Flowers speak language of love

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This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

The Victorians frowned on public displays of affection and didn’t have emojis. How were they to convey their feelings to would-be suitors and forbidden lovers? As soon as they heard about women in Middle Eastern harems whose talk of flowers was really a ruse to pass secret messages, the Victorians created their own language of flowers. Everyone had a flower garden. Problem solved — unless the only flowers in your garden were yellow carnations that said, “I reject you.” Or ranunculus that said, “I find you dazzling!” You can see why the English are famed for the variety of flowers in their gardens.

Chances are, you’ll speak the secret language of flowers when you plan your wedding. Know the code and continue the conversation on your honeymoon.

Learn The Secret Language Of Flowers

Roses for enduring love

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Your Wedding

Do you plan to carry roses? Because their roots grow deep and strong, roses speak of enduring love, lasting commitment. Think of that next time you sprinkle red rose petals on your bed.

Sunflower bouquet

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With their singular stalk, sunflowers showcase leadership potential. The head full of edible seeds affirms a generous spirit and a lasting family legacy.

Calla lilies with their large, moist bulbs have long been associated with a world of deep feelings, sensuality, and physical intimacy between two people. Don’t worry. Your guests will have no idea that your bouquet is a form of floral foreplay.

Hibiscus, the Queen of Flowers

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The vibrant hibiscus, often called the queen of tropical flowers, is the jewel of Hawaii as well as in parts of China, Malaysia, and other tropical countries.

Your Honeymoon

If you’re willing to listen, flowers can keep talking while you’re on your honeymoon.  

In Hawaii, when someone tucks one of these large, colorful flowers behind the left ear, the placement signals the desire for a lover. Worn behind the right ear, the message is that the heart is already committed. Indulge yourself in the flower’s palette of colors. And be mindful of your ears!

Forget-me-nots for fidelity

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 Mush North to Alaska

For all of its gigantic features, Alaska’s state flower is the little, blue Alpine forget-me-not. The name comes from two Greek words meaning mouse ears. While some varieties of the flower come in pink or white, it’s the “true blue” shade that Alaskans prize. The color represents fidelity and never-ending love. The flower itself endures long, cold winters and always perseveres, much like Alaska’s early pioneers.

In a land of wild and rugged terrain perfect for outdoor adventures, especially with a camera, the true-blue forget-me-not is an ever-present reminder of why you fell in love.

Lavender for Marital Bliss

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Tour the South of France

These days, it would be hard to stuff your mattress with lavender, though that’s what newlyweds of old did to encourage marital bliss. That’s because lavender is associated with love, romance, and particularly the giving and receiving energy of the heart. In Medieval times, girls would brew lavender tea and drink it just before going to bed, believing their true love would appear in a dream. Married women would place sprigs of lavender under their husband’s pillow to encourage romantic dreams.

Lavender thrives in the southern part of France. If you go there when the plants are in bloom, slip a few sprigs under your pillow. Or sprinkle the fragrant buds in your bath. If the flowers are not in bloom, purchase a sachet of dried lavender to tuck under your pillow. Throughout the day, drink lavender tea. You’ll have romantic thoughts 24 hours a day.

Bouquet with thistle

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Hike the Highlands of Scotland

Heading to Scotland to play golf, listen to bagpipes, drink from a quaich, fine your own Outlander rock?  Wear a kilt and look for the thistle, Scotland’s national flower. Even if the pink puffs are not in bloom, you can always bring home a representation. As with all plants that have thorns or prickly leaves, the thistle is associated with defiance. What folks don’t always realize is that we defy in order to protect what we hold dear. Let the thistle remind you to always protect the love you share.

Lotus flower

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Southeast Asia

If southeast Asia is your destination, take time to appreciate the lotus. They come in a variety of colors and petal-patterns. Resistant to extremes of temperature and adaptive to a variety of soils, they can bloom from mid-May to December. So unless you plan to travel in winter, you’ll have a good chance of seeing the lotus in its natural habitat.

Even though a single flower lasts only a few days, a new bloom comes right behind it. That new-old-new-old-new pattern echoes the rise and fall of a wheel of fortune. Sometimes you’re riding high and the view is filled with possibilities. Sometimes you’re down in the mud and it’s hard to imagine life will ever get better. But the wheel keeps turning. For the lotus, the exquisite color and clarity of the petals is possible precisely because of the time the flower spends in the mud. As you begin your married life, be inspired by the message of resilience from the lotus.

Whether your honeymoon calls you to foreign adventures or comforts you in the quiet of your home, pay attention to the flowers around you. They have a lot to say.

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Biography: Zita Christian is a writer, wedding officiant at, and host of Ritual Recipes, a podcast that celebrates the cycles of nature and the milestones of life, one ritual at a time. Email:


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