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What do flowers symbolise at weddings?

Table of Contents

Wedding Floral Symbolism

It became virtually an art form for courting couples to use flowers as a means of communication when strict etiquette prohibited them from openly declaring their love to one another. It's possible to misinterpret a suitor's romantic intentions based on the flowers they've chosen, but there's no need to defend a good one. Whenever a gentleman called on a lady and presented her with an arrangement of red tulip, she knew he was completely smitten. If he returned her sentiments, she could send him a bouquet of lilacs. However, if she replied with an ivy arrangements, he would know that their passion had little chance of developing further. The presentation of the flowers was just as important as the flowers themselves. The flowers were kept standing to demonstrate the seriousness of the message. If they were turned upside down, the opposite connotation would be conveyed.

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Since you and your future spouse met over three years ago in the same month, it only makes sense that you tie the knot in the same year. You're wearing the veil your mum used to have. The evening he served you the cocktail and proposed is one of the most memorable nights of your life. You can also choose to add a personal touch to your floral arrangement. But don't just admire the flowers for their pretty colours and arrangements; think about what they've meant throughout time.

Flower meanings have been recognised as a "language" throughout time. In the Victorian times, if you wanted to express your emotions but were having trouble finding the right words, an arrangement of flowers would suffice. Many modern-day couples still follow the age-old tradition of decorating their wedding with bouquets and centrepieces made from flowers with personal significance. Flowers like the carnation and the rose are well-liked, but there are many more that have deeper significance, such as the daffodils (a sign of new beginnings), the iris (a symbol of trust), and the magnolia (a symbol of persistence).

Although the great majority of flowers are guaranteed to put a smile on your face, there are a select handful that should be avoided. The begonia represents "caution," while the quantity stands for "hostile ideas." A flower's meaning is amplified by the attention it receives from its colour. The rose, everyone's favourite wedding flower, can represent different things depending on the colour it is. Roses of varying colours all have special meanings. The white hyacinth stands for grace and elegance, while the blue hyacinth symbolises dependability and honesty.

Brides used to carry flowers because of their mystical properties, which protected them from illness and misfortune. It was thought that the intense smells of certain plants would drive away evil spirits. During the Romanesque period, the bride and husband wore flower garlands around their necks, which represented new life, hope, and faith. This custom is still practised on several tropical islands today.

A wedding bouquet is thought to provide happiness and fulfilment to a marriage, while the ribbon used to knot the bouquet represents fellowship. The practise of wearing ornaments on a groom's lapel (typically fashioned of the same flowers) initially arose in the Middle Ages. During tournaments, knights wore the colours of their ladies in their armour. During the Victorian wedding ceremony, the bride and groom exchanged flowers that have special value for them.

That is no longer the case. Brides carry bouquets as an accessory, but many of them pay attention to flower kind and select those with symbolic meanings that correspond to their personality.

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What is the Language of Flowers?

Although the practise of assigning significance to natural phenomena extends back millennia, the Victorians were the first to use floral arrangements as a way of communication when speech and actions failed to do so.

Language of Flowers (or Floriography) was a popular pastime in the late 1800s, with subsequent flower dictionaries and a trend for expressing romantic messages to one another through floral gifts.

Roses

The traditional wedding flower, the rose, can have distinct symbolic connotations when utilised in different colour arrangements. Red roses symbolise love, passion, and beauty, while white roses, another favourite bouquet choice, stand for purity, innocence, and youth. Peach-colored flowers are thought to convey honesty and thanks, while light or dusty pink ones represent admiration, kindness, and grace.

The meaning of roses changes depending on the medium used to depict them. According to Victorian custom, giving a bride a single red rose on her wedding day symbolises undying love, while presenting the couple with a bouquet of intertwined roses represents marriage. However, be wary if your potential future spouse returns home with a bouquet of thirteen roses, as this is traditionally the gift of a hidden admirer.

For good reason, roses are the most popular choice for wedding flowers: they convey feelings of love and beauty at a reasonable cost and are accessible all year long. It is easy to see why they're so well-liked.

Sweet Pea (Lathyrus)

The homey sweet pea, with its abundant aroma and range of shades to suit any wedding colour scheme, is a perennial favourite for bridal bouquets, showing pictures of rustic ceremonies and pretty little brides. This two-petaled flower is ideal for a bridal bouquet since it represents the first taste of light pleasures, as described in George Routledge & Sons' 1888 lexicon, The Artistic Language of Flowers.

Lily of the Valley (Convallaria)

The Lily of the Valley, in The Artistic Language of Flowers' interpretation, represents joy's eventual return. Kate Middleton opted to have this lovely flower included in her bridal bouquet because of the additional significance of reliability.

Freesia

Botanist Christian P. Ecklon named the fragrant flowers after his friend Friedrich Freese to honour the virtues of friendship, trust, and candour. Adding them to your wedding decor is a lovely gesture that symbolises the significance of friendship inside a marriage and the closeness of the pair on their big day.

Symbolizing "innocence" like baby's breath, freesias exude a light, fruity fragrance. While their aroma is lovely, it may overpower the rest of your meal if you use these as table centrepieces rather than bouquets.

