The Symbolism in Your Flower Choices

By Sarah Riddell

Add Hidden Meaning to Your Wedding Day

Deciding what flowers to use on your wedding day can be downright difficult. If you’re trying to narrow the playing field down by just size, shape and color, it may still be hard to decide what will work best for you. In addition to the way the flowers look, you may want to dig a little deeper into what flowers best represent you, your fiancée and the life that you’re about to start with one another. Here are some stunning wedding flowers with their own hidden meanings that you may want to use in your bouquet and floral arrangements!

Roses

The symbolism surrounding these flowers relates to Greek and Roman mythology. Roses were often associated with Aphrodite and Venus, the goddesses of love. Depending on what colors your use, you can add a lot of meaning to your big day.

White roses are typically used in more traditional wedding ceremonies and are often paired with more vibrant-colored flowers. Also called the “bridal rose,” these flowers symbolize spirituality, innocence and humility. Red roses are known as the “lover’s rose” and typically symbolize everlasting passion and true love, making them the perfect flower to use on your wedding day. Pink roses present a happy medium between the meanings of red and white roses. Using these roses in your wedding arrangements are representative of gracefulness, elegance, gratitude and admiration. In addition to using them in your bridal bouquet and centerpieces, pink roses are also often given to the mothers of the bride and groom as a show of appreciation.  

These stunning red roses added a little extra meaning to the Prillaman-Williams Wedding. Page 52 of bridebook   2019. Image by Simply Poetic Image Photography.

These stunning red roses added a little extra meaning to the Prillaman-Williams Wedding. Page 52 of bridebook 2019. Image by Simply Poetic Image Photography.

Calla Lilies

These flowers were named after the Greek word “calla,” meaning beauty. These stunning flowers are very popular and are often used in spring and summer weddings. Like roses, the symbolism of these flowers can be broken down by color.

White calla lilies grew increasingly popular during the Victorian period, a time in which flowers were beginning to be associated with human feelings and emotions. This flower symbolizes good luck, holiness, purity and faith due to its close association with the Christian holiday of Easter.

Colored calla lilies, also known as mini calla lilies, offer a wide array of meaning. In addition to white, these varieties come in yellow, orange, green, pink, black, red and purple. Yellow and orange calla lilies symbolize gratitude and joyfulness. Pink minis are understood to mean admiration and appreciation, whereas the red variety are known for symbolizing courage, beauty and desire. Black and purple callas carry very distinct meanings and provide added drama to any floral arrangement. These striking flowers are used as a show of elegance, mystery, royalty and passion.   

Bride Carley showing off the beautiful orange calla lilies in her bouquet. The Edwards-Beckner Wedding, page 43 of bridebook 2019. Image by Pat Cori Photography.

Bride Carley showing off the beautiful orange calla lilies in her bouquet. The Edwards-Beckner Wedding, page 43 of bridebook 2019. Image by Pat Cori Photography.

Irises

These bright and beautiful flowers are perfect for adding a splash of color to your wedding arrangements. Irises are said to have been named after the Greek word for rainbow, as they come in almost any color except for bright red. Generally, the three petals that stand upright on irises symbolize wisdom and valor. The color varieties that this flower comes in may also play a role in your decision-making, as they each represent distinctive traits.

The most popular color that irises come in are various shades of purple. Regardless of shade, purple irises are often representative of royalty, respect and beauty. Blue irises, the second most common color, are said to mean faith and hope. Though rarer than the other two colors, these flowers in yellow symbolize friendship and passion. Many brides use this color of iris in their weddings to show that they’re marrying their forever best friend.  

Baby’s Breath

Though not usually the star of the show, these dainty clusters of white flowers are often used as filler in wedding arrangements. Though small and elegant, these flowers are a great way to add a lot of hidden meaning to your big day without breaking the bank. Though you may be able to find this flower in a light pink or purple tint, white is the most common. This flower represents purity and independence from outside influence. These flowers are also used as a way to symbolize a loved one who has passed or someone who was unable to attend your wedding. For brides and grooms who are close to family or friends who can’t be right there with them, this flower could add a really special touch to their wedding day.

