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Tips & Tricks   |   7-23-15

The Meaning of it All

When it comes to wedding planning, flowers have become a standard element in wedding decor. It is easy to forget how they came to be and why we include them at all. Wedding flowers are in fact steeped in rich tradition and have a long history over the years.
Perhaps one of the most important floral elements of the big day is the bridal bouquet which arose from a variety of origins. Originally, the bouquet carried was a bundle of herbs, greens, spices or even garlic! In Ancient Rome brides carried these bouquets to symbolize fertility and fidelity and to ward off evil spirits. In Greece, the ivy and greens symbolized enduring love. In Tudor England the bouquet included marigolds and other florals that were dipped in rosewater and later eaten by the bride and groom (many thought they were an aphrodisiac).
The traditional herb and spice bouquet was eventually replaced with flowers when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, carrying a beautiful bouquet of blooms. Holding on to some tradition, her bouquet also included the rosewater marigolds. Some things never change!
In the spirit of spirits, bridesmaids were originally viewed as identical duplicates of the bride: veil, bouquet and dress, as a way of tricking evil spirits from attacking the bride. Though the dresses may not be the same as the bride, the matching tradition is still very prominent and bridesmaids continue to carry beautiful floral bouquets in weddings today.
One of the cutest elements of weddings is without a doubt the flower girl. The inclusion of the flower girl in the wedding ceremony is another long standing tradition with multiple origins. In Ancient Rome, similar to the bride, flower girls carried bushels of wheat and herbs as a symbol of prosperity and fertility and in Medieval ceremonies the bushels displayed as herbs and garlic, again to ward of those pesky spirits. Eventually the herbs and spices disappeared and blooming flowers arose in the form of floral hoops and scattered petals. Floral hoops symbolized a never ending love and scattered petals symbolized a path to happiness for the married couple. 
 
Another interesting aspect of the flower girl is the abundance of children in the ceremonies of royal weddings. We often see an entire attendant party of flower girls and it is often thought that the children are a symbol of the transformation of the bride from childhood into adulthood as she joins a life with her partner.
Last but not least, a still popular floral tradition in modern weddings is the bouquet toss. In the victorian ages brides tossed their bouquet to their friends for safe keeping against spirits. The woman that caught the bouquet was said to have safety and luck which ultimately lead into a life with a happy marriage.
While we don't have to worry about evil spirits today, the inclusion of flowers in a wedding remains a prominent aspect of modern day ceremonies. Flowers, in every shape and size add beauty and elegance to the lifelong union of two individuals and we say the more the merrier!