In Victorian times, it was popular for people to use hidden gestures to communicate their feelings and often they would covey these with flowers as they connected them each with it’s own meaning. It was an elaborate code for lovers or suitors to send messages to each other.

Another custom is to spell out the name of your future spouse using the initial letters of the flowers. Even Kate Middleton had Sweet William flowers in her wedding bouquet to Prince William.

Nowadays, you could use the meaning of flowers to help narrow down your selection for your wedding flowers. (Don’t forget to also consider what is in season, traditions and the colours of flowers too).

Photography by Farrow Photography

Here’s a list of some meanings of flowers to help with your wedding flower decision:

  • Acacia: friendship
  • Agapanthus: secret love
  • Apple Blossom: good fortune
  • Aster: contentment
  • Azalea: abundance
  • Carnation: fascination / love
  • Chrysanthemum (red): I love you / sharing
  • Chrysanthemum (white): truth
  • Daffodil: regards
  • Dahlia: dignity and elegance
  • Daisy: innocence
  • Forget Me Not: true love / remembrance
  • Freesia: trust
  • Gypsophila: innocence
  • Heather: luck
  • Honeysuckle: generosity
  • Hyacinth (white): loveliness
  • Hydrangea: vanity
  • Iris: faith
  • Ivy: good Luck / eternal fidelity
  • Jasmine: amiability
  • Lavender: distrust
  • Lilac: first love
  • Lily: purity
  • Lily of the Valley: return of happiness
  • Lisianthus: calming / appreciation
  • Magnolia: perseverance
  • Marigold: grief
  • Orchid: beauty
  • Peony: bashful
  • Rose: love
  • Snowdrop: hope
  • Sunflower: adoration
  • Sweet pea: pleasure
  • Tulip: love
  • Violet: faithfulness

This is by know means an exhaustive list but just a starting guide to begin thinking about what meanings are associated with flowers for your big day. Take a look at some other blog posts on colours, seasonality and tradition of flowers at weddings.