There are hundreds of different wedding traditions all unique to the world’s many cultures. One thing common to almost all weddings though, is the bride’s bouquet. Taking on various shapes, sizes, and colors, bride’s carry bouquets in almost all traditional wedding ceremonies. Bouquets often complement a bride’s wedding gown, adding beauty and femininity to her outfit.
A Bouquet is a Must
To many brides, a bouquet is a must. But, have you ever asked yourself why brides carry bouquets at weddings? Like many traditions, bouquets are based in antiquity. This custom began in ancient Greece, where brides carried bouquets made of spices and herbs. A popular bouquet of the time was one made from garlic, interlaced with herbs. The strong scent emitting from these bouquets was said to ward off evil spirits that could curse the newlyweds.
This tradition was also adopted by the ancient Romans who themselves contributed to the wedding traditions we know today. Ever wonder why we carry wedding rings on the third-fingers of our left hands? The Romans believed this finger has a vein that is directly connected to the heart. They placed their wedding bands on these fingers as a symbol of love, and we have carried this tradition on into the modern age.
The tradition of bridal bouquets continued into the Medieval ages. During this time, the purpose of bouquets continued to evolve but remained a bouquet of spices and herbs rather than flowers. Medieval brides believed bouquets warded off evil spirits, but they also believed it was a sort of aphrodisiac that would drive fertility between the couple.
It wasn’t until the 1800s during England’s Victorian-era that bouquets would change from herbs and spices to flowers. The first bride to do so was none other than Queen Victoria. Marrying Prince Albert in 1840, she chose her bouquet to be made from fresh flowers rather than the traditional herbs and spices. Many have said this was a choice made to cover up bodily scents in a time when deodorant was unavailable.
Victorian Era Bouquets
Queen Victoria also popularized the now famous bouquet toss. It is said that in Victorian times, single-women at weddings attacked the bride, trying to take strips of her wedding dress or bouquet as good luck. As a way to defend themselves, brides started throwing their bouquets at these crowds. This tradition has evolved into the famous bouquet toss we know and love today.
Throughout history and even today, bouquets are an essential part of bridal traditions. With its inspiration, we’ve gone on to create a cocktail that embodies the color and fresh floral scents we love in bouquets.