Photo: Corey Ann (Flickr)
June is a favorite month for most gardeners as so many plants bloom at the time of the summer solstice, here in the northern hemisphere. Also, June 24th is St John’s Day, and the ancients celebrated the evening before as Midsummer’s Eve, when the sun seems to stand still in the sky.
It is not a coincidence that many weddings are scheduled for June as there are plenty of flowers available from home gardens, fields, parks, and farmer’s markets. Informal bouquets are preferred by some brides as they are not only charming but also inexpensive. The only thing that needs to be purchased is some ribbon, and it is quite permissible also to just leave the stems of the flowers exposed.
If Victorian- style posies are desired, the materials to make those are available at craft stores. The easiest type of centerpieces to make for the tables at wedding receptions are those where flowers just float in shallow bowls of water after the flower stems are snipped off.
Fresh flowers and herbs, gathered from gardens which do not use pesticides, can be used to decorate wedding cakes too. For example, rosemary sprigs signify remembrance and ivy signifies undying affection.
Orange blossom is traditionally associated with weddings, and this custom began because the plant is one of the few that blooms and fruits at the same time. Thus it was originally chosen to symbolize the simultaneous demonstration of the qualities of purity and fertility in a bride’s persona at the time of her wedding.
Myrtle, which was sacred to the Goddess Aphrodite, and sage, a symbol of domestic tranquility, were known as “Brides’ Herbs” by those who lived in earlier times before professional wedding planners were invented and the relatives did the decorations for weddings.