Peony

Both of the color-specific connotations of peonies can be traced back to ancient Greek mythology.

According to mythology, Aesculapius, the Greek deity of medicine, taught Paeon, the Greek gods' physician. Aesculapius attempted murder on his apprentice Paeon after he successfully treated Pluto with a peony root. In order to save the doctor, Pluto turned Paeon into a peony, forever linking the gorgeous flower with kindness.

There is a darker story, though, that associates the peony with a nymph named Paeonia. Apollo was captivated by the stunning creature. Paeonia was embarrassed and flushed when she realised the Greek goddess Aphrodite was watching them. Aphrodite turned the nymph into a crimson peony out of jealously and rage. The red peony has evolved into a modern symbol for modesty and shyness.

Ranunculus

Those who get a ranunculus are said to be "radiant with charms" and "rich in attractions" according to the book The Artistic Language of Flowers. These big, ruffled flowers are available in a rainbow of hues, from soft pinks and whites to blazing reds and golds.

Some have speculated that the name "ranunculus," which refers to a number of different types of flowers, comes from the Latin words for "frog" (rana) and "small" (unculus). According to legend, the flower got its moniker because it used to flourish besides streams in the summer.

Stephanotis

Stephanotis, a flower with delicate white blooms, can make even the simplest bouquet look elegant. The exquisite trumpet blossoms of this Madagascan plant are a fantastic addition to any flower arrangement on your wedding day because they are thought to symbolise marital happiness.

Gardenia

Gardenias were once used as a fabric dye, food colour, and even a medication, but now they are more commonly found in wedding table arrangements due to their sweet scent and vivid, luscious flowers.

Because of their heady scent, only a few number should be used in each arrangement if you plan on using them for your wedding day.

These flowers have been associated with tranquilly and harmony in their native Japan and China.

Hydrangea

Although hydrangeas were once a staple at weddings, their popularity has faded in recent years. However, wedding florists in Melbourne are beginning to rediscover the flower's enormous sprays of densely packed blossoms.

However, in their native Japan, the strong blossoms of this plant indicate thankfulness, despite the fact that Victorians linked them with frigidity and boasting. Legend has it that an emperor apologised to the woman he loved by sending her a bouquet of hydrangeas.

Baby's Breath (Gypsophila)

Baby's Breath is a delicate flower that can be used to add a romantic touch to any bouquet, headpiece, or arrangement. Even though white is the most prevalent colour for this graceful bloom, pink and pastel yellow variants do exist.

Gypsophila has two different meanings in the languages of flowers. For starters, it shares the purity symbolism of many other bridal flowers. But it's also a symbol of fertility, therefore it's often included in a bouquet presented to the new parents of a newborn.

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Wedding flowers to avoid

It's possible that some stunning blossoms have a negative connotation that you'd rather not have associated with your big day. There are occasions where only specific hues of a single bloom carry a negative connotation. If one of these happens to be your favourite bloom, you might opt to disregard the adage and go ahead and pick it.

You probably don't want your wedding to be associated with the feelings that larkspur, which symbolises betrayal, and lavender, which symbolises distrust, evoke. You may also eliminate foxgloves and yellow lilies from consideration, as they are symbols of dishonesty and deceit, respectively. Flowers like the Christmas rose and the marigold are best avoided because they both imply scandal and show mourning, respectively.

Caution is advised if you're planning a party with a yellow theme, as yellow carnations represent contempt, yellow chrysanthemums symbolise betrayed love, and yellow roses represent envy. As red carnations imply "alas, my sad heart" and red poppies mean "consolation," you should exercise caution when using red as a primary colour.

You might wish to avoid using certain flowers for your wedding because of the bad luck they're associated with.

Despite their seemingly innocent appearance, Begonia flowers are associated with a cautionary message. And watch out for who you hand them over to. Gifts of begonias were commonly associated with the sender's gloomy and fantastical thoughts in Victorian times.

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Hyacinths are lovely, but they are more commonly associated with funerals than weddings. The sad story of Hyacinthus, a figure from Greek mythology, has been associated with these stately flowers. Hyacinthus was rumoured to have been smitten by Apollo but also admired by Zephyrus. Because Zephyrus was jealous of Apollo's relationship with Hyacinthus, he blew the discus Hyacinthus was playing with off-target, killing the mortal. A hyacinth flower sprung up where the blood had been spilt. Sincerity (Hycinthus' original meaning) is now associated with the plant, but so are envy and haste.

It's important to understand the symbolism of the stunning wedding flowers you've chosen. The flowers you choose for your bridal bouquet and table centrepieces at the reception can say a lot more than just "I love you" or "I'm the lucky one"; they can also symbolise the aspirations and dreams you and your new spouse share for your future together.

Flower meanings might help you narrow down your options when it comes to picking out your bridal bouquet. (Did you know that the magnolia flower symbolises "love of nature," and the stephanotis flower represents "marital happiness"?) The Victorian era saw the creation of an incredibly romantic language for lovers' letters known as "The Language of Flowers," in which flowers were used in place of words.

