Uncover the meaning behind your favorite wedding flowers with Monique Lhuillier
Inspired by her sought-after floral bridal gowns and lifelong love of travel and gardens, Monique Lhuillier’s debut collection of elegant online wedding invitations—available exclusively at Paperless Post—is a celebration of tradition through a contemporary lens. The designs feature some of her favorite flowers, each steeped in history, meaning, and of course, natural beauty. “It is the artistry of the collection that perfectly reflects the delicate essence of my bridal gowns,” she says.
“Blue Butterflies” and “Falling Blossoms” by Monique Lhuillier for Paperless Post; Images courtesy of Monique Lhuillier.
For nearly as long as the institution of marriage has existed, brides have carried flowers symbolically. Historians have found evidence of small bouquets, often comprised of fragrant herbs meant to ward off bad luck (and masque medieval body odor), from as far back as Ancient Rome, Greece, and Egypt.
These days, wedding florals are a pivotal part of a couple’s nuptials, with professional florists often creating intricate arrangements not only for that big walk down the aisle, but for botanical altars, ceremony installations, table centerpieces, and more. Depending on the flowers you choose, it’s possible to complement your wedding gown, highlight your venue, and capture your guests’ imagination all at once.
Not just beautiful looking—and smelling!—many flowers have come to take on deeper symbolism over time. While aesthetics are typically most important, it’s not unusual for a bride to choose arrangements based on wedding flower meanings and flower symbolism. From longevity to romance, exploring wedding flower types and meanings can help influence a soon-to-be newlywed when designing her wedding.
Read on to learn more about popular bridal bouquet flowers and their meanings, as seen in our new Monique Lhuillier for Paperless Post wedding invitations—and discover why it was so important for Monique to include them in the collection.
Lily of the Valley
Image courtesy of Monique Lhuillier; “Little Lilies (Invitation)” by Monique Lhuillier for Paperless Post.
Invitation: “Little Lilies” by Monique Lhuillier for Paperless Post
Symbolizes: Happiness, hope, purity, sincerity
Carried by: Queen Victoria, Grace Kelly, Kate Middleton
Flower fun fact: It’s said that fairies sip from its little cupped flowers.
“Some of my favorite florals are featured in [my Paperless Post] collection, like lilies of the valley. I love the delicate blooms and the traditional elements that this flower possesses,” Monique Lhuiller says. A standout design in both her collections of bridal gowns and new invitations, this sweet woodland flower—native to Europe and Asia—has been a popular wedding choice for centuries.
“Little Lilies (Save the Date)” by Monique Lhuillier for Paperless Post.
Signifying a “return to happiness,” the lily of the valley’s tiny bell-shaped white buds have found their dainty way into the hands of such royal brides as Queen Victoria, Grace Kelly, and Kate Middleton. It’s also the official flower of May birthdays (due to its springtime blooming period), and may or may not serve as drinking vessels for forest fairies. We’ll stick with that story until proven otherwise.
“French Lavender” by Monique Lhuillier for Paperless Post; Image courtesy of Monique Lhuillier.
Invitation: “French Lavender” by Monique Lhuillier for Paperless Post
Symbolizes: Serenity, grace, devotion, calm
Carried by: Charlotte Casiraghi
Flower fun fact: Cleopatra used its scent to seduce her conquests
“Another favorite floral of mine is lavender,” Monique tells us. “I love the serenity that it exudes, and the punch of color—it’s one of the iconic prints in my bridal collection.”
Long revered for its soothing properties, lavender is the natural way to add a touch of serenity to your special day. For thousands of years, cultures all over the world have used it topically, medicinally, and to flavor food and drink. Charlotte Casiraghi, granddaughter of Grace Kelly, carried lavender stems (and gave mini bouquets to guests as favors) at her 2019 wedding to Dimitri Rassam in Provence—a region of France known for its endless fields of the fragrant herb.
Images courtesy of Monique Lhuillier.
Symbolizing grace and devotion, beautiful purple lavender flowers are perfect for a bridal bouquet. Hosting an outdoor wedding? Lavender is also a natural insect repellent, no chemicals or smelly candles required.
Image courtesy of Monique Lhuillier; “Purest Peonies” by Monique Lhuillier for Paperless Post.
