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History of the Bridal Bouquet

Women love flowers.  They love to receive them as a gift, to decorate their home or even to wear them, but there’s nothing more special for many than to carry a bouquet of flowers on her wedding day.   A bride’s bouquet is an integral part of her wedding day “look.”  Whether the wedding itself is a lavish, opulent affair or a simple garden celebration at a family home, flowers add to the aesthetic and visual beauty of the day, but there is a deeper history behind the bridal bouquet.

A bride carrying flowers has its roots in ancient times. In ancient Rome, brides carried or wore flower garlands because they were believed to signify new beginnings, fidelity and hope of fertility.  In the Middle Ages, garlic and strong-smelling herbs and spices were thought to drive away evil spirits, bad luck, and bad health. Dill was especially popular because it was seen as the herb of lust.  So, brides and grooms would consume it during the reception with hopes that it would increase sexual desire.

During the Victorian era, flowers actually became part of the wedding bouquet as we know it today.  In these times, lovers would send different flowers as a way of expressing their love. Each flower had a different meaning, and their exchange soon became popular and was linked to romantic love. Flowers became a part of wedding ceremonies because of this association with romance and courtship. Brides would carefully choose flowers for the sentiments they represented.  Ultimately, the blooms she carried became “her flowers” for the rest of her life.

These old traditions have long since been forgotten, with brides now selecting flowers for their beauty, coordination with the wedding colors, their fragrance or even their shape. Regardless of why they’re chosen though, a bride should love what she’s carrying, even if she pulls in a little inspiration from the history of the bridal bouquet…salmon with dill anyone?  *wink*

The largest bouquet wedding bouquet measured 197 ft 1 in long and was made of 1,500 flowers including roses and carnations. It was held by a Canadian bride at a Catholic church in September 2003.  The bouquet weighed 202.8 lb and was made up of 500 roses, 400 carnations, 60 lilies, 200 daisies and 340 baby breaths. In addition to these 1500 flowers, bear grass, Ontario Cedar and Italian Ruches were also used.  The couple also used 79 bridesmaids and 47 groomsmen.

Happy planning.

Bouquet photo taken by J Lauryn Photography.  Florist Yanni Design Studio.
Fun fact photo photographer unknown.

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