Decoding the Herbs and Flowers in Your Bridal Bouquet

Lavender for undying love, oregano for happiness, and peonies for beauty: The meaning behind your wedding flowers
Bouquet

Photo Modified: Flickr / theinvinciblemom / CC BY 4.0

Add roses to your bouquet to symbolize the most passionate, romantic relationship.

Deciding what flowers to have at your wedding can be incredibly difficult. Whether to be traditional and carry roses, to have bright, extravagant colors, or to have an elegant, white and green bouquet… There are so many options, and no easy way to decide. Whether you’re selecting based on color scheme, or on what flowers will be in season, or on which have the best scent, a look at the traditional meanings of each and every herb and stem will help you choose.

Fresh herbs and flowers have played essential roles in the language of love for centuries. In Ancient Greece, brides would have mint and marigolds sewn into garlands and wreaths, as they were believed to be aphrodisiacs. The Romans would carry wheat, as a symbol of fertility, rosemary to represent the groom’s virility, and myrtle to signify long life.

To wish for a long and prosperous marriage, add some fragrant sage to your bouquet. Tie in some binding ivy as a sign of fidelity, and some lavender to symbolize your devotion and undying love. Together, ivy, lavender, and sage represent the foundations of the strongest marriage.

For a passionate, romantic relationship, you have several bright, intense options: red roses, red tulips, and red carnations are all obvious choices. If red is not your color, yellow tulips also symbolize love, and white roses are widely known to represent a true, pure love. Roses may feel like too obvious a choice for your wedding, in which case swap them for some blooming peonies, which stand for endless beauty.

Your wedding day will be one of endless smiles: Everyone always says it should be the happiest day of your life. Let your bouquet reflect this with  simple pansies and delicate lily of the valley, which both stand for happiness, or herbal marjoram and oregano, which also symbolize joy.

Another key component to every marriage is support, protection, and understanding. Start the journey in this way by representing these important qualities in your bouquet: Choose soft lamb’s ears for support, scented eucalyptus for protection, delicate thyme for courage and strength, and some bountiful hydrangeas for perseverance and understanding. If you’re a traditional bride who’s still hoping for a chivalric groom, add some springtime daffodils to your selection.

By wearing all white, you’re already symbolizing your bridal purity. You could highlight this further by carrying some delicate daisies, some colored freesias, and some wild gardenias, which all symbolize innocence. And if you want to add a more regal air to your wedding, be sure to carry a bouquet of lilies: They stand for majesty, truth, and honor.

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