The language of flowers, also known as floriography, dates back to Victorian times when lovers used different flowers to express their feelings in more subtle ways. The symbolism of flowers was so popular that picture dictionaries were published featuring hundreds of blooms and their meanings, allowing people to communicate secret messages through the flowers they gave.
This tradition of using flowers to convey messages soon spread to North America, where brides started incorporating meaningful flowers into their wedding bouquets and basing their wedding theme on them from the wedding lace robes to bridesmaids’ attire.
Although not everyone may be familiar with the language of flowers, it’s still worth taking into account because they have meanings and symbols associated with them. For instance, roses are commonly used at weddings as they symbolize love, romance, and passion. Florists need to explain these meanings to the bride to help her choose the best flowers for her big day.
Brides can also choose to give their bridesmaids different flower bouquets with specific meanings to express their thoughts and feelings, aside from their bridesmaid robes, pre-wedding pamper packages, or other gifts. With so many romantic flowers available, it can be challenging to choose the right one that conveys exactly how you feel.
To make it easier for you to choose your wedding flowers, we have curated a list of the most commonly used flowers with their meanings and symbols.
Roses are a beloved choice for various floral arrangements such as bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, and centerpieces due to their symbolic meaning of love, joy, and beauty. They are lightly fragrant to highly fragrant, depending on the variety, and are available year-round at moderate to expensive prices.
Red roses are associated with true love, while yellow roses symbolize friendship. White roses, on the other hand, convey innocence and humility, while coral or orange roses represent deep desires. However, it’s best to avoid deep crimson roses in bridal bouquets as they are associated with mourning.
Roses are a popular choice for wedding bouquets and buttonholes, making it easy to coordinate with your partner’s look, and an additional element to bridesmaids, flower girls, and mother of the bride robe. It’s worth noting that thorns should be removed before incorporating roses into the arrangements.
The peony is a beloved and timeless flower that is regarded across different cultures as a symbol of prosperity and satisfaction in a relationship. Additionally, it is seen as a display of honesty and compassion towards others. With a wide range of colors and variations, the peony offers brides the chance to create a truly unique floral design for their special day. They are an exceptional choice for weddings due to their unforgettable fragrance and symbolic value as a potent representation of love and adoration.
Brides particularly love using peonies in their weddings because they are sweet and sentimental, and the flowers symbolize happiness and ambition. This springtime bloom has a soft, delicate appearance that is said to bring good fortune and a happy marriage, making it a perfect choice for your big day. Peonies are also commonly given to celebrate engagements, and they are the official flower of 12th wedding anniversaries, symbolizing honor, fortune, and a joyful relationship.
Peonies come in various shades, with deep red symbolizing love and passion, while pink shades are often used for bouquets and wedding arrangements to convey a romantic sentiment. White peonies, on the other hand, represent beauty and are also popular choices for weddings due to their delicate appearance and symbolic value.
The gardenia, with its delicate and fragrant blooms, represents pure and joyful sentiments that are closely associated with wedding celebrations. Originating from Asia, this beautiful flower is highly valued in Japanese and Chinese cultures as a symbol of the peaceful and intimate connection shared between couples.
The white color of the gardenia signifies purity and innocence, making it a popular choice for wedding ceremonies. Gardenias are not only used in bridal bouquets, but also for reception table arrangements, adding a touch of elegance and charm to the wedding decor.
The orchid has long been regarded as a luxurious and beautiful flower, symbolizing love and affection, which is why it is a favorite choice among brides. While they lack a fragrance, they make up for it in their variety of colors and sizes. Pink orchids, in particular, convey pure affection.
The Ancient Greeks attached symbolic meaning to orchids, associating them with virility and gender prediction. According to Greek mythology, eating large orchid tubers ensured the birth of a baby boy, while small tubers resulted in a baby girl. Additionally, orchids are a traditional gift for 14th wedding anniversaries.
Hydrangeas have a long history of symbolizing gratitude, particularly in Japan, where they were traditionally given as a way of saying sorry for neglecting a loved one. Today, they are still associated with commitment and perseverance and are a popular choice for weddings.
As a shrub of flowers, they offer a dense, full look that represents abundance, making them a great choice for bouquets and arrangements. Although they are relatively expensive, their versatility and meaningful symbolism make them a worthwhile investment. Hydrangeas are typically in season in the spring and fall and have no scent.
The calla lily, a tropical flower hailing from Africa, is a popular choice for weddings due to its lightly fragrant trumpet-shaped blooms that exude “magnificent beauty.” The white variety symbolizes innocence, while yellow blooms represent gratitude and pink blossoms signify admiration and thanks.
This flower represents faithfulness, devotion, and good luck, making it an ideal choice for weddings. These elegant flowers, associated with holiness and purity, are often used in minimalist bouquets to create a striking contrast against foliage. They are most in season during the first half of the year, making them a popular choice for spring and summer weddings.
Stephanotis flowers are a classic choice for wedding bouquets and arrangements, representing marital happiness with their symbolic meaning. The trumpet-shaped blossoms are available year-round at a moderate price point and have a very fragrant scent. The white petals of the stephanotis make it a popular choice for weddings, and the star shape of the flower allows for various arrangement styles. To add an extra touch, these blooms can be combined with other colored flowers such as peonies.
To enhance and complete bridal arrangements, stock is often used as a filler due to its lasting beauty and affordability. These large, fragrant blooms are available in various hues, such as pink, red, white, and lilac, making them versatile for any color scheme. Additionally, the flower’s affectionate meaning makes it a popular choice for wedding florals.
Dahlias are a striking summer flower that will certainly catch the eye of any wedding bouquet. This bold and elegant bloom is associated with personal grace and a strong presence, reflecting the commitment and bonding of souls that a wedding represents. With its delicate, feather-like petals, the dahlia is also a symbol of good taste and elegance. Moreover, it carries a subtle yet alluring fragrance, making it a popular choice for summer and early fall weddings.
Baby’s Breath, also known as Gypsophila, is a delicate and popular filler flower that symbolizes innocence. These small white blossoms are frequently used in bridal bouquets and represent everlasting love. While they don’t have a fragrance, they can add texture and dimension to corsages, boutonnieres, and arrangements. Baby’s Breath is available year-round and is an affordable option for those looking to add a touch of innocence and purity to their floral arrangements.
The flowers you choose hold a significant value to the overall meaning of your wedding, so make sure to ask your florist their meaning before filling your venue with flowers.