What’s the deal with wedding bouquets?

I’m getting married later this year and as every bride-to-be knows, flowers are one of the most expensive wedding items. And it got me thinking - what is the whole purpose of the bouquet? Is it just a way for the florist industry to cash in on big ticket event, or is it simply another way to add colour to the event? As it turns out, there’s a quirky history to the wedding bouquet.

The original use was to cover an odour. This was back when wedding dresses weren’t even white. People would usually wear the best dress they owned, but stenches stuck to the dress and person (who would rarely bathe) and there were stench all around the location. Another reason was to ward off evil. Spices, herbs and food would be added to the bouquets as a way to keep evil spirits at bay. Flowers were added because of a pleasant smell and they could often work with the spices.

Of course, none of the traditional reasons are followed now. The superstition of keeping evil at bay is no longer really believed by many, and people bathe much more than once a year! So, why are they used? Really, they offer something for the bride to hold. Idle hands can end up fidgeting with other items, such as the dress, as brides are often nervous on their big day. They may feel awkward keeping their hands by their side, and it can affect the quality of the wedding photography.

A bride traditionally wears white, but it can end up being unflattering for some and make photographs look monochrome and boring. The wedding bouquet offers the bride a chance to add that little pop of colour or an interesting texture to compliment the overall look.

There is certainly a history to bouquets, but that history is no longer relevant. I will be getting married in a Rose Garden in Sydney's Botanical Gardens. And despite the abundance of flowers that will be already there on the day, I plan on having a beautiful floral centre piece to help add extra colour, allowing for extra beautiful photography for the day.