Wheat may not be the first thing to come to mind when you think of wedding flowers, but it fits in perfectly with this time of year. It is neutral, easy to work with, and brings to mind feasts with family and friends. Triticum aestivum, otherwise known as common wheat, means “wheat” in Latin. Botanists are clever, aren’t they? Wheat is a part of daily life for many people around the world, but did you know that wheat is actually a grass?
Along with the traditional brown (or tan) wheat, you can also get green wheat if you are looking for a way to add a bit of color to your wedding flowers. The dried wheat stalk that you get actually contains the dried flower head of the plant. It doesn’t have a “flowery” fragrance, but rather, it smells like dried grass… pleasant and sweet. While wheat berries (the grains) are edible, I was unable to find any definitive source relaying information about the safety of ingesting any other part of the plant. Furthermore, it’s not a good idea to eat anything that may have been sprayed with unknown pesticides or herbicides without washing it first, so be sure to keep the wheat strictly for decoration. (For the record, some people do have Celiac Disease, which is an intolerance to the gluten in wheat, rye, and barley.)
One of the best parts of using wheat in your wedding day flower arrangements is that the wheat is actually dried, meaning that it is available pretty much any time of year. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about the wheat wilting or needing water. This characteristic makes wheat very versatile as a decoration. You can make an easy centerpiece with a few stalks of wheat in a simple vase or jar. Tie a bundle of wheat together and use it to hold a table number or to decorate the backs of chairs. You can even throw wheat grains instead of rice at the end of the ceremony.
Wheat symbolizes different things to different people. For example, on the Ukrainian Easter egg, wheat symbolizes good health and a bountiful harvest. Some people believe that green wheat symbolizes fertility and prosperity. But whatever you believe, one thing is for sure; wheat is a striking, yet simple, addition to a rustic late-fall wedding.
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