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Unveil the Meaning Behind Your Wedding Flowers: Symbolism and Traditions

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When it comes to weddings, symbolism holds a special place as it adds depth and personal meaning to the celebration. Each element, from the wedding dress to the ceremonial rites, and especially the choice of flowers, carries a distinct symbolic significance. Flowers have been a cornerstone of wedding symbolism, with different blooms and their colors representing various sentiments and virtues. The tradition of including flowers in the wedding stems from ancient times when they were seen as symbols of fertility and eternal love. Thus, the bridal bouquet and floral arrangements at a wedding are not just decorative elements but are imbued with profound symbolic meaning. 

Here are some of the top flowers that couples have been selecting for their weddings in 2023: 

  1. Roses: Symbolic of everlasting love, beauty, and respect, roses remain a timeless choice for weddings. 
  1. Peonies: Known for their lush and romantic feel, peonies represent prosperity, love, and honor. 
  1. Calla Lilies: These elegant blooms symbolize magnificent beauty and are a popular choice for both bouquets and arrangements. 
  1. Orchids: With a reputation for luxury and strength, orchids bring a touch of exotic grace to wedding ceremonies. 
  1. Dahlias: These stunning, intricate flowers symbolize eternal commitment and a bond that lasts forever. 
  1. Tulips: Representing perfect love and happiness, tulips offer a fresh, spring-like feel to wedding decor. 
  1. Lavender: Known for its calming fragrance, lavender symbolizes purity, silence, and luck. 

Every one of these flowers holds a unique significance, adding an additional layer of meaning to the wedding celebrations. 


Roses, with their captivating beauty and intoxicating aroma, have been symbolic of everlasting love for centuries. This association dates to ancient times, particularly to Greek and Roman mythology. The rose was closely associated with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, and Venus, her Roman counterpart. It was believed that roses grew from the ground watered by Aphrodite’s tears and the blood of her beloved, Adonis, thus making them the symbol of an enduring love that even death could not diminish. 

In the Middle Ages, roses continued to be a potent symbol of love and passion. They were often featured in the courtly love poems of the time, further strengthening their association with romantic love. Additionally, the rose’s cyclical bloom and perennial nature – the recurring bloom year after year – made it a potent metaphor for a love that is constant and eternal. 

Today, this symbolism continues to be embraced, with roses, particularly red ones, being the go-to flowers for expressing profound love and desire. Thus, it’s no surprise that roses are a timeless choice for weddings, symbolizing the everlasting love between the couple. 


Peonies, with their lush, rounded blooms and intoxicating scent, have been cherished for centuries for their romantic appeal. Their voluminous, soft petals and wide range of colors – from delicate pastels to vibrant hues – make them a favorite for expressing love and admiration, embodying the heartfelt emotion behind the wedding vows. 

The peony’s association with romance and prosperity dates back to ancient times. In Chinese culture, where the peony is considered the “King of Flowers,” it is highly prized for its elegant beauty and is often used in artwork and design. The peony was also grown in the imperial palaces of China, further contributing to its association with wealth and honor. 

In addition to wealth, peonies were also believed to bring good luck and were therefore used in many rituals and ceremonies. The flower’s abundant, full-bodied nature was seen as a symbol of a prosperous marriage brimming with romance and mutual respect. This association has endured over the centuries, and today, peonies continue to be a popular choice for weddings, symbolizing a life of wealth, honor, and love-filled prosperity for the newlyweds. 


The Calla Lily, with its sleek, trumpet-shaped bloom and elegant long stem, is a symbol of magnificent beauty. The Greek name for Calla Lily, ‘Kallos,’ means beauty, reflecting the exquisite elegance of this bloom. The streamlined form and the velvety texture of the flower, along with its radiant array of colors from pristine white to deep purple, contribute to its stunning aesthetic, bestowing it with a unique, magnificent beauty. 

The Calla Lily’s popularity in bouquets can be traced back to the Victorian era, when it was highly prized for its beauty and the symbolic virtues it represented. The Victorians associated the Calla Lily with purity due to its often-white color, and its trumpet-like shape was seen as a symbol of feminine modesty. Over time, as more color varieties were cultivated, the Calla Lily’s symbolism expanded to include admiration and appreciation, making it an even more popular choice for both bridal and celebratory bouquets. 

Moreover, Calla Lilies is known for their long-lasting blooms and resilience, which make them a practical and reliable choice for wedding bouquets and floral arrangements. Their elegant form and remarkable durability allow them to maintain their beauty, even in challenging conditions, adding to their appeal. 

Historically, Calla Lilies finds their origins in African swamps and marshlands, reflecting their hardy nature and ability to thrive in difficult circumstances. Over time, they were brought to other parts of the world, including Europe and America, where they gained popularity in the 19th and 20th centuries, respectively. Today, they continue to be cherished for their symbolic significance and captivating elegance, making them a popular choice for weddings and other special occasions. 


Orchids, with their exotic allure and sophisticated charm, have long been associated with luxury and strength. This reputation is derived not only from their stunning visual appeal but also from the unique resilience they demonstrate in their natural habitats.  

The orchid family, Orchidaceae, is one of the largest families of flowering plants, with over 28,000 species spread across the globe. The wide diversity and adaptability of orchids, thriving in various climatic conditions from rainforests to tundras, serve as a testament to their strength and tenacity. 

Historically, orchids were considered symbols of luxury due to their rareness and the challenges involved in cultivating them. In Victorian times, certain species of orchids were so rare that only wealthy enthusiasts could afford them. These enthusiasts would send explorers on perilous journeys around the world in search of new, exotic varieties. This air of adventure and exclusivity further elevated the status of orchids as a luxury symbol. 

