Wedding traditions -- where do they come from? What do they mean? Wedding Traditions Reboot looks at the history behind these customs and offers inspiration for how to use old and even ancient traditions from the past as a springboard to plan your own wedding with unique twists that make them new -- that make them uniquely your own.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
History of Flower Girls
Today, flower girls are a pretty standard (but precious)
part of most wedding parties. Some brides choose to have one flower girl, while
others may have several. They are an adorable wedding tradition, but have you
ever wondered about the history of flower girls? Like many wedding traditions the origins are not 100 percent certain. Some sources say the
origin of flower girls goes back centuries to Ancient Rome while others
suggest the tradition got its start in Britain.
The tie to ancient Rome goes back to young attendants who
carried sheaves of wheat and herbs to ensure blessings of prosperity and
fertility to the married couple. By the Medieval times, it was bouquets of
garlic which were believed to ward off evil spirits.
It was during the Elizabethan Era that the tradition of
scattering flower petals came into practice. At that time, brides followed a
path of petals from their house to the church. To create this path, flower girls followed musicians
in a wedding procession and carried a gold-plated rosemary branch and a silver
cup adorned with ribbons and filled with flower petals and rosemary sprigs.
This cup was known as the bride's cup, and the petals were considered a symbol of fertility and thought to give the couple good luck.
In the Victorian era flower girl looked more like the flower
girls of today. They were young and innocent and dressed in a simple white dress which was sometimes adorned with a colored sash made of satin or silk. She carried a gorgeously decorated basket filled fresh blooms or wore a floral hoop on
her head. The circular shape of the hoop was symbolic of true love which has no
end -- the same meaning bestowed on wedding rings.
In Western Europe, the tradition of including children as attendants
in weddings also included a ring bearer and often included other attendants in
the wedding party, too. Many royal and society weddings still follow this
tradition today with two or more flower girls.