Photography: Luna Wilde
Have you ever wondered why you’re drawn to particular flowers? Obviously, there are aesthetic reasons (I’m partial to big, colourful blooms), but there are also deeper meanings behind many of them. Enter: the intriguing world of floriography!
Flowers have long been used to convey messages all over the world. Mythologies, folklore, sonnets, and plays of the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Chinese are peppered with this beautiful symbolism, as was 19th century English society. In the Victorian Era, single red roses were even sent to love interests – sending back a yellow carnation meant the feeling wasn’t mutual. Ouch!
These floral meanings and traditions continue to change over time, and different cultures tend to assign varying ideas to the same species (which can be a little confusing!), but I’ve been fascinated by this secret language ever since I heard about it. Nearly every sentiment imaginable can be expressed with flowers!
Photography: Hello Charlie
When you understand this language, your flower selection for your wedding can be even more meaningful. One idea is to give each bridesmaid a bouquet featuring a signature flower with a meaning that matches their personality. So fun!
Some other wedding favourites are listed below in what has become my go-to flower dictionary.
Photography: Gez Xavier Mansfield
Photography: Gui Jorge
Roses – Unsurprisingly, red roses are a universal symbol of romance and affection. Meanwhile, the classic white variety signify togetherness, and yellow ones are typically congratulatory. Interestingly, dark pink roses represent gratitude, whereas the lighter, gentler hues suggest admiration.
Orchids – These striking blooms are delicate and elegant, and are often associated with luxury. They were Jackie Kennedy’s favourite!
Baby’s breath – The name of this soft, airy flower really does say it all. It’s seen an impressive return to favour, thanks largely to Rodarte, symbolising innocence and a pure heart. I think anything that reminds you to be present and breathe is the perfect remedy for wedding-day nerves too.
Photography: Rope & Pulley
Photography: Heart & Colour
Ranunculus – With layers of dreamy, papery ruffles in crisp white to popping coral, deep burgundy and fiery red, the ranunculus is truly versatile. Its meanings include charm, attraction, commitment and everlasting love – and if it could speak, it would say ‘I hold you in my heart’.
Sunflowers – These are a symbol of strength and happiness, with their sturdy stems standing tall and their bright faces seeking out the light. During the time of smallpox, it was even believed that wearing one around your neck would prevent you from getting ill! Nowadays, they are a symbol of good health.
Hydrangeas – These full-headed beauties are so striking and bountiful it’s hard not to love them. Interestingly, they’re a particularly popular choice for bridal bouquets in Japan because they symbolise gratitude and true love.
Freesias – Native to South Africa, these cheerful flowers lend a heavenly scent to any occasion. In the southern hemisphere, they mark the start of Spring (and peak wedding season!). Freesias are a beautiful way to send messages of hope and remind someone you care, with a variety of meanings including fidelity and lasting friendship.
Julie is one of our favourite celebrants in the Hunter Valley! She's just an all-round lovely person too, and has a fantastic wedding blog of her own. Check it out below x