Baby’s breath is the perfect filler flower to add a little extra dimension to any wedding arrangement. The Byrd-Gray Wedding, page 28 of bridebook 2019. Image by Elizabeth Harris Photography.

Baby’s breath is the perfect filler flower to add a little extra dimension to any wedding arrangement. The Byrd-Gray Wedding, page 28 of bridebook 2019. Image by Elizabeth Harris Photography.

Peonies

These large and vibrant flowers are often used in art and literature as metaphors for human emotions and feelings. They come in various shades of pink, red and white, each symbolic of different attributes. Light pink and magenta peonies are the most commonly used shades in weddings. They are interpreted to add the meanings of good luck, prosperity and a happy marriage. Though used less than pink peonies, red and white varieties also carry special meaning. Deep red coloring symbolizes love, passion and respect, whereas white peonies are representative of beauty.

Bride Logan had an English garden theme, with peonies shipped from Alaska. George-Cooke Wedding, page 48 of bridebook 2019. Image by Lori Hedrick Photography.

Bride Logan had an English garden theme, with peonies shipped from Alaska. George-Cooke Wedding, page 48 of bridebook 2019. Image by Lori Hedrick Photography.

Sunflowers

More recently, sunflowers have become very popular in outdoor summer and spring weddings. Sunflowers, known as the “happy” flower due to their bold yellow coloring, symbolize longevity, loyalty and adoration. In some cultures, they can also represent vitality and good fortune. If you’re looking for a flower that’s beautiful, bright and full of hidden meaning, sunflowers may just be the right choice for you!

Bride Kayla chose sunflowers to add a little pop of color to her bouquet. Fuller-Willis Wedding, page 57 of bridebook 2019. Image by Lindsey Rickards Photography.

Bride Kayla chose sunflowers to add a little pop of color to her bouquet. Fuller-Willis Wedding, page 57 of bridebook 2019. Image by Lindsey Rickards Photography.

Hydrangeas

If you’re looking for a larger flower to include in your bouquet, look no further than hydrangeas! These whimsical beauties make the perfect addition to any wedding arrangement. Purple and deep blue hydrangeas illustrate a deep understanding of another person, and for this reason, this color is often used in wedding ceremonies to symbolize the emotional connection between the bride and groom. These flowers in pink and white are used to illustrate romance, love and a fruitful marriage. Regardless of the color you choose, these flowers are sure to add a little extra meaning to your special day.     

These hydrangeas matched Morgan’s pretty in pink color palette. Brown-Thomas Wedding, page 30 of bridebook 2019. Image by Patrick Perkins Photography.

These hydrangeas matched Morgan’s pretty in pink color palette. Brown-Thomas Wedding, page 30 of bridebook 2019. Image by Patrick Perkins Photography.

Orchids

While these exotic flowers are on the higher end of the cost spectrum, they are sure to add some sophistication to any wedding. Orchids come in a variety of colors, each associated with their own meanings.

White orchids are representative of purity, as well as elegance and reverence. Pink orchids can be used to add a little extra flare to any arrangement with their meanings of femininity, joy and grace. Though more rare than other colors, yellow and orange orchids may be a great color combination to use in your wedding, as their meanings fit hand in hand. What better way to celebrate your wedding day than with yellow orchids representing new beginnings and orange symbolizing enthusiasm for the life that you and your spouse will spend together?

Bri Swarm chose stunning blue orchids to match with her palette as well as the color smoke bombs they used for photos. Eades-Swarm Wedding, page 66 of bridebook 2019. Image by Olivia Diane Photography.

Bri Swarm chose stunning blue orchids to match with her palette as well as the color smoke bombs they used for photos. Eades-Swarm Wedding, page 66 of bridebook 2019. Image by Olivia Diane Photography.

Liz Long