The ancient Greeks were the first to record the use of wedding flowers, and brides often carried a mix of herbs and blossoms designed with specific meanings and intentions. By the mid-19th century, traditional wedding bouquets featured floral arrangements void of useful and common herbs. Brides looking to reconnect with past customs, or seek to incorporate an environmentally-friendly theme into their weddings, are rediscovering the beauty and significance of herbs in their wedding bouquets.
Rosemary -- For Remembrance
Known as the "herb of remembrance," rosemary is a therapeutic botanical used for medicinal remedies, in cooking and as decorative topiaries. The herb's bright, woody scent is a distinct and complimentary contrast to sweet florals often used in bridal bouquets. Rosemary's sturdy branches feature narrow, pale green leaves. When it flowers, delicate violet-hued buds appear at the ends of its stalks.
Chamomile - For Patience
For centuries chamomile has been used as a gentle and natural remedy for a number of ailments. The blossoms may be steeped into a delicately-flavoured tea suitable for consumption as well as to treat minor wounds or to refresh hair and skin. Similar in appearance to the daisy, chamomile flowers are colourful and reveal a sweet apple scent. Chamomile is recognised as a symbol of patience, which makes it an ideal addition to a wedding bouquet.
Lavender - For Devotion
Lavender's sweet scent does more than appeal to the olfactory nerve; the medicinal herb is a popular ingredient in lotions and soaps, may reduce headaches and can dispel dizziness. The herb of devotion, lavender's purple blossoms smell strongest when dried, though fresh sprigs will make for hardier arrangements.
Parsley - For Festivities
An edible herb and common garnish, parsley's bright leaves add bold colour and a special meaning to a wedding arrangement. The plant stands for festivities, though it has been used historically for a number of events including funerals and childbirth. As a decorative herb, curly leaf parsley is an excellent, durable option.
Thyme - For Courage
Greek herbalists believed that the pungent leaves of the thyme plant would impart courage onto others. Greek soldiers were given sprigs by loving ladies, and men were known to rub the herb against their chests for strength. Thyme is largely used as a culinary seasoning, though its delicate flowers are beautiful displays of white, light pink, blue or purple.
Dill - For Well Being
Dill's distinct flavour makes it a culinary staple for many, but the herb has long been hailed as a symbol of good luck and well being. Once used to protect against witchcraft and evil, dill was carried by German brides to bring prosperity to their marriages. A frilly green plant with yellow blossoms, dill is also known to represent lust.