Weddings are occasions of happiness with well-known ceremonies and rituals that are commemorated with zest in almost every region of the world. Above all the glitz and glamour that is seen at weddings, flowers are a must in every wedding all over the world. From the adornment of a bride, to stage decorations, flowers play a significant role for every wedding function. Have you ever wondered why flowers are associated with wedding ceremonies? Well, there are several factors linked to the continuous usage of this floral tradition. However, different countries have different customs and traditions regarding the use of wedding flowers, which is being passed on from one generation to the other. Read on to find out several interesting facts about the wedding floral traditions from around the globe...
Flowers have always been linked with the expression of human emotions, feelings and good luck and also symbolise fertility.
Used in ancient Greek marriages to signify glory and honour, flowers and plants were tied together to make crown garlands for both the bride and bridegroom. Traditionally, the garland bunch often contained bulbs of garlic to protect the couple against any evil spirits.
Wedding flowers have also played an important role in Europe for centuries. In Germany, the bride and groom both would hold candles that had flowers and ribbons tied to them. England has had the tradition of ‘flower girl’ for centuries. It was tradition for the bride and her bridesmaids to proceed to the church together, led by a small flower girl who would sprinkle blossoms in their path to assure long life and happiness for the bride.
Roses are the most popular traditional wedding flowers because of their bright colours and symbolic meanings of love, desire, passion and beauty.
In Western countries women used to grab pieces of a bride’s dress and flowers from her bouquet for good luck. To get away from the crowd the bride would throw her bouquet and run off. Till date this tradition exists and the bride tosses away her bouquet to the bunch of single women present at the occasion. According to the tradition, whoever catches the bride’s bouquet will be the next to marry.
In Chinese wedding ceremonies lotus blossom, orchid, Peony and bamboo are most frequently used to mark creation, an unbreakable relationship, purity, love, fertility and a long life.
Originated from China and South East Asia the traditional orange blossoms symbolise good luck and purity. It is said that on their return from the East, the Crusaders were charmed by the loveliness of Saracen brides wearing beautiful white blossoms in their hair. Hoping to root orange trees in their own home soil, the Crusaders packed cuttings from the trees to take on their journey back to Europe, where the blossoms became a favourite wedding flower of the European brides. By the nineteenth century in England, many books on wedding etiquette dictated that every bride should include orange blossoms as an adornment in her bridal bouquet, or use it as a wedding decoration. From antiquity to present day, the sweet-smelling orange blossom is considered to bring good fortune to a wedding.
In Indian mythology, flowers are considered sacred and selected carefully for the decoration of the Mandap (stage), and for making special garland called the vermala (couple exchange special flower garland to mark their love). During and after the wedding ceremony the parents and relatives of the couple throw petals of flowers on them. Flowers for religious ceremonies like ‘tilak’ and ‘mehndi’ are different from ‘sangeet’ (songs) and reception. Usually marigolds, jasmine daisies and roses are used in Indian weddings and the bride’s hair is adorned with jasmine flowers which symbolises purity and beauty.