A bridal bouquet is an important part of a bride’s attire for her wedding day. Aside from being beautiful, these floral arrangements symbolize new beginnings, fidelity and hope of fertility. Flowers have been a staple in the bridal bouquet for thousands of years, with brides holding or wearing flowers as early as ancient Rome. Initially, these garlands were often made of herbs, such as dill, which was thought to ward off evil spirits and bad luck. The practice of using strong-smelling herbs was also a way to encourage sexual desire between the couple.
The modern bridal bouquet contains a variety of colors and flower types, but the rose is the traditional flower for bridal bouquets. The rose has long been a symbol of love, romance and enduring commitment. This is reflected in the saying, “The rose is a sign of eternal love.”
Depending on culture and tradition, the bride may carry the petals of her bouquet into the church or reception hall, where they are typically placed in a special display for guests to enjoy. In addition to the rose, other popular flowers used in bridal bouquets include carnations, orchids and peonies. The pomegranate, which represents prosperity and fertility, is also a common addition to bridal bouquets.
A bride’s dress is typically white or off-white, a tradition started by Queen Victoria. The gown is designed to compliment the bride’s figure and enhance her appearance. She is also traditionally crowned with a wreath of orange blossoms, a Christian substitute for the gilt corona all Jewish and Roman brides once wore.
The bride’s wedding party is referred to as her maids or matron of honor. These female attendants are usually the bride’s closest friends and family members. They are entrusted with the task of providing support and assistance to the bride during her wedding preparations, on the wedding day itself and in her marriage.
In addition to providing emotional support, the bride’s matron of honor and maid of honor are responsible for bustling the bride’s gown and affixing her veil. They also help the bride select her wedding cake and choose favors for the guests to take home at the end of the day.
During a bridal shower, the bride-to-be receives gifts from her family and close friends. The shower is generally an afternoon event that lasts 3-4 hours and is held at a restaurant, venue space or someone’s home. During the event, the bride-to-be can expect to hear toasts from her loved ones and a lot of well-wishes for her upcoming wedding and marriage.
Bridal showers are traditionally women-only events, but some couples prefer to include their male family members and friends at the shower as well. The bride-to-be will often receive gifts from the men in attendance as well. Depending on the bride’s wishes, the party can include activities such as food and drink games, music and dancing. Guests are encouraged to bring gifts for the bride that reflect their relationship with her.