Of all the flowers at your wedding none will be more important than the flowers that you carry in your bouquet. Not only are wedding flower bouquets a central feature of your wedding outfit, but they also carry with them a very special and personal message.

It is often thought that the flowers that the bride chooses for her bouquet are simply selected for their color or because they are the bride's favorite flowers, but there is a great deal more to it than that.

It is no accident that one of the world's leading chains of florists uses the words "Say It With Flowers" in their advertising, as flowers are symbolic and a variety of very specific messages are attached to a wide range of flowers.

For as long as anyone can remember it has been customary for a man to send a woman roses by way of a gift and it is well known that roses carry with them an unwritten message of love. But roses are not the only flowers that convey a message and a variety of different flowers are often chosen for wedding flower bouquets not for their appearance, but for the message that they carry.

As well as the ever popular rose, two other flowers often used to convey a message of love at a wedding are forget-me-nots and myrtle which symbolize true love and the constancy of love respectively. But love is not the only message that brides traditionally carry before them to the alter. Lilies are another favorite expressing purity and innocence, while lilies of the valley speaks to the bride's feeling of happiness and gardenias to her sense of joy.

Many brides also like to mark the qualities that they bring to the marriage such as beauty portrayed by orchids, purity and fertility in the form of orange blossom and faithfulness demonstrated through blue violets.

Yet other brides seek to bring good fortune into their marriage by way of apple blossom, fruitfulness by way of baby's breath, good luck by way of a four leaf clover or stephanotis and strength by way of ivy.

In many cases of course a mixture of flowers will be used, encompassing many of these different symbols, and these symbols may also be seen in the bridesmaid's flowers and in the boutonnierès and corsages worn by other members of the wedding party.

For many couples choosing their wedding flowers seems at first sight to be a simple matter of choosing what you like and what you think will look pretty, but the reality is that the flowers you choose will speak volumes not only to you as the couple getting married, but to other members of the wedding party and to your guests. This is especially true when it comes to wedding flower bouquets, so take the time and trouble and use this opportunity to speak to each other from the heart in the presence of your family and friends.