Wedding Flowers: Beauty, Tradition and a Little Light Magic
Flowers and weddings seem to be such a natural, well, marriage, that you may be forgiven for not knowing about the long history of symbolism and a sort of practical magic behind their use at the ceremony, reception and to insure blessings on the wedding night nuptials. Bridal bouquets, bridesmaids posies, floral arrangements and centerpieces can be designed with a common theme and weave a romantic unforgettable spell.
Rosemary, Garlic & Orange Blossoms
Brides in ancient Rome wore little bundles of herbs under their veils to enhance fertility and fidelity while her entourage of bridesmaids carried, not floral bouquets, but bunches of aromatic rosemary and garlic to ward off evil spirits that may have been attracted to the bridal party.
No Greek wedding would be complete without plenty of ivy, especially as headpieces entwined with colorful blossoms, symbolizing everlasting and unbreakable love. To this day, orange blossoms are a popular inclusion for bouquets, because they represent happiness and fulfillment. Thank the ancient Saracens who made this association because of the orange tree’s unique property of both blossoming and bearing fruit simultaneously.
Today,hawaiian wedding flower tradition often includes an exchange of the wedding lei between bride and groom, and bride’s often wear flowers in their hair.
Wedding Flower Tradition
Not all wedding flower traditions are so ancient or esoteric. Louisiana weddings often include a procession from the church to the reception led by jazz musicians followed by bridesmaids twirling umbrellas bedecked with magnolias and other flowers.
No Hawaiian wedding could be complete without flower lei for the bride and groom and guests.
Austrian brides crown their veils with myrtle, the flower of life.
In India the brother of the groom spreads petals on the heads of the bride and groom for fertility and good fortune.
Swedish bridesmaids traditionally carry bunches of pungent herbs and aromatic flowers to keep any ill intended trolls at bay, while the groom must have a sprig of thyme stitched into his clothes.
Roses all say “I Love You”, but each color actually has a more subtle meaning of its own. Red is for passion, burgundy – unconscious beauty, orange/coral – desire, pink – grace and gentility, red and white together – two lovers unified, white – innocence and worthiness, and yellow for joy.
Some other wedding flowers have hidden meanings as well. Lilies convey majesty while Cala Lilies represent splendid beauty. Carnation – distinction, white Chrysanthemum – truth, Lilac – first love, Iris – warm affection, Forget Me Not – true love and remembrance, Honeysuckle – devoted and generous affection, Daisy – beauty and innocence, Magnolia – perseverance, Jasmine – amiability, and all types of fern represent fascination and sincerity.
The world of wedding flowers is wonderfully steeped in tradition and symbolism. Add some of this mystery to your own special day for a truly memorable celebration.