CONCLUSION

Throughout history, people have recognised a "language" in flowers. If words and actions failed to convey how you felt in the Victorian era, a bouquet of flowers would do the trick. Many modern-day couples carry on this age-old custom by arranging bouquets and table centrepieces with flowers that have special significance for them. Flowers are a popular choice for bridal bouquets because of the widespread belief that each flower carries a special meaning that reflects the individual's character. Floriography, sometimes known as the "Language of Flowers," gained popularity among Victorian-era lovers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Roses are the go-to flower for wedding bouquets because they are beautiful, affordable, and available throughout the year. Kate Middleton picked this beautiful flower in her bridal bouquet because of its symbolic meaning of dependability. The freesias emanate a light, fruity aroma, while the double-petaled peony symbolises the first taste of light delights. It's possible you'd rather not have some flowers at your wedding because of the ill luck they're said to bring. Yellow chrysanthemums symbolise betrayed love, red carnations signify "alas, my sad heart," red poppies mean "consolation," and yellow roses symbolise envy. The Christmas rose and the marigold are two examples of flowers that should be avoided at all costs because they are associated with controversy and death.

FAQS About Wedding Flowers

In Australia, the average cost of wedding flowers is around $1,600 but this varies with each state. Budgeting 10-15% of your wedding's total cost for flowers is recommended. But if you have your heart set on those lavish wedding flower designs you've seen online, I'd suggest spending at least 20-25% of the whole wedding budget.

Colourful Wedding Bouquets
  • Bougainvillea, Nerine and Protea Bouquet. 
  • Red Bridal Bouquet Duo. 
  • Colourful Lilac, Peony and Rose Bouquet. 
  • Colourful Bouquet With Oranges and Vines. 
  • Bouquet With Varied Shades of Pink. 
  • Pink Bouquet Packed With Garden Roses. 
  • Purple Anemone, Dahlia and Orchid Bouquet.

DIY Flowers Are Budget-Friendly. You Can Save on the Labor Costs of Hiring a Florist! One of the major draws of DIY wedding flowers is the cost-effectiveness. It definitely saves money on a wedding florist when you end up designing your own floral arrangements!

Depending on the size of your bridal party, it could account for buttonholes and corsages for a few additional family members.

If you’re having an intimate wedding with no bridal party, a wedding flower budget of under $1000 could account for:

  • your wedding bouquet,
  • the groom’s buttonhole, as well as
  • a small feature installation at the ceremony or reception.
  1. Try to choose your wedding dress before your flowers. 
  2. Consider the shape and size of your bouquet carefully. 
  3. Find out what flowers are in season on your wedding day. 
  4. Consider the exact colour of your wedding dress. 
  5. Make it personal.

CONTENT SUMMARY

  • Since antiquity, flowers, plants, and herbs have been utilised as symbols.
  • Even the manner in which the flowers were presented to the receiver was significant.
  • Consider personalising your flowers as well.
  • But, rather than focusing solely on colour and aesthetic, consider the historical significance of the flowers.
  • Flowers have a "language" and have done so for ages.
  • Flowers, for example, were utilised to express feelings during the Victorian era when words and gestures failed.
  • Today, many couples continue this romantic tradition by creating bouquets and centrepieces with flowers whose meanings are meaningful to them.
  • The practise of wearing ornaments on a groom's lapel (typically fashioned of the same flowers) initially arose in the Middle Ages.
  • During the Victorian wedding ceremony, the bride and groom exchanged flowers that have special value for them.
  • Brides carry bouquets as an accessory, but many of them pay attention to flower kind and select those with symbolic meanings that correspond to their personality.
  • The traditional wedding flower, the rose, can have distinct symbolic connotations when utilised in different colour arrangements.
  • The meaning of roses changes depending on the medium used to depict them.
  • The homey sweet pea, with its abundant aroma and range of shades to suit any wedding colour scheme, is a perennial favourite for bridal bouquets, showing pictures of rustic ceremonies and pretty little brides.
  • The Lily of the Valley, in The Artistic Language of Flowers' interpretation, represents joy's eventual return.
  • Kate Middleton opted to have this lovely flower included in her bridal bouquet because of the additional significance of reliability.
  •  Botanist Christian P. Ecklon named the fragrant flowers after his friend Friedrich Freese to honour the virtues of friendship, trust, and candour.
  • Adding them to your wedding decor is a lovely gesture that symbolises the significance of friendship inside a marriage and the closeness of the pair on their big day.
  • Both of the color-specific connotations of peonies can be traced back to ancient Greek mythology.
  • Some have speculated that the name "ranunculus," which refers to a number of different types of flowers, comes from the Latin words for "frog" (rana) and "small" (unculus).
  • Baby's Breath is a delicate flower that can be used to add a romantic touch to any bouquet, headpiece, or arrangement.
  • It's important to understand the symbolism of the stunning wedding flowers you've chosen.
  • The flowers you choose for your bridal bouquet and table centrepieces at the reception can say a lot more than just "I love you" or "I'm the lucky one"; they can also symbolise the aspirations and dreams you and your new spouse share for your future together.
  • Flower meanings might help you narrow down your options when it comes to picking out your bridal bouquet.
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