The Centuries-Old Reason Why Brides Carry Bouquets

Updated: May 10, 2022

They're more than just good-looking decorations.

Brides put a lot of thought into what kind of bouquet they carry down the aisle. After all, each type of flower has a different meaning, and your wedding day is the one day you definitely do not want to send the wrong message. But I’d bet most brides don’t spend much time thinking about where carrying that bouquet in the first place.


The origin of this floral tradition stems back to ancient Rome. Flowers were a common decoration at Roman weddings because they were known as symbols of new beginnings, fidelity, and fertility.

Herbs were more prominent in Middle Age bouquets than flowers, especially dill and garlic, which supposedly kept evil spirits and bad luck away. The dill reappeared at the wedding feast to get the newlyweds ready to consummate their love that night. Yes, even our ancestors knew about the wonders of aphrodisiac foods.


By the Victorian era, exchanging flowers became an increasingly popular way to express love. Keeping with the romantic theme, they eventually became linked to weddings. Cut to present day, and flowers continue to play a prominent role in wedding bouquets and around the venue—something wedding planners know all too well.


There is a rumor circulating the Internet that 15th century brides carried flower bouquets to make them smell better, the reason being they only bathed once a year. Snopes proved this claim false, and thank goodness it did. It put quite the damper on the romantic tradition.

MORE: How Did the Bouquet Toss Tradition Got Started