This is the bouquet as we know it today. It is an integral part of the wedding ritual and is very familiar to everyone in western culture, but where does the bouquet come from? Most people will scratch their heads at this question.
The bouquet’s origins begin in the 1600’s. It looked very different from the bundle of flowers as we know it today. The wedding bouquets of that time contained very pungent spices, herbs and even garlic. Originally, the bouquet was actually a way for the bride to mask her body order. At the time, people bathed very infrequently and it was not uncommon for a bride to smell bad on her wedding day.
A secondary function of the bouquet was to ward off evil spirits. Couples were often superstitious and believed that this ritual would help spiritually purify their weddings.
For a very long time, the bride was considered to be very lucky on her wedding day. It actually used to be customary for wedding guests to tear off a piece of the brides dress as a token of good luck. Needless to say, many brides did not appreciate this practice. Eventually, brides began to give away their bouquets as good luck tokens. This is how the throwing of the bouquet became a tradition.
It is pretty incredibly to see how much this custom has changed over time. The function of the bouquet, as it exists today, reflects the beauty and grace of the bride and is a lovely element of the contemporary wedding ritual.