A bride’s grand entrance is truly a breathtaking sight to behold. A collective gasp is often heard once the doors open to reveal her all dolled up in her splendorous gown, with a beautiful floral arrangement in hand.
But did you know that bridal bouquets are rooted in much deeper tradition than just as an aesthetic accessory?
Flowers have been a part of weddings since the Ancient Roman civilization. Worn as garlands or carried by the bride, apart from making her look more attractive, it signified new beginnings, fidelity, and hope for fertility. It became a necessity in the Middle Ages as baths weren’t common and the floral fragrance would mask any body odor. Additionally, scents were also believed to ward off any bad luck and negative energy, hence, the incorporation of herbs and spices.
The practice began to hold more elaborate and symbolic roots in the most recent centuries as intention was assigned to each bloom. Used in courtship during the Victorian Era, these definitions are still being applied today. Hence, each pretty bunch can actually be translated to a secret message to your groom, or a declaration of your hopes and dreams for the marriage.
And yes, each flower is unique and carries its own special sentiment.
“Lahat yun may meaning," Bhem Meijer, the owner and creative director of Il Fiore Flower Boutique tells Preview. Looking back on her decade-long experience, the florist shares that there are brides who take this very seriously. Some even look up what the flower represents before considering its physical appearance. In fact, she was one of them. “Nung kinasal ako, ganon ako. Mahilig na ako sa flowers, [so] I checked the meaning ng mga flowers,” the Floral Design diploma holder shares.
“Some brides are very particular with the meaning talaga,” Bhem adds. That’s why when crafting the perfect bouquet, she makes sure to have a hearty discussion with the bride. Bhem first asks each bride about her overall theme, the bridal gown, and if she has any pegs. Answers to these give her an overall sense of the bride's style and character.
Not surprisingly, the couple's personality will generally reflect their choice of flora and what it stands for. Take, for instance, Classic Brides. Bhem shared that this type tends to prefer timeless matrimonial blooms like roses, which, as its popularity on Valentine’s Day implies, signifies love. Opting for lavish balls and regal gowns, the Classic Bride will not veer away from traditional concepts.
Of course, for designing your eye-catching accessory, Bhem also takes note of the prevailing theme and color scheme because she believes the bride should stand out on her big day. Luckily, flowers have meanings as beautiful as their looks! Bhem gamely shares some of the most requested blooms along with descriptions from her personal bible: The Knot Book of Wedding Flowers by Carley Roney.
Read on to know more about 10 of the most popular bridal flowers and what they mean:
1. Lily of the Valley
Derived as “dissolving flowers” from its Greek etymology, this delicate bud gently resembles a rose, albeit much more fine and gauzy. It represents being showy, whether in terms of appreciation, admiration, or gratitude.
Tall and pleasant, this declaration of love, honesty, happy years, and memory is a vibrant and striking pick. Get this in yellow to say, “there’s sunshine in your smile.”
Classic for a reason, roses generally convey love, beauty, grace, joy and unity. It comes in different variations such as the more bulbous English Rose, and its tighter yet bigger Ecuadorian Rose counterpart. Its meaning also varies depending on the color.
In an article on Martha Stewart, it is said that white roses articulate, “I am worthy of you,” whereas peach roses refer to immortality.
For instant cheer, this is your best bet. Lining the aisle of Kris Bernal’s big day, event stylist Gideon Hermosa listed its symbolism as for “positivity, good luck, and lasting happiness.” Carley Roney describes its implications as loyalty, adoration, and pride.
These tightly packed spherical clusters nicely encapsulate the entirety of the marriage experience. Demonstrating devotion, Brides expounds on this symbolism further by citing perseverance and heartfelt emotion.
The ruffly, exquisite bloom is all about admiration, fascination, and strong and pure love. It makes for an excellent addition to any bridal bouquet, but maybe steer clear of yellow! Yellow carnation is said to denote rejection and disappointment.
This exotic, tropical flora exudes luxury, nobility, and lust. While the Vanda variety looks fun and flirty, the popular Phalaenopsis is sublime and sophisticated. It also communicates, “You’re in my thoughts”.
9. Calla Lily
Graceful and regal, the elegant trumpet-like flora expresses ardor, magnificent beauty, and feminine modesty. Fun fact, it's one of the blossoms Carla Abellana's bouquet was brimming with.
The other flora in Carla's bouquet, peonies signify beauty and bashfulness. The plush and feminine blossom is one of the most coveted for nuptials. Not only is it incredibly pretty, it also symbolizes a happy marriage, according to Brides.
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