The bridal bouquet is a collection of flowers held by the bride as she walks down the aisle.
It’s meant to be a complementary addition to the overall theme of the wedding and the style of her dress.
It’s an accessory, a focal point, and one of the first peeks guests get into a celebration. So if you’re a bride-to-be, deciding what you’ll carry as you make your way to the altar is actually pretty important.
Wherever you land on the matter, there are often questions that arise, like, well, do I have to carry one? What should I do with the flowers after the wedding? And where did the tradition originate?
Here’s all you need to know about why brides carry flowers and the history behind the bridal bouquet tradition.
The history and meaning of the bridal bouquet
The practice of brides carrying bouquets dates to antiquity. Ancient Greeks and Romans, even Egyptians, carried fragrant herbs and spices to ward off bad luck during weddings. The flowers symbolized a new beginning and brought hopes of fertility, happiness, and fidelity. It wasn’t until the Victorian age that we see the birth of the wedding bouquet as we know it today. While flower symbolism was hugely popular then, and brides were able to communicate their romantic sentiments through their specific floral choices, that practice has faded a bit, with modern couples choosing their flowers based more on beauty and colour.
Another big reason brides originally started carrying them centuries ago was because of the perfume of the flowers, which masked their body odour (you know, back when bathing wasn’t such a frequent occurrence). Since today’s brides aren’t so concerned with hiding an unpleasant smell, the bouquet’s main purpose these days is to be a beautiful accessory.
What kinds of flowers should I use?
This part can be overwhelming, but a lot of the time the kinds of flowers you choose comes down to three things: personal preference, the colour theme of your wedding, and the time of year it’s taking place.