A Complete Guide to Wedding Flower Meanings

Personalize your wedding day by choosing flowers that signify something truly special.

wedding bouquet with clematis, roses, and greenery

Photo by Brogen Jessup; Floral Design by Native Poppy 

If you're planning a wedding with plenty of special touches, it's a good idea to think about personalizing your flowers. Instead of basing your choices on color and style alone, though, let each flower's significance inform your final decision. From your bridal bouquet to your ceremony arrangements, there are so many ways to infuse your personality into your wedding day blooms, especially if you're mindful of their individual meanings.

What many don't realize is that the "language" of flowers dates back to Victorian times, when florals were used to express emotions once words and gestures failed. That's why many couples today have the ability to follow this romantic practice and create arrangements that hold a special place in their hearts. Additionally, color has the ability to play a substantial role in a flower's meaning, as specifically seen with the rose. While a red rose symbolizes passion, a white rose means purity, and a pink one signifies joy and admiration.

Aside from roses, there are a variety of blooms with special meanings that all couples should know about. Ahead, we're sharing a list of 41 popular wedding flowers and what they symbolize today.

While most flowers have good vibes and positive sentiments, you'll want to steer clear of those whose meanings have a negative association—such as begonia which symbolizes "beware" and tansy which is associated with "hostile thoughts."

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wedding ceremony flowers in shades of peach and pink with amaryllis, delphinium, and roses

Photo by Christina McNeill

Don't call amaryllis a wallflower! Though pictured here in a coral hue, amaryllis comes in a variety of bold colors as well. With its lily-like style, it has rightfully made a name for itself in the botanical world as a "splendid beauty."

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anemone wedding bouquet

Photo by Trent Bailey; Floral Design by Sag Harbor Florist

You don't need a breeze to be charmed by the allure of this delicate bloom. Anemone comes from the Greek word for "windflower" and symbolizes anticipation.

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pale pink anthurium in a vase

Photo by Jeff Brummett

If you're going with a heart theme for your wedding, this tropical beauty is a true fit. Anthurium stands for hospitality and has a Cupid-inspired shape that will fit right in.

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Baby's Breath

bride holding petite baby's breath wedding bouquet

Photo by Lucy Cuneo

Like an extra in a movie who stays in the background, this popular bouquet and centerpiece filler—which signifies festivity—is often used to support the star flowers. But with tiny white clouds for petals and its ability to stand on its own with other decor, we think it deserves top billing of its own.

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Calla Lily

Bride holding petite white calla lily wedding bouquet


When people think "wedding flower," this bloom often comes to mind. With its trumpet shape and elegant air, the calla lily more than stands up to its meaning: regal.

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Dusty pink wedding bouquet with carnations, roses, and sweet peas

Photo by Lenny Pellico; Floral Design by White Pepper Studio

Far beyond being just a lapel decoration, carnations can be massed together for a lush look that's affordable. The pink variety means gratitude, and white is pure love, but stay away from a striped hue, which represents refusal.

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Cherry Blossom

Pink wedding ceremony flowers with cherry blossom branches, coral charm peonies, and spirea

Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona

Couples who want to incorporate these delicate pink buds, which symbolize the fragility of life, better act fast: They're only around for a few short weeks in the spring. But if you're able to get them, they'll add great volume to statement pieces, ultimately cutting down on your floral budget.

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mum boutonnières in shades of pink and white


Presenting as a cross between a pompom and a daisy, mums are a full-bodied favorite for their variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. However, it's not just the versatility of this bloom that wins over the hearts of soon-to-be-wed couples—it's also its meaning which symbolizes joy.

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loose, organic wedding bouquet with white clematis and greenery

Photo by Ashley Sawtelle

A climbing plant of the buttercup family with large showy petals, clematis could be considered a clever flower. Blooming in a wide variety of colors from white to purple and pink, clematis symbolizes ingenuity and mental beauty.

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Delicate spring wedding bouquet with daffodils, muscari, and Lilly of the valley

Photo by Lisa Warninger

What do marriage and this shapely spring flower have in common? Both represent new beginnings, which are tailor-made for a couple's big day. Plus, the sunny hue of daffodils is as happy as can be!

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Petite wedding centerpiece with single oversized dahlia in a bud vase

PHOTO By Ryon Lockhart Photography; Planning by Two Kindred Event Planners; FLORAL DESIGN by Buds of Brooklyn


A cousin of the daisy family, the dahlia originated in Scandinavia and means "from the valley," making it perfect for a wedding with a garden theme. These big, bold flowers bloom in summer to make for a gorgeous seasonal statement.

