Flowers, herbs and spices have long been used as a symbol to unite and protect a new union. Garlic and onions were thought to protect newlyweds from evil and were often included as an integral part of the ceremony. White garlands were worn to show innocence and chastity but the language of flowers didn’t arrive to Europe until the early 1700s.
The universal flower for weddings is most definitely the rose. White or red are the most common. It was proclaimed by Venus, the Roman goddess of love, that the red rose was the most beautiful of all flowers. So it came to be that the red rose represented true love.
When you are choosing the flowers for your wedding there are several things to take into account.
1) First of all, it is your wedding and should emulate your personality and be the theme for the ceremony and reception. It shouldn’t be what your mother always wanted or your bridesmaid’s favorite flowers. It’s about what you want.
2) Look at a lot of photographs of wedding flowers and bouquets. You need to get familiar with flowers, styles and colors. The internet is an awesome tool for that. It used to be that you’d have to go to a florist to do this and you may still want to but fortunately there are a lot more options.
3) As you browse through the pages, start with style first. Do you like the bouquets that are long with ivy and ribbons, maybe compact and round, exotic, possibly long flowers that you carry on your arm almost like carrying a baby? The reason I suggest style first is because certain flowers are suited to each style.
4) Remember, large bouquets can be very heavy and if you have a small frame then you may want to reconsider a large bouquet. I have done bridal bouquets that have weighed as much as 30 to 40 pounds.
5) Once you have decided on a style then it can be determined what flowers and colors you would like. Sometimes you get lucky and see a bouquet and that is exactly the one you want. But don’t be afraid to get creative. I once did a wedding where the bride (who married on Valentines Day) chose a round red bouquet for herself and the bridesmaid’s wore white and red dresses so we made half the bouquet red and the other half white roses. At the reception the bouquets were then placed in red vases and served as flowers for the head table. It was very effective. You can be as creative as you want.
6) You can also choose flowers for their meanings. Here are some of the more common flowers used in weddings:
Red rose – True love
White rose: innocence and purity, I am worthy of you.
White carnation: fascination, love of a woman
White lily: purity, heavenly
Cala lily: beauty
Red tulips: declaration of love
Babies breath: pure of heart
Blue violet: faithfulness
Iris- warmth and affection
Ivy: eternal love and fidelity
7) If you want fragrant flowers then I would go with white casa blanca or star- gazer lilies, hyacinth, tuber roses, and gardenias. The fragrance would be heavenly.
8) If you are on a severe budget then you may want to consider doing simple bouquets on your own. It is not that difficult to do. Example; take a dozen or more tulips and stagger them slightly so that the heads are not all together. Take the first tulip in your hand, place the next one so that the tulip head is now about 2 or 3 inches lower and so on. Take the ribbon of your choice and tie them together. Make a simple bow and there you have it. You can also do this style effectively with calla lilies, gladiolas and blue delphinium. If you want to save a lot of money then this can be an alternative for you.
Regardless of the size and budget of your wedding, just remember, this is your day. Do it the way you want to and have fun doing it.
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