Wedding Bouquets in Different Cultures
Jewish ceremonies incorporate the wedding bouquet, but also use the blooms as crowns. The mother of the bride wears a wreath of flowers as she is surrounded by her daughters. The party parades and dances around the mother, singing lively Yiddish ditties. The Chuppah, or wedding canopy, is elaborately decorated with flowers of the bride’s bouquet.
The colors and the flowers hold less significance symbolically in the Jewish culture. Some Jewish brides choose flowers from Israel to make their day more elegant and traditional. Thousands of desert blooms with every color of the spectrum are found in Israel. Thistle is added as filler to the wedding bouquet.
East Indian nuptials replace the wedding bouquet with garlands. A strand of flowers, usually white, is worn by each of the wedding couple. The groom dons a turban or crown and is seated in a throne-like chair. The bride enters the matrimonial ceremony, dressed lavishly in red and gold. The colors of the flowers reflect the pageantry of the wedding. During the ceremony, the garlands are exchanged by the bride and groom. Petals are showered upon the newly married couple by guests. Jasmine and roses are the most popular wedding flower for the Hindu and Indian wedding.
Muslim weddings span many different cultures. The Muslim ceremony is the same; the decorations and festivities tend to reflect the culture of the area. Flowers are an integral part of the Muslim ritual, regardless of the place of origin. The signing of the marriage contract is the main focus of the wedding. There is little pageantry at this point in the ceremony. The after-parties include music, flowers, and a bride dressed in a kaftan, with her hands delicately endowed with henna.
Japanese weddings utilize Shinto traditionalism and may or may not incorporate Western culture. The traditional setting for the Shinto bride is in the shrine. There will not be a wedding bouquet at the traditional and more sedate Shinto wedding. The ceremony is small and discrete. The flowers, decorations and partying occurs after the Shinto priest has left. Many Japanese weddings incorporate Western concepts including white gowns instead of kimonos, flowers, wedding bouquets and music.
Native American wedding bouquets are filled with traditional wild flowers and grasses indigenous to the tribe. While most Native American wedding ceremonies have adopted Western tradition, some still reflect the times of their ancient leaders. In the more traditional wedding, a bouquet is not used. Jewelry of silver and turquoise replace the necessity for flowers. In the multi-cultural Native American design, most traditional western values are utilized.
Mexican weddings are generally held at 9 p.m. The bride is adorned in a colorful, ruffled gown with an elaborate head piece. Flowers of bright colors adorn the wedding festival. The bride may or may not choose to use a wedding bouquet. The wedding ceremony is held at a brightly lit church, filled with red, green and white posies. The reception is taken to the streets for lavish cooking, dancing and partying. Flowers are a decorative part of the ceremony, but there is no advantage to holding the blooms by the hand.
Traditional Greek ceremonies are steeped in ancient tradition. Along with most cultures, some western ideas have infiltrated the festivities. A bride may adopt the use of the wedding bouquet, but the most important use of flora is contained in the crowning ceremony. The bride and groom each don a wreath of white flowers held together by strands of ribbon. During the vows, the religious sponsor or koumbaro exchanges the wreathes three times between the bride and groom. At the reception the bride may opt to toss a wedding bouquet into a crowd of single women.