The Most Popular Wedding Flower Types and the Symbolism Behind Them

 “In the garden of love, flowers don’t die,”  -Nitya Prakash

Your selection of flowers is one of the biggest choices you’ll make for your wedding day. But flowers do more than look beautiful. Every blossom has its own story to tell and can express meaning in your bridal bouquet.

Paying attention to these small details can help you craft a unique message and tell your story on the most important day of your life. Learn more about the most popular types of wedding flowers and their symbolism below so you can create a truly meaningful bridal bouquet.

Blue flowers scattered on a table

History of wedding flower meanings

Cultures all across the world have associated flowers and plants with symbolic meanings. But a lot of our modern flower language comes from the Victorian era.

In the mid-1800s, flowers were used to express affection and communicate secret messages between prospective suitors. For example, you could gift your crush a gardenia to express your secret love, or a calla lily to symbolize beauty. 

If you were the recipient of a floral gift, you could also send one in return to make your true feelings known. You might send fennel to say that you’re flattered, or a hydrangea blossom to express disdain. And they say emojis are complicated! 

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Tip: The meaning of flowers can also vary across time and culture. For instance, Victorians thought of hydrangea blossoms as symbols of disinterest, while the Japanese associate them with feelings of gratitude.

What are traditional flowers in a wedding bouquet?


Roses are a traditional bridal bouquet choice because they convey a quintessential wedding theme: Love. It’s a meaning that’s endured since the Victorian era and still persists today.

As we’ve already discussed, the color of your roses can offer nuance in the exact message — like red roses for passionate love, and white for pure affection. The life stage of the roses can also make a difference in the overall meaning.

A few red roses with leaves A few white roses with leaves

While a rosebud can represent a new future on the horizon, roses in full bloom can convey a love that’s already in full swing. Try mixing them together in a bouquet to symbolize both your happiness in the present and your hopes for the future!

A bride in white dress holding a red flower bouquet


Peonies are gorgeous spring flowers that can help you celebrate a new bright future. In the late 1800s, peonies represented feelings of bashfulness or shyness, making them ideal for a blushing bride. But like many flowers, the peony’s meaning can vary across cultures.

A bride in white dress having a pink bouquet in hand

In China, peonies go by many different names, including “king of the flowers,” “the most beautiful,” and the “flower of riches and honor.” So, a peony bridal bouquet can represent feelings of prosperity, good luck, and even wealth. This makes peonies an excellent bouquet flower to symbolize your hopes for the future with your partner. 


Dahlias, a fall-blooming flower, feature a lovely full blossom and a full spectrum of natural colors.

Victorians considered Dahlias to be the floral embodiment of dignity. This association persists today, and dahlias can also represent inner strength or grace under pressure. So, if you have pre-wedding jitters, a handful of dahlias in your bouquet could help you find reassurance or inner peace.

A bride in white dress holding a terracotta bouquet

In more modern times, Dahlias can also represent devotion and commitment, making them a natural choice for fall wedding ceremonies.


Orchids boast a flowing, waterfall-esque blooming pattern, which makes them ideal for cascading bouquets. 

Victorians preferred imported varieties of orchids and considered them symbols of luxury and refined beauty. Their association with elegance even transcends cultures. In Japan, orchids were grown by royalty in the 17th century and remain closely associated with good fortune today.

A bride in white dress holding a burgundy bouquet

Additionally, the ancient Greeks considered orchids symbols of masculinity, which can make them a subtle touch for a groom’s boutonniere. 


Ranunculus, or buttercups, are vibrant flowers that thrive in cooler seasons, like spring and fall. Their variety of colors lets them shine in countless different wedding color palettes.

Ranunculus symbolized charm, radiance, and attraction in Victorian times, which made them popular gifts between lovers. If you had a crush on someone, a bouquet of ranunculus blossoms could get your message across.

Ranunculus flowers put into a white vase

Ranunculus blooms also feature layers of beautiful petals stacked on one another, which can represent the depth of your feelings for your fiance.


Gardenias are tender, gentle blossoms that mainly bloom in the spring and summer — when romance is in full bloom.

