Since the beginning of time, flowers have been used as a vehicle for showing one’s affection: red roses are synonymous with love (just ask any woman on Valentine’s Day) and the early Victorians even used flowers to express their emotions—grief, jealousy, devotion, and more.
While we’re not suggesting that you use 1-800-FLOWERS in place of emoticons, you can use your wedding flowers to set a romantic and meaningful tone for your big day. Are you a true romantic? Skip the white roses and opt instead for gardenias, which symbolize purity and joy (who knew?). Are you a free spirit? Skip the wildflowers, and try delphiniums instead—they signify an open heart. We could go on and on.
If you’re curious about what your wedding bouquet REALLY means, TheKnot.com has a complete catalog of flowers with meaning (good and bad!), and you might want to get your hands on a copy of the Old Farmer’s Almanac which also has similar information. We’ve rounded up some of the most common floral definitions from our favorite sources in any easy-to-navigate guide above. Disclaimer: You’ll find variations on the meanings of flowers everywhere. So take it all in with a grain of salt and just have fun with it!