FLOWERS are essential element in every weddings. They are present everywhere - be it in tables as centerpieces; in columns lined up in the isles; inside the chapel or church; inside the baskets held by flower girls; in bouquets held by the bridal entourage; and in the bride and groom themselves.
They are that one thing which always comes up when the topic of wedding is discussed.
And throughout the years, the use of flowers in weddings differed from those of the older generations. Before, fresh flowers were used not only for the bride's bouquet but also for the bridal entourage, for flower girls, and as decorations in the venue.
However, in today's generation some are more practical than romantic. So they opt to use fake or artificial flowers to avoid spending large amounts of money for things that will only get destroyed or wilt for a day.
Even my sister, whose wedding is approaching soon, prefers to use fake or artificial flowers for the decors and the bouquets of the bridal entourage, while using authentic flowers for her bouquet.
According to Reynaldo Laparan Jr., floral designer and owner of Jun Flower Shop and Accessories, flowers of colors white or pastel, like pink, are often used in weddings.
Commonly, it will be roses, stargazers, carnations, and calla lilies. Paper roses and fake cherry blossoms are also used for decorations.
"Karon nga wedding, dili ra ta ga fresh flowers, mogamit pud ta og artificial (Weddings, nowadays, use not only fresh flowers but also artificial ones) like cherry blossom and vines," Laparan said.
Asked whether these flowers have symbolic meaning, Laparan said it does not.
Color white is usually associated with purity, innocence and peace, something you can relate in both funerals and weddings, although of different meanings.
In funerals, white colored flowers are used to represent the wish for the soul of the departed to rest in peace; whereas in weddings, white is more of a "connotation of innocence and virginal purity," as stated in "Brides, Inc. American Weddings and the Business of Tradition" written by Vicki Howard.
Now onto the representation of flowers or the flower language (or as I fondly call in short as FloLa).
White roses, according to theflowerexpert.com, are generally associated with new beginnings, which make them an ideal accompaniment for first-time brides.
Stargazers, meanwhile, is a symbol of purity and innocence. It has the same symbolic meaning as Calla Lily, although the latter also represents holiness, and faith.
Carnations, according to teleflora.com, have various meanings depending on its color.
As stated above by Laparan, white and pastel colors like pink are usually used in weddings. Thus, we will look into the representation of white and pink carnations.
White carnations suggest pure love and good luck, something a bride and her groom might need in their future as wife and husband.
Pink carnations, meanwhile, carry the greatest significance, as stated in teleflora.com, as it began in the belief that these flowers first appeared on earth from the Virgin Mary's tears. Thus, making them the symbol of a mother's undying love, an intrinsic thing a woman has.
The role of flowers in weddings are special; not only are they used as a decorative element but they can also be used as carriers of sweet, symbolic message that show the love the bride and the groom have for each other.