Flowers

Choosing Flowers Based on Symbolism
Many flowers have different meanings.

Large bouquet of different colored flowers, specifically tulips.

At one of the most prominent weddings of the 21st century, the flowers for the bridal bouquet were carefully chosen. Kate Middleton selected the ones that were important to her family and to the Royal Family. Myrtle was chosen as an emblem of marriage and love, and specifically, the sprigs of myrtle came from a plant grown from the myrtle used in the bouquet of Queen Elizabeth II. Kate chose ivy, the symbolization of fidelity and affection. The hyacinth was representative of “constancy of love.” Sweet William was for gallantry, and the lily of the valley for the return of happiness.

You don’t have to be royal to make a wedding bouquet that’s representative of your partner and yourself. Flowers aren’t only for weddings, either. You may want to use this list when you need to choose a spray for your grandma’s funeral.

The Meaning of Roses

You probably know that red roses are for love. Practically everyone gives these flowers for Valentine’s Day, but roses come in many different colors. Say what you mean by choosing different colors for the bouquet you bring to your loved one:

  • White – innocence and purity
  • Yellow – joy and friendship, or a new beginning
  • Orange – enthusiasm
  • Dark red – unconscious beauty
  • Light pink – grace and gentleness
  • Coral – friendship and modesty
  • Lavender – love at first sight
  • Dark pink – gratitude or appreciation
  • Pale peach – modesty
  • Yellow with a red tip – falling in love

More Flowers With Meanings

Here are some other popular flowers and greenery that you can choose to say something special:

  • Bachelor’s button – blessedness
  • Bay – glory
  • Chrysanthemum – cheerfulness
  • Daffodils – regard
  • Daisy – innocence
  • Ferns – sincerity
  • White jasmine – sweet love
  • Lavender – devotion
  • Mint – virtue
  • Red poppy – consolation
  • Sage – wisdom and mortality
  • Yellow tulips – hope and cheery thoughts, friendship
  • White tulips – an apology
  • Pink tulips – confidence and happiness
  • Purple tulips – the color of royalty, used to express admiration for someone’s accomplishments
  • Violets – faithfulness

The white carnation symbolizes pure love. Pink carnations are symbolic of a mother’s undying love. Legend suggests that the pink carnation first appeared from the Virgin Mary’s tears. Purple carnations are for unpredictability. Light red carnations are for admiration; dark red carnations are a sign of deep love and affection.

Another suggestion for symbolic flowers is to host a garden party with your friends and have each one bring a flower or plant that has meaning to the person. Make a pretty flower garden or create a mixed bouquet to remember each other. It would make a nice housewarming gift or a memory for a new bride.

Make a Special Message

Flowers aren’t just for weddings, funerals and special holidays. Take home a bunch of flowers to your loved one anytime to make a special memory. Know the language of flowers to send the right message any time you choose.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a flower bouquet worth? Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “the earth laughs in flowers.” Christian Dior believes, “after women, flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world.” Say something special with flowers.

Tips for Choosing Flowers for Your Wedding
Successfully choosing flowers can really bring a wedding together.

Correctly choosing flowers for the wedding can be one of the hardest parts of a wedding.

When you’re planning a wedding, there are so many decisions to make to have the perfect day. Choosing flowers is one of the most important elements of the ceremony, as the bridal bouquet will most likely be in 95 percent of the pictures. It’s recommended that brides allot about 10 percent of their overall budget for flowers. This should include the bouquet, the bridesmaid’s bouquets, the boutonnieres, corsages and the reception.

According to The Knot, these are some of the most popular wedding flowers:

  • Rose
  • Tulip
  • Calla lily
  • Lily of the valley
  • Hydrangea
  • Peony
  • Sweet pea
  • Gardenia

Many of these popular flowers are only available seasonally, such as the peony and lily of the valley. The price of roses often fluctuates, depending on the season. You will pay much more for roses in the month of February, because demand is so high. Here are some tips for finding the right flowers and florist for your wedding.

  • Get some ideas about what you like before you go talk to your florist. Know what you’d like to have at the wedding and where you’re willing to compromise.
  • Meet with two or three florists to compare styles and prices. Talk with the florist about the seasonality of your options for flowers.
  • The florist will want to know your budget and your style.
  • When you meet with the florist, bring a photo of your wedding dress and swatches of your colors. You might also want to bring the brochures of your ceremony and reception sites.
  • Ask to see the florist’s portfolio to get an idea of his or her sense of style.
  • Ask for suggestions about flowers that won’t wilt over the time of the wedding and reception. Get affordable options that might work more effectively.
  • Get information about the “warranty.” Will the flowers be fresh and arrive on time? What happens if a specific flower isn’t available on the wedding day?
  • Find out the payment process for the florist. It’s not uncommon for a 50 percent deposit to be made when you sign the contract. The balance will most likely be due the week of the wedding.

