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What Do Wedding Flowers Really Mean?

lillyofthevalleySince the earliest days, flowers have played a role in wedding ceremonies and receptions all over the world – as beautiful decorations, adornments for the bride and perhaps most important, as symbols of the values held by the couple. Many know that red roses signify passionate love, but did you know that Bells of Ireland represent luck and freesia symbolises innocence? By incorporating flowers into your bouquet, hair, boutonnière, corsages or decorations, you can bring even more meaning and personalisation into the detail of your wedding. This special guide explains the meaning behind these beautiful buds to help today’s bride understand the language of flowers.

Love Notes
Ultimately, the wedding day is a special moment that recognizes the deep feelings between a bride and the groom. For an event that’s all about love, it makes perfect sense to include some of the flowers that represent this warm feeling in a bouquet, boutonnière or décor:

  • Forget-Me-Not: True love
  • Morning Glory: Affection
  • Myrtle: Matrimonial love
  • Pansy: Loving thoughts
  • Roses (red): Passionate love
  • Roses (white): Unity
  • Tulip: Love / Lovers

Petals for a Happy Life
New couples have many hopes and dreams for their life together – happiness, health and success to name a few. Some types of flowers represent these pleasant aspects of a happily married life. Consider adding these flowers to your wedding bouquet, the groom’s boutonnière or centerpieces as tokens of the aspirations and wishes for your relationship:

  • Alstroemeria: Wealth and prosperity
  • Bells Of Ireland: Good luck
  • Bluebell: Everlasting love
  • Hollyhock: Fertility
  • Iris: Health
  • Lavender: Devotion
  • Lily of the Valley: Happiness
  • Stephanotis: Marital joy
  • Violet: Faithfulness

Wholesome Virtues
Let’s face it, the wedding day is totally focused on the bride. It’s often a reflection of her personality and an expression of her hopes. The flowers in her and her bridesmaids’ bouquets are usually very personal to her as well. A bride who’s known for specific merits (perhaps the very aspects of her personality that made the groom fall in love with her!) may be inclined to find floral representations of these characteristics:

  • Freesia: Innocence
  • Jasmine: Grace
  • Lilac: Humility
  • Magnolia: Perseverance
  • Orchid: Rare beauty
  • Snowdrop: Hope
  • Water Lily: Purity

Honouring Those Who Have Passed Away
Including a favourite flower of a family member or friend who is no longer with you in your bouquet is a touching way to remember them. However, if you don’t know what their signature flower was or if it’s out of season, there are several floral options that can be used as meaningful gestures to memorialise and pay tribute to those who can only attend your wedding in spirit:

  • Carnation (pink): Not forgotten
  • Poppy: Remembrance
  • Rosemary: Remembrance
  • Sweet Pea: Tender memory
  • Weeping Willow: Mourning
  • Zinnia: Thoughts of absent friends

Flowers You May Want To Avoid
Some flowers, while pretty, don’t always symbolize the most appropriate feelings for a wedding. Of course, if you love these flowers, use them – but if you’re giving a lot of thought to what your floral choices mean, you might want to rethink these varieties for your wedding day:

  • Anemone: A dying hope for love
  • Carnation (yellow): Disappointment and rejection
  • Chrysanthemum (yellow): Jilted love
  • Cyclamen: Farewell
  • Foxglove: Insincerity
  • Hydrangea: Vanity
  • Larkspur: Fickleness
  • Marigold: Grief and jealousy
  • Peony: Shame
  • Tulip (yellow): Hopeless love

Discovering the secret language of flowers and incorporating their messages into your wedding is just one of several ways a detailed bride can personalise and bring meaning to her special day. With a little guidance, your florist should be able to provide you with floral options that are both visually stunning and expressive of the values you cherish.


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