Choosing flowers for your event? Here is the ultimate guide to their meaning.

I recently went to a magical wedding where the centrepieces on the tables were tall, thin glass bottles, each with a single white lily. The simplicity delighted those obsessed with orderliness and the avid romantics.

The power of flowers first dawned on me while watching the 2003 Tim Burton classic Big Fish. In one of the most iconic movie scenes, by all standards, the main character planted an entire field of yellow daffodils to impress the girl of his dreams.

Sometimes flowers take centre stage at an event, and other times they play a supporting role by simply accentuating other décor elements. Whether you are going for a bold or soft look, flowers bring life to any event.

If you are planning a wedding, birthday, cocktail event, or a simple breakfast, you might find it useful to know the meaning behind various types of flowers.


  • Red roses: love, desire
  • Dark red roses: beauty
  • White roses: purity, innocence, reverence, silence
  • Pink roses: grace, happiness, gentleness
  • Yellow roses: joy, friendship, the promise of a new beginning
  • Orange roses: desire and enthusiasm
  • Lavender roses: love at first sight
  • Coral roses: friendship, modesty, sympathy


  • Red carnation: “my heart aches”, admiration
  • White carnation: innocence, pure love, women’s good luck gift
  • Pink carnation: “I’ll never forget you”
  • Yellow carnation: disappointment, rejection

Other Flowers

Amaryllis: pride

Angelica: inspiration

Apple blossom: preference

Bachelor’s button: single blessedness

Begonia: beware

Bluebell: humility

Daffodil: regard

Daisy: innocence, hope

Edelweiss: courage, devotion

Forget-me-not: true love memories

Holly: hope

Honeysuckle: bonds of love

Iris: a message

Ivy: friendship, continuity

Jasmine, white:  sweet love

Lady’s-mantle: comforting

Lavender: devotion, virtue

Lily, calla: beauty

Lily-of-the-valley: sweetness

Lotus Flower: purity, enlightenment, self-regeneration, and rebirth

Magnolia: love of nature

Morning glory: affection

Pansy: thoughts

Peony: happy life, happy marriage

Pine: humility

Poppy, red: consolation

Salvia, blue: “I think of you”

Salvia, red: forever mine

Southernwood:                constancy, jest

Sunflower: adoration

Sweet pea: pleasures

Tansy: hostile thoughts

Tulip, red: declaration of love

Tulip, yellow: sunshine in your smile


Source of flowers’ meanings: Old Farmer’s Almanac (