A SouthBound Guide to Flower Meanings

wedding flower meanings

*UPDATED FOR 2021* I did a post on the language of flowers a few years ago, when Kate Middleton selected the blooms for her bouquet to represent various sentiments, and I thought it was about time to update it and introduce some of you to a beautiful tradition you might not be aware of. In fact, the language of flowers goes back about 200 years, and was especially popular in the Victorian era, when young ladies consulted one of the many flower dictionaries available at the time in constructing their ‘tussie-mussies’. These days the interest in ‘florigraphy’ has largely been lost, but I think it’s a super romantic vintage tradition to bring into your wedding (as this real bride did to gorgeous effect) and a really sweet, meaningful way to construct your bouquet. You can find meanings for dozens of blooms online, but today I’ve drawn together ten of our favourite wedding flowers together with their meanings, which come from The Knot Book of Wedding Flowers by Carley Rooney. And some gorgeous wedding flowers to get swoony over too, of course!

*Links in bold denote affiliate links. The cost to you remains the same, but SBB may receive a commission for any sales made.

Hydrangea: Devotion

hydrangea flower meaning

Anastasiya Belik Photography/PEONY Art Decoration Studio via Burnett’s Boards

hydrangea wedding invitations

White Hydrangea Wedding Invitation Template by Viola Mirabilis Design

Artificial Hydrangea Champagne Pink Bridesmaid Bouquet by Rita Craft Shop (left) | Maggie Bridesmaid Pajama Set of 8 Hydrangea Blue by Piyama (right)

hydrangea wedding dress

Ella Wedding Hydrangea Bridal Hair Pin by Luna and Wild

Hydrangea White Flower Crown by Spring Promise Shop (left) | Sky Blue Freeze Dried Hydrangea Petals by Petals Roses (right)

hydrangea flower meaning

Jessica Lorren Organic Photography/Beneva Flowers via Elizabeth Anne Designs

Sweet Pea: Everlasting Pleasures

sweet pea flower meaning

Lisa Lefkowitz Photography via Brides

sweet pea wedding invitations

The Sweet Pea Range Wedding Invitation by Billie Bryant Design

Sweet Pea Branch by FD Sugar Flowers Shop (left) | Sweet Pea Hair Clip in Pink by Flora And The Fox (right)

sweet pea fake wedding flowers

Artificial Sweet Pea Flowers by ART Flowers Florist

Sweet Pea Sheer Silk Ribbon by Hey Its OH So Pretty (left) | The Sweet Pea Name Cards by Billie Bryant Design (right)

sweet pea flower meaning

Erin Kate Photography/Soil & Stem via Grey Likes Weddings

Tulip: Declaration of Love

tulip flower meaning

Jasmine Lee Photography via Martha Stewart Weddings

tulip wedding invitations

Tulip Oasis Eco Wedding Invitation Suite by Luna and Sol Co Design

tulip wedding invitations

White Tulip LED String Fairy Lights by Flowerglow (left) | Watercolor Tulips Wedding Invitation Template by Shishko Templates (right)

tulip wedding invitations

Tulip Self Adhesive Wax Seal by Skinny Malink

Tulip Solitaire Setting Moissanite Engagement Ring by Russells Jewelers (left) |Sterling Silver Tulip Leafs Stud Earrings by Justyna’s Shop (right)

tulip flower meaning

Lloyd Photographers via The Knot

Lily of the Valley: Sweetness

lily of the valley flower meaning

Elizabeth Lanier Photography/Ines Naftali Floral & Event Design via Style Me Pretty

lily of the valley bridal hairpiece

Lily of Valley Flower Vine by SHMILYHKTOUK

lily of the valley wedding invitations

White Floral Wedding Invitation by Neva Design Shop (left) | Glass Lily of the Valley Earrings by Mimoh By Sarah (right)

lily of the valley fake wedding flowers

Lily of Valley Flower Swarovski Crystal Bouquet by SHMILYHKTOUK

Silver Lily of the Valley Floral Hair Pin by Bespoke Bridal Shop (left) | Lily of the Valley Self Adhesive Wax Seals by Sweet Zakka House (right)

lily of the valley flower meaning

Evelyn Alas Photography via Flirty Fleurs

Dahlia: Forever Thine

dahlia flower meaning

Branco Prata Studios via Brides

dahlia wedding invitations

Peony And Dahlia Wedding Invitation Set by The Sunshine Garden

Dahlia Forever One Round Moissanite Engagement Ring by Sopia Jewelry (left) |Gumpaste Flower Dahlia Sugar Flower for Cake Decoration by Crisette Sugar Flowers (right)

dahlia wedding invitations

Floral Wedding Save the Date by Cokko Designs

Dahlia Handmade Crepe Paper Bloom by 622 Press (left) | A-line Silhouette Dahlia Wedding Dress by Devotion Dresses (right)

dahlia flower meaning

Sarah Kate Photographer/Joshua Aull Photography via Chic Vintage Brides

Ivy: Marriage, Fidelity

ivy meaning

L. HEWITT PHOTOGRAPHY/ANN’S GARDEN via Whimsical Wonderland Weddings

ivy bridal hairpiece

Gold Ivy Leaf Crown Bridal Headpiece by Agnes Hart

Artificial Flower Wall Backdrop by Inspired By Alma (left) | Three Ivy Leaves Men’s Wedding Band by Eden Garden Jewelry (right)

ivy wedding invitations

Ivy Wedding Invitation Template by Blanche Paperie

Decorative Vines by Little Orchard Craft (left) | Ivy Hair Pins by Gardens of Whimsy (right)

ivy meaning


Ranunculus: Dazzled by Your Charms

ranunculus flower meaning

Hana Floral Design/Maggie Conley Photography via Martha Stewart Weddings

ranunculus wedding invitations

Handmade Fruits and Blooms Watercolor Wedding Invitation by Paintcrush Paper

Ranunculus Boutonniere by Wed Ideas (left) | Floral Wedding Seating Chart Template by Belle Hanah Paperie (right)

ranunculus wedding menu

Floral Menu Card Template by Belle Hanah Paperie

ranunculus wedding invitations

Artificial Rustic Ranunculus Flower Bunch by 2 Loven Happiness (left) | Bright Colorful Wedding Invitation by HALO Designs SHOP (right)

ranunculus flower meaning

Nikki Meyer/Creation Events/Paradiso Flowers on SouthBound Bride

Sunflower: Loyalty, Adoration

sunflower flower meaning

Margaret’s Garden/Autumn Cutaia Photography via Martha Stewart Weddings

sunflower wedding invitations

Sunflower Save the Date Template by Design and DIY

Sunflower Wedding Menu Template by Design and DIY (left) | Wedding Favour White Sunflower Seed Packet Envelopes by The Kraft Package (right)

sunflower bridal hairpiece

Sunflower Flower Crown Wedding by SERENlTY

sunflower wedding invitations

Sunflower Hair Pins by SERENlTY (left) | Sunflower Wedding Invitation Suite by We Do Honey (right)

sunflower flower meaning

Christina Lilly Photography/Mark Bryan Floral Designs via The Knot


More SouthBound Guides:


Wedding Flower Meanings Guide | SouthBound Bride

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