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Loose wedding bouquet with white daisies, orchids, chamomile, and feathers


If ever there was a flower that made the world smile, it's this pretty little thing. With dainty white petals, a yellow center, and a meaning of innocence, the daisy's free spirit vibe can be a beautiful addition to a wildflower bouquet, and it works perfectly with casual weddings.

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Arrangement of Yellow Forsythia and Blue Muscari

Getty Images

If you've been planning your big day for months (years even), why not give a nod to your excitement by including this bell-shaped bloom? This sunny-hued plant means anticipation, and it's the perfect way to add a pop of color to an arrangement.

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Classic white and green freesia wedding bouquet

Photo by Michelle Beller

A sweetly fragrant spring favorite with up to ten tiny, bell-shaped flowers on each stem, this beauty originated in Africa and represents innocence and friendship. Many couples are opting to incorporate freesia in new and unique ways, replacing other traditional white flowers, such as roses, in a bouquet.

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cascading gardenia bouquet


This tropical treasure, known for its fragrance and waxy, pointed petals, symbolizes joy. It's earned a reputation as a popular flower for brides to wear in their hair, but it's also the perfect base for a beautiful posy.

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Gerbera Daisy

White Daisy and Dahlia Wedding Bouquet with Chamomile

Photo by Veronica Grimm

A wildly popular member of the daisy family, the Gerbera differs from the traditional variety with rows of overlapping petals. Available in a wide variety of bright colors and a name that means cheerfulness, it's no surprise that it has the same sunny disposition.

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Petite purple wedding bouquet with hyacinth

Photo by Adriana Riviera

If you're athletic and looking for a flower that symbolizes your love of games, look to the highly fragrant hyacinth. Named after a Greek boy and representing sport or play, this purple bloom is a unique addition to any bouquet or centerpiece.

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Classic hydrangea bouquet with greenery

Photo by Liz Fogarty Photography; Floral Design by Pop the Cork Designs 

If you love full-bodied flowers, this round bloom with an abundance of tightly packed petals is the one for you. Bonus: It's marriage-ready symbolizing both perseverance and heartfelt emotion.

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Blue and Yellow Iris in Bud Vase

Eva-Katalin / Getty Images 

The inspiration for the fleur-de-lis, France's national emblem, the iris represents three important entities: faith, valor, and wisdom. It's also best known for its deep purple hue.

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wedding bouquet with camellia flowers and roses

Photo by Nyk + Cali; FLORAL DESIGN by Rosemary & Finch Floral Design

Also known as camellia, this classic Southern charmer, which grows as a flowering shrub, has lush petals similar to the peony and glossy leaves. Newlyweds choose it because it exemplifies graciousness.

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Wedding Aisle Lined with Tall Arrangements of White Larkspur and String Lights Overhead

Photo by KT Merry; Planning by Leslie Herring Events; Floral Design by Jackson Durham Events

Let's hear it for a flower that has a dual personality: It symbolizes both beautiful spirit and fickleness. Part of the buttercup family, larkspur is a complex flower like the orchid, with an irregular tall shape to make a statement.

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bride holding lavender wedding bouquet

Photo by Jenna McElroy Photography

Don't just pick this flower for its gorgeous purple hue and scent. Give it a place in your arrangements for what it symbolizes: devotion and virtue.

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Winter wedding bouquet of white lilac

Photo by James & Schulze; Planning by Heather Dwight of Calluna Events; Floral Design by Vintage MagnoliaWildflower Farms

Is your partner the very first person you fell for? Consider walking down the aisle carrying a bouquet of this bloom that exudes the meaning of first love. Opt for purple or white, or both!

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white lily arrangement

Getty Images

The symbol of modesty and virginity, the white variety of this timeless flower is a wedding staple. The other shades also have a significant meaning: The orange lily symbolizes passion while yellow represents gaiety.

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Lily of the Valley

Lily of the valley wedding bouquet

Photo by Patricia Lyons

Just one look at the tiny petals of this dainty bloom and its symbolism makes perfect sense: sweetness and purity of heart. The flower is also thought to represent a return to happiness.

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Bride holding single oversized white magnolia

Photo by Jose Villa

Generally associated with the South, this large showy flower with a distinctive fragrance is prized worldwide and has been around for 20 million years! Fittingly, it symbolizes nobility and dignity.

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Delicate blue muscari boutonniere


Also known as grape hyacinth, this flower develops small, urn-shaped blossoms that are usually purple (symbolizing mystery, calm, and creativity) but also come in dark blue (for power and confidence). What's more, it makes for a darling statement as a boutonnière or could even be incorporated in small bud vases on reception tables.

