Here at Brigitte Flowers, we love creating bespoke floral designs for weddings to help pull your day together and make the occasion feel special. For most brides and grooms, flowers are integral part of their ceremony and a wedding without blooms would be like an engagement without a ring! Flowers really are an iconic wedding tradition. Here we take a moment to step back in time and discover where it all began, delving deeper into the history of wedding flowers and the ways they have been used over the years.
They date back to ancient Greek times
It is thought that the first civilisation to use flowers at weddings were the ancient Greeks. Jewellery such as floral crowns, still popular in contemporary weddings today, were made for the bride, given to them as a gift from nature. However, as well as being used as gifts, flowers at weddings used to have another purpose.
Protect against evil spirits
Now, the thought of adding garlic or other strong smelling herbs to our wedding blooms would be bizarre, but centuries ago this was the norm! In ancient Greece and Rome, the couple would often wear a garland made from such herbs and spices around their necks. As well as warding off evil spirits, the garland itself represented love and happiness – similar to our wedding flowers today.
Other sources argue that the wedding bouquet has other origins, this time more practical than spiritual. A bride always wants to feel her best on her wedding day but in years when bathing was infrequent, this was difficult. A bouquet of flowers would mask any unwanted odour, leaving the bride with a natural, fresh scent to enjoy all day!
Traditions around the world
Not only do uses of wedding flowers differ over time but they also vary from country to country and throughout various cultures.
In Sweden, strong smelling herbs were still used. Rather than being made into a garland, grooms would sew garlic, chives and rosemary into their clothes to bring good luck. Middle Eastern brides would add bitter herbs such as Artemisia into their flower arrangements to ensure that the new marriage would survive bitterness, as well as the sweetness. The rose became a symbol of true love during Victorian England, making them popular in weddings today. And it was during these Victorian ages that the tradition of ‘tossing the bouquet’ also originated, using the herbs incorporated into the bouquet to protect the wedding guests from evil spirits, while also bringing luck to the single lady that caught it!
Wedding flowers are rooted in rich, cultural and historic tradition. While many of these customs have been forgotten about in modern weddings, flowers still remain a central part of every ceremony. We’re experts in wedding flowers can using our knowledge, we can incorporate a small element of history into every wedding flower package we design for our clients. Get in touch online to discuss how we can create your uniqu