Have you ever wondered what the history is behind carrying a wedding bouquet? I hadn’t really thought about it too much untill i was asked the same question years ago when i was studying to be a florist. So i went home- got out the encyclopedia (yes’ Wikipedia and google hadn’t really been invented then) and looked up ‘Wedding Flower Traditions’.
There are many variations on why brides carry flowers on their wedding day. One of the reasons suggested is that because early in the 1600’s people bathed very infrequently- like once a year in May! They would then usually get married in June as they would still be relatively ‘clean’ but, just to be safe and to mask any body odors the bride would carry a fragrant bouquet. Another old custom is brides carried strong smelling bouquets of herbs, spices and garlic to ward off evil spirits.
The tradition was extended in Roman times with the bride and groom wearing floral garlands which signified new life, and hope for fertility.
Later on flowers started to take on additional significance’s and many would start sending messages to ‘lovers’ with different flowers- a tradition that is still popular today- with each flowers having its own meaning.
For all you ‘Grooms to be’- you are supposed to wear flowers that appear in the Bridal Bouquet as this is a declaration of your love for your bride! This stems from the medieval tradition of a Knight wearing his ladys colours.
The bouquet was considered to represent happiness. ‘Throwing the bouquet’ was used as a distraction so the bride could slip away unnoticed.
So, there you go- a brief look at the tradition behind flowers at weddings.