Seven popular wedding flowers (and what they mean)

07 Feb 2017

Discover the hidden meanings behind your wedding flowers before making a final decision

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There are so many decisions to make about your wedding and your choice of bloom is likely to be one of the first you'll make. You may have a flower that you love because of its colour, scent or petal shape but do you know what your favourite flower means?

Lucy Matthewson, horticulture buyer at Waitrose Florist, explains: “In the Victorian era ‘Floriography’ was a common method used to convey secret messages that etiquette of the day deemed unacceptable to share openly.” So, just as Kate Middleton did, using the language of flowers to plan your wedding flowers can help with difficult decisions and adds a further personal touch to your special day.

Here’s a guide to the meaning behind seven popular wedding blooms:

1. Roses

Meanings differ flower by flower but also by colour too. So, when you think of your partner consider which words come to mind. It's widely recognised that red roses symbolise love but did you know that pink roses mean 'grace', orange roses symbolise 'fascination' and burgundy roses signify ‘unconscious beauty’?

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2. Tulips

If your relationship is passion-filled and full of big grand gestures the tulip flower may be the bloom for you, with its true meaning translated as 'a declaration of love'.

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3.  Peonies

Peonies are a spring flower and a favourite with many brides but the pretty pink bloom also has a darker meaning - ‘anger’ - a sentiment you may well wish to avoid on your big day.

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4. Freesias

Did your relationship begin as friends and blossom into something more? Well, a bright and fragrant bouquet of freesias could sum up your future partnership perfectly, with freesias signifying 'lasting friendship'.

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5. Orchids

If ‘sophisticated’ best describes the love of your life there's no more perfect a flower than the orchid to represent this, since it's Victorian meaning is 'refined beauty'.

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6. Carnations

Although pink carnations translate as 'I will never forget you', the white variation of the flower symbolises something 'sweet and lovely'. But be aware, striped carnations have a very different meaning -  representing ‘refusal’ -  not a wise subliminal message to put out before you say “I do”.

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7. Lilies

The white Madonna Lily is one of the oldest in cultivation and although many people associate lilies with sympathy, their true meaning is 'majesty' making these elegant plants fit for a wedding of royal standards.

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