As writers do before starting any book, we spend time researching. Maybe it’s a place, a career, or some kind of item. For my newest release, The Bridal Bouquet, I studied up on the meanings of flowers, how to find a good florist and the history of the bridal bouquet. Today, I’m going to share the history.
Weddings are as different and special as a bride’s vision. There are so many reasons a bride picks certain flowers; personal taste, sentiment, elegance, romance, to name a few. From full-blown, colorful bouquets to brides carrying a single stemmed rose to make a statement, the choice of flower for all wedding related events are vast. But where did the tradition of wedding flowers originate?
In early civilizations, flowers and herbs were used to symbolize power and protection. Couples wore flower garlands around their necks to express happiness, new beginnings, hope and devotion. Wreaths were also worn on the head of the bride and groom.
We also see that religion, countries and culture played a part in the floral choices.
Then there was the kissing knot, made with rosemary and roses tied together. The kissing knot was suspended over the heads of that bride and groom at the reception table where the bridal party was sitting to bring good luck and love to the special couple. Small flower nosegays were placed beside every plate of the guests in attendance at the reception. The flowers left for the guests were chosen to ensure them happiness and long lives.
During the Queen Victoria period, brides began to hold fresh arrangements in their hands.
Since early times, fresh flowers have been incorporated into unions worldwide due to natural beauty and universal appeal. In some countries, the bride and groom both would hold candles that had flowers and ribbons tied to them. In another, the bride and her bridesmaids would proceed to the church together, led by a small girl who would sprinkle blossoms in their path to assure long life and happiness for the bride. The tradition of “flower girls” remains to this day.
Flowers are an integral part of any ceremony or occasion, but at weddings, we catch a glimpse of the spirit of the bride and groom. How better to take natural beauty and express the emotions of a couple in love? This is part of the magic of weddings, walking into a fairy tale world decorated with the vision of the couple, executed by a professional florist.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s history lesson. School may be out for the summer, but we can always discover something new. And if you are looking for a fun summer read, check out The Bridal Bouquet, available now.
Tara Randel is an award-winning, USA TODAY bestselling author of twelve novels. She is currently working on new stories for Harlequin Heartwarming, The Business of Weddings series, as well as books in a new series, Amish Inn Mysteries. Visit Tara at www.tararandel.com. Like her on Facebook at Tara Randel Books