Discover the Secret Meanings of Wedding Flowers

flower meanings

No wedding is complete without flowers. Flowers provide color, fragrance, spectacle, beauty and romance like nothing else. They have been a part of weddings since the very earliest ceremonies when wedding bouquets were typically made from select plants which were chosen expressly to keep evil spirits away from the bride and groom and the ceremony. As beautiful as flowers are, they are much more than simply lovely to look at; every flower has a specific meaning and significance which you may want to consider when selecting flowers for your wedding day.

Unique wedding flower meanings

When choosing your wedding flowers, you may want to give thought to the meaning behind the flowers you select for your big day so that you bring as much positive energy as possible to your wedding day atmosphere. The difference between red roses versus black roses is the difference between day and night. (Hint: You may want to seriously reconsider the black roses and choose the red).

Below, are flowers with some of the most positive meanings relating to love, commitment, fertility and compromise which you may want to consider including in your wedding. They may not be the most prominent flower in your wedding, but you may want to include a few of them just to amp up the positive vibes and energy on your most special day.

wedding flowers

Photo Credit: Gayle Brooker Photography

Every flower has a meaning

Most assigned meanings to specific flowers were often derived from the appearance or behaviour of the actual plant itself. For example, the deep red rose and its thorns symbolize the intensity of romantic love while pink roses imply a lesser affection and white roses imply chastity and virtue. The black rose, which is actually a very deep shade of purple or red, has a long association with death and dark magic.

Tulips: Flowers of love

The tulip is truly a love flower. It is beautiful to look at and has a long history as a wedding flower because it actually means love. But different colored tulips have very different meanings: The red tulip signifies “undying love” and the purple tulip actually means “forever love”. However, you may want to steer clear of white tulips which signify “one-sided love” and yellow tulips which mean “hopeless love”.

flower meanings

Photo Credit: Sara Logan Photography

The most popular wedding flowers

Roses are definitely one of the most popular wedding flowers and quite rightly so. Not only are they visually stunning, but their colors can be achingly beautiful and their fragrance is one of the most renowned and desired of all flowers. Almost each of the lovely array of rose colors actually do have extremely positive significance and meaning for weddings. The red rose means “true love” and is a clear wedding favorite. Light pink roses are also a wonderful choice as they represent “desire, passion, the joy of life, youth and energy” which are great attributes to bring into a wedding union. Looking for a little “desire and passion”? Then the coral or orange rose is your best choice. And, of course, the pristine white rose has been a traditional wedding favorite and offers just the right intentions to a wedding: The meaning of the white rose is “innocence, virtue, purity, reverence and humility”.

wedding flowers

Photo Credit: Lyndsay Undseth Photography

The magic of lilies

The open, sensual and exuberant beauty of the lily makes it a wedding favorite. The white lily represents “purity” while the scarlet lily holds the meaning of “high-souled aspirations”. You may think twice before including the orange lily which can mean “desire and passion” but also “hatred”, which is not a guest you want to invite to your wedding. The white lily also has some religious connotations and can be associated with Heaven, so be careful of your wedding audience and their perspectives.

flower meanings

Photo Credit: Monica Roy Photography

Carnations are a wedding flower favorite

The fresh, sweet fragrance and beautiful petals of the carnation make it an excellent wedding choice. In addition, the different colors of the carnation can introduce some lovely meanings and energy to your wedding day. In general, carnations mean “fascination, distinction and love”; all great building blocks. The red carnation signifies “deep romantic love and passion” while the pink carnation represents a “woman’s love or a mother’s love”. The beautiful white carnation translates into “sweet and lovely, innocence, pure love and faithfulness”, which are all great, positive intentions for your wedding day. Carnations can also be a wonderful choice for a anniversary flowers, or boutonnieres for the groomsmen’s wedding day attire.

As with other flowers, you’ll want to choose the colors of carnations wisely since the yellow carnation signifies “rejection, disdain and disappointment” (yikes), while striped carnations mean “refusal” which is another trait no one wants to introduce on their wedding day.

wedding bouquet

Photo Credit: Dave Robbins Photography

On top of these traditional favorites you may want to sprinkle in a little sweet pea for “gratitude” and add in a few plumeria for “new beginnings” and squeeze in some lovely little pear blossoms for “lasting friendship”.

Every flower you choose to adorn your wedding with has a special meaning and unique beauty that will accent your special day wonderfully. Whether you find a flower that perfectly represents the unique love you two share, or choose to pick flowers of your favorite color, it’s important to decorate your wedding day with colors that you truly love.

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