What are your wedding flowers saying?
Nowadays flowers have a strictly decorative function in our lives, so it is hard to conceive that they were once used to communicate. You may find purple roses beautiful for your bouquet, but may want to reconsider after finding out what they mean.
Floriography, the language of flowers, is a very real thing that has been around for a while. Plants and particularly flowers have always played a symbolic role in our society. In ancient civilizations they were the source of magic and medicine, often inspiring poets to write stories around them. During the 19th century the flower language was in vogue. It started in England and quickly spread to other parts of Europe, North and South America. Flower dictionaries were printed, which were used by people to send a message in a flower arrangement. In turn, the receiver would then later use his or her own dictionary to decipher the message. People could have entire conversations using this method.
Some flower meanings have been lost in time, but others have survived to this day. Here is a list of the most popular wedding flowers and their meanings.
Note: It is worth mentioning that Floriography is not an exact science (or art), which means that flower meanings can vary or change completely depending on the source. Bellow you’ll find some of the most common.
Anemone: Anticipation. According to Greek mythology, anemones sprung out of Aphrodite’s tears as she cried for the death of Adonis.
Camellia: Coco Chanel’s favorite flower symbolizes unpretentious perfection. It was also immortalized in Alexandre Dumas’ novel The Lady of the Camellias.
Chrysanthemum: This Asian flower is often compared to the sun and the stars, the Japanese considered its petals to be perfect. Confucius also praised them as a source of meditation.
Gardenia: Secret love and sweetness.
Hydrangeas: Not Madonna’s favorites, hydrangeas symbolize heartfelt gratitude from the giver to the receiver for being understood.
Iris: Wisdom and eloquence.
Lilac (White): Youthful innocence.
Lily: Lilies, specially the white ones, are flowers strongly linked to the concept of motherhood, fertility, and the Virgin Mary.
Orchid: Depending on its incarnation, orchids could mean mature charm, refined beauty and luxury.
Roses: In popular culture roses are the flowers of romance by excellence, but not all roses represent love. Some of them represent quite the contrary.
- White Rose: Virtue and chastity
- Pink Rose: Love, but not as intense as the red rose.
- Red Rose: Passionate, romantic love and also the blood of Christ. Its fives petals have been associated with the five wounds Christ suffered while being crucified.
- Yellow Rose: Friendship and devotion.
- Purple Maroon Rose: Death and dark magic.
Tulips: There is no other flower that says ‘I love you’ quite like the tulip. Each color of tulip represents a different kind of love.
- Red: eternal love
- White: one-sided love
- Yellow: hopeless love
For more flower meanings you can check out this link.