I often think of weddings when April rolls around, perhaps that's because it's our anniversary month. This month my husband and I celebrate 24 years of marriage. As the years go by I realize more and more that God made him for me.
But what about the bride’s bouquet? All brides want the flowers they hold in their hands on their wedding day to be extra special. There are flowers that can be part of a bride’s bouquet that have meaning.
So what are these flowers?
Daisy – The white daisy symbolizes innocence. The traditional concept of white seems to be lost on today’s weddings. When a bride wore a white dress, it used to mean that she was sexually pure. While many couples choose to live together before marriage, there are those who remain pure until their wedding night. There is nothing more innocent than being able to give your whole self to your husband on your wedding night.
Violet – The violet stands for faithfulness. In a society where faithfulness is just about obsolete, that makes it all that much more important. There are so many things that try to distract us – on TV, posters at the mall, the Internet and all sorts of other advertisements try to entice us into being unfaithful. Couples need to be faithful and never let that faithfulness falter.
Thyme – This may seem a strange sort of plant to put into a bridal bouquet, but it symbolizes grace and elegance. There is no other time when a woman feels more elegant than on her wedding day. We plan everything from our hairdo to our toenails! Elegance is definitely the word of the day.
Tansy – Tansy stands for immortality. While we know that our beloved will someday pass away, our love for them will live on forever. Women I know who have lost a husband after years and years of marriage still keep little mementos around the house to remind themselves of their undying love for the one who stole their heart.
Sage – This fragrant herb symbolizes esteem. There is no greater emotion we can give to our spouses except to revere and esteem him or her. Believe me, all men like to know that they are truly adored by the woman they married and vice versa.
Rosemary – Rosemary actually has several meanings: remembrance, loyalty, friendship and the lastingness of love. Loyalty, friendship and love are all important parts of a marriage. We can’t love someone who is not our friend first. We cannot be loyal to those we don’t consider our friends. Also on a regular basis, such as our anniversary, we need to remember that we are best friends and that we love each other.
Mint – Solomon talk about “rejoicing in the wife of your youth” in the Bible. There is nothing comparable to the joy of new love that mint represents. The experience is all new and exciting. That excitement has a tendency to die down. It is work to keep a marriage alive, but it is necessary. If someday you find your love seems to not be as strong as it used to be remember what made it happen in the first place and rejoice over that.
Marjoram – Marjoram stands for beauty. A groom thinks there is nothing more beautiful than his bride walking down the aisle toward him. She is beautiful and she is radiant. All brides feel beautiful on their special day.
Lily of the Valley – Lilies symbolize the return of happiness. While it may not seem quite possible on your wedding day, disagreements will be fought and make ups will happen. Sadness may be there for a time, but we need to make sure that happiness will return again.
Lemon Balm – Lemon balm is often referred to because of its healing power. In a bride’s bouquet it stands for longevity. Difficulties will arise in marriages: finances may not always be as plentiful, jobs will be lost as well as other loved ones. But it is the healing touch that the couple can bring to one another, in the form of support that will make the marriage last for years to come.
Ivy – Ivy stands for fidelity. When we get married, we are promising ourselves and our bodies to just one person. Cheating can happen in more ways than one. What we allow our eyes to see, our ears to hear, and our minds to dwell on can all be forms of infidelity. Fortunately, those are choices we can easily make by saying, “No!”
Fern – The fern symbolizes sincerity. Believe it or not, I have a friend in a miserable marriage. After she and her husband got married he told her everything about him had been a lie. He thought she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen and he did and said whatever he had to do to get her to be his. Marriage needs to be based on the truth and never on lies. Always be sincere in what we say and do.
Dogwood – Dogwood is a tree that can endure intense storms. It is extremely durable. Marriages also weather intense personal storms. We often hear the phrase, “it will make them or break them.” If you want to be able to go through storms and come out on the other side a stronger couple, you need to be durable like the dogwood. Stand strong together. Some couples have weathered great storms even before getting married.
Basil – Basil symbolizes the quickening of love. It seems people often fall in love at first sight and unfortunately fall out of love just as quickly. I enjoy seeing elderly couples holding hands. Their love has endured the tests of time and they are still in love just as they were at the beginning.
Azalea – Azalea stands for temperance. Often we will need to show some self-control in our marriage. Restraint in ourselves is an excellent quality at times. Arguments will be a part of our marriages, but they should only be in moderation and over something important. Remember, sometimes it’s good to give in. If something isn’t going your way, think about it. Is it important enough to argue about or should you just let it go? Certainly giving in all the time is not good. It is just an invitation to be treated like a doormat. Moderation is key. Fight for what’s important – give in for what’s not.
With all these flowers as part of a wedding bouquet, it will definitely have more meaning than simply being beautiful. Even if you don’t want to carry all these flowers around at one time, you can place them all over the church or reception hall. You can even leave place cards in front of the arrangement with the meanings typed on it. All these flowers symbolize virtues that should be part of any marriage. Keep them as a reminder to put these virtues into practice all throughout your married life.