The Wedding Bouquet
The bouquet is a bunch of flowers wrapped together in a bunch which is carried by the bride and bridesmaids down the aisle. In ancient times, brides carried flowers to signify new beginnings and fertility. In the middle ages herbs and spices were thought to chase away bad spirits, as well as bad luck and managed to cover the smell of body odor. In the mid-1800s Victorian brides carried myrtle in their bouquet, myrtle is from an evergreen shrub which has white flowers and is very aromatic.
The myrtle flower symbolizes love, according to Greek mythology. In 1840 Queen Victoria carried myrtle in her wedding bouquet which started the tradition for all future royals. In fact, Queen Victoria planted the myrtle from her bouquet at the palace garden where many myrtle bushes grew. Since then, every bride in the royal lineage has put a sprig of myrtle in their wedding bouquet from the same bush that Queen Victoria originally planted many years earlier. It seems that not only British royals have the tradition, but Princess Madelaine and Princess Sophie of Sweden incorporated myrtle into their wedding bouquets also.
The Queen mother married the Duke of York in 1923, he later became King and placed her wedding bouquet on the grave of the unknown warrior at Westminster Abby. It is said that it was a tribute to her brother Fergus who died in WW1. Ever since that day, it is a tradition for the royal bride to leave the bouquet upon the grave of the warrior.
Queen Elizabeth’s 1947 wedding to Prince Philip didn’t go quite as planned. Her orchid-filled bouquet was misplaced, leaving the queen empty-handed for her wedding photos. Since then, the royal bouquet has always got a duplicate on hand. When Megan Markle married Prince Harry, she had a simple bouquet which included Princess Diana’s favorite flowers forget-me-nots, Harry had picked from his mother’s garden. After the wedding service, it was given to a bridesmaid to take and place on the grave of the unknown warrior.
Around the 14th century the bride-to-be was thought to be extremely lucky, and everything and everyone they touched was thought to get some luck. There was a tradition that guests of the wedding began tearing at the bride’s wedding dress to pull pieces as a keepsake to bring them luck, which being pulled at brought grief to most brides. So, the bridal bouquet toss came to replace this tradition, and this tradition is still practiced today, after the reception is over, the bouquet is thrown towards all the single ladies as it is said that whoever catches it will be lucky enough to be the next bride.
In modern times, old traditions are almost forgotten, and brides choose their flowers to match their style or to be color coordinated. Depending on the time of year the bouquets for your wedding can be quite costly, so choosing flowers that are in season is best for your budget. If you are lucky enough to have beautiful flowers in your garden, you could put together your own custom-made bouquet.
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