Love you, like you…rejection?

Three Crimson Amaryllis in Nursery Pot - Harry and David

No, I’m not talking about the progression of most marriages these days. I’m talking about bouquets. Not that I hold much stock in flower meanings – considering that many of the meanings were derived during those periods in history were courtship was something kept strictly under wraps. A bouquet of daffodils and daisies wrapped in delicate fern leaves could tell a woman that her beau was enthralled by her yet put great stock in her innocence. Asphodel, on the other hand, would tell her that her beau’s regrets would follow him to the grave. Cheery!

When choosing nuptial blooms, it’s a good idea to consult a florist, even if you’re planning on doing all of the bouquets and arrangements yourself. A knowledgable florist will be able to tell you what will be in season, what won’t wilt after only a few hours, and what will match your color scheme best. If you’re going to work closely with a florist, it’s recommended that you choose one six to twelve months before the big day, as many of the best wedding floral designers are booked well in advance.

That said, I’m not sure many florists these days are going to know the meanings of all the different blossoms they carry. So, for your reference and amusement, I’ll point you to a rather comprehensive list as compiled by About.com. And then I’ll point you to some of the more interesting (and negative) ones:

ASTILBE: I’ll still be waiting

BEGONIA: Beware

PINK CARNATION: Capriciousness

CALENDULA: Grief and jealousy

BATCHELOR’S BUTTON: Celibacy

LARKSPUR: Fickleness

DAHLIA: Instability

STRIPED CARNATION: Refusal

YELLOW CARNATION: You have disappointed me

PRIMROSE: Inconstancy

WOLFSBANE: Misanthropy

AMARRYLLIS: Pride

8 Responses to “Love you, like you…rejection?”

  1. Lauren says:

    The best part of flower symbolism is that everyone says they represent something else. Hydrangeas, depending on the source, stand for perseverance, understanding, vanity, frigidity, heartlessness, and death. I guess you could take your pick.

  2. Never teh Bride says:

    Good point, Lauren! It also depends on where in history you go looking for your meanings! Certain flowers and herbs have ancient meanings that are still in use today.

  3. Lauren says:

    Several of those meanings are “Victorian,” as put forward by several different web sites, but that speaks more to people’s ignorance of historical sources more than aything else.

    I’m sure there are brides out there who would love to pin a “heartlessness” corsage on their evil aunt, even if it’s only so they can genuinely smile when said aunt comes into view! It’s even more devious when you can tell auntie that it stands for understanding.

  4. Never teh Bride says:

    That is truly devious, Lauren, and I like it! Of course, your intended target may be quite knowledgeable about flowers. That said, I love the part in the movie Kate And Leopold where Leopold is examining the bouquet the other guy got for Kate and says, “The orange lily implies extreme hatred. The begonia and lavender, danger and suspicion.”

  5. jenny says:

    *Hoot!* Did you see the meaning for “White Roses, Dried”? “Death is preferable to loss of virtue.” Can’t you see someone’s crusty old maiden aunt back in an old Victorian novel icily handing the prospective bride a bouquet of these as a “moral warning”?!

    I wanted peonies for my wedding, but alas, they were too expensive. Wrong time of year. Apparently they can mean “bashfulness or indignation, ” which would have been about right for my wedding day, unfortunately…

  6. jenny says:

    Ayyyy! It only gets worse! I LOVE huge round bouquets of yellow carnation. The meaning: “Carnation (Yellow) Dianthus Caryophyllus. Rejection; You have disappointed me”

  7. Never teh Bride says:

    Ack, Jenny! Why is it that some of the most beautiful flowers have the most sinister meanngs??

  8. mainegirl says:

    I went ahead and looked up the meanings of my flowers–and they work! I posted pictures of my maids and what they will carry and what each flower means. THe internet really rocks, people.