The Language of Flowers: What Does Your Bouquet Say?

The language of flowers (or floriography) has been used to convey meaning and emotion since the Victorian age. 

Since then, there has been a trend in using flowers to send a secretive (though not so secretive anymore!) messages to loved ones without the use of explicit words. 

In the wedding world, wedding couples have been using flowers as not just decorations to compliment their colour scheme, but also as a way to convey the meaning and ‘flowering’ (pun intended) of their union. 

Roses

The first flower on our list, and one that doesn’t need much explanation. Commonly thought to be the classic wedding flower, the rose has various different meanings depending on the colour. 

White Roses: purity, innocence, and youth. 

Red Roses: love, passion and beauty 

Pink Roses: admiration, grace, and gentleness. 

Peach Roses: sincerity and gratitude. 

Yellow Roses: friendship and joy. 

Sweet Pea or Lathyrus

The sweet pea flower, also known as Lathyrus, has a rich fragrance and comes in a vast array of colours from blue to violet. This makes this flower particularly great for brides as you can compliment your colour scheme quite easily. 

Sweet pea flowers signify the initial enjoyment of blissful and delicate pleasures, perfectly fitting for for a bride’s bouquet.

If arranged with pink roses, themes of grace, gentleness and delicacy create a light feminine feel.  

Lily of the Valley or Convallaria

The Lily of the Valley flower is the only species in the genus Convallaria in the asparagus family. However, make no mistake, this flower is not to be eaten as it is highly poisonous. 

The Lily of the Valley flower is rich in history and religious meaning as it has been tied to the Virgin Mary’s spilled tears. The royals have, historically, included this flower in their wedding bouquets, so if you are having a tradition church wedding this flower might be perfect for you. 

Meaning: ‘the return of happiness’, trustworthiness, chastity, purity, luck and humility. 

Freesia

The delicate Freesia flower is known for its profuse citrus scent and can come in a wide range of colours from pink and purple, to blues and yellows. 

Since the 1950’s, freesias have become a popular wedding flower, whether in the bridal bouquet or as table centre pieces. Typically used accompanied with other flowers, as the smell of freesia is quite strong. 

Meaning: all freesias represent trust and innocence but different colours have additional meanings. 

White Freesias: purity 

Coloured Freesias: friendship and thoughtfulness

Peony

Peonies bloom in the spring and has rich meaning and history in both Greek mythology and Asian culture. 

The flower takes it’s name from the Greek character Paeon who was turned into a beautiful flower by Zeus when she had incurred his wrath. 

In the Chinese culture, this flower is tied deeply with royalty and honour. 

Meaning: honour, wealth, romance and romantic love, beauty and bashfulness. 

Peonies come in a wide range of colours and the meaning that the flower symbolises changes very little, except in regards to a few specif colours. 

Pink Peonies: the most romantic form for the Peony 

White or Pale pink Peonies: focuses on the bashfulness side of the flower. 

Red Peonies: linked to China and Japan, this colour best represents wealth and honour. 

Ranunculus

The Ranunculus flower is one of the most common species of its genus which includes the common buttercup. They range in colours, from white and pink to red, yellow and gold. 

The name Ranunculus comes from two latin words, rana  meaning frog and unculus meaning little. This is thought to be because they grew plentifully along the stream. 

The meaning of the flower does not change in regards to colour, but the Ranunculus has become increasingly popular for the use of bridal bouquets and wedding arrangements. 

Meaning: Charm and Atrractiveness 

Gardenia

The Gardenia is a bright white flower, with a sweet scent. This flower is very popular for wedding bouquets. 

The flower is known for its medicinal value as it has been known to relieve symptoms of the common cold when mixed with other ingredients. 

The flower has many meanings, despite only ranging in white. 

Meaning: trust, hope, purity, clarity, friendship, innocence, protection and self-reflection. 

Hydrangea

The Hydrangea flower grows in a variety of colours from pink to blue. This flower  is commonly used in weddings, whether as a bouquet or as center pieces. 

The hydrangea symbolises many diverse meanings depending on colour, so it is important to pair these flowers with other flowers to make sure you get the correct meaning across. 

Pink Hydrangeas: romance, heartfelt emotions, marriage and weddings. 

Blue Hydrangeas: frigidity, turning down a romantic proposal, asking for forgiveness and regret. (Probably not the colour you would want to use in your wedding if you are using the language of flowers.)

White Hydrangeas: purity, grace, abundance and boasting. 

Purple Hydrangeas: desire for deeper understanding, abundance and wealth. 

Gypsophila or Baby Breath

For many years since the 1990’s, sprigs of Gypsophila has been used in weddings and bouquets in addition to other flowers. White Baby’s Breath is more commonly found, however there are pink and yellow ones as well.

This flower is not just seen in wedding bouquets, but often used as an accessory in the bride’s hair or her wedding party.  Baby Breath has a variety of meaning, but the symbolism does not change with it’s colour. 

Meaning: everlasting love, family, platonic and romantic bonds, pureness, freedom, innocence, newborn babies, self discipline and the focus of love. 

Sunflowers

Though not typically associated with weddings, the Sunflower has become increasingly popular with brides who are planning a rustic themed wedding. 

The Sunflower has many different meanings across the globe, but many of these cultures share similar meanings due to its physical characteristics. 

Meaning: Long life, adoration, admiration, platonic love for friends and family, loyalty and a strong bond between two people, positivity, strength, nourishment, luck and happiness. 

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