RATHER BE OUTDOORS: Wedding traditions and the language of flowers | Homes | Living | Homes

After a 13-month engagement, the big day is officially here. Today is the day I am getting married.

After a 13-month engagement, Carson is getting married. He decided against roses at his wedding because he couldn’t pick a single colour. -Luc Bourgeois
After a 13-month engagement, Carson is getting married. He decided against roses at his wedding because he couldn’t pick a single colour. -Luc Bourgeois

So, in honour of wedding traditions, I thought this would be the perfect time to talk about the meaning of flowers when it comes to weddings — specifically wedding bouquets, corsages and centrepieces.

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The language of flowers has been around of thousands of years and is included in works like the Koran, the Bible and even the Torah, so of course I want to make sure I’m sending the right message for my own nuptials.

Roses are the classic wedding flower, with each colour individually having its own meaning. With more than 10,000 individually registered roses, that is a long, long, long list of plant language. Suffice it to say, roses symbolize love, romance, beauty, purity and happiness. I decided against roses at my wedding because I couldn’t pick a single colour.

Sunflowers are also a great choice for a fall wedding. They maybe a little big for a boutonnière, but are readily available at the end of September. Sunflowers mean adoration and loyalty because the head of the sunflower always faces the sun. I thought these would be great for my wedding so I planted a field of them right beside where we are having the service. I’ve learned that the heads don’t always follow the sun, especially when they are too big for the stalk. Now I have a field of drooping sunflowers all facing the wrong way. At least the bees are happy.

Surprisingly popular again is baby’s breath. They are in expensive and always available. When it comes to messages, baby’s breath means innocence, which is why I am staying clear of that particular flower at my own wedding. I figure at 47, there is not much innocent about me anymore.

I decided to go with a lot of mums for the outside of my garden centre as decoration. At this time of year, mums look great and you can get huge ones for a great price. Luckily for me they have a great meaning when it comes to weddings. Mums stand for wealth, abundance and truth. Perfect for setting the right stage for my guests as they come through the door.

There is one other flower that seems to be very popular at this time of year — hydrangeas have come roaring back into fashion. White, pink or dusty rose seem to be the most popular options for bouquets and centrepieces. I have a couple of vases of them, cut from my own garden, on the bar.

They symbolize understanding, so I think it’s a perfect message to send to all of my guests in line. “I understand that weddings are terrible, so yes … it is an open bar!”

Now you are probably wondering what flowers I choose for my own tables. I am using lettuce. We planted long troughs of heirloom lettuce with white pillar candles. The green, burgundy and spotted varieties all say the same thing ‘Let’s eat!’ — which is exactly how I want my wedding remembered.


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