A guide to the symbolic meanings of your wedding flowers

Flowers and plants have held symbolic meanings for centuries, so if you’re struggling to decide which blooms to choose for your wedding day, you might find it helpful to be guided by their symbolism. Here are six popular flowers symbolic of love, relationships and longevity that could be perfect for your wedding day.

1. Roses

The rose is perhaps the most romantic flower, long associated with love and courting. In Greek mythology, the first red rose is said to have sprung from the blood of Adonis as he died in the arms of his lover Aphrodite. 

Different colours of rose have different meanings. Red roses signify romantic love, where the deeper the shade of red, the deeper the bond represents. Lighter reds signify lust more than love. Yellow roses symbolise gratitude and admiration and are usually associated with friendship rather than romance. White roses represent purity, fresh beginnings, and eternal loyalty, which makes them a great choice of wedding flower.

2. Baby’s breath

The tiny, delicate buds of baby’s breath, also known as gypsophila, help to add elegant volume to wedding bouquets, but these flowers also have important meaning. They represent purity, everlasting love, and self-discipline, ideal for couples set to commit to one another.

3. Lily-of-the-valley

The elegant bell-shaped flowers of lily-of-the-valley look gorgeous in delicate bridal bouquets, and they’re an important symbol of happiness. In France, people give lily-of-the-valley to people they love as a symbol of good luck and happiness on May 1st. Kate Middleton had lily-of-the-valley in her bridal bouquet, and it’s been a popular choice of bloom for other royal weddings and events in England.

4. Peonies

The paper-thin petals of peonies give them a soft, pretty look that is ideal for beautiful wedding arrangements. In Greek mythology the peony is associated with themes of healing and attraction. Peonies are also linked with bashfulness and can represent the blushing cheeks we experience when we first begin to fall in love.

5. Orchids

Since the Victorian era orchids have symbolised luxury, beauty and love. These bold flowers make a big statement in wedding arrangements. Pink shades represent affection, which is apt for weddings. Purple orchids tend to symbolise wealth and prosperity. White orchids are often associated with innocence, purity and reverence. In ancient Greek mythology orchids symbolised virility, which might be appropriate for couples who plan to start a family in the near future.

6. Violets

The vivid purple shade of violets can make them a striking addition to a wedding bouquet, and various folklore gives them romantic symbolism. They were thought to be used in love spells centuries ago, perhaps due to their heart-shaped leaves. In American folklore, violets are said to draw in love and heal broken hearts, which could be appropriate for couples who feel that their love has conquered their past heartbreaks.

Choose the flowers that are special to you.

You should start planning your wedding flowers around 6 to 9 months before the big day to ensure your preferred florist has availability. Usually, you don’t have to confirm your final decisions until a couple of months before the wedding day, but it’s still important to go into your initial meeting with ideas of which flowers you want. Don’t delay in picking out the blooms that feel special to you. Once you have a vision in mind, your florist can help you bring it to life in time for you to tie the knot.

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