Invitation: “Purest Peonies” by Monique Lhuillier for Paperless Post
Symbolizes: Romance, beauty, compassion
Carried by: Pippa Middleton, Nicole Richie
Flower fun fact: Depicted in still lifes by Renoir, Manet, and Delacroix
“I love the perfect shade of blush pink that these peonies have,” says peony lover Monique of “Purest Peonies.” “It is also a signature color that I use in all of my bridal collections. It makes an invitation feel delicate, precious, and elegant all at once.” With a beauty that’s captured the imagination of Chinese empresses, French painters, Greek deities, and current-day media darlings alike, it’s no wonder peonies are a staple of modern wedding bouquets and arrangements. Famous brides Pippa Middleton and Nicole Richie both carried its fragrant blossoms on their wedding days.
In addition to romance and beauty, peonies symbolize nobility, honor, and wealth in their native China. Legend says that when Empress Wu of the Tang Dynasty demanded that all flowers bloom in the middle of winter to appease her whims, the peony refused and was exiled to the eastern city of Luoyang—where they continue to bloom in droves to this day.
“Purest Peonies” by Monique Lhuillier for Paperless Post.
The ancient Greeks were also taken with the oversized flowers, including them in not one but two origin stories. In the first, the flower is named after the physician of the gods, Paeon, who was transformed into a peony by Pluto after Paeon’s teacher, Aesculapius, tried to murder him out of jealousy of his medical talent. In the second myth, Aphrodite transforms the beautiful nymph Paeonia into a peony after the goddess of love catches her flirting with Apollo.
“Limoncello (Invitation)” by Monique Lhuillier for Paperless Post; Image courtesy of Monique Lhuillier.
Invitation: “Limoncello” by Monique Lhuillier for Paperless Post
Symbolizes: Love, longevity, fidelity
Fruit fun fact: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding cake was made with 200 Amalfi lemons
“Our lemon botanical print has a lot of color,” says Monique of her vibrant new invitation, “Limoncello.” The bright yellows make people happy and just want to celebrate. It’s joyful, and reminds me of one of my favorite destinations: Positano.”
While lemons themselves symbolize love, longevity, and fidelity, lemon blossoms are often used in love spells, and in the Victorian era, they often symbolized discretion. Because importing them was often costly, they also came to indicate wealth.
“Limoncello (Save the Date)” by Monique Lhuillier for Paperless Post.
To add some sunshine to your wedding day, whatever the weather, this tangy citrus fruit is here to deliver major cheer. It’s no wonder Meghan Markle and Prince Harry chose to serve an eight-tiered lemon and elderflower cake at their 2018 London wedding, baked with 200 lemons imported from Italy’s Amalfi Coast (where Monique’s beloved Positano is located).
Image courtesy of Monique Lhuillier; “Regal Initials” by Monique Lhuillier for Paperless Post
Invitation: “Regal Initials” by Monique Lhuillier for Paperless Post
Symbolizes: Love, honor, devotion
Carried by: Nicole Kidman, Kate Moss, Gabrielle Union
Flower fun fact: Roman emperors often scattered its soft petals on their floors
“New cultures, beautiful landscapes, gardens, and architecture from around the world inform all of my work,” Monique tells us of her elegant new collection of wedding invitations. “I strive to capture life’s special moments in everything I create.”
Of course, no garden is complete without roses, arguably the most popular wedding florals of all time. One of the oldest-known flowers, the symbolism of roses exists in nearly every culture, religion, and time period—from ancient Greco-Roman mythology to Islam; Canada to Spain. Jews believe roses represent royalty, while Christians take the rose to symbolize the Virgin Mary. Roses of varying colors also mean different things: red is romance, pink is joy, yellow is friendship, white is purity, etc.
“Regal Initials” by Monique Lhuillier for Paperless Post
Aside from colors, roses are available in seemingly endless varieties, from wild-looking beach roses to elegant tea roses. In other words, there’s a kind of rose to suit any wedding style—as evidenced by the many famous, fashionable women who’ve carried them down the aisle. They’re also edible, and can easily be incorporated into memorable desserts and drinks.
“Gold Lace,” “Sweet Blooms,” and “Garden Veil” by Monique Lhuillier for Paperless Post.
Now that you’ve read up on wedding flower types and meanings, it’s time to choose a wedding invitation that says exactly what you want it to, using the language of flowers. Discover our exclusive, florals-filled Monique Lhuillier collection here.
Hero image courtesy of Monique Lhuillier.