When I put together my own bridal bouquet, I admit that I did not pay any attention to the meaning of the flowers included. So, curious to know the message carried in those blooms I turned to the gentleman’s extensive library of Victoriana which (naturally) includes a book on deportment, a whole chapter devoted to the Language of Flowers.
* white roses: pure love
* ranunculus: radiant charm
* cosmos: beauty (derived from the Latin "kosmos")
* astilbe: “I'll still be waiting”
* blue thistle: austerity, independence, and nobility
Also in the mix were leaves of dusty miller and sprigs of silver brunia berries, which as far as I can tell have no assigned meaning. All together, I think the symbolism is quite perfect. Incidentally, my two matrons-of-honor carried bouquets comprised of the same flowers, but instead of the chocolate cosmos and astilbe, I included white and brown Queen Anne's Lace, signifying "haven, or protection" (rather appropriate, no?).
And what would a groom be without his boutonnière? The gentleman wore a blue thistle with leaves of sage, meaning "domestic virtue and wisdom," and thyme, signifying "thriftiness." After our ceremony my niece stuffed a bright pink clover flower in with everything. Clover, meaning "to live a carefree life of ease, comfort, or prosperity." She may not have realized it, but she gave us a most wonderful wedding wish!
(photographs by Kate Headley)