Over the years, white roses have been admired around the world for their symbolism and elegance. At Black and Blanc Fleur, these striking blooms are a signature flower in our arrangements. We're often asked - what is it that makes white roses so special?
Read on as we unpack everything you need to know to fully appreciate these beloved blossoms. We’ll uncover the rich meanings behind pure white petals.
A Brief History of White Roses
White roses have an amazing history that spans many cultures all over the world. They first became really significant way back in ancient Greek stories. According to legend, the goddess of love (Aphrodite) pricked her foot on a thorn and turned all the roses from white to red with her blood!
Later on in Europe a long time ago, white roses stood for purity. People gave them to the Virgin Mary. White roses were very common in religious pictures and art in castles back then.
As a symbol of purity, the House of York used white roses on flags and banners during England's War of Roses.
White roses became popular for weddings in the 1800s thanks to Queen Victoria. She started a tradition that brides still follow today when she carried them at her royal wedding!
White Rose Meaning and Symbolism
White roses can mean different things. They have gathered many symbolic meanings over time. Here are some of the most usual meanings of white roses:
- Purity, innocence, and new starts: White roses have always meant being pure and innocent. This makes them great for weddings. The clean white petals give the feeling of a fresh start to whoever gets or carries the flowers.
- Reverence and Honor: In funerary arrangements and religious ceremonies, white roses represent paying honor and respect to those who have passed on. They bring a sense of solemnity and spirituality to somber occasions.
- Everlasting Love: Gifting white roses has traditionally expressed eternal affection and unwavering loyalty to someone dear. Their pristine petals symbolize the perfection of an intimate bond.
- Appreciation and Gratitude: Giving white roses shows you appreciate and
are thankful to the person getting them. They make a nice "thank you" flower for someone who helped you or gave you advice.
When to Gift White Roses
Many milestones and occasions call for white roses:
- Weddings: White roses are the classic wedding bloom. They magnificently decorate ceremonial halls and bridal posies, representing new beginnings.
- Birthdays: Give white roses to congratulate a birthday with elegance and grace. They undoubtedly make the birthday honoree feel exceptional.
- Graduations: White roses given to graduates acknowledge their achievement while imparting hope and good tidings for a bright future ahead.
- New Home: A white rose arrangement makes a stunning housewarming gift. Symbolizing a fresh start as one begins a new chapter in their lives.
- Hospital Visits: Fresh white roses brighten a hospital room and remind an ill loved one that they are in your thoughts. These flowers are regarded as symbols of health and healing.
- Baby Showers: As a gift for the joyous parents-to-be, white roses signify new life and new beginnings. The pristine beauty and innocence of these flowers align perfectly with welcoming a precious babe.
- Retirements: When gifted upon retirement, white roses celebrate an ending while looking ahead to the next chapter of relaxation and reflection. They wish the retiree prosperity and peace in their future days.
- Christenings: White rose arrangements make a great baptism or christening gift. White symbolizes the innocence and purity Christians believe everyone possesses as children of God.
- Funerals and Memorials: Funeral arrangements with white roses establish a peaceful, contemplative setting to pay homage to the departed. They promote spiritual reflection during bereavement.
- Anniversaries: White roses signify loyalty and sincerity on anniversaries, especially 25ths, 50ths, and 60ths. A marriage that has endured for years is reflected in the flawless perfection of white roses.
Political Significance of White Roses
Throughout history, white roses have played notable roles in politics and culture. In 15th-century England, the white rose was the emblem of the House of York in the War of the Roses against the red rose of Lancaster. In WWII-era Germany, a nonviolent resistance group called White Rose opposed Hitler's regime, using the flower's name to symbolize youth and purity of purpose.
The white rose has religious and secular ties to the Yorkshire region of England. Since the 14th century, it has been featured in Yorkshire's civic heraldry and flags. The symbol connects to Yorkshire's identity and events like the annual Yorkshire Day. The white York rose appears in imagery for Canada's York University and a Kenyan high school, formerly Duke of York School.
Meaning Based on Number of Stems
Like other rose colors, white roses carry added symbolism based on the number given:
- 1 rose: Love at first sight or "you're the one"
- 2 roses: Mutual love and affection
- 6 roses: Infatuation, wanting to be yours
- 10 roses: Your love is perfect
- 11 roses: True, treasured love
- 12 roses: Classic "be mine" message
- 15 roses: An apology
- 24 roses: "I'm completely yours"
- 36 roses: Head-over-heels in love
Higher numbers like 50 roses convey limitless love. Customize your message through the roses' quantity.
Meaning With Other Color Roses
- Mixing white roses with other colors creates new symbolism:
- White & red roses: Unity and partnership
- White & pink roses: Happiness and joy
- White & yellow roses: Harmony
- White & purple roses: Royal majesty, depending on the purple shade
The Timeless Beauty of White Roses
For centuries, white roses have symbolized purity, honor, new beginnings, and enduring love across cultures. Despite trends and seasons, their lush petals never go out of style. At Black and Blanc Fleur, we love bringing white roses to life's most precious moments. This guide gives you a deeper understanding of these magnificent flowers, their history, and their meaning.
Frequently Asked Questions About White Roses Meaning And Symbolism
What Do White Roses Symbolize?
White roses symbolize purity and new beginnings. Brides often carry them, embracing the promise of their wedding day. At funerals, white roses pay quiet tribute, honoring the life once lived. They also represent eternal affection - if one heart pledges to another, no flower conveys such devotion like an untarnished white rose. Even in moments beyond words, their gentle beauty expresses gratitude, conveying the deepest human emotions. With petals both splendid and demure, white roses are messengers for life's joy and sorrow.
What occasions are white roses most appropriate for?
White roses honor weddings, graduations, christenings, baby showers, memorials, holiday centerpieces, and moments of appreciation. Their classic beauty fits many notable milestones.
Why have white roses been used at weddings for so long?
White roses have long symbolized purity and new beginnings, making them a wedding staple. Their pristine petals fill bridal bouquets and decorate venues. This tradition traces back to Queen Victoria herself. When she walked down the aisle carrying the pale blooms, they became etched in matrimonial lore.