Wedding flowers aren’t just lovely—they can be lucky, too. According to folklore handed down through the centuries, flowers were first used for good luck by the ancient Greeks and Romans, who carried garlands of fragrant herbs at weddings because the strong scent was believed to scare off evil spirits. But flower power is not just about avoiding bad energy; most cultures believe certain blooms are promising and can attract good luck as well. (Folklore aside, we think being surrounded by fragrant, beautiful flowers is enough to make anyone feel fortunate.)
Even though you already feel pretty lucky to be marrying your significant other, we think every bride and groom could benefit from a little big-day good fortune. And if you’re thinking about doing so in the form of flowers, this gallery showcases varieties that are beloved for their lucky connotations by newlyweds-to-be all over the world; choose the ones that speak to your culture, your sense of style, or your personal history. That’s right: Even if your shared favourite bloom isn’t on this list, it could be considered lucky specifically to the two of you. Let’s say your soon-to-be husband brought you a bouquet of tulips on your second date, and then those are certainly a sign of good fortune in your relationship; after all, look how you turned out!
Flowers Best for Weddings
Also known as the arum lily, this elegant, trumpet-shaped blossom originated in Africa and symbolized “magnificent beauty” in the language of flowers. The calla lily’s distinctive form has been depicted in art nouveau, and art deco works, in addition to 20th-century photography. Two types are commonly available: a large-headed variety with a long, smooth stem suitable for tall arrangements or presentation-style bouquets, and a miniature version ideal for small arrangements and boutonnieres. Creamy ivory is the most popular colour, but calla lilies also come in yellow, orange, mauve-pink and dark purple (a stunning choice for a slightly edgier or cold-weather wedding bouquet).
The large calla lily flower is a traditional wedding flower native to Africa. The trumpet-shaped comes in pink, yellow, purple and orange colours. It is also lightly fragrant. There are two different types of calla lily flowers used for wedding purposes. Large flowers with long stems are used for making bouquets and small flowers used for boutonnieres. The Greek word ‘calla’ means beautiful. The elegant calla lily flowers are expensive and available year-round.
Once called a filler flower, carnations are now a popular choice for weddings. Their frilly petals and range of colour make them versatile to use in any way you please. Not to mention, they bloom throughout most of the year, so the carnation works well if you are planning a winter wedding.
Similar to the peony or hydrangea, dahlias bring charm and sophistication to your wedding day. Their round petals with points make a dramatic statement in any bouquet. Try pairing with a loose bundle of greenery. Dahlias bloom in a wide array of colours, from subdued to vibrant, and are most popular in the summer.
Surrounded by dark green, waxy leaves, the exquisite gardenia exudes a strong, sultry scent. It was this intoxicating fragrance that captivated an English sea captain travelling through South Africa in 1754, prompting him to bring home one of the native plants as a souvenir. Gardenias are lovely tucked into a bouquet or floating in a low bowl as a centrepiece, and a single gardenia makes a wonderful scented corsage, boutonniere or hair accessory. But be gentle: the delicate ivory petals of this expensive flower can bruise easily. Large three- to four-inch blossoms, as well as a miniature variety, are available too.
The evergreen gardenia flowers are better known for its pleasant fragrance. It is one of the popular wedding flowers and symbolizes happiness and purity. The strongly scented white gardenia flowers are best for bridal bouquets. The available flower was year-round and slightly expensive.
Gardenia flowers are mainly found across Africa, Southern Asia and Australia. The plant grows to 2-10 meters tall and blooms in mid-spring into midsummer. The round-shaped gardenia flowers are found in white or pale yellow with small clusters. The plant also has shiny dark green leaves.
The hydrangea is a popular ornamental plant that comes in white, green, pink and blue colours. The hydrangea flowers used to make delicate bridal bouquets. The combination of hydrangea with other blossoms also looks fantastic. These expensive flowers also used to make boutonniere and for decorations. Hydrangea flower signifies ‘you are the beat of my heart.
With its full bushy head and intense shades of pink, blue, burgundy and purple, it’s no wonder the hydrangea represented “vanity” in the Victorian language of flowers (but don’t worry, you’re not vain if you love hydrangeas). One of the most popular hydrangea varieties changes in colour from bubble-gum pink to sky blue as it grows, depending on the acid level of the soil. A stem or two of this moderately priced, scentless shrub flower fills out arrangements and bouquets, and a few sprigs make a charming boutonniere. You’ll find the hydrangea in white and shades of green, pink, burgundy and blue.