Gardenias in the Victorian era were symbols of refinement and elegance. When given as a gift, they could also signify a secret love. (Scandalous!) So, if you decide to carry gardenias in your bridal bouquet, they can help remind you of secrets that only you and your partner share.

Gardenia flowers scattered on the table

Calla Lily

Calla lilies are elegant, trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom perennially in the United States. 

Calla lilies get their name from the Greek word calla, meaning “beautiful,” and are associated with the goddess Hera. The Victorians considered flowers symbols of modesty. But today, calla lilies are often associated with resurrection, transformation, and new life, since they bloom during the Easter season. 

When you use calla lilies in your wedding bouquet, they could represent faith or act as a symbol of your new life with your partner.

A bride holding a calla lily bouquet


Hydrangeas bloom on bushes during the summer season. But the blossom’s rounded shape can help them resemble a snowball, earning them the nickname “snowball bushes.”

Victorians weren’t fond of hydrangeas and associated them with boasters and braggers. But in Japan, hydrangeas can symbolize gratitude. Japanese florists use them in arrangements to represent genuine emotions since the shape of the petals can resemble a beating heart. 

So, when you add hydrangeas to your bridal bouquet, they can capture your genuine gratitude to have your fiance in your life.

Baby’s breath

Baby’s breath flowers are small, delicate, and often used as filler flowers in bridal bouquets. When you consider this flower’s symbolism, it’s not hard to understand why. 

In the Victorian era, baby’s breath represented everlasting love and devotion. In fact, Queen Victoria used baby’s breath in her wedding floral arrangements when she married Prince Albert. So, they’re a flower fit for a royal wedding.

Additionally, baby’s breath can also represent innocence and new beginnings, thanks to their white petals and dainty blossoms.

White baby's breath put into a white vase


Chrysanthemums bloom in the fall, making these gorgeous, rounded flowers synonymous with the beginning of autumn. 

Depending on their color, Chrysanthumums could represent love or truth for a Victorian. But in modern times, they can also represent happiness and friendship. Adding Chrysanthemum flowers to your bouquet could signify that your partner is your best friend.

A bride in white dress holding an orange and blue bouquet


While Anthurium may look like a leaf at first glance, it’s actually a unique tropical flower. 

Anthurium boasts a heart shape, which makes it a natural choice to represent love in a bridal bouquet. However, it can also represent feelings of happiness, hospitality, and abundance. So, when you feel the blessings of love on your wedding day, this flower can help represent your desire to extend hospitality to your partner and your guests.

Pink anthurium flowers put into a glass vase


Tall, beautiful, and bright Sunflowers are one of the most unique flowers to feature in your bridal bouquet. In the summer and fall, they can bring sunshine to your walk down the aisle.

In China, sunflowers are symbols of good fortune and happiness. Dwarf sunflowers in the Victorian era also express your adoration towards a suitor. So, when you carry a bouquet of sunflowers, it can be like saying your fiance is the sunshine of your life.

A few bridesmaids each holding a sunflower bouquet

Wedding flower color meanings

A flower’s color could also make a difference in the overall statement or provide nuance. For example, the color white traditionally symbolizes purity, while red can signify romance. 

Many Victorian era color meanings still endure today, but others have evolved over time. Yellow in the Victorian era was associated with jealousy, but today, yellow is often associated with happiness and joy, like bright yellow sunflowers. 

Find some of the most popular flower colors and their emotional associations below. 

  • Red: Romance. Desire. Warmth. Strength.  
  • Orange: Creativity. Enthusiasm. Vibrance.  
  • Yellow: Happiness. Cheerfulness. Optimism.  
  • Blue: Peace. Serenity. Tranquility. Trust. 
  • Green: Balance. Harmony. Renewal. Growth.  
  • Purple: Luxury. Creativity. Spirituality. Magic.  
  • Pink: Admiration. Affection. Sweetness. 
  • Brown: Earthiness. Stability. Comfort.  
  • Black: Mystery. Power. Intrigue. Elegance.  
  • White: Purity. Innocence. Clarity. Simplicity. 