Talk with each prospective florist and get an estimate in writing based on what you’ve discussed. Then go home and consider what really works with your budget.

Correctly Choosing Flowers Doesn’t Mean Breaking the Bank

Keeping your flower budget in check isn’t easy, so here are some tips to help you manage your money.

  1. Reuse bridesmaid bouquets and ceremony arrangements. Have the bridesmaids slip their bouquets into vases in the reception area and ask venue staff to move the arrangements from the ceremony to the reception.
  2. You might skip the ceremony arrangements altogether. There’s no rule that says you have to have flowers at the altar. Greenery, candles or lights might fill the space quite effectively.
  3. Don’t plan on getting married in February when demand for roses and other flowers are quite high.
  4. Use large, inexpensive blossoms to fill in space.
  5. Choose cheaper flowers as the mainstay of the arrangements. Carnations and baby’s breath are two of the most inexpensive stems and have a lot of bang for your buck.
  6. DIY floral arrangements and bouquets. The internet has plenty of how-to guides for those who love to craft by putting together their own wedding arrangements. Consider paying the florist to make the intricate corsages and boutonnieres.
  7. Get your blooms from the grocery store instead of the florist.
  8. Work with a florist who understands your budget and is willing to help you stay within it.

You can get the beautiful flowers you want for your wedding and stay within your budget when you plan for it.

Funeral Etiquette and Traditions
Proper Funeral Etiquette.

Proper Funeral Etiquette.

One of the most solemn occasions most people ever have to attend is a funeral or memorial service. It can be hard to know what to do or say when someone dies. In today’s world, it is even more common to have friends and colleagues who are from different faiths. Here is some general information about funeral etiquette.

Sending Cards, Flowers, and Food

The sympathy card industry is booming, but Emily Post would tell you that it is considered proper etiquette to actually write a note of condolence. It demonstrates you took the time to really think about what you wanted to say. It doesn’t have to be long, but a personal story about the deceased can tell the family how important that person was to you. In any culture, a sympathy note is always appreciated.

Flowers are another traditional offering for funerals, but there are religions which prefer not to have cut flowers. A Jewish family prefers that you give a gift to charity instead of sending flowers. Many people today are having eco-friendly funerals, in which cut flowers are not preferred, but maybe a plant which can continue to thrive would be welcome. The funeral home or memorial service should have information about the family’s preferences.

It’s also considered appropriate to have a family meal following the service. In most churches, synagogues, and mosques, members prepare food for the family to help them in the first days of grief. If you’re unsure about the family’s preferences, you may choose to send them a gift card for food delivery for an evening when they need it most. Meals that can be frozen are helpful, because the family can take them out as needed.

Attending the Funeral or Memorial Service

You might be wondering what is the difference between a funeral or memorial service? At a funeral, the body of the deceased will be present. A memorial service is one where the body is not, such as a cremation. It’s common to wear dark, muted clothes. A funeral is an important occasion, dress as you might for a religious ceremony or business dinner.

Be on time for the service. Funeral venues may have specific parking instructions when you arrive to help with the procession to the graveside. When you enter the location, you should be quiet. Turn off your cell phone or leave it in your car. The seats toward the front of the venue are generally reserved for family and close friends.

This is not the place to talk to the family. Generally, the family will be in a private room before the service, to come in right before it starts. The service will not begin until the family is seated. You will most likely be given a program to follow the flow of the memorial.

Following the service, there is generally a recessional. The pallbearers take the coffin to the hearse, which will take the body to the gravesite. If you are going to the interment, follow the instructions at the venue. As you exit, there may be a family member who is thanking those in attendance. Keep any remarks brief, to keep the flow going.

Be Authentic and Sincere

When someone dies, it is sad. They will be missed. Sometimes, all you have to do is let the surviving family know that you care. Phrases like, “I’m so sorry for your loss,” or “I’m here to help,” can be comforting. When Jews are in their mourning period known as shiva, visitors actually don’t say anything until the family breaks the silence. Just your presence is enough. You don’t have to fix their sadness, just let them know that you understand. Everyone gets tongue-tied and feels inadequate during a time of grief. Be respectful and solemn, even when you are unsure of what to do.