Wedding 101: The Language of Flowers

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The Language 

of Flowers

Wedding flowers and their meanings...

Flowers have been a part of wedding celebrations for as long as we have recorded history.  Early Greek and Roman brides wore garlands of fresh herbs or ivy in their hair as a talisman against evil spirits.  They also symbolized fertility and wishes for good fortune to shine on the new couple. 

No one is quite sure when garlands evolved into hand held bouquets but from time immemorial flowers have been an integral part of the wedding decor.  Favorite flowers change over the years but over time, certain flowers have assumed a coded identity.  In Victorian times (mid to late 1800s) flowers held messages for those who knew the "code". 

Couples may want their wedding flowers to convey a message, here are some of the meanings attached to 23 common wedding flower choices: 

Baby's Breath - innocence and purity 

Cactus- Endurance

Calla Lily - magnificent beauty 

Carnation - Devotion, women's love (pink), pure love (white) 

Daffodil - Regard/respect 

Daisy - Loyal Love 

Fern - Magic, fascination 

Forget-me-not - True Love 

Gardenia - Secret Love 

Hyacinth (blue)- Constancy

Iris - Passion 

Ivy - Wedded Love 

Lilac- First feelings of love

Lily of the Valley - Happiness 

Orange Blossoms - Eternal love 

Orchid -Love and beauty 

Peony - Happy Marriage 

Ranunculus- Radiant and charming

Rose - Love, beauty, passion and joy 

Roses (Red & White)- Unity

Sweet Pea- Delicate pleasures

Tulip- Love, fame

Zinnia -Thoughts of those absent