Wait, garlic?? Why would anyone want to send a sweet little flower girl down the wedding aisle carrying garlic?  The little cherubs dropping rose petals have quite an interesting past!

It began with the Romans.  They chose a young girl to lead the wedding party carrying a stalk of wheat, which symbolized prosperity. Bringing wheat to the ceremony symbolized blessing the bride and groom with a prosperous and long, fertile life together.

Flower Girls and Bridesmaid traditions

Her role took quite a turn during the Renaissance, which gets us back to garlic and the introduction of bridesmaids. In Medieval times, it was believed that evil spirits would try to steal the bride. With the flower girl keeping them at bay with garlic and the bridesmaids confusing them, the bride could safely join her groom!

Fortunately the Elizabethan era brought a more wholesome, lovely role for our flower girls. A path of flower petals would be created from the bride’s home to the location of the ceremony. The flower girl would be the first to walk the path, leading the bride while sprinkling flowers and rosemary leaves from a special cup.

We have the Victorian era to thank for the flower girl traditions we celebrate today – an adorable little girl in a white or ivory dress scattering rose petals to create a path for her bride. Flowers were carried in a decorated basket or floral hoop, which was handmade and symbolized the never-ending love of the bride and groom.

Brides today may want to incorporate elements of this history into their wedding for a vintage touch.  Our sentimental favorite is a darling crown of flowers that evolved from the floral hoop. An historic symbol of never-ending love is always a wonderful touch to add to a modern wedding.

March 12, 2020 — Diane Janowak

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