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Where'd that Bouquet Come From?

The beginning of spring always has us excited for the fresh flowers that are about to bloom! Flowers can be a big part of any event, but especially a wedding! From centerpieces and aisle decorations to boutonnieres and bouquets, the flowers that are a part of your special day have special superstitions that surround their place in your wedding.

Originally, brides used to carry bunches of herbs that were used to ward off evil spirits on their wedding day. Herbs were also used to protect the future of the wedding couple. Dill was mixed with garlic to help a bride only lust after her husband. Sage was often mixed with garlic to help the bride learn goodness and gather wisdom in her marriage. Herbs were also used to decorate the ceremony space. Rosemary and roses were tied together to make a “Kissing Knot” which was hung over the head table. Kissing knots were believed to bring good luck and love to the newlywed couple and others who sat at the head table.

Eventually, herbs were traded out for flowers. With a lack of running water and personal hygiene in ancient times, flowers were ideal for brides to carry because they masked the smell of their unwashed clothing and bodies. Victorian brides were extremely particular in picking the flowers that went into their bouquets because of their meanings. Victorian brides were quick to pick basil (good wishes), ivy (fidelity), and red roses (love) for their bouquets. Their ceremony spaces were often decorated with rosemary, for friendship and remembrance, and red tulips, for their declaration of love.

With so much thought put into the bridal bouquet, it’s almost shocking that a bride would throw her bouquet into a group of women at the end of the night. The tossing of the bouquet came from England. As the celebration of the wedding ended, women used to rip pieces from the bride’s bouquet and dress for good luck. After a while, brides had to throw their bouquet into the crowd to escape!

Today, there is far less superstition that surrounds the bouquet. Flowers are often picked for their availability, durability, and color more than their meanings. Brides also carry an extra bouquet that they can toss to their friends at the end of their wedding celebrations, instead of losing their one bridal bouquet. Though brides are not looking at building their bouquets and floral decorations around the meanings of the flowers, the unique aspect that each individual flower brings to the wedding makes it special in its own way.

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