Your Day, Your Way: The Language of Flowers

While researching flowers for your arrangements, you most likely considered colors and seasons, but did you know there is a “language of flowers” also worth considering?

Dating back to the Victorian era, flowers and herbs were assigned particular meanings. Giving a certain flower or herb to someone conveyed a certain message and created a “language of flowers.”

While many brides create their dream bouquets to match the colors of their wedding, others find the romanticism of the “language of flowers” irresistible and pick certain flora for their bouquets, centerpieces and favors.

You can pick flowers and herbs based on who you are as a couple or things you want to represent in your marriage. If you do select specific flowers and herbs, it’s always special to let your guests know about the special meanings, either by printing it in your programs or placing a note on the tables.

Another romantic idea is to use a specific flower or herb as your favor. If you pick something like forget-me-nots, you could give everyone a packet of seeds. If you pick something like lavender, you could find lavender-scented potpourri, soap or aromatherapy oil. To incorporate herbs, you could give Chamomile tea, a small, potted sprig of rosemary or chocolates with ginger.

Use this guide below to get you started, but there are many other online and printed resources available. Some will even tell you how many of these flowers and herbs were given their meanings. You can also share your ideas with your florist, who can help you incorporate specific flowers or themes into your arrangements.

Anemone – anticipation
Apple blossom – hope
Aster – elegance
Azalea – temperance
Baby’s breath – pure-heartedness
Bells of Ireland – good luck
Bird of paradise – faithfulness
Bittersweet – truthfulness
Blue salvia – “I think of you”
Bluebell – humility
Burnet – merry heart
Buttercup – youthfulness
Cactus - endurance
Calla Lily – beauty
Camellia – loveliness
Carnation – devotion
Cattail – peace
Celandine – joy
Chamomile – patience
Coxcomb – unfading love
Crocus – cheerfulness
Daffodil – respect and chivalry
Dahlia – dignity and elegance
Daisy – gentleness
Delphinium – big-heartedness and fun
Dill – lust
Edelweiss – courage
Elder flower – zealousness
Forget-me-not – remembrance
Forsythia – anticipation
Freesia – innocence and trust
Fuchsia (scarlet) – love
Gardenia – purity
Garlic – courage and strength
Geranium – friendship
Gerbera – innocence
Ginger – strength
Gladioli – generosity and sincerity
Gloxinia – “love at first sight”
Heartsease – happiness
Heather – future fortune
Heliotrope – devotion and faithfulness
Hibiscus – love and beauty
Honeysuckle – the bond of love
Huckleberry – faith
Iris – faith and wisdom
Iris (yellow) – passion
Ivy – fidelity
Jasmine (Spanish) – sensuality
Jasmine (white) – amiability
Jasmine (yellow) - modesty, grace and elegance
Jerusalem oak – reciprocated love
Kennedia – intellectual beauty
Larkspur – laughter and openheartedness
Lavender – love and devotion
Lemon blossom – fidelity
Lilac – beauty and pride
Lily (tiger) – prosperity
Lily (yellow) – “walking on air”
Lily of the valley – happiness
Liverwort – confidence
Lupine – imagination
Magnolia – nobility and perseverance
Mallow – sweetness
Marigold – affection
Marjoram – joy and happiness
Mimosa (acacia) – friendship
Mint – virtue
Mistletoe – affection
Morning glory – affection
Moss – maternal love and charity
Mugwort – happiness
Myrtle – love and remembrance
Oak leaves – bravery
Olive branch – peace
Orange blossom – innocence and fruitfulness
Orchid – rare beauty
Pansy – merriment
Parsley – knowledge and festivities
Pear – affection
Peony – bashfulness
Peppermint – cordiality
Periwinkle – sweet memories
Petunia – soothing
Pine – hope
Pomegranate flower – elegance
Poppy – pleasure and imagination
Primrose – “I can't live without you”
Prince's feather – unfading love
Queen Anne’s lace – trust
Rhubarb – advice
Rose (coral) – desire
Rose (dark pink) – thankfulness
Rose (lavender) – enchantment
Rose (orange) – fascination
Rose (pale pink) – grace and joy
Rose (peach) – immortality and modesty
Rose (red) – love and passion
Rose (white and red) – unity
Rose (white) – purity and innocence
Rose (yellow) – friendship and joy
Rosebud – beauty and youth
Rosemary – remembrance
Rue – vision and virtue
Sage – long life and good heath
Satin-flower – sincerity
Shamrock – lightheartedness
Snapdragon – graciousness
Spearmint – warm sentiment
Stephanotis – marital happiness
Thyme – strength and courage
Tulip – love and passion
Turnip – charity
Violet – modesty and virtue
Wisteria – welcoming
Zephyr flower – sincerity and love
Zinnia (magenta) – lasting affection
Zinnia (scarlet) – constancy
Zinnia (white) – goodness
Zinnia (yellow) – remembrance

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