Victorian flowers gave life to the floristry art form as we know it today. The Victorian years were ripe with propriety, symbolism and showmanship, all of which were visible in flower arrangements of the time.
Giving flowers as a gift became popular during the Victorian era. Flowers took on individual meanings, and there was even a language of flowers (known as floriography) developed to send coded messages to loved ones or friends. Many of the meanings we associate with flowers today originated from this time period.
If you’re curious to learn more about Victorian flowers and pick up tips on how to style them, read on for our guide to stunning arrangements that will leave you breathless.
4 Tips for Stunning Victorian Flower Arrangements
Before you get started on styling your Victorian arrangement, there are a few tips you should keep in mind in order to fully capture the breathtaking beauty of this era.
1. Make It Pop With Color
Don’t be afraid to make a statement! Incorporate intense colors that create high contrast within the arrangement. We recommend adding plenty of foliage and leaves for greenery — this can create dimension and a unique texture that will perfectly represent the beauty of the Victorian era.
Colors popular in this era include:
2. Use a Decorative Display Container
To make this a true Victorian arrangement, be sure to use expressive, decorative containers that aren’t too ornate or flashy but still gorgeous to look at. These can be anything from vases to bowls to urns — whatever works best for you!
Motifs popular in this era include:
- Floral patterns
- Intricate designs
3. Opt For a Seasonal Arrangement
Victorian arrangements were commonly styled with a variety of fresh flowers from the garden and rarely consisted of imported bouquets. Find some stunning blooms in your backyard garden, or go to your local florist and see what they can offer for your special arrangement.
Some seasonal florals include:
These seasonal arrangements go well with our printable place cards, perfect for any occasion.
4. Use Flowers Popular in the Era
A Victorian arrangement isn’t complete without the right flowers! For the perfect assortment of bright and elegant blooms, add in a mix of traditional florals.
Some traditional Victorian flowers include:
We’ll cover details on the blooms listed above and provide some other great examples below.
6 Sentimental Victorian Flowers
Queen Victoria ruled England from 1837 until her death in 1901. These years were filled with innovation and social reforms, and also a new focus on modesty and morality. Outright displays of affection became less common, so lovers had to devise a more clever way to communicate their messages. This is how floriography, or the language of flowers, was born.
These six flowers were exceptionally popular in Victorian arrangements. Send a bouquet of flowers to someone special and make sure to include some of the flowers below for a quaint Victorian touch.
A universal favorite and go-to flower for any arrangement, the rose is a special bloom that holds a lot of meaning. Because of this, Victorians had to consider not only the rose color, but the shade of that color, the mixtures of various colors in one bouquet and even the type of roses in the arrangement. Even the smallest change could speak an entirely different message to the receiver.
- Victorian floriography meaning: Red for love, yellow for infidelity
With crocus flowers blooming in early spring, it’s no surprise that they represent cheerfulness, especially after a long winter. These gorgeous purple flowers were a popular choice during the Victorian era — and for good reason. Their tube-shaped appearance is absolutely stunning and a must in any arrangement.
- Victorian floriography meaning: Cheerfulness, youth
Also known as “mouse’s ear,” forget-me-nots are delicate and sweet blooms that come in a variety of colors. During the Victorian era, these tiny flowers were often used to remember someone and keep them close to your heart. This flower is a beautiful reminder that someone is special in your life and should not be forgotten.
- Victorian floriography meaning: Remembrance
Hollyhocks were popular during the Victorian era due to their striking appearance and bright colors. The love for these Victorian flowers spread quickly, not only for their beauty but also for their medicinal and edible qualities. Don’t forget to add these unique blooms to your arrangement for a pop of color!
- Victorian floriography meaning: Ambition
This stunning blossom is rich in history and one of the oldest flowers known to humans. During the Victorian time period, camellia flowers represented destiny and adoration when given to another person. Throw some camellias in your arrangement for a timeless look that no one will forget.
- Victorian floriography meaning: Destiny
Daffodils became associated with new beginnings (and the coming of spring) because they are one of the first perennials to bloom after the winter frost. Though these gorgeous flowers do grow in shades of white and orange, they are best known for brightening up the garden with their cheery yellow hues.
