Bejewelled Bridal

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The Tradition of the Bouquet


Most brides today carry flowers because they are beautiful and it gives the nervous bride something to do with her hands. However, the carrying of flowers goes back as far as the beginning of marriage.  Rooted in superstition, it was thought bridal bouquets consisting of odoriferous herbs and garlands worn or carried would ward off demons and evil spirits. Variations of this superstition are found in many cultures throughout the world.

In India the bride and groom are sprinkled with flower petals to ward of evil. It is said that a Roman bride carried herbs such as rosemary in her veil to ward off evil spirits. In fact, the modern tradition of carrying flowers and herbs in the bridal bouquet stems from this Roman practice. With many cultures sharing their wedding traditions over the centuries, the primitive superstition of smelly garlands went by the wayside. Brides began to use flowers as a way to symbolize emotion, virtue of love and marriage transforming the tradition.

Flowers such as roses became symbols of love for western weddings. Herbs and flowers were mixed together as a symbolic gesture. Over the years, wedding traditions have been manipulated blending old tradition with contemporary ideals. Old Greek wedding traditions used ivy and ribbons; weaving them into crowns for the bride and groom to symbolise unity. This tradition of greenery and ribbons has been incorporated in many modern wedding bouquets. In fact, it is commonplace to see bridal bouquets with greenery and ribbons intertwined in the flowers.

Although wedding flowers are a long standing tradition, the use flowers has become more of a tradition of elegance than one of warding off demons. Thankfully the tradition changed and flowers are now used to decorate the wedding. The bride can now carry a bouquet for beauty and not as protection from evil spirits.

In modern days many brides choose to have something artificial instead of flowers, some use seashells, buttons, jewels and/or artificial flowers.


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