue viburnum berries and thistle is a beautiful combination or berried ivy, hyacinth, pussy willow, amaryllis and christmas rose (not related to christmas) can be used.
What can you do with your flowers after the event to be as Eco friendly as you can be.
Have a bouquet station at your wedding so guests can take a bunch of your flowers home.
Re-purpose them for your home.
Donate your flowers – to Nursing homes, Shelters, Companies in your local area. Ask for permission beforehand, so you can donate them after your wedding.
Dry your flowers
Press your flowers in glass – A beautiful way to create an art piece to remember your wedding day
Make your own candles, add some flowers into the wax or wax dip your flowers.
Make pot pourri.
Turn them into jewellery- A special way to remember your day with options to gift pieces to your bridal party, friends and family or jewellery pieces to be passed on as heirlooms.
Remember your loved ones – This is an opportunity to share your wedding with the friends and family that are no longer with you.
Create flower letters
Turn your flowers into confetti .
Recipe for confetti – courtesy of Upwaltham Barns
Get your flowers
Free the petals from the stem
Line a microwave safe plate with a paper towel
Place the petals in a single layer try to space them out
Cover the layer of petals with a paper towel place on top
Place the plate in the microwave and heat on high until all the petals are no longer damp to touch ( you will need to experiment with timings – 30 second increments).
Remove from the microwave, check the petals are all dry and store in a sealed container ready to use for the next wedding or celebration.
How much do you need? This is an estimate not an exact amount.
Measured in a one litre measuring jug.
One litre provides about five or six large handfuls.
For 60 guests – estimate 12litres
100 guests – estimate 20litres
140 guests – estimate 28litres
This estimate measurement is for dried rose petals.
Smaller flowers will require a smaller volume.
Red petals may stain clothes if they get damp.
An estimate to scatter dried or fresh petals along a 14 metre aisle is half a litre per metre.
Here are a few flowers supposedly said to have a negative meaning and association:
Begonia – Beware
Tansy – Hostile thoughts
Striped Carnation – Refusal
White Poppy – Consolation
Chrysanthemum – Symbol of death
Gladiolus – Strength and character
Forget-me-not – Remembrance
The White Stargazer Lily – Considered to be the saddest flower
White Carnations – Deep sorrow, sadness and respect.
Would you think twice about choosing these?
I hope the flowers speak to you and you find this blog helpful when choosing your flowers or maybe ideas to choose something like a paper bouquet or adding something personal to you into your flower bouquet .