Floriography or the philosophy of flowers

For an atheist I’m really quite superstitious. Symbolism and meaning is really important to me, so when it comes to wedding flowers, I’m interested in the Victorian tradition of floriography. Say it with flowers, literally.

The ultimate romantic wedding flowers are*:

  • Alyssum = worth beyond beauty
  • Ambrosia & Jerusalem oak & Jonquil = your love is reciprocated
  • Arbutus = thee only do I love
  • Arum & Balsam & Dragon Root = ardour
  • Aster = symbol of love
  • Balloon flower = endless love
  • Camillia (red) = unpretended excellence, you’re a flame in my heart
  • Camillia (white) = you’re adorable, perfected loveliness
  • Carnation (white) = pure love, adoration
  • Cedar = I live but for thee
  • Chrysanthemum (red) = I love you
  • Forgt me not = true love
  • Globe (Amaranth) = unfading love
  • Gloxinia = love at first sight
  • Honeysuckle (coral) = I love you
  • Iris (yellow) =passion
  • Ivy = wedded love
  • Indian jasmine & Ipomaca & Scarlet Ipomoea = attachment
  • Lemon leaves = everlasting love
  • Linden tree = matrimony
  • Lungwort = thou art my life
  • Orange blossom = marriage, eternal love
  • Orchid = love
  • Peony = happy marriage
  • Phlox = our souls are united
  • Primrose = I cant live without you
  • Prince’s feather = unfading love
  • Rose (red) = I love you, desire
  • Rose (white and red) = unity
  • Rose-of-sharon = consumed by love
  • Roses (assorted colours) = you’re everything to me
  • Thornapple = I dreamed of thee
  • Tulip = love and passion
  • Tulip (red) = declaration of love
  • Windflower = sincerity, symbol of love
  • Zephr flower = symbol of love

The ultimate friendship wedding flowers are*:

  • Acacia (rose or white) = elegance, friendship
  • Chrysanthemum = you’re a wonderful friend
  • Freesia = innocence, trust, friendship
  • Geranium (oak leaved) = true friendship
  • Iris = faith, valour, wisdom, friendship
  • Ivy = fidelity, wedded love, friendship, affection
  • Rose (yellow) = friendship, joy, gladness

The ultimate practical wedding flowers are*:

  • Allium = unity, humility, patience
  • Alstroemeria = devotion, wealth, prosperity, fortune
  • Apple blossom = better things to come, good fortune
  • Aster (china) & Veronica = fidelity
  • Bird of paradise = faithfulness
  • Black byront, lady’s seal = be my support
  • Bluebell & Zinnia (scarlet) = humility, constancy
  • Broom = humility, neatness
  • Cactus & Eremurus = endurance
  • Cattail = peace, prosperity
  • Dogwood = durability
  • Flax = domestic symbol
  • Flowering almond & Hawthorn & Mum & Snowdrop = hope
  • Heliotrope = devotion, faithfulness
  • Holly = domestic happiness, foresight
  • Hyacinth (blue) = constancy
  • Lavender = loyalty, love, devotion
  • Lemon blossom = fidelity in love
  • Mezereon = desire to please
  • Myrtle = love, home, duty
  • Poppy (yellow) = wealth, success
  • Tiger lily = prosperity
  • Violet = faithfulness, modesty
  • Violet (blue) =I’ll always be true
  • Wallflower = fidelity in adversity

You might also like to consider flowers meaning beauty and flowers meaning joy; differt cultural meanings for flowers; and using flower meanings in the wording of your vows.

My favourite meanings:

  • Venus fly trap = caught at last
  • Violet (white) = let’s take a chance
  • Viscaria = will you dance with me?

*according to http://www.allflorists.co.uk/advice_flowerMeanings.asp Other dictionaries may provide slightly different meanings so if you find a flower you like, just google ([flower name] meaning)

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