How to use Herbs on Your Wedding Day (& their hidden meanings!)
Including healing herbs and flowers on your wedding day is a tradition that dates all the way back to the Victorian Era. It was believed that what you carry, eat and smell on your big day could have just as much of an impact on your marriage as the person you were meeting at the end of the aisle.
So it's no surprise that these superstitions have carried their way over into modern wedding planning. (Fun Fact: Most of our modern day wedding traditions stem from Victorian Era principles and ideas.) And since herbs are an affordable, eco-friendly, useful and gorgeous decorating element - dressing them up for today's nuptials is a piece of cake! Follow our guide below for the most popular wedding herbs, their meanings, and how to incorporate them into your own wedding planning.
Traditional Wedding Herbs & Their Meanings
First things first, you need to choose which herbs you want to bring into your celebration. Whether you choose them for texture, scent, or symbolism - there is no wrong way to do it! Mix and match for a wedding day full of bright, fragrant energy.
Symbolizes: friendship, loyalty, remembrance
Use it: in the menu, decor
Rosemary is a kitchen staple for a reason, it's good in just about anything! Add it to your food, the cocktails or tucked into the place settings for your guests to add and enjoy themselves!
Symbolizes: Courage, elegance
Use it: down the aisle
Have your flower girls sprinkle an herb medley down the aisle instead of petals. Include dried thyme and soak up all of that extra courage and grace as you walk to your beloved.
Symbolizes: protection, fidelity, warmth
Use it: at the bar
A well stocked bar always includes a bit of fresh mint. Infuse your cocktails with this warming, protective herb and keep your guests feeling cozy and loved.
Symbolizes: luck, devotion
Use it: Aromatherapy, down the aisle
Known for it's calming, relaxing properties, lavender is a great essential oil to use before you walk down the aisle. Dab a little behind your ears, tuck some dried bundles in your bouquet or wear an infused piece of jewelry to keep your butterflies in check (and you smelling incredible.)
Symbolizes: good spirits, prosperity, protection
Use it: at the bar, in the menu
Dill is a great herb to include on your tables or in the food itself. It's association with merriment and good spirits make it a perfect addition to your post ceremony festivities.
Symbolizes: protection, purity, beauty
Use it: in the bouquet
Lemon verbena adds a gorgeous texture and fragrance to any wedding bouquet. Carry it with you for protection and to enhance your own natural beauty.
Symbolizes: protection, purity, healing
Use it: in your decor
We've never been able to resist the velvety softness of lamb's ear. Add this pretty herb to your floral decorations to add depth and texture.
Symbolizes: festivity, joy, knowledge
Use it: in the menu
Another favorite kitchen staple known for it's festive, joyous qualities. Brighten up your dinner hour with a few sprigs of fresh parsley atop each entree.
Symbolizes: joy, luck, good health
Use it: in the menu, table decor
Consider decorating your tables with a variety of these common herbs so your guests can add them to the meal at their own leisure. They keep your table green, lush and gorgeous, and everyone can choose which herbs they love to zest up that chicken!
Symbolizes: wisdom, long life
Use it: in the menu, bouquet
Sage is another favorite found in any kitchen, but why stop at the menu? Tuck these soft leaves in your bouquet, or sprinkle them dried down the aisle for a long life full of wisdom.
Symbolizes: usefulness, abundance
Use it: in the menu, decor
There is something so bright and playful about blooming chives. They're great in the meal or as container gardens atop your reception tables.
Symbolizes: strength, vision
Use it: in the menu
Add fennel to your soup course to start and your guests will be filled with strength and clarity...and delicious soup!
How to Use Herbs on Your Wedding Day
Once you've chosen your favorites, it's time to figure out how to use them! The ideas below are our favorite ways brides have used these versatile plants on their wedding day. Get creative!
Many of these herbs are known for their restorative and calming properties. Use them in essential oil form, or in big, fresh bundles, to add a signature scent to your big day.
Bouquet & Boutonniere
Perhaps the most obvious place to add some extra plant elements are to the flowers you will carry down the aisle. Choose the herbs that symbolize the main elements you want to bring into your marriage and think about them mindfully when tucking them into your bundle.
Dried herbs make a colorful, fragrant and earth friendly confetti alternative. Have your flower girls toss handfuls of herbs down the aisle and give some to your guests to throw in the air in celebration after the "I do's!"
Miniature container gardens make great table decor for your reception (and your guests can pluck fresh leaves for seasoning!) Use a variety of planters and herbs to add depth and texture to your display.
Food & Drink
Fresh herbs add depth of flavor that dried just don't quite compare to. Use a wide variety of herbs in your menu and cocktail planning and get creative with it!
We love wedding favors that are as gorgeous as they are practical. So send your guests home with their own individual potted herbs. They'll think of you every time they pluck a sprig for dinner. (Plus they look adorable with a Marrygrams Favor Tag! Get yours here!)
Which herbs are you planning on using at your own wedding? Share with us on Instagram!