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bride holding cascading white orchid bouquet

Photo by Ashlyn Cathey Photography

Carrying a bouquet of this exotic beauty on your wedding day can certainly be a dramatic touch, but that's not all it shows. Orchids have a meaning of refinement and charm, everything that this stunning bloom symbolizes.

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Bride holding round pink peony bouquet

Photo by Amber Gress Photography; FLORAL DESIGN by Calluna Flora

Romantic couples may love peonies for their lush fluffy petals, but they'll cherish the meaning even more. This springtime bloom symbolizes a happy marriage, and it's the ideal big, bold flower to make a statement in a beautiful bouquet.

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Yellow and orange wedding bouquet with poppies, ranunculus, and stock

Photo by Jamie Mercurio Photography; Floral Design by Marigold Floral Studio 

For your wedding, choose the right color of this eternally cheerful bloom: A red poppy is linked to pleasure while yellow stands for wealth and success. But steer clear of white, which signifies consolation.

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White king protea bouquet with roses and orchids

Photo by Katie Ruther

Dating back 300 million years, this flower comes in many sizes and colors that symbolize courage and diversity. It was named after the Greek god Poseidon's son, Proteus, who could change his shape at will.

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Queen Anne's Lace

delicate, loose wedding bouquet with queen anne's lace and greneery

Photo by Paige Jones; FLORAL DESIGN by Marigold SF

Symbolizing delicate femininity and complexity, this wedding favorite of frilly white blossoms comes with a naming legend: Queen Anne was challenged to create a lace as delicate as a flower. Plus, it makes for a great option to fill a bouquet or centerpiece without exceeding your floral budget.

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Bride holding a bouquet with pink and orange ranunculus, peonies, and stephanotis

Photo by Kristyn Hogan; Floral design by Sage Nines Event Production

Well known for its diversity of brilliant colors, this rounded bloom is similar in appearance to camellias, with multiple layers of crepe-paper-thin petals. It's no wonder the flower symbolizes radiant charm and attractiveness.

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bride holding classic white rose wedding bouquet

Photo by Kiyah C Photography; FLORAL DESIGN by The Rosy Posy

If you want your bridal bouquet to tell the world how you feel about your better half, nothing says it better than red roses, which symbolize passionate love. Pink (admiration) and white (purity) say a lot, too.

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Wedding Aisle Arrangements with Long Stems of Pink Snapdragon and Stock

Photo by Christina McNeill; Floral Design by Mandy Grace Designs

This bloom stands for two vastly different ideas: One being gracious lady which seems more fitting for such a lovely flower than its other meaning, deception. The latter may have come about because if you squeeze it a certain way, the flower looks like a dragon's mouth.

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Stephanotis Bouquet with Baby's Breath

Photo by Rachel Solomon Photography

Lots of family and friends will wish you and your partner well on your wedding day. Get a head start by filling your celebration with this flower that's a symbol of good luck.

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sunflower bouquet with greenery

Photo by Photography by Tasha Rose

Big and lush, sunflowers—symbolizing dedicated love—are beloved for their striking appearance and look-at-me allure. We love the look of these bold, sunny blooms paired with additional white blooms.

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Sweet Pea

bride holding white wedding bouquet with sweet peas and stephanotis

Photo by Cameron Clark Photography

If you want your wedding to be remembered as one of blissful pleasure, incorporate some of these delicate flowers into your centerpiece or make a statement in your bouquet. This gorgeous bloom comes in a variety of hues, making it perfect to match any aesthetic.

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Bouquet of White Fringed Tulips and Greenery

Photo by Kate Holstein

If it's spring, it's tulip time. This darling beauty comes in many colors, each with a different meaning. Among them: Red means declaration of love, yellow is sunshine, white is respect, and the variegated kind symbolizes beautiful eyes.

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Bride Holding Blue tweedia wedding bouquet

Photo by Brian Marcus of Fred Marcus Studio

Anyone wishing for something blue in their bouquet should check out this pretty bloom known for its blue star-shaped flowers and greenish-gray felted leaves. It makes a statement amongst other subtle florals and symbolizes peace and harmony.

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burgundy boutonnieres with zinnia and greenery

Photo by Lance Nicoll

Gardeners are wild about this flower because it attracts butterflies, and couples love it for the gorgeous variety of colors like magenta (symbolizing lasting affection) and scarlet (symbolizing constancy). Go bold with hues such as bright scarlet or orange in a centerpiece, or keep things a bit more subtle with a single statement bloom in a boutonnière.

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