Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers

Choosing your wedding flowers can be difficult, but learning what each bloom really means can make your decision a little easier. (For example, did you know that magnolia means “love of nature” and stephanotis signifies “marital happiness”?) During the Victorian era, The Language of Flowers created an ultra-romantic language for lovers’ correspondence in which flowers replaced words. If you want to suffuse your wedding flowers with symbolism, check out our guide to the most popular wedding flowers and decide which messages move you most—your florist can also be a great resource too. Happy picking. 

Anemone

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Angie Cope Photography

Moderately priced anemone flowers represent “expectation,” which seems fitting for an event that symbolizes a future together. Other interpretations include good luck and protection against evil. They’re unscented, primarily in season during the spring (but also late fall) and perfect for bouquets and arrangements. 

Baby’s Breath

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Libelle Photography

Baby’s breath (like the white items you’ll likely be wearing on your wedding day) symbolize innocence—and they’re majorly back in style as of late. Fun fact: They’re fairly inexpensive and in season year-round, so go crazy with these babies. 

Calla Lily

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Q Weddings

Lightly fragrant calla lilies represent “magnificent beauty,” and are perfect and in season for spring and summer weddings (it is a tropical flower that originated in Africa, after all). 

Carnation

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Justin & Mary

Colorful carnations are extremely underrrated and misunderstood—just to start, each color symbolizes something different. Pink represents boldness, red symbolizes love, and white indicates talent. They’re also inexpensive and in season year-round. 

Chrysanthemum

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Jen Kroll Photography

Wealth, abundance and truth are just a few of the words associated with the cost-efficient chrysanthemum. 

Cornflower

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Kenny Kim Photography

Cornflowers indicate prosperity and friendship—two things everyone hopes to follow after their wedding day. They’re most associated with a gorgeous blue hue, but they’re available in white and pink as well. 

Daffodil

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Hudson River Photographer

The bright, springy daffodil represents happiness and kind regards. Spring brides, take note: They’re inexpensive when they’re in season. 

Dahlia

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Jen Fariello Photography

The dahlia is a symbol of a commitment and bond that lasts forever, making them pretty perfect for weddings. The bold, bushy flower is elegant for summer or early fall weddings (when they’re in season). 

Daisy

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Thompson Photography

Casual daisies mean to “share one’s feelings,” so go ahead and arrange them around the altar for when you read your vows. 

Delphinium

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Artisan Events

Lightly fragrant delphiniums represent swiftness and lightness, and are beloved (and in season) for summer weddings. 

Freesia

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Jen Fariello Photography

Freesias have a fresh, fruity scent and, like baby’s breath, represent “innocence.” Pro tip: While they’re perfect for bouquets, the fragrance might interfere with your dinner menu, so avoid using them as centerpieces. 

Gardenia

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Snap Photography

Gorgeous gardenias represent purity and joy—two things strongly associated with weddings. Fun fact: The gardenia scent is intoxicating. 

Hydrangea

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Buffy Dekmar

Moderately priced, colorful hydrangeas represent both understanding and “heartfelt emotions.” 

Iris

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Alecia Lauren Photography

Unusual irises—which typically come in blue, purple or white—symbolize faith and wisdom, and have been strongly admired throughout history (by ancient Greeks, ancient Egyptians and medieval Europeans). 

Lilac

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Clary Pfeiffer

The meaning behind lilacs? “Love’s first emotions.” Pretty romantic, right? Local lilacs are available in the spring, and imported French lilacs are available year-round. 

Lily

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Photohouse Films

Fit for royalty, the lily represents majesty, truth and honor. The fragrant flower is perfect (and in season) for summer weddings. 

Lily of the Valley

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
James Christianson

Lily of the valley have a fresh, happy scent—which is fitting, considering they literally symbolize happiness. They’re also considered to be traditional marriage flowers.

Magnolia

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Annie McElwain

Most magnolia trees grow in the South, but you can get these luxurious flowers that mean “love of nature” mostly anywhere during the spring and summer seasons. 

Orchid

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Annie McElwain

Orchids are a symbol of beauty (and love, refinement, fertility and so on) and come in a variety of colors and sizes—so no matter what your definition of “beauty” is, you’re likely to find a bouquet- or corsage-worthy orchid for you. 

Peony

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
The Nichols

Peonies stand for love, happiness and ambition, which is a sweet sentiment for your romantic day. They’re in season during late spring. 

Ranunculus

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Laura Ivanova Photography

A lush, cascading ranunculus bouquet will say, in the language of flowers, “I am dazzled by your charms.” Perfect for walking down the aisle to your partner. Also, they’re available in nearly every color of the rainbow.

Rose

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Bob Care Photography

It’s no wonder roses rank as the most beloved wedding flowers—they’re a symbol of romance, love and beauty, are surprisingly affordable and are available year-round. Yes, their popularity definitely makes sense. 

Stephanotis

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Jennifer Lindberg Weddings

The name stephanotis literally means “marital happiness,” making this star-shaped, fragrant flower an obvious choice for weddings. 

Stock

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Carrie Patterson Photography

Long stock flowers have tall stems and represent lasting beauty. They’re fragrant, inexpensive and come in a variety of colors, so they’re guaranteed to complement any arrangement or palette. 

Sunflower

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Carla Boecklin

Sunflowers mean adoration and loyalty, but here’s why: The head of the sunflower is known to follow the sun as it moves across the sky. Both the colors and the symbolism make them perfect additions to a rustic summer wedding. 

Sweet Pea

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Vue Photography

An old-fashioned favorite, sweet peas represent “pleasure” and are fairly fragrant. Use them for a late spring or early summer (that’s when they’re in season) garden wedding. 

Tulip

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Amanda Lloyd Photography

The ever-popular, stately tulip indicates love and passion—pretty perfect for the most romantic day of your life. They can be found in a myriad of colors, but typically in pastel hues. 

Zinnia

Our Official Guide to the Symbolic Meanings of Wedding Flowers
Breanna Elizabeth Photography

Affordable zinnias symbolize lasting affection, daily remembrance and also “thoughts of friends.” If you still need bouquets for your beloved bridesmaids, this might be your flower. 

Source: The Knot

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