A beautiful bouquet can be powerful. Whether you give flowers as a way to celebrate, uplift or simply show your love, florals can convey feelings and emotions in ways that we can’t always articulate with words. But, when it comes to gifts from the heart, what are the most romantic flowers to give, and why?
To better understand the basics of choosing the perfect romantic flowers for a gift, wedding bouquet or even just for yourself, we turned to botanical artists Jessica Yeung and Vivian Leung of Lizi + Fern Floral Design — a boutique floral studio in Burnaby, BC. As they explain, flowers can carry meaningful messages — and certain romantic flowers can be the perfect way to show you care.
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What are the most romantic flowers to give someone?
When choosing florals, it can be tempting to select blooms that simply “look pretty” — but if you pick flowers randomly, you might be missing out on an opportunity to share something special and to present someone with a more meaningful arrangement.
While certain flowers hold different traditional meanings (hint: red roses have been known to symbolize passion), it’s key to consider the situation and the recipient if you want to choose truly romantic flowers. Think about the tastes and preferences of the person you’re giving the flowers to first, and then consider which flowers may be a good fit to represent love, friendship or whatever you want to convey.
“A flower’s meaning and history can be quite personal to every client,” Yeung explains. When helping people choose flowers or create arrangements for events, for example, the duo delves deeper into the specific situation to find the perfect stems.
“We definitely ask questions such as, ‘are there any flowers that you prefer’ and also, ‘are there any flowers that you would not like to be included in your arrangement?’ We ask these questions as some people tend to associate flowers with good and bad memories,” Yeung says.
Also, think beyond a flower’s visual appearance — and consider other senses, like smell. “Scent is also the strongest connection to memories,” Yeung says. If someone associates a certain floral scent with a magical moment, you can turn to that scent to add a deeper layer of romance to a bouquet. For example, if your first date was a picnic near a gardenia-filled garden, gifting a bouquet starring gardenia could arose both visual and scent-based positive feelings.
How can you know which flowers to give someone?
Want to give someone romantic flowers, but aren’t sure where to start? As with so many things in life, communication is key.
“Firstly, it might be a good idea to secretly ask your romantic partner what their favourite colours are,” the duo suggests. “This makes the bouquet a little more personal. Yet, when in doubt, red roses always indicate to that special someone that the relationship is a little more than just friends. Red roses indicate passion, pink roses are for admiration and purple shows enchantment.”
One tip: if you’re having trouble choosing specific flowers, you can also think about an overall style of bouquet that matches someone’s personality, and use that as a guide.
“Some people prefer unique and fun bouquets with large showy flowers such as king protea or anthurium while others prefer more subdued arrangements with wildflowers or a garden-style bouquet,” the team explains.
Selecting a bouquet that matches someone’s unique taste is a sweet way to show you’ve taken the time to think about who they really are — which is, of course, very romantic.
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What about romantic wedding flowers?
Of course, florals aren’t just for gifts or Valentine’s surprises. Flowers are often a key part of wedding décor, so choosing romantic flowers is also a wonderful way to bring special meaning and beauty to your big day.
When it comes to choosing wedding arrangements, the goal is to create something that’s memorable and unique to your love story. Floral artists like Yeung and Leung often help couples curate arrangements that combine beauty and meaning for wedding celebrations.
“Whether it be a bridal bouquet or someone asking for a specific look that may resemble something symbolic to them, we want to design a bouquet with every bridal couple in mind,” Leung says. “A floral arrangement can be abstract, modern, classic, romantic, whimsical, bold, fun, happy etc. Therefore, each floral piece we arrange is unique to our clients’ personalities, style and/or their particular event.”
…the goal is to create something that’s memorable and specific to your love.
You can also consider incorporating flowers that hold special meaning to the bridal couple, their families and their culture. To illustrate this point, Yeung recalls one bride, who opted for “a single purple orchid in remembrance of her grandmother.” As Yeung says, “it really comes back to personal preference, personal memories and also floral artistry.”
Not all flowers hold the same meaning for everyone, either. For example, while calla lilies can sometimes have negative connotations for some people (in some cultures, for instance, white calla lilies can represent death), it can still be the perfect romantic flower for a couple. As Yeung explains, “we’ve had a bride specifically asking for calla lilies, because it meant something special to her. She had a complete admiration for Diego Rivera (whose paintings had plenty of calla lilies).”
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8 romantic flowers — and what they mean
With that said, if you need some ideas for your next bouquet of romantic flowers, there are some go-to blooms that can get you started. Yeung shared the meaning behind some of the most romantic flowers to give to loved ones (and friends).
As previously mentioned, when it comes to flowers that represent love, red roses are the OG. As Yeung explains, red roses signify “romance, romance, romance.” Giving someone a classic bouquet of red roses makes your feelings pretty clear, and, as Yeung says, can show “love, passion and desire, as well.”
Want another romantic rose option? Think pink. “We think pink roses are very romantic as well, considering they resemble admiration for someone,” Yeung says. “They also represent sweetness and elegance.”
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The gardenia may be a lesser-thought-of flower than roses when it comes to romance, but it can definitely signify loving feelings, too, as it’s been known to have “an association with a secret love between two people,” as Yeung says.
More than just a pretty spring flower, tulips — especially tulips that take on a crimson hue — can make for very romantic gifts. “Red always evokes passion, lust and love,” Yeung says. “Red tulips are an exception and are a great flower for a spring arrangement where love is in the air!”
Does the object of your affection love a soft pastel moment? Lilacs can be a lovely choice with a sweet meaning: “Purple Lilacs symbolize old love in the Victorian era,” Yeung says.
Not all love is romantic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use flowers to show your affection — just choose the colour carefully. A yellow rose may not be the most romantic, as it is usually associated with friendship,” Yeung explains. However, “ these flowers are a sign of happiness, joy and cheer.”
Scent can be incredibly powerful, so choosing flowers with scent in mind can be a great strategy for romance. Enter: white jasmine. “White jasmine often has a very inviting scent that is sweet and fruity,” Yeung explains. “It is no wonder why it can be quite popular in bridal floral arrangements and bouquets. White jasmine is also very popular for baby showers, a house-warming gift and ceremony arches. They symbolize purity, beauty and new beginnings.”
Similarly, lavender is a pretty flower that gets bonus romance points from its scent. “Lavender oil, known for [its] healing properties, smells wonderful and creates a sense of calmness and relaxation,” Yeung says. “Lavender also represents serenity, grace, elegance and refinement due to the purple colour, associated with royalness.”