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The history of Wedding Flowers

Written by The Flower Delivery Company on April 19th, 2013.      4 comments

herb_bouquet_1.jpgFlowers, herbs, and spices have been used in weddings since the beginning of time. Today, flowers continue to be a traditional and integral part of any wedding ceremony. In ancient times wedding flowers were spiritually oriented. Brides would carry a bunch of strong smelling herbs and spices such as dill, garlic, rosemary and myrtle, to ward off evil spirits. In ancient Rome and Greece the bride and groom wore a garland of strong smelling spices and herbs around their necks symbolizing hope, happiness and fertility.  Different herbs carried different meanings. Dill is the herb of lust and when placed with garlic and carried down the aisle it symbolised that the bride would lust only for her husband.

During the Victorian-era flowers were used as a means of communication in which various flowers and arrangements were used to send coded messages. This allowed individuals to express feelings which otherwise could not be spoken in such a strict society. A gentleman would send a flower or a bouquet, perhaps selecting a flower that represented eternal love or friendship. The woman who received these flowers may have returned a message of her own to the gentleman by carrying a flower or wearing one in her hair the next time she saw him. Considered ‘love letters in bloom’ – flowers played a significant role in the ritual of courtship during the Victorian-era. With each flower having its own meaning, these associations were soon adopted for the bride’s bouquet. Flowers for the wedding were chosen based on their meaning rather than the colour scheme. Queen Victoria made history in 1840 when she married Prince Albert and replaced most of the herbs in her wedding bouquet with fresh flowers.  Here was born the image of the modern day wedding with a bride holding a cascade of fresh flowers.

As time has passed the meaning of flowers has stayed the same. While herbs have largely lost their place in a wedding bouquet, some cultures still intertwine herbs with flowers to celebrate marriage with a gift from nature. In some countries, the history of flowers and their roles in weddings have stayed with them and many practices are still used today. In Sweden bridesmaids carry a small bouquet of aromatic herbs. In Germany the bride and groom hold candles with ribbons and flowers tied to them. In India the groom’s brother sprinkles rose petals over the bride and groom to ward off any evil spirits.

Flowers have always played an important part in a wedding and continue to remain a significant aspect. In our modern times, brides now select their wedding flowers based on their lovely colours and shapes to suit their personality, gown and colour scheme. Perhaps a mix of roses, orchids, tulips, hydrangeas or peonies, with a touch of herbs or spices, would provide the ideal mix of modernism, tradition and symbolic meaning.
Topics: Wedding Flowers


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