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Flower Meanings and Symbolism : What Does Your Wedding Bouquet Say?

Published Saturday, Mar. 20th, 2021

Illustrations by Jessica Levey

Are you fluent in the language of flowers? Learn the symbolism of your favorite wedding bouquet blooms. 



From hopeful daisies to gardenia’s confession of secret love, your wedding bouquet might be saying more than you know! 


Flowers have held symbolic meanings for centuries. In the Victorian era, flowers were used as language, to answer questions and pass messages that couldn’t be uttered allowed -- a type of secret code shared between lovers, friends, and even enemies. 


And although modern couples might not know that the delicate blossoms of butterfly weed mean “Let me go!” or that tansies are a declaration of war, nearly everyone agrees that a red rose is a striking message of love. 


The loud-and-clear message of a red rose shows us that the symbolism of flowers is still flourishing, and that many of us are more fluent in “flower” than we know. 



What does your wedding bouquet “say”? 


See our list below to learn the symbolism of these popular flower choices! 





illustration of daisy flower meaning

Daisies have shown up in various mythologies -- Roman, Celtic, and Norse, among others-- 

over time, often symbolizing innocence, childhood, new beginnings, and hope. 





Amaryllis: determination, pride


Apple blossom: fertility, preference


Aster: love, faith


Begonia: caution, misgivings


Camellia: missing someone (pink), adoration (white)


Carnation: a mother’s love (white), deep love (red), rejection (yellow)




illustration of an aster blossom, a purple iris, and a yellow daffodil

Asters bloom in late summer or early fall,

iris in spring or summer (depending on the variety),

and daffodils in late winter or early spring.





Daffodil: rebirth, deep love


Daisy: innocence, hope


Freesia: friendship, trust


Hyacinth: play, letting go of the past, constancy (blue)


Hydrangea: gratitude for being understood


Iris: wisdom


Marigold: personal strength, grief




illustrations of myrtle flower, marigolds, and red rose, the symbolism of flowers at a wedding

Myrtle is native to the Mediterranean region and Middle East,

marigolds to subtropical America and Mexico, and most rose species are native to Asia,

with others originally found in North America and Africa. 





Myrtle: good luck and love in marriage


Peony: a happy life


Rose: love (red), happiness (pink), worthiness (white), friendship or jealousy (yellow)


Sunflower: adoration


Tulip: perfect love and passion (red), joy (yellow)


Violet: loyalty


Zinnia: blessings on old friends




Try one of these sample wedding ceremony scripts with flowers! 


Or learn how to plan a ceremony and wedding that incorporates beautiful blooms: 









Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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