>Flowers: A Wilted Language

>Hi everyone. Hopefully all of you had the chance to catch Gina Louisa Designs at Indie Wed up in Ravenswood. I’m a good friend of Ms. Louisa that will be occasionally contributing to this blog. (Full Disclosure: I am a twenty-five year old man whose involvement in weddings has primarily been limited to chalking illustrated suggestions on the windshields of grooms’ cars, so my planning advice should probably be considered suspect by default). Anyway, I want my submissions to cover some of the things I find interesting about flowers and weddings in general. Ideally, by reading, you’ll get some suggestions as to how to maximize your hipness – and therefore your happiness – as a couple. So let’s get started…

If you’ve been researching floral arrangements for your wedding, you’ve probably come across various books and websites that offer to translate the “language of flowers,” in other words, to describe the traditional symbolic meanings of different floral species. Some examples I’ve found in about five minutes of searching:

http://tinyurl.com/someflowers
http://tinyurl.com/moreflowers
http://tinyurl.com/evenmoreflowers

The sites and books implicitly make variations on the claim that your choice of flowers sends a distinct message, so you should carefully choose the different species in your bouquets and displays in order to convey the right impressions i.e. if you plan on using Tuberoses, which symbolize “Dangerous Pleasure,” you might look like a total skank without realizing it. There’s an obvious problem. Using the language of flowers only works if listeners understand what you’re saying. Trying to incorporate subtle motifs into your arrangements might be the functional equivalent of speaking French to a group from Dallas. The words will sound beautiful to everyone’s ears—but nobody will have any idea what they mean. (Actually, the analogy isn’t all that accurate. Many Americans have at least a passing familiarity with French, where very few people have floral fluency. Flowers are a wilted language only kept alive by these websites and books.)

What does this mean for you as you plan your wedding: choose whatever appeals to you aesthetically …without worrying about symbolic references.
To paraphrase Freud, sometimes a chrysanthemum is just a chrysanthemum. Your wedding belongs to you. Your choice of flora can be an intimate message shared between you and your partner—or only with yourself. Maybe your flowers should speak a language that only you understand.

❤ Flowerpower

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