top of page
  • Writer's pictureHelen Costello

Bridal bouquet: History of the Bridal Bouquet

Updated: May 31, 2022

Did you know that brides have carried flowers going back to ancient times? The carrying of herbs and spices was used to keep away evil spirits. Ancient Greeks would wear garlands around the necks of the bride and groom, this symbolized fertility and new beginnings.

Bouquets of ivy, thistles and heather were used in Celtic times along with garland of strong-smelling herbs and spices.

Victorian 1837-1901

In the reign of Queen Victoria this tradition was changed, when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert. This is when fresh flowers were introduced, thus replacing herbs and spices.. Myrtle has featured in every royal wedding bouquet in Britain ever since, with almost all brides carrying a sprig taken directly from the grounds of Osborne House.’

Queen Victoria not only set the fashion of the white wedding dress she made the wearing of flower crowns and wedding valise a tradition that brides still wear today.

The wearing of wedding veil was first thought to have been worn by roman ladies, the veil was thought to keep evil spirits from looking upon the bride, thus keeping the bride’s purity.

1930 – 1947

During the second world war (1939-1945) flower production stopped and land was used for food production. Flowers were deemed a luxury and the Ministry of Agriculture issued orders regulating the acreage that could be used to produce flowers. (Owen, L 2014)

As flowers were scarce florists pulled on the natural resources and used flowers that were home grown, often grow amongst vegetables, wildflowers were often used for floral arrangements.

In the 1940s the style of bridal bouquets was large and generally made on mossed balls, with carnations and asparagus plumosus fern being the most popular flower. (Owen, L 2014)

When the now, Queen Elizabeth married Prince Phillip in 1947, rationing was still in force, goods were in short supply due to the war that ended in 1945. When Buckingham Palace announced the engagement on the 9th of July 1947 the British people saw this as a wedding for the people, however, some members of parliament thought the wedding to be an extravagancy at this time. When Winston Churchill heard about the engagement, he said this is what Britain needs, a flash of colour in a dark time.

Family Wedding in 1936


Most brides have an idea of colour, and flower choice. However, bouquets come in different shapes and sizes. The style of bouquet will often be used to compliment the bride’s size and dress, such as a petite bride would maybe suit a small posy or a slender cascading bouquet.

From the designing of the bridle bouquet the whole wedding can be designed such as bridesmaids flowers, buttonholes to table centres the bridal bouquet sets the theme for the day..

Just some Design that have been created by myself.

70 views0 comments


bottom of page