If your bouquet could speak, what might it tell you? Flowers have a language all their own. One way to choose your flower types for the wedding (especially if flowers aren’t really your thing) is to consider the meanings of the flowers you select to include in your personal flowers. By choosing two or three flowers via meaning, you can give your florist a vision to work from to create the other floral elements involved in your big day.
Flower meanings came about in the Victorian period, roughly 1835 to 1900. During this time, trade was expanding worldwide. Great Britain was developing trade routes into Asia and Africa that were more reliable than ever before. Flowers, though, were pretty low on the list of exports, because it was difficult to move them without killing them, especially via sea. You were pretty much stuck with whatever grew locally in terms of floral offerings. As such, the Victorians developed a language for flowers, so that one flower could say more than a whole bouquet might today.
Here’s several commonly used flowers for weddings, and their meanings:
– Anemone: Expectation
– Calla Lily: Beauty
– Carnation: Love, fascination
– Chrysanthemum: Wealth, abundance, truth
– Freesia: Innocence
– Hydrangea: Understanding
– Orchid: Love, beauty
– Rose: Love, joy, beauty
– Stephanotis: Marital happiness
– Tulip: Love, passion
(via Teleflora Bouquets, available in print from your local florist)
There are many, many resources on flower meanings available online. An especially thorough one is Victoria’s Dictionary of Flowers. AboutFlowers.com has a great guide as well, including color and varietal meanings. You’ll notice meanings will differ by source a little. Our lexicon isn’t as strict as the Victorians – we have a lot more flowers from which to select!
Photography by Katie Cassidy Photography.