There are 75 different species of hydrangea plants in the world, grow across Asia and the Americas. Most types of hydrangea plants reach up to a height of 3 meters, and some also rise to 30 meters. The flowering occurs in the early spring season. The colour of hydrangea flowers depends on the acidity of the soil.
Lily of the Valley
The small and sweet-scented lily of the valley flowers is a popular wedding flower native to Asia and Europe. The lily of the valley flowers cost $20-$50 per bundle, lots of sprigs required for a single bouquet. It has small bell-shaped flowers and used for wedding bouquets and decorations. The combination of lily of the valley with other beautiful flowers is also widely used to make delicate bouquets. Lily of the valley is a symbol of springtime and also signify the happiness, humility and sweetness.
With tiny bell-shape florets dangling from a thin stem, the lily of the valley is sometimes called “the ladder to heaven.” The fresh, perfumed scent from its petite flowers is unmistakable. In Norse mythology, the flower is linked to Ostara, the goddess of springtime—but you likely remember it from Kate Middleton’s royal wedding bouquet in 2011. And while most plentiful during the spring, it remains available—through quite pricey—most of the year. So while a fistful of lily of the valley might be your dream, a more affordable alternative may be to use just a few stems to infuse a bouquet or centrepiece with its wonderful fragrance and delicate texture. Most people know of the white variety, but lily of the valley also comes in a very rare rosy-pink.
The lily of the flowers blooms in spring and fall. The beautiful bell-shaped flowers have six petals. The pleasant-smelling lily of the valley flowers also attracts butterflies. Lily of the valley also has the power to heal urinary tract infections, kidney stones and eye infections.
This timeless and exotic flower can add an air of mystery to your wedding. They symbolize beauty and refinement, making a stunning accent to any arrangement. Popularly used for the bridal bouquet, they serve as a refreshing focal point and work well for tropical or beachy weddings.
The peony is a bright strongly scented flowering plant that is found in North America, Asia and Europe. Peony flowers are widely used in wedding bouquets and decorations. It is also the floral symbol of China and the state flower of Indiana. The peony symbolizes good fortune and happy marriage. The flowers grow in a variety of colours, including red, white and yellow. The different combinations of peony flowers used to delicate male bouquets and spectacular arrangements.
Prized for its delicacy and impressive beauty, the peony has a voluminous, strong perfume and bright colour. But despite its outward showiness, the flower acquired the Victorian meaning of “bashfulness.” Cultivated in Asia for more than a thousand years and developed further by the French, the peony is available in two main types, the herbaceous and the tree peony (the latter’s flowers don’t last as long when cut). A bouquet made solely of peonies can be gorgeous; the flower can also be used to create beautiful centrepieces and arrangements. Grown in single- and double-flower styles, this expensive bloom is seasonally available from late spring to early summer but can be imported in the fall.
The peony plants live for more than 100 years. The large rounded and fragrant flowers appear from April to June. The plant is named after Paeon, The Greek God of healing. The peony flowers were once used as a medicine in Ancient China to heal convulsion. It is also one of the longest-used flowers in history.
The beautiful ranunculus flower is an excellent choice for wedding bouquets because it is available in a variety of colours including white, yellow, orange, pale and apricot. The flowers are also small in size, multi-petaled and inexpensive. Ranunculus symbolizes ‘radiant charm’, in other words, it means ‘you are very attractive’.
Looking for a cost-effective alternative to roses or peonies? Try the lush, multi-petaled ranunculus, a wedding-ready relative of the buttercup. First seen by Westerners in the Far East around the 13th century, this mild-scented flower features several blossoms on a stem with fernlike foliage. To carry ranunculus is to tell your partner, in the Victorian language of flowers, “I am dazzled by your charms”—not bad, huh? A natural for bride or bridesmaid bouquets, the ranunculus also makes a whimsical boutonniere and is available in many colours including white, yellow, orange and pink.
The bright ranunculus flowers also used to make boutonnieres. The flowers appear in March and in June depending on the time of tubers planted.
Roses are one of the most popular wedding flowers to date. There are thousands of different varieties of roses that are available today. The beautiful flower comes in white, yellow and red colours. Most of the rose species are deliciously fragrant and available year-round. The beautiful roses are considered a symbol of love, joy and beauty. It is widely used in wedding bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages and in arrangements.
