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History of Wedding Flowers

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Wedding flowers were first recorded to have been used by the ancient Greeks. It was more common to use herbs in a bridal bouquet than it is today. Bridal bouquets were originally formed from interwoven garlands and wreaths which were placed on the heads of both bride and groom. Herbs such as Rosemary and Marjoram were common in the bridal crowns of Greek brides, as well as other herbs, bulbs and even garlic!

The Meaning of Herbs in a Bridal Bouquet

Herbs were believed to have magical powers to ward off evil spirits and bad luck and were used to protect the future of the bridal couple. The fragrant dill was said to be the herb of lust and a bride would only lust after her husband if she carried dill and garlic together

Originally, bridesmaids used to prepare floral decorations for the wedding such as garlands and bridal bouquets. The bridesmaids even made posies for the guests to wear, it was considered to be a symbol of thanks.

Though times have changed weddings are still considered incomplete without the use of flowers. However, herbs have failed to be used as much as they once were with fewer and fewer cultures respecting this ancient tradition in modern times. 

Historically the bridal bouquet was inspired from garland and wreaths worn around the heads of both the bride and groom. The garland was deemed to be a symbol of love and happiness and was made using herbs and bulbs of garlic! Moreover, different herbs carried different meanings.


Dill is or was believed to be the herb of lust. It was thought that when a bride carried it with garlic, down the aisle, she would lust only for her husband. Sage is known as the herb of wisdom. When carried with the garlic, it was believed that the bride would gather great wisdom and learn goodness. Another tradition, was the existence of a kissing knot with rosemary and roses tied together.


After the vows the kissing knot was hung over the heads of the bride and groom, sitting at the reception table along with other guests at the bridal party. This was considered to bring good luck and lots of love to the happy couple as well as to everyone who attended. Small flower posies were placed beside every guest’s plate and were said to ensure that all those who attended would receive happinesss and long life.

 Wedding flowers around the world

In Germany, the bride and the groom held candles, with flowers and ribbons tied to them. In India, relatives sprinkled flower petals over the bride and groom at the end of the wedding ceremony, to help ward off evil spirits. In Sweden, the bridesmaids carry little bouquets of aromatic herbs while the groom carries thyme in his pockets to scare trolls away. In Austria, the brides adorn their veils with flowers to form a crown.

In England the Bride and her bridesmaids walk to church together. Usually, a small girl leads them to the church while sprinkling flower blossoms along the path. This is to ensure the bride has a life filled with flowers and happiness. This tradition is followed in modern weddings as well where flower girls still form an important part of the ceremony.

It doesn’t seem to matter where in the world you are or what period in history. Flowers still form to this day an integral part of any wedding ceremony. Flowers are still the best way to celebrate the occasion in its entirety, independent of religion race or creed they symbolise joy and happiness to all on this special day.