Most brides-to-be want the most beautiful, fairy tale wedding they have dreamed of all their lives and they put this into action when choosing decorations for the celebration venue and when choosing a bridal bouquet as well as flowers for the wedding party. However, many people don’t know why certain flowers are traditional and that there is a reason for so many flowers to be ‘typical’ such as carnations for boutonnieres and white roses in a bridal bouquet.

Many of these traditions may be frowned upon as superstition, but actually, most bridal traditions are based on age-old superstitions anyway, so you might as well know where they came from. Here are some things you may need to know in reference to just why your choice of flowers is important at your wedding.

Color Coordination

Before getting to the actual traditions and superstitions spoken of above, one thing you will want to keep in mind when choosing flowers that might have a symbolic meaning is that color coordination is a must. Never choose your flowers before you choose your wedding attire, yours or the bridal party’s attire, and never before you choose your venue. For example, if you are getting married in North Carolina and are going to book a special wedding venue at someplace like Boondocks Event Center, take a look at the venue to make sure your color choices will be complementary to the surroundings.


Once you know what colors you need to choose between, it’s time to get down to the meaning behind specific flowers you use throughout. For example, do you know why most men are given carnations for their boutonnieres? The symbolic meaning of a carnation is ‘undying or everlasting love.’ Perfect for a wedding, right? What about white roses? White is the traditional sign of purity and roses symbolize beauty and refinement. How perfect for a bride! Beautiful and pure.

You don’t need to stick with roses either, although every bride wants at least a few in her bouquet! Here are a few lovely flowers that come in an assortment of colors (thanks to Mother Nature), all of which are perfect for bouquets as well as table centerpieces:

  • Forget-me-not – True love
  • Geranium rose – I chose you
  • Orchid – Love or beauty
  • Pansy – Make merry or being thoughtful
  • Primrose – I need you, never leave
  • Tulip – Perfect love
  • Water Lily – Wisdom, eloquence or purity of heart
  • Zinnia – Constancy

Each of the above flowers has special meaning when used at a wedding, but there are other flowers that can be chosen especially as decorations at the venue. What about a floral arrangement with wisteria that says “Welcome” or hyacinths that symbolize playfulness. Isn’t that what a wedding reception is all about – having fun in celebrating the newlyweds?

Lasting Memories

Your choice of flowers will provide lasting memories as you gaze at pictures and videos over the years. You want those images to be as lovely as the day was for you and your spouse but there are other options you might want to consider. In many cities around the country there are artisans that create custom silk floral arrangements so that the bridal party can each take one from tables after the reception and the bride can keep her bouquet as well. Many times a bouquet of real flowers is thrown at the traditional time to see who is next to be wed among the ladies and the bride keeps her bouquet in her wedding memory box.

So now you know why the flowers you choose are so important traditionally as well as on a personal level. Plan ahead and you will have plenty of time to make the choice that is right for you. Just remember two key rules, color and symbolism. Once you’ve got that down, your task is easy. Enjoy – and don’t forget to take time to stop and smell the roses. (You’ll need to with all the stress of planning your big day!)