- Victorian floriography meaning: Chivalry, new beginnings
Victorian Flower Ideas for Your Wedding
Elevate your wedding day by incorporating a unique array of Victorian floral arrangements. Add a special touch by incorporating some fun wine labels for everyone to admire. From garden-themed centerpieces to matching bouquets, your special day will be nothing short of magical!
1. Stage Garden–Themed Centerpieces
Decorate your wedding tables with fresh, seasonal bouquets. Create these timeless garden-themed centerpieces using a variety of wildflowers, roses and greenery for the ultimate Victorian-style wedding.
2. Hang Ornate Bouquets From the Ceiling
Looking for a way to add a pop of color and contrast to your special day? Consider hanging ornate bouquets from the ceiling for an extra touch of elegance and uniqueness. Mixing in a variety of foliage also creates texture and gives off a playful vibe.
3. Set Up a DIY Seasonal Corsage Bar
Get your guests involved by setting up a DIY corsage bar! This fun activity is a great way to let your friends and family get in touch with their creativity and make something special. Lay out an assortment of seasonal flowers along with different ribbon color options to create the perfect corsage.
4. Use Floriography To Send Hidden Messages
During the Victorian era, floriography was used as a means of coded communication through various blooms and floral arrangements. Incorporate floriography into your own wedding and send hidden messages throughout the day by using the colors below.
- Red: Love, passion, affection, respect, courage and beauty
- White: Purity, innocence, humility and youthfulness
- Yellow: Friendship, joy, delight, new beginnings and happiness
- Pink: Admiration, grace, joy, elegance and sweetness
- Peach: Appreciation, sincerity, modesty and gratitude
- Lavender: Charm, love at first sight, wonder and enchantment
- Orange: Desire, enthusiasm, congratulation and fascination
5. Match Bouquets to Bridal Party Personalities
Let your bridesmaids’ personalities shine through the colors of their bouquets. Have each bridesmaid choose their own Victorian flowers to match their attitude with the colors listed above. Joyful, innocent or courageous — there’s a color out there for everyone’s style!
Download our printable Victorian wine labels for the ultimate celebration.
Victorian Flowers for the Home
Surround yourself with the beauty of Victorian flower arrangements by hanging floral wreaths or printable wall art to add some color to your walls. No matter what you decide to do, you’ll be sure to end up with stunning Victorian-style decor for all to see.
6. Hang Seasonal Floral Wreaths
Spice up your walls with some elegant floral hoop wreaths. These pretty pieces add a fresh look to your home and provide pops of seasonal color that the whole family will love. Use a variety of bold and bright blooms with a mix of foliage to capture the beauty of Victorian arrangements.
7. Use Foliage in Every Arrangement
Boost your bouquets with lush greenery to give it that old-fashioned feel. Mixing colorful flowers with neutral foliage creates contrast within the arrangement, creating a beautiful centerpiece for your home.
8. Fill Your Home With Floor-to-Ceiling Color
During the Victorian era, flowers of all kinds filled people’s homes, from camellias to forget-me-nots to roses. Surround yourself with beauty by filling your home with floor-to-ceiling color. Don’t shy away from being bold and adventurous — the more color, the better!
Print out our favorite Victorian flower and frame it on your wall.
Flowers for Victorian Wardrobe Inspiration
Incorporate some stunning and traditional elements into your closet. Check out our fashion styling tips that include Victorian flowers in your collection.
9. Style a Sash With Preserved Flowers
Incorporate preserved flowers on a sash or belt of your choice for a dainty look. Use any flower (though we recommend dahlias or roses) to embellish your accessories for a sweet and delicate addition to your collection.
10. Create an Eye-Catching Statement Ring
If you’re into corsages, try creating a bold statement ring that’s embellished with flowers. This unique piece will catch anyone’s attention and is a great way to spice up your wardrobe. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine with a stunning floral ring!
11. Use Fresh Flowers in a Headpiece
Accent your hairstyle with fresh, seasonal flowers for an effortless yet fabulous look. You can opt for smaller flowers like daisies or forget-me-nots, or go big and bold with camellias. Whether you decide to make a flower crown or go freestyle, this idea will make you feel like a true Victorian!
Drawing inspiration and styling tips from the Victorian era is a great way to add a unique, vintage touch to your everyday life. Whether you choose to add Victorian-style decor to your wedding or incorporate it in your home aesthetic, using our fun printables will help you host the perfect Victorian celebration.