Once she’s got a ring on it, one of the first calls a bride makes is to a florist because be it altars, centerpieces, boutonnieres, or the all-important bouquet, flowers are everywhere, making anyone’s big day even brighter and more beautiful. There was, however, a time when those ubiquitous roses, tulips, and calla lilies weren’t so, well, ubiquitous.—Kate Coleman
Before there were bouquets, there were wreaths, worn by both the bride and groom, and comprised of garlic, herbs, and grains to drive away evil spirits. They often included dill, which was said to promote sexual desire when eaten. Over time, the wreath became a bouquet of flowers carried by the bride, and it symbolized fertility and everlasting love. Today, specific blooms hold special meanings, such as beauty and love, exemplified by the roses in this bouquet by Southern Blooms.
Flowers have been used to garnish wedding cakes for as long as anyone can remember, and real blooms that match bouquets and table decor can be found to this day atop all sorts of sweet wedding treats like this one from Cakes by Rachel. In recent years, couples have sometimes opted for sugar flowers, which are very labor-intensive so they tend to be more expensive than real flowers. The upside? Sugar flowers won’t wilt, which means they—and the memory of that first shared bite—last forever.