Long considered a symbol of beauty and love, roses figure into many myths and fairy tales. Romantic writers and poets have used the flower as a metaphor for emotion, beauty, passion and true love. An all-star in the world of weddings, the rose is far from boring, particularly when it comes to colour—roses are available in solid hues and bicolour varieties—there are even striped and tipped roses as well. More than 3,000 varieties of roses are grown commercially, and many are available year-round and are surprisingly affordable. And though roses are associated with luxurious fragrance, not every rose is scented. Three main types of roses are most popular for wedding flowers: hybrid tea roses (the classic, uniformly shaped commercial roses generally seen at your local florist), spray roses (a rose with five to ten small heads on each stem and a “natural, garden-grown” look) and garden roses (expensive, old-fashioned varieties with bushy, open heads and delicious scents).
Hybrid tea roses, spray roses and garden roses main three varieties of roses that used for wedding purposes. The colour of roses also has greater importance. The red roses are one of the most popular varieties of roses, and it represents true love. It found as the main wedding flower from ancient times onward. The exchanging of red roses also found as the most powerful message of love. At the same time, the yellow rose symbolizes friendship, and the white rose symbolizes purity and innocence, and pink rose symbolizes love and gratitude.
The Victorian meaning for this flower is “marital happiness,” making the dainty white Stephanotis an obvious choice for weddings. The star-shape, waxy florets grow on a flowering vine—each vine must be individually wired or placed onto a special holder before it can be arranged. A bouquet of stephanotis blossoms is one of the most traditional a bride can carry, and a stephanotis boutonniere is a classic choice for a formal wedding. It’s mildly scented, available year-round and moderately priced (but you’ll pay for labour if your florist is assembling a bouquet).
Stephanotis is a deliciously fragrant waxy flower that widely used in wedding bouquets. This popular wedding flower signifies marital happiness. Stephanotis is also called as Madagascar jasmine. The sweet-smelling waxy flower has distinctive petals. The stephanotis flowers available year-round and priced moderately.
The evergreen stephanotis plant is native to Madagascar, Australia and Africa. The plants grow up to a height of 10 feet. The strongly scented waxy flowers appear at the beginning of summer. The stephanotis flowers also need continuous cool temperature.
Available year-round, the trendy succulent has taken over, popping up in all forms. Embellish your bouquet, backdrop or centrepieces by including succulents of any style or shade. They make a stunning finishing touch. Succulents are heat-resistant, easy to maintain and durable, so they work great for anything from an elegant affair to a rustic outdoor wedding.
The sweet pea, which signifies “lasting pleasure,” was first brought to England from Sicily in 1699, and the English have had a love affair with this delicate flower ever since. Its candy-like scent and ruffled blossoms make this an old-fashioned favourite in bouquets for the bride and her bridesmaids. The sweet pea’s many colours range from white to intense pinks and purples, and its scent can be strong and sweet.
The romantic, sweet pea flowers are better known for their unique fragrance. The flowers also grow in varieties of colours including white, coral pink and purple. The availability in varieties of colours and intense sweet fragrance made sweet peas widely used in wedding bouquets. This beautiful and delicate flower symbolizes pleasure. Sweet peas are also best for making vases and garden settings.
Sweet pea flowers are native to Sicily island of Southern Italy. It is a climbing plant and reaches up to a height of 2 meters—the plant blooms in midsummer. The pleasant-smelling sweet pea flowers are also used for the production of perfumes.
The versatile tulip wedding flower available in 75 different species. It also comes in varieties of white, pink, yellow, red, purple and magenta. The tulip flowers symbolize ‘consuming love’. The beauty and symbolism of tulip flowers make it an important element in wedding bouquets, boutonnieres and decorations. Tulip flowers are expensive and available year-round. Tulips bloom in the spring season, and most species have one flower per stem.
Although tulips are most often associated with the Netherlands, this flower is a native of Persia. Representing “consuming love” and “happy years,” the tulip can be a meaningful wedding choice. This flower is grown in a wide range of hues, including white and cream, pastels (pink, yellow and peach) and vibrant shades (magenta, red, orange and purple). Available during much of the year, the most common tulips are very affordable, though rare varieties can be expensive. The versatile tulip can enhance both elegant wedding settings and more casual venues, and work well in almost any detail at a wedding—from bouquets and boutonnieres to table arrangements. Three main varieties are commonly used: Dutch tulips (typically seen at neighbourhood florist shops and in gardens), French tulips (expensive and elegant, with extra-long stems and large tapered blooms) and parrot tulips (noted for their ruffled, striped petals in intense colours).
You don’t have to be an expert to choose a flower that best suits your personality, wedding theme and venue. Make a statement with fresh, beautiful flowers for the bridal party, ceremony and reception. No matter the event, florals make for beautiful wedding photos. Remember to show off your stunning arrangements post-wedding by including the photos in your wedding photo book or even displayed on a canvas print.