My latest wedding traditions article is inspired by a question my son asked the other day. Pointing at the wedding picture hanging on the wall, Keston inquired, “Why do you have flowers in your hand, Momma?” When the only answer I could provide was, “Because that’s what brides do!” I realized it was time to unearth the secrets of this ancient aromatic tradition.
Depending on the culture, brides carry bouquets of flowers and herbs to ward off evil spirits or to signify their commitment to growth and a new life. Throughout the Middle East, Asia and Europe, cultural symbolic meanings have also been assigned to flowers, which enabled sweethearts to send coded love bouquets. As certain flowers became popular, such as the rose for love or the violet for modesty, they naturally made their way into bridal bouquets.
Deciding which flowers will make an appearance is a decision brides ponder for hours. Although your final choices will ultimately come down to seasonality and cost, consider ways you can represent your relationship or heritage. One snow-white magnolia, which I included in my cascading bouquet to honor my departed dad and my Cajun heritage, stood out among the vibrant orange stargazer lilies, purple calla lilies and red-tipped yellow roses.
Bliss Weddings offers an incredible flower database to help brides pick the perfect petals for their bouquets. You can tailor your search by an assortment of colors, by the shade of your bridesmaid dresses, by season or by regional availability.