Bouquet shape meanings

Don’t forget the shape, either! The way the flowers in your bouquet are arranged could also help tie the overall message together. The following bouquet shapes could give you an idea of the feelings you can create.

  • Rounded: Unity. Elegance. Timelessness.
  • Cascading: Dramatic. Graceful. Movement.
  • Free-form: Creativity. Individuality. Natural beauty.
Three brides each holding a bouquet of different colors

How many types of wedding flowers should be in a bouquet?

There are no hard and fast rules for the number of flower types a bridal bouquet needs. This depends on how big you want your bouquet and the overall style you’d like to create.

But in general, most common bouquets use between 3-5 main flower types and a few accent flowers and accessories. With this in mind, let’s look at how these flowers could work together in a bouquet to take on a more significant meaning. 

Flower meanings put together

A clear vision of love

This classical cascading bridal bouquet blends together several different flower types to convey a variety of sweet sentiments.

The calla lilies represent beauty, the white roses express pure love, and the peonies convey good luck. The baby’s breath accents also help capture the overall theme for any bridal bouquet: everlasting devotion.

A bride holding a white and sage bouquet

The white color scheme lets the bouquet feel innocent, bright, and clean. Plus, it matches your dress!

A poetic arrangement

This autumn-inspired bridal bouquet uses a trio of flowers to make a poetic statement — dahlias for poise and dignity, roses for romance, and cream-colored lilac to express innocence. 

The orange and scarlet color scheme helps convey feelings of warmth, passion, and creativity. Wrapped together with a burnt orange ribbon, it’s an excellent option for a blushing bride planning a fall wedding.

A bride having an orange bouquet in hand

A serene statement

Going in a cooler color direction, this rounded bridal bouquet features roses for love, gardenias for refined elegance, and peonies for good luck and luxury.

The navy and dusty blue color scheme captures serenity and elegance, like a cool blue lake or a calm sea. When you walk down the aisle, it could help you convey how relaxed you feel with your partner, setting the stage for smooth sailing throughout your wedding day.

A women in white dress holding a dusty blue bouquet

A regal romance

This unique bridal bouquet features orchids to create a cascading design and provide a luxurious sentiment. Lavender gardenias further convey refined elegance. And, of course, roses supply the romance.

A women in white dress holding a purple bouquet

The purple color palette drives home the regal vibes, helping you feel like a princess at your very own royal wedding.

An earthy expression

This cascading bouquet boasts some of our favorite unique flowers to create a romantic statement.

Roses, naturally, represent love. The hydrangea blossoms convey gratitude, while the burnt orange Anthuriums represent abundance. Thanks to their earthy brown color scheme, these flowers convey a warm and comforting feeling, perfect for expressing your happiness and thankful spirit as you walk down the aisle.

A bride in white dress holding a rust and sepia bouquet

Embrace your favorite flower types

As you can see, your choice of flowers can help your bouquet take on a new level of depth and meaning on one of the happiest days of your life. That said, you don’t necessarily have to hold to a flower’s traditional meaning to use it in your bouquet. 

While a certain flower may hold special significance to other people, you and your partner associate it with something completely different. Maybe you shared your first kiss in front of a blossoming hydrangea bush in the park, or planted calla lilies in the windowbox of your first apartment. Or, maybe you just think roses are pretty!

As long as a flower holds a special significance to you and makes you happy, that’s reason enough to feature it in your bouquet.

Where to find different types of wedding flowers for a bouquet

Ready to find wedding flowers that hold a special meaning for you? Ling’s Moment will help you find your dream bridal bouquet with ease.

We offer pre-arranged bridal bouquets in a variety of meaningful styles, shapes, and designer color palettes, so you can easily find the perfect option to tell your love story.

All our bouquets feature faux flowers that will never wilt or fade. So you don’t have to worry about what’s in season and can treasure your flowers long after the wedding bells stop chiming. Plus, if none of our premade options speak to you, you can mix and match our designer flower boxes and DIY kits to create a totally unique bridal bouquet.

A box filled with terracotta flower and leaves

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