In addition to this, orchids carry a wealth of cultural significance. In ancient Greece, they were associated with virility and fertility, and it was believed that consuming the flower could determine the sex of an unborn child. In traditional Chinese medicine, orchids have been used for their healing and protective properties. In the language of flowers, the orchid symbolizes love, beauty, strength, and thoughtfulness. 

Today, orchids remain a symbol of luxury and sophistication, their intricate blooms adding an element of exotic elegance to any occasion. In the context of a wedding, they represent a strong, enduring love that is as unique and captivating as the flowers themselves. 


Dahlias, renowned for their vibrant colors and intricate petal arrangements, are symbolic of eternal commitment and an everlastingly harmonious union. This association arises from the dahlia’s natural blooming cycle, which unlike many flowers, extends from midsummer until the first frost. This enduring bloom, coupled with the dahlia’s astonishing variety – over 42 species and countless hybrids – has made the flower a potent emblem of a love that is both resilient and diverse, much like a successful, long-term commitment.  

The history of the dahlia stretches back to the ancient civilizations of Mexico and Central America. Named after the Swedish botanist, Anders Dahl, dahlias were originally cultivated by the Aztecs, who used them not only for their ornamental appeal but also for practical purposes such as food and medicine. The flower was introduced to Europe in the late 18th century, where it quickly gained popularity for its striking beauty and impressive variety. Over time, the dahlia’s symbolism evolved to reflect its enduring bloom and extensive range, coming to represent qualities such as dignity, elegance, and a lasting bond. In the context of a wedding, this symbolism translates to a commitment that is enduring, adaptable, and constantly blooming, just like the dahlia itself. 


Tulips, one of the world’s most beloved flowers, are traditionally associated with perfect love and happiness. This symbolism has roots in both Turkish and Dutch history. In Turkish culture, where the tulip originated, it is often associated with paradise on earth, making it the perfect representation of heavenly bliss. The flower’s resemblance to a turban led to its name, derived from the Turkish word ‘tulbend’ meaning ‘turban’.  

In the 17th century, tulips were introduced to the Netherlands from Turkey. They quickly captivated the Dutch, leading to a period known as ‘Tulip Mania’ where the demand for tulips reached such a fever pitch that it caused a significant economic bubble. During this period, the tulip became the symbol of wealth, prosperity, and indulgence. It was in the Netherlands that the flower’s connection with love and happiness evolved. The flower’s vibrant colors and elegant form, combined with its rarity and the excitement it generated, made it a symbol of the joy and passion associated with love. 

Specific colors of tulips also carry their own significance. Red tulips are associated with true love, while purple signifies royalty. White tulips represent forgiveness and yellow tulips symbolize cheerful thoughts and sunshine. Today, tulips continue to be a popular choice for expressing love and joy, celebrated for their beauty, variety, and the rich history they carry with them. 


Lavender, a member of the mint family and known for its vibrant purple flowers and intoxicating scent, has been celebrated throughout history for its calming properties. The fragrance of lavender is primarily attributed to the presence of essential oils in the flower buds. These oils, particularly linalool and linalyl acetate, are responsible for lavender’s distinctive, soothing aroma. Scientific research has found that these compounds can actually slow activity in the nervous system, helping to alleviate stress, promote relaxation, and enhance sleep. 

Historically, the use of lavender can be traced back to ancient civilizations. The Egyptians, for instance, used lavender in their mummification process, and remnants of the flower were discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamen. The Greeks and Romans would use lavender in their baths for its relaxing scent, thus the name lavender, derived from the Latin ‘lavare’, meaning ‘to wash’. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, lavender was used as a disinfectant and deodorant, as well as a protection against evil spirits. Today, lavender maintains its status as a symbol of relaxation and peace, its calming fragrance continuing to be used in aromatherapy and in a variety of cosmetic and therapeutic products. 


As demonstrated, flowers carry significant meanings that are worth understanding. They symbolize a host of different sentiments, from love and happiness to strength and tranquility, and each type of flower brings with it its own unique history and symbolism. Whether you’re choosing flowers for a wedding, a gift, or simply for your own enjoyment, knowing the meanings behind these beautiful plants can add a depth of understanding and appreciation to your floral choices. So, for all your floral needs, remember that Whole Blossoms is here to help. With our wide range of flowers, we’re dedicated to helping you find the perfect floral arrangement that not only looks beautiful but also carries a special significance for you. 

We encourage you to visit our website, www.wholeblossoms.com, to learn more. Dive deeper into the enchanting world of flowers, explore their rich histories and profound symbolism, and choose from our extensive selection to find the perfect blossoms that resonate with you. At Whole Blossoms, we’re passionate about helping you make meaningful floral choices that not only beautify your surroundings but also speak to your soul. 

Paul T

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Meet Paul T, the vibrant heart and soul behind the engaging content at Whole Blossoms. His passion for Wholesale Flowers and their incorporation into Wedding Flowers is not just a job, but an uncontainable excitement that seeps into each line of his written words. For daily insights and thrilling updates, you can follow Paul's dynamic compositions on Twitter @WholeBlossoms. He doesn’t stop at Twitter! He also masterfully curates our Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest accounts, ensuring a visually delightful feast for your eyes. Savor his eloquent prose and insightful commentary in numerous event planning and wedding magazines. If you're ever intrigued by an idea, have a question, or wish to suggest a topic, don't hesitate to reach out to him on Instagram. Paul is more than just a writer; he's your interactive guide to the world of Wholesale Flowers.

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