The custom of wedding flower arrangements originates from the ancient times. Instead of holding bridal flowers, brides wore a garland which symbolised new life, hope and fertility. The wedding garland would contain aromatic bunches of garlic, herbs and spices which were believed to ward off evil spirits.
Celts were the first to combine plants in their bouquets; sprigs of thistle, heather and ivy were mixed with herbs and spices that gave off a pungent aroma which was believed to have mystical powers.
It was during the Victorian Era that wedding flowers changed tremendously. Bridal flowers carried their own hidden meaning which had a traditional significance. New brides were able to select their favourite fresh flowers which were incorporated into their wedding bouquets. The language of flowers (fliography) originated from 17th century Turkey, and was adapted by lovers using floral exchange to convey secret messages.
Queen Victoria began a new flower tradition which inspired a nation of new brides. She added snowdrops, myrtle and herbs into her bridal bouquet which resulted in a new wave of fresh flower bridal bouquets.
As brides were able to decide their wedding flowers based on personal style and colour choice, the flower bouquet industry increased in popularity. The designs evolved into a variety of different shapes and styles including nosegay, cascading and crescent. Tussie Mussies (a smaller version a nosegay) was introduced to England later in the century and was a fashionable floral accessory which became popular at weddings.
Today, flower displays have evolved to becoming one of the most vital elements of a wedding ceremony. Modern brides choose their wedding flowers based on colours and flowers that hold a personal meaning. Many brides tend to incorporate their whole wedding theme into their bridal bouquets.
Wedding bouquets have developed greatly during the decades; new brides are blessed with more of a choice than ever before.