How to Rock Rose Petals
in Your Wedding Ceremony
Cram - Brisbane Marriage Celebrant
| Wedding Ceremony
| Wedding Traditions
petals and weddings go together like, well love and
marriage! While adding petals always ups the romantic
ambience of the ceremony, they also reflect age old
custom. Roses and rose petals as a symbol of love have
been associated with weddings for thousands of years.
In Ancient Greece petals were thrown over couples for
happiness, together with grains for fertility.
There are also many other ways to include petals in
your wedding ceremony that will both surprise
and delight your guests because they won't have
experienced them before.
Petals on the Aisle
popular use for petals in a wedding is scattering
them on the aisle in the pathway of the bride.
Always sweet. Always makes for great photos.
Sometimes funny if a flower girl decides to put her
own spin on it. It offers infinite possibilities if
you think outside the box. The most obvious one being
that it doesn't have to be the bride who walks down
the aisle! All of the following suggestions work
regardless of gender. And most will work if the
marrying couple decides make their entrance by walking
down the aisle together.
- Redefine what a "flower-girl" is
- change up the age - flower nanas, flower dudes
- change up the species - flower girls don't
have to be human
- change up the numbers - there is nothing wrong
with having a bevy of "flower-girls"
- Add to the petals
- mix lavender or herbs that will release a
fragrance when walked on
- Have your "flower-girl" hand out something to
guests - toss lollies, for example, or packets
of petals for later use
- Involve the guests
- Give the guests sitting on the aisle petals
to toss in conjunction with the flower girl.
Decide whether you would like the guests to
scatter the petals on the carpet or toss them
over the bride as she enters. If
anyone asks, having the guests scatter petals
harks back to Elizabethan times when guests
would scatter flower petals from the bride's
home to the church
- Prepare the aisle before the wedding
- I like to introduce this formally after the
housekeeping as the last thing that happens
before the processional starts. I explain that [insert
name here] will prepare the aisle. While
this is frequently the groom preparing the aisle
for his bride, it can also be members of the
family in a symbolic gesture of welcome.
Beautiful if the children of a blending family
do it. Starting at the front, whoever is
preparing the aisle walks back up the aisle,
scattering petals as they go. It is important to
start at the front and work towards the back so
as make it clear that the ceremony has not yet
very popular use for petals is to give them to your
guests to toss over you as you walk back up the
aisle at the end of the ceremony. Introduce an
element of surprise instead.
- Give your guests two envelopes, one to toss
(petals), one to keep (potpourri that includes
- Turn the tradition on its head. Keep the petals
for the two of you to toss over the guests as you
walk back up the aisle as an expression of
- Reactivate the older tradition of the flowergirl
scattering petals in front of the couple as they
walk back up the aisle. It was a fertility ritual
so you might want to take that into account when
deciding yes or no on this one!
- Save the petal toss for the group photos.
Welcome the guests with rose
Borrow from the lovely Indian custom of scattering
petals at the feet of the guests as they arrive. uet
You will need to appoint someone to do this. It's a
lovely role for tween children.
Use petals for a COVIDSafe
warming/blessing of the rings
Whether it is a blessing of the rings by the person
solemnising the marriage, or a warming of the rings by
the guests, this ritual involves the handling of the
rings by numerous people. For a COVIDSafe variation,
place the rings in a dish or other container and
provide a basket of rose petals so that each person
can warm/bless the rings by dropping some petals on
them. What works particularly well is to place the
rings in a glass box, where they can be seen, but not
touched, and place that box on a tray on a table
positioned so that guests will need to walk past it
when they arrive for the ceremony. Invite the guests
to pause and drop some petals on the box while they
make wishes for marriage.
Scatter petals on the
I tend to discourage arrangements of flowers on the
signing table because they can get in the way of the
photographer, may obscure the view the guests have of
the signing, take up room, and if they leak or are
knocked over it can be disaster for the paperwork.
Petals scattered on the table take away from the bare
table look, are powerfully symbolic (roses being a
universal symbol of love), and do not get in the way
if the bride's bouquet if that is laid on the table
while the couple signs and poses for photos. If you
are using fresh rose petals, scatter them on the table
as close to the time the ceremony is scheduled to
start as possible. Two hours is the outside limit that
fresh rose petals will continue to look good. Much
less on a very hot day.
Create a sacred circle
Create a circle of rose petals for the couple to stand
in as they make their vows. I am strongly of the
opinion that the circle should be for the two of them
only. Your celebrant and your wedding party should be
outside the circle as witnesses and supporters without
intruding on the intimacy of the moment. If you are
using fresh rose petals, create the circle as close to
the time the ceremony is scheduled to start as
possible. Two hours is the outside limit that fresh
rose petals will continue to look good. Much less on a
very hot day.
Mix petals instead of sand
in a unity ceremony
Sand isn't the only thing that can be mixed in a "sand
ceremony". While it might be a lot easier to separate
out mixed rose petals, mixing petals of different
colours is beautifully visual and powerfully symbolic.
The ritual can be representative of the qualities you
commit to in your marriages, the characteristics you
bring into the marriage, or hopes and wishes for your
Use petals to highlight the
There are two ways to highlight the kiss with a shower
of petals - a toss and a drop
- For a toss, give each member of your wedding
party some petals to shower you with when you kiss
after being pronounced married.
- For a drop, you will need to attach a net to the
ceiling to hold the petals. Using tacks on one and
tape on the other, plus a long string attached to
the net near the tape that can be yanked to pull
the net down and release the petals on cue.
Fresh, dried, or silk?
Both fresh petals and dried petals require a specific
type of care in order to look fresh on the day. It
goes without saying that the better the quality of the
roses, the better the result. If choosing fresh petals
order from a florist, or be prepared to buy bunches of
roses and depetal them close to the time of the
When your fresh petals are delivered from the florist,
they will be in a plastic bag. Open it up and slide in
a paper towel so it sits between the side of the bag
and the rose petals. Then flip the bag over and do the
same on the other side. The two paper towels will
insulate from moisture build up and protect the roses
from being bruised. Seal the bag and lay it down flat
in the fridge but not in a very cold spot. Your fridge
manual will tell you which parts of the fridge get the
coldest. Periodically check on the petals for
condensation. Too much condensation will damage the
If you are depetaling the roses yourself you will need
helpers. Or delegate! To depetal, gently and firmly
twist each rose head to remove it from the stem.
Discard the stem Then gently tease each petal from
Store freeze dried petals in a cool area of low
humidity (not the fridge).
Silk petals come in different qualities. Some of the
cheaper ones are polyester and may not look very
How many petals will you
- For a petal toss you will need 1/2 cup (125 ml)
of fresh or freeze dried petals per person if
using cones or sachets, or approximately 18 silk
- For a flower girl, about 4-5 cups (1-11/4
litres) of fresh or freeze dried petals or 100
silk petals. Plus lots of practice! Children often
default to dropping one petal at a time unless
trained to grab and scatter handfuls.
Need to know
Before making any decisions about rose petals, or, for
that matter, anything else that might be tossed or
scattered and end up on the carpet, floor, or ground,
check your venue's policy. Some venues allow only
dried petals, some allow only fresh petals, some do
not allow petals at all. Some ban confetti and rice.
Most will apply a hefty fine, aka cleaning fee, if
their policy is breached. So it is important to check
the policy early and give your guests a heads-up in
your invitation and on your wedding website and/or
Facebook private wedding group.