Flowers have been attributed with meaning for centuries. In Victorian times, it was popular to send small posies of flowers to express sentiments, to lovers and friends. This language of flower was quite complex, for example sending a friend a bouquet of begonias with blue hyacinths could be a warning message to beware of being unfaithful. Some of these traditional meanings are still used in popular culture, for example red roses signify love, while white heather is commonly used as a symbol of good luck.
Like all areas of weddings, flowers take their turn in being fashionable or passé. Large, open Stargazer lilies were popular for decades, to be replaced in the last few years with simpler, more elegant Calla lilies and a return to traditional roses. Colour is also now more popular in bouquets, reflecting bridesmaid dresses and overall wedding themes. The bride who is daring enough to make a statement can opt for tropical flowers such as orchids or bird of paradise for a striking and colourful bouquet.
The shape of bouquets has evolved too, and there are now various styles of bridal bouquets to choose from. ‘Cascade’ bouquets include flowers and foliage which drape down from the main display, creating a large bouquet that is a large part of the bride’s look. ‘Hand Tied’ bouquets are a simple group of flowers, tied around the stems with ribbon. ‘Nosegays’ or ‘Tussie Mussies’ are a similar style of bouquet, but with a more structured feel where the stems are usually hidden. ‘Arm’ bouquets are a style of bouquet that is held laid across one arm and is a popular option for calla lilies.
The beauty and scent of real flowers is hard to beat, but in the hot Spanish summer, blooms can fade fast if they are not cared for properly. Another option is to have silk flowers. These can be just as beautiful as real flowers although don’t be fooled into thinking that they will be cheaper as this is not always the case, especially if you are buying high quality silk flowers. Silk flowers are ideal for decorating your venue, as they can be wired and attached almost anywhere without worrying about damaging them.
Bouquets are now frequently complimented by accessories, and this is the area where you can really jazz up your flowers. Fine wire with jewels can be woven around the arrangement, adding sparkle to your bouquet. Or you can add gems directly to the petals for a dazzling dewdrop look. Vibrant green palm fronds give a tropical feel to any bouquet, while large waxy leaves folded around the edges of a bouquet are a stylish way to frame flowers.
If you want a slightly more unique way to incorporate flowers into your wedding, why not use miniature rose bushes as centrepieces, or small Azaleas plants, which are the Chinese symbol of womanhood. These flower in abundance and you don’t have to worry about them wilting. They make great gifts for members of your wedding party, or a lasting addition to your garden to remind you of your special day when they bloom each year.
When your wedding day is over, you don’t have to throw your flowers away. Your bouquet can be preserved and framed in a stylish display. Your flowers are given to your florist or a specialist, who will dry and preserve the flowers and work with your requirements to create a framed piece of art incorporating your wedding bouquet. Keep a single flower for a simple but effective presentation, or preserve your whole bouquet to have on show for years to come.