You see a lot of articles and blog posts about flowers and how important they are to your wedding day. But my guess is that a huge percentage of those articles do not mention anything other than their color. Don’t get me wrong. I love flowers. I love simple blooms in bud vases, homegrown posies and lavish, expensive, overblown displays. But flowers don’t have to just be about color, many of them, unless they’ve been hybridized beyond belief, smell good as well. Now you don”t want to use heavily fragrant flowers in a small, enclosed space, some people are allergic. However, there are plenty of outdoor weddings where fragrant blossoms are a wonderful addition to your wedding — even if only the bridal party can smell them.
You certainly deserve to have wonderful smells in your nose as you marry! And those scents will act as triggers for the rest of your life. I had gardenias in my wedding bouquet because my mom carried them. I had gardenias in my bouquet because I love the scent of them. I’ll float one in a bowl every now and then and I’ll remember, even if my beloved doesn’t know why there’s a gardenia there, that I love the one I married!
When I started to think about scent, I realized that we don’t pay enough specific attention to indulging our senses in wedding ceremonies — or probably in life! You can keep the pleasures close, so that only the bridal party enjoys them, or you can invite the entire community to join you in your celebration. So here are some ways to layer your wedding ceremony with delights for the senses:
- Hearing: Choose wonderful music that fits the mood. Live music lifts our spirits more than canned. Use tiny little bells as part of the celebration. Use fabulous poetry or percussion. Be married by a fountain (but not a loud fountain or your celebrant will hate you and so will your videographer!)
- Sight: flowers, candles, dresses, fans, fabrics. This one is easy and the options are endless.
- Smell: Flowers, food. (you! Wear your favorite scent so you’ll feel at home, or get a celebratory perfume/aftershave that you’ll wear whenever you celebrate… or are feeling mushy… or apologetic… or amorous!
- Taste: everything from cold, clear water, to fruit, to grainy yeasty bread, to sweets. Let the tastes melt on your tongue and flood your mouth with flavor.
- Touch: wear clothing that is comfortable and just a bit luxurious to the touch. You not only want to look beautiful, you want to feel the beauty of the fabric. This may mean that your groom doesn’t get married in a tux, but gets married in a fabulous silk shirt… Think about it!
Now, dream big and indulge! And let those indulgences on your wedding day remind you throughout your life together, that marriage is not only a privilege and a responsibility; it is also an indulgent pleasure and an exploration of the senses!
It’s important to find ties from your wedding ceremony that will reach into your daily life as a couple working to make a happy and healthy marriage work. The more wonderful touchstones you have, the more they will trigger good feelings in your daily life. If that can reinforce the good times and interrupt the awkward times, all the better! And rituals using the senses can become part of the life you live every day.