The Significance of the Wedding Bouquet
A wedding is one of the most important moments in life. Choosing the perfect dress is sometimes like a dream come true, literally, since many women dream of wearing one since they are but girls. While also taking into consideration the veil, the perfect jewelry, the location, the menu, the cake, etc., a future bride cannot run down the aisle without one important item: the wedding bouquet, that important item for a bride whose significance is little known.
Incorporating flowers into wedding ceremonies has been seen, since Roman times, as a symbol of fertility, which meant that herbs, orange blossoms, garlic and other similar plants never missed from the wedding preparations.
Both Greeks and Romans thought that their smell would keep the evil spirits away from the bride, therefore guaranteeing happiness and loyalty in the marriage. However, the exquisite combination of herbs were not carried by the bride in her hands, but, instead, worn under the form of a garland in her hair. At the end of the ceremony, the edible herbs were given to the newlyweds to eat, as they were also supposed to increase their sexual desire.
But, throughout the Victorian period, the practices changed. Queen Victoria herself carried a bouquet made of a few herbs and mostly fresh flowers, thus making fashionable the bouquet as it is known today.
The bouquet was also the bearer of a message, since each flower had its own special meaning. In some parts of the world, only certain flowers were considered to bring good luck for the marriage (such as daffodils, daisies, irises, magnolias, orchids, roses), while other flowers were forbidden from being displayed in the wedding bouquet (like lavender, poppies, marigolds).
Color of the Bouquet
The color of the bouquet also had a major importance: the more intense it was, the more intense were the feelings of the bride considered. Today, all these have no serious meaning, as each bride picks the bouquet based on her preferences, her favorite colors, her and her bridesmaids' allergies, etc., and, also, in tone with the wedding dress, thus suiting her uniqueness and her style in the most important day of her life.
Tossing the Bouquet
But, let's not forget about the most important tradition related to the wedding bouquet: its tossing. After it, the bouquet ends up in the hands and the home of a lucky single lady who is said to follow the bride and be the next to get married.
While this is a highly awaited moment at the wedding, it was not a tradition in the past centuries. Earlier in time, it was considered that getting a piece of the bride's dress brought good luck, and it meant that everybody would pull on her dress during the festivities, making the bride feel uncomfortable and preventing her from properly enjoying her own wedding.
In order to stop this practice, the brides started throwing personal objects, such as the garland and, later, the bouquet, considering that they passed their good fortune to another person, and thus making the women who wanted to get married eager to catch them.