Hidden Meanings Behind A Designer’s Bridal Bouquet

Good Morning, flower friends ! If you are here, even if you are not a floral designer, you most likely share a love for flowers like the rest of us. Welcome! I studied Floristry in 2007-2010 at The Community College of Baltimore County – Dundalk and was taught by many highly skilled floral artists. While in school studying a Wedding Course, learning about bouquet styles and trends, I quickly told myself that one day I would carry a super long cascade bouquet! My former teacher, the late David Shover, AIFD laughed when I told him I wanted it to cascade on the ground in hopes he would be around to see it one day. He replied, ” I can’t wait! ” Today, I still find myself hearing his contagious laugh in my head or words of encouragement when designing.

After we got engaged on June. 29, 2019, we quickly started planning our dream wedding. The first order of business was getting the Cathedral booked. As far as flowers go, I contacted my very good friend and mentor in Florida, Mr. Bob Tucker, AIFD to fly to North Carolina and help design which he graciously accepted. When it came down to budget, we created an Excel Spreadsheet and by “we”, I mean my husband since he is a genius when it comes to spreadsheets. I just helped plug the numbers in 😉 Many of my designer friends offered their talent to travel to North Carolina and help design which we were so grateful for. As the days went on, and Coronavirus swept the nation, many could not travel for our wedding so that meant no Bob Tucker 😦 Insert sad face 1,000 x.

Over the course of 6 months leading up to the wedding, many asked what my bouquet would look like. My reply was ” It’ll cascade on the ground” and that it did. First, I thought of creating a modern, intricate, detailed 4 foot bouquet. Then, thought about the meaning of flowers in the Catholic Church and its beauty they offer when adorned within the 4 walls of the sacred space. A few weeks prior to the wedding, I decided to create a 7.5 foot bridal bouquet using a midilino technique learned from Hitomi Gilliam.

  • The number 7 appears in the Bible numerous times and is considered to be a holy number.
  • The number 5 appears A LOT; over 300 x. Five also symbolizes the number of offerings God states us to offer to him. Trespass, Sin, Peace, Meat and Burnt.
  • 7+5= 12. The number 12 for the number of Apostles who followed Jesus.
Designed by Jaclyn Gough, CFD

The blooms woven, wired and adhered to the bouquet foundation were chosen with passion and designed with a purpose. This also had personal meanings along with sentimental reason behind each flower and it’s placement. Some of the flowers included in the bouquet were Marigolds, Carnations, Amaranthus, Ranunculus, Olive Branch, Plumosa Fern, Roses, Orchids and Hypericum Berries.

  • Thistle: For when the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary. This interesting flower is associated with pain, pride and protection. Need we say more?
  • Olive Branch: Peace. A dove flew to Noah with an Olive Branch letting him know the Great Flood was over.
  • Marigold: A flower typically dried and used for medicinal purposes is said to be named after Mary. It was called ‘Mary’s Gold’ as it was placed around her at ceremonies such as All Saint’s Day or All Soul’s Day.
  • Ranunculus: In the Victorian Era, this flower meant that a lady is charming and attractive. This flower was subbed in place of Red Anemone for it’s depiction of the Crucifixion. The red petals are to symbolize the blood of Christ.

  • Rose Thorns: Granted I did use Free Spirit Roses which are Orange, I did keep a few of the thorns on the roses which were woven through a handcrafted armature and held in my hand on August. 8, 2020.
  • Plumosa Fern: Delicacy and beauty when sheltering and shadowing other flowers. Humility, humility, humility. A word Father West said in his homily and what my former trainer used to say many times to me for a remembrance to be humble.
  • Orchids: Because, I could not get my hands on Lady Slipper Orchids, I settled for a couple other favorites; Dendrobium and Yellow Oncidium Orchids. Luxurious and Splendid two words that come to mind when I think of my Grandparents who have died. And, I’m not talking about in the sense of material items either. Oh, and Yellow is my mother’s favorite color.

The surrounding areas included flowers such as White Lilies as a sign for Mary, Carnations, Sword Fern, Agapanthus, Myrtle, Magnolia, Celosia, Zinnia’s, Dahlia’s, Spray Roses, Craspedia, Stock, Waxflower, Scabiosa, Miniature Calla Lilies, Green Trick Dianthus, Italian Ruscus, Ti Leaves, Philodenron Leaves, Limelight Hydrangea and Miniature Monstera Leaves. Flowers symbolize emotion and for every religious background they have different meanings. I chose flowers that make me happy, premium flowers as a luxury, and blooms that signified unity, love and passion.

Once the professional photos come pouring in, they will be shared for a better look at our wedding. Thank You to those who shared and continue to share in our joy.

Jaclyn Gough, CFD

  • Note: I am in the process of changing my name until then my maiden name goes on everything.

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