Irish Wedding Flowers
Many occasions are noted with the giving or displaying of flowers and an Irish wedding is no exception. Flowers are an important part of a wedding today. Specific flowers, colors of flowers, and placement of flowers are important considerations for the happy couple.
The flowers of particularly the bride's bouquet are chosen with great care. This bouquet is carried down the aisle at the start of the ceremony. Then, before the couple leaves for their honeymoon, it is customary for the bride to toss her bouquet to the group of unmarried ladies attending the wedding. The maiden fortunate enough to catch the bouquet is the next one expected to marry.
In ancient times, flowers and spices carried in the bride's bouquet or hair were yet another way to ward off evil spirits from the ceremony. English lavender mixed in the bouquet symbolized love and devotion. Herbs worn in the bride's hair stood for her fidelity to her new husband. Instead of a veil, some brides wore a wreath of wildflowers in their hair. Some brides and their bridesmaids carried myrtle.
After the ceremony, the bridesmaids planted the myrtle. If the plant grew and thrived, the bridesmaid would herself marry before the end of the year. Today, ivy is commonly seen in bridal bouquets. A sign of fidelity, it is often planted after the ceremony for a lasting keepsake for the couple. In days of old, a seedling was often planted on the morning of the wedding ceremony so that it would grow and thrive along with the marriage.
Finally, the addition of a sprig of rosemary to the bridal bouquet or flower arrangements to remember a deceased loved one is another example of a tradition that has been carried through the ages.