Flowers for a Pagan Wedding
Flowers for a Pagan Wedding
When thinking about what flowers we would like to have at our wedding we had to take into consideration, not only what will be available at the time, and what our favourite flowers are but also the language of the flowers.
The language of the flowers is made up of a library of sources; the flowers that have inspired in prose and verse and the floral imagery that graces our art in paintings, textiles and architecture. The meaning of a flower can also be attributed to its chemistry – whether it is a source of food, fragrance or has healing abilities.
Flowers have much to tell us. In the wild a flower can indicate the time of day, the direction of north and forecast the weather. Flowers are also like icons, representing sacred ideas. Flowers are the universal symbol of peace and love; they are present at any major spiritual event such as weddings, funerals and new life ceremonies such as wiccanings, christenings and Beltain. Flowers always remain part of these ceremonies, for they bring joy, peace and happiness in times of celebration and sorrow.
There is a language of flowers that is not as straight forward however, and was created in an organic way through uses of the flower to signal certain things. For example in primitive times a person may wear a flower to indicate their state of health, and in the classical period flowers were used in a much more formal way. Romans, for example, would hang a rose in a council chamber to signify that the proceedings were secret – whence came the expression Sub rosa. This was also the advent of the ceiling rose. The written language of the flowers is thought to have come from Persia, where it was much practiced by the poets. Then it spread to Turkey by at least the 18th century where it continued to spread to Europe and the Americas.
What makes the language of the flowers so beautiful is their silent beauty, flowers just ‘are’ they are not just a symbol; they are the source of the symbolism which makes them a sacred object.
Because the meanings for all the flowers are so diverse, it is possible to arrange a boqet that will imply something more specific.
A good reason for researching the meanings of your flowers before using them in a ceremony such as a wedding is because there are flowers that are inappropriate. Inappropriate flowers for a wedding would be yellow acacia, which means secret love, anemone – forsaken, red carnations – alas my poor heart, columbine – folly and hydrangea – boaster, heartlessness. So there are just a few to keep away from you wedding. We grow a lot of columbine and were considering using it for our wedding, but not now, it would be folly.
Flowers that are appropriate for a bride’s bouquet are: chrysanthemums, which are beautiful and they mean trust and inspiration, freesias – affection, honeysuckle – bonds of love, jasmine – happiness, and tulips – declaration of love. You can use these flowers in combination to make specific meanings for example, a bouquet of red and white roses means love and purity.
We hope we have given you some useful tips on choosing flowers for your own wedding.
Brad and Saskia