Copyright © 2007 - 2016 All rights reserved
"Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction."
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Weddings are one of the greatest occasions of a woman’s life. Therefore, they can also become one of the most stressful events! From finding the perfect dress, to catering for hundreds of people, not to mention where to place Great Aunt Jennie to avoid any further family upset! Weddings can fast turn from a dream affair to your worst nightmare if things start to spin out of control! Using aromatherapy may help in more ways than one…..
Aromatherapy for Weddings
So how can aromatherapy be used in the whole wedding process? In the course of both researching for my website and a summer spent as a wedding assistant, I discovered aromatherapy, or "wedding scents", are fast becoming one of the latest trends in the wedding industry. Every girl wants her wedding to be the one that’s talked about for ever after the event, so all sorts of new ideas and creations are being invented to ensure your wedding is the one they will remember.
Historical Use of Aromatherapy in Weddings
"Fragrance is the nourishment of the spirit"
Mohammed (Islamic Prophet)
Flowers have a long history and association with the "language of love." In Victorian England, different flowers had different meanings between lovers; they were a secret code between two people. However, dependant on which text you read, the same flowers can have different meanings!
Various herbs and flowers have been used in traditional marriage ceremonies. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) has been used as an ingredient in love potions, as has marjoram (Origanum marjorana). And of course the rose (Rosa x damascena) has always been associated with the "language of love." The rose is still one of the most popular choices for today’s bride.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) was once entwined in the bridal crown of Greek brides; ivy (Hedera helix) was given to Roman bridal couples during the ceremony and marjoram was also used by both the Greeks and the Romans in the bridal crown. All of these flowers and plants had different meanings too.
Some countries still carry out certain traditions today with wedding flowers. In England, flower girls are still common in traditional weddings. The tradition of a flower girl is that she precedes the bride down the pathway to the church, scattering flower blossoms as she goes, so that the bride enjoys a lifetime of happiness and flowers. In India, a similar role is played by the groom’s brother, scattering flower petals over the bridal couple at the end of the ceremony to supposedly ward off any evil spirits.
Sensory Perception: How Smell Works
"‘Olfaction is the sense of the imagination"
Smell plays a big part in our sensory perception of the universe. Smell is the only sense that has a direct link to the brain. Scientists believe that olfaction can influence our moods, thoughts and sexual behavior. Therefore, by using aromatherapy in your wedding, you may have a greater impact on the lasting feelings of the day than you may think, if you choose the "right" scents for the occasion!
An Aromatic History of Weddings
“What's in a name? That which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet." Romeo and Juliet (II, ii 1-2)
William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
Fragrant herbs were used in daily rituals as far back as Egyptian times. Papyrus manuscripts have been found that record the use of various plants, herbs, oils and perfumes. Fast forward through history and it can be seen that the Greeks and Romans were avid users of "all things natural" in their daily lives too. In fact, the Romans were known to use lavender whilst bathing. Today, lavender is a frequent ingredient in almost every commercially produced bath product (although rarely is it therapeutic lavender oil but a synthetic hybrid).
As time progressed, the growth of the spice trade from the Far East brought new and exciting plants, herbs and spices to Europe. Scented gloves became a fashion icon of the age. The Princess of Neroli of Italy even had an essential oil named after her when she began wearing it as a perfume, that of neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara) essential oil. Marie Antoinette of France (1755 - 1793) is famous for her extravagant lifestyle of riches, dresses and scents and it is said that when she was preparing to flee France, her departure was delayed by her insistence on preparing and taking with her a full toilette of scents and lotions, a fact that may have cost her her life.
Synthetic fragrances replaced true aromatic fragrances over time, predominately with the emergence of the Industrial Revolution in Europe/UK. People moved to the cities, where the money was to be made, and left behind their country gardens and their ability to grow and use plants. Chemical science further increased the production of synthetic fragrances and oils, which could be mass produced more cheaply than traditional oils; however, synthetic fragrances did not hold the healing aromatic properties of nature.
Aromatherapy and Your Wedding
So what can you use to "aromatherap-ise" your wedding? Basically, there are a huge variety of options you can choose from; companies offer to "scent" your wedding with scent machines or you can design your own exclusive fragrance for the day. However, if you want to use true aromatherapy fragrances and remain au naturelle for your wedding you may want to consider the following.
Set the scent for your wedding with your invitations; scent them with essential oils. Place a couple of cotton balls, scented with a few drops of your chosen essential oil, inside the box with your invitations a couple of weeks before sending them out. Make sure the cotton balls don’t touch your invitations otherwise you could end up with oily marks.
Aromatherapy and Your Bridal Bouquet
There are a number of natural aromatic choices for your bridal bouquet; the most popular is the rose. You can also choose to have herbal flowers. However, even if you do not choose fragrant flowers for your wedding, you can use essential oils to scent your bouquet; add a couple of drops of your chosen essential oil to cotton balls and hide them in your wedding bouquet or purse.
Aromatherapy Bridal Perfume
Use a natural fragrance of essential oils for your bridal perfume instead of a synthetic perfume. It will last longer and will be a constant reminder of your wedding day. Alternatively, use an aromatherapy mist spray.
Aromatherapy for Your Wedding Day
Instead of throwing traditional confetti, use rose petals or dried lavender.
You don’t have to use aromatherapy essential oils to find a true scent for your wedding venue. Use nature’s basics! Find real potted flowers/plants with fragrance to decorate your chosen location. Scent is a personal thing as well as the occasion it is used for but plants that may suitable for weddings and are some of my more romantic favorites are the rose, lavender, geranium and neroli. All of these plants and flowers have the right charismatic properties to calm the nerves and initiate romance! Depending on the location of your wedding, you could consider seasonal, local plants and flowers to the region too. Herbs have fallen out of traditional use in weddings but can be pretty as well as fragrant; for example rosemary and thyme (Thymus vulgaris).
Use aromatherapy candles for your wedding; however, only use aromatherapy candles with true essential oils and not synthetic fragrances. Place them subtly within your ceremony.
Your guests will have a constant reminder of your wedding day with a personalised wedding favor. Try aromatherapy essential oils blended together in a massage oil to continue the romance of the day! Or perhaps some aromatic beads, soap or bath salts to release the tension of the day! Whatever you choose, your guests will surely have a long lasting reminder of your day.
Sedona Aromatherapie specializes in custom blends, scents and favors for your wedding: Please visit the weddings page or contact me to learn more!
Have a truly aromatic wedding!
Copyright © 2007 - 2014 Sharon Falsetto All rights reserved
Dragon, Debbie, 2006 ‘History of Wedding Flowers’ (article)
Feydeau, Elisabeth de, 2006 ‘A Scented Palace’ UK & New York: IB Tauris & Co. Ltd
Garden Chick, 2005 ‘Herbal weddings: “something old, something new…” (article)
Green, Mindy, Keville Kathi 1995 ‘Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art’ Crossing Press
Holmes, Peter, 2002, ‘Energy Medicine: Aromatherapy Past and Present’ (article)
Hopman, Ellen Evert, 1995 ‘A Druid’s Herbal’ Inner Traditions
Lawless, Julia, 1995 ‘The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Essential Oils’ London: Thorsons
Price, Shirley, Price, Len, 1999 ‘Aromatherapy for Health Professionals' Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone
... Inspire, Educate, Create
Author of Authentic Aromatherapy
Approved Provider for NAHA & NCBTMB
By Sharon Falsetto
Aromatherapy for Weddings