How to choose the right flowers for each of the many occasions we all have in our lives to celebrate, and to be celebrated? Among the great variety of flowers you’ll find at a florist, rest assured that there are flowers perfect for each of these occasions. The question is, how do you pick the right flowers to send the message you intend? The Victorians promoted floriography, the language of flowers and their meanings, and the Japanese had their own, completely separate language of flower meanings, called hanakotoba. Whole books were published on the subject of flower choice and meaning. Flowers didn’t always have the same meaning in different books, so if you were giving flowers that carried a certain meaning, you had to be very sure the recipient had the same book, or their book had the same meaning, or you could be sending a very different message. Nowadays, not so many people pay attention to the traditional meaning of flowers; but if you do, you can add a very special symbol to your floral gift, and the receiver will treasure your bouquet or arrangement for as long as they can.
So if you want to pick the right flower for an occasion, how do you do it? Are you going to rely only on what the florist gives you? Wouldn’t you rather guide the florist to the right flower choice for you celebration? But how do you do it?
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- Know the occasion
You wouldn’t go to a baby shower with funeral flowers, would you? Well, maybe one or two of you would, but never fear, we’re here to help you avoid making such a mistake. Valentine’s Day and International Women’s Day are occasions where you’d pick similar kinds of flowers. But you may not want to give you mother-in-law a bouquet of a dozen deep red roses on Mother’s Day (because they symbolize deep passionate love.) Yet the same flowers would be completely appropriate for your sweetheart. So, knowing the occasion is the first step in deciding the right flowers.
- Know the recipient
Being clear about the recipient and the relationship you have – or wish to have – with them is the next thing to get clear in your mind. You’re going to choose different flowers for each of your parents – you Mom would like something in her favorite color, or a varied arrangement of graceful and elegant blossoms, in bright colors. Your Dad, on the other hand, would probably prefer flowers that aren’t too feminine. Bold colors and strong shapes would be a good choice here. If you know the recipient has a favorite flower, or a favorite color, try to find that flower or a bouquet in that color, to please them.
- Know your intended message
Whether you want to say sorry, express sympathy, welcome a new baby, or offer thanks and gratitude, all have special flowers that convey in flowers the message you are sending. While many of the subtle nuances of floriography have disappeared, some meanings still remain. White flowers symbolize peace in Western cultures, and at funerals symbolize peace for the deceased, and a wish for peace for the grieving relatives. Red roses symbolize passionate love, while pink mean love and yellow friendship.
Giving a bouquet or flower arrangement as a gift is sure to be appreciated. Taking just one extra moment to tailor the meaning and presentation of your floral offering, and picking the right flowers to echo and support the message you’re intending to send, will really make it a super-special and long-savoured present.