The Victorian Era evokes feelings of timelessness, elegance, and great romance—it’s not hard to see why brides want to emulate this period by incorporating Victorian elements into their ceremony. An easy way to do this is to use flowers because flowers had powerful meanings for Victorians, who would relay feelings they could not speak of to their lovers by using specific flowers to communicate for them when words could not. A shy young man might present the object of his longings with a bouquet of purple violets, which indicated that the giver was occupied with thoughts of love about the recipient. Flowers could also have negative connotations; for example, if you want to underhandedly insult Victorian-style someone, present them with aloe, which symbolized bitterness.
What then would be the floral options a Victorian would find suitable for a wedding? Myrtle would definitely be included, as it symbolized good luck and love in marriage. Tulips, which meant “passion,” and wallflowers, which meant “faithfulness in adversity,” would also be likely candidates, as they would demonstrate the feelings and commitment of the bride and groom. Roses, of course, would be included, symbolizing love. Daffodils, relaying “new beginnings,” might be chosen to represent the new beginning of this chapter of the newly-wed’s lives. Orchids, to symbolize true love, and orange blossoms, to represent purity and the bearing of many children, are also sure to have been considered. Mums, said to guarantee wealth, are always a good choice for the less-affluent couple. Additionally, if you want to make a statement about your purity and innocence, mix together freesias and gardenias, which represent the aforementioned qualities. Each flower had very specific meanings to Victorians, so if you’re looking to say something with your bouquet or flower arrangements, checking out guides on the subject is a good place to start if you want to conduct more in-depth research.
To complement the Victorian appeal of your flower choices, arrange them as a tussie-mussie or nosegay, a small, round bouquet favored by Victorians. Don’t neglect how you dress your flowers–be sure to add other elements reminiscent of Victorian society. Lace was wildly popular, so perhaps tie your bouquet with a lace ribbon and use lace as an accent piece on your dress. Your flower arrangements should be held in fine china and antique (or antique-looking) vases. For table settings, use china teacups to hold flowers as a creative alternative to traditional vases. Surround the blooms with lace and silk and incorporate old family heirlooms into your design to bring a personal touch to your special day. For example, you could display older wedding photos of your grandparents or great-grandparents—they might not be Victorian but they will add a touch of antiquity and quaintness to your Victorian theme.
A Victorian theme or style is the perfect choice for any bride dreaming of a day filled with elegance and the purity of romance in a bygone age. Choosing era-appropriate flowers is a very important part of creating the atmosphere of timelessness, for they are centrepieces that draw the eye to the features surrounding them. If classic romance is what you desire, always remember to think like a Victorian when selecting your flowers.