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History Of the Bridal Bouquet

One of the highlights during the reception is when the bride flings the bouquet into the air. Unmarried guests gather around, and then a scramble ensues, where the victor is believed to be the next to walk the aisle. 

“The bouquet also serves as one of the most prominent bridal accessories, and the flowers create an ambience. For this reason, we commonly see weddings where the flowers are a large part of the budget.”, points out Alister Clare, personal loans advisor at Credit Capital.

But did you know that wedding bouquets during ancient times were a lot less appealing? Let’s find out more about their history.

Where It Started – 800 to 500 BCE

There is some cultural evidence of floral use in weddings during the earliest recorded historical period in Egypt, Greece and Rome. An ancient Egyptian, Greek or Roman wedding was a rite of passage to ensure the continuance of a dynasty, cement a trade alliance, or create more hands to work the family enterprise.

Cultural evidence shows floral use in weddings. According to records, brides carried sheaves of wheat as a symbol of fertility. The bundles were often adorned with branches of trees that bear fruits and nuts—anything that indicates abundance and happiness. They also wore caplets made of wildflowers, which are accessories worn over the wedding dress. It was also practiced to sprinkle the streets that couples would walked on with flowers.

In some places, the bouquets were made of grains, herbs, and spices. You can imagine the strength of their smell—and that was to drive evil spirits away.

Check out these practical tips on how to choose a bridal bouquet.

Victorian Times

It wasn’t until Victorian times that the edible wreaths were replaced with fragrant flowers, such as roses, honeysuckle, and marigold. The Victorians embraced the change but held to old symbols and assigned meanings to flowers. For example, white lilies signified virginity and ivies for fidelity. The choice of flowers set the tone for the ceremony.

The evolution of bridal bouquets started at the wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. During the ceremony, the Queen held a small bunch of Galanthus Snowdrops (a.k.a posies) and myrtle. Her Majesty’s hair and dress were embellished with orange blossoms. Since the 1850s, sprigs of myrtle and orange blossoms are always included in all royal wedding traditions.

Modern Day Bridal Bouquets

The “flower language” is a charming practice that florists might share with you. However, brides of today usually pick flowers that complement their colour scheme. Sometimes, the wedding flowers have a personal meaning to the couple. 

There are many things that brides look into when choosing a bridal bouquet. These include aesthetic, personal meaning, convenience, and price.

If you want a wedding with less environmental impact, consider purchasing flowers from local suppliers. Buying local shortens the supply chain, which results in less energy consumption.

Together with Thrive Flowers & Events, you can promote sustainability during the wedding. Contact us now to discuss your dream wedding!