Preserving the Memories

A wedding day lavish with herbs lives on in treasured creations by drying herbs.

| February/March 2001

  • Pearl yarrow adds button-shaped white blossoms to a groom’s boutonniere with roses for love, rosemary for remembrance, and ivy for friendship.
  • The bride’s bouquet mingles white larkspur, roses, ivy, double feverfew, Queen Anne’s lace, and sage with flowers of garlic chives, hyssop, lavender, tarragon, peppermint, and spearmint.
  • A preserved wreath of roses, white larkspur, sage, oregano flowers, ivy, cinnamon basil, double feverfew, pink yarrow, and southernwood recalls the joy and promise of an herbal wedding.
  • A fresh wreath of roses, pink yarrow, asparagus frond, double feverfew, cinnamon basil, pineapple mint, variegated ivy, and oregano flowers graces the chapel door.
  • A preserved wreath of roses, white larkspur, sage, oregano flowers, ivy, cinnamon basil, double feverfew, pink yarrow, and southernwood recalls the joy and promise of an herbal wedding.
  • Individual table sprays cast a heavenly scent with tansy, rose, cinnamon basil, Queen Anne’s lace, sage, oregano flowers, southernwood, and double feverfew. If you want to preserve such arrangements from your wedding, make your plans in advance; the flowers will need to be processed within thirty-six hours after the wedding.
  • Making potpourri-filled sachets for thank-you tokens is one way to make the most of herbal wedding arrangements.
  • The ring bearer gets festive with collar ornaments made of cinnamon basil, nigella pods, rosemary, garlic chive flowers, double feverfew, hyssop, ivy, sage, and yarrow.
  • Preserved herbal flowers can be attached to a wedding photo for use in a shadow-box frame. The ones used here are roses, double feverfew, tansy leaf, ivy, pink yarrow, white larkspur, and oregano flowers.
  • Once flowers from your wedding are dried, they can be reassembled into smaller replicas. This dried arrangement contains roses, double feverfew, white larkspur, lavender, asparagus frond, oregano, and garlic chive flowers.
  • A preserved wreath of roses, white larkspur, sage, oregano flowers, ivy, cinnamon basil, double feverfew, pink yarrow, and southernwood recalls the joy and promise of an herbal wedding.
  • A preserved wreath of roses, white larkspur, sage, oregano flowers, ivy, cinnamon basil, double feverfew, pink yarrow, and southernwood recalls the joy and promise of an herbal wedding.
    Photography by Anybody Goes
  • A preserved wreath of roses, white larkspur, sage, oregano flowers, ivy, cinnamon basil, double feverfew, pink yarrow, and southernwood recalls the joy and promise of an herbal wedding.

For thousands of years, couples have mined the rich meaning of herbs to create truly magical weddings. Herbal bouquets, garlands, and wreaths exude romance, perfuming the air and lending their rich symbolism. In modern weddings, herbs can do more than link the bridal couple to ancient nuptial traditions. Each leaf and flower represents a blessing for the newlyweds; the herbs reinforce and symbolize the couple’s pledge. Herbs provide a joyful and thoughtful beginning to one of life’s grandest adventures.

If love were what the rose is, And I were like the leaf, Our lives would grow together in sad or singing weather.
—Algernon Charles Swinburne

In an herbal wedding, all or most of the flowers and greens carried by the wedding party and worn by family members are herbal—loosely interpreted as containing any plants useful now or at one time for flavor, fragrance, or medicine. The church or temple may be decorated with herbal flowers and greens. Herbs and flowers mingle happily in centerpieces and buffet arrangements. A wedding meal may be carefully seasoned with herbs. Even the wines used for toasting may be infused with herbs.

At the end of an herbal wedding, guests shower the newlyweds with a mixture of fresh or dried herbs chosen for their symbolic meanings and herbal blessings. Or they may take home packets of herb seeds or herbal sachets printed with the couple’s name and the date. Herbal weddings are fragrant, fulfilling, and tasty—and guests seldom forget them.



But wedding memories are most fondly recalled by the bridal couple. Herbal wedding decorations lend themselves to preserving in a variety of ways. Properly done, they will last years, even decades, serving as a reminder of promises made and honored and of joy yet to come. As part of my business, The Proper Season, I specialize in creating herbal arrangements for weddings and other special occasions.

For this article, two Colorado-based herb experts created wedding arrangements, then shipped them overnight to me for preserving. I created a dried wreath, an herbal bouquet, a shadow-box treatment for a wedding photograph, and herbal potpourri from the arrangements. In addition to being beautiful mementos for the bride and groom, such items make wonderful gifts for parents, in-laws, or perhaps the person who brought a couple together.



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