01 September 2008

Invitation: Symbols & Their Meanings


WEDDING INVITATION SYMBOLS AND THEIR MEANINGS
When you browse through invitations or wedding paper, you're likely to run across a wide variety of images. Most of these images are important symbols of marriage and love. Below is an explanation for some of the most common symbols you'll find:

Bride and Groom: When a bride and groom are pictured on a wedding invitation, they are meant to symbolize the couple getting married.

Double Rings: Double rings symbolize the joining of two lives and two people. The rings are usually made of a strong metal, such as gold or platinum, to show the strength of the bond between the couple.
Double Hearts: Double hearts, like double rings, represent the joining of two people. Because we associate the heart with love, this symbolizes that the two people are connected through love.
Gold Color: Gold usually symbolizes the 50th wedding anniversary. Part of the reason for this is that gold is an unusual metal. Not only is it the most malleable, but it is the only metal that will not tarnish or rust. For this reason, gold came to stand for a marriage that retained its beauty for a long time.

Silver Color: Silver usually symbolizes the 25th wedding anniversary. Like gold, silver is highly malleable (one reason it can easily be used in jewelry). However, it also resists corrosion and is only affected by one chemical – sulfur. As a result, silver has come to represent something precious that lasts a long time.

Clock: The clock is usually used on save-the-date cards. However, clocks can also be used on invitations for around the clock wedding showers (each guest is assigned a time of day and must purchase a wedding gift appropriate for that time).

Gown and Tuxedo: When a gown and tuxedo are pictured on the invitation, these represent the bride and groom. The gown stands for the bride. The tuxedo stands for the groom.

Horse and Carriage: The horse and carriage symbolizes two things--romance and tradition. Today, the idea of a horse and carriage ride is the epitome of classic romance. Plus, using the horse and carriage as transportation symbolizes the Victorian era when many of our most beloved wedding traditions were started.

Butterfly: The butterfly has a long history of symbolic meaning. Early Christians believed the butterfly represented the human soul. In China, it stands for marital happiness while some Native American tribes looked to the butterfly for guidance when their lives were going through changes. Most commonly, the butterfly stands for pleasant change because of its metamorphosis from a less attractive, crawling caterpillar to a beautiful, soaring butterfly.

Birds: Birds are a common symbol, but their meaning varies depending on which birds are being shown. For example, doves (probably the most common on wedding invitations) represent enduring love and peace. Here are other examples: storks represent good luck, cuckoos suggest a happy marriage, and swans symbolize beauty.

Toasting Flutes: Toasting flutes symbolize celebration and happiness.

Cake: The cake has now become a standard symbol of weddings. In fact, cakes or similar food items have been a part of wedding traditions since the days of the Roman Empire when a loaf of bread would be eaten by the groom then broken over the bride's head to symbolize his dominance over her. In Victorian times, the white wedding cake was known as the bride cake and symbolized her purity.

Unity Candle: The unity candle symbolizes the joining of two lives in marriage. Although not a traditional part of any one religion's ceremony, the use of the unity candle started becoming popular with couples in the 1990's. The mother of the bride and the mother of the groom each light a single tapered candle to represent their daughter and son. Then the bride and groom use these candles to light the larger unity candle. The flame on the unity candle symbolizes their new life as man and wife.

Blush Roses: Blush roses mean that only one person understands the holder's heart. When used in the bridal bouquet, therefore, blush roses would signify that only the groom really knows how the bride's feeling.

Calla Lilies: The calla lily symbolizes magnificent beauty. This particular flower is sometimes also a floral symbol for the sixth wedding anniversary.

Hydrangea: The hydrangea stand for understanding, an important component of any successful marriage.

Rose: The red rose symbolizes love and passion. It is also the flower of June which is considered the traditional wedding month and stands for the 15th wedding anniversary. Other rose colors have different meanings, including the following: pink roses mean happiness, white roses mean innocence, and yellow roses mean joy and friendship. Additionally, the combination of red and white roses in one bouquet symbolizes unity.

Tulips: In general, the tulip symbolizes the perfect lover. Different colored tulips have different meanings. For example, red tulips symbolize one's declaration of love while yellow tulips signify hopeless love.

Daisies: The daisy symbolizes innocence and a love that is loyal.

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