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7 Best Types of Roses for Special Occasions

History of Roses

red roses


The history of roses in ceremonies dates back centuries when they’ve been a symbol of love, passion, and beauty. From ancient Rome, where they were associated with goddesses, to Victorian England, where they became a secret language among lovers, roses have always been the flower of choice for commemorating significant moments. The importance of picking the right rose for an occasion not only lies in its visual appeal but also in its symbolism and sentiment it carries.


Why is it important to know the symbolism of roses?

Understanding the symbolism of roses, or any symbolic language, is essential for a variety of reasons:


Effective Communication

Roses serve as a non-verbal means of conveying emotions, intentions, and sentiments. By understanding their symbolism, one can ensure that the message they want to communicate is received correctly.


Cultural Sensitivity

Different cultures might have varied interpretations of rose colors. For instance, while white roses often symbolize purity and innocence in many Western cultures, they can represent death and mourning in some Eastern cultures. Being aware of these nuances can prevent misunderstandings or unintentional offense.


Historical Context

Roses have a rich history in art, literature, politics, and various ceremonies. Recognizing the symbolism of roses can enhance one’s appreciation and understanding of historical texts, artworks, and events.


Personal Expression

Choosing the right rose color can help individuals express complex feelings that might be difficult to articulate. For example, a bouquet of mixed pink and white roses can convey a combination of admiration, gratitude, and purity.


Enhancing Special Occasions

Significant events, such as weddings, anniversaries, and funerals, often have roses as part of the ceremony or celebration. Knowing their symbolism can add depth, meaning, and personalization to these occasions.


Making Informed Decisions

When purchasing roses, especially for significant occasions, understanding their symbolism can guide one’s choices, ensuring that the flowers align with the event’s purpose and sentiments.


Building Relationships

Gifting roses with intention and understanding can fortify bonds, showing the recipient that thought and care went into the selection.


Avoiding Misunderstandings

Without knowledge of the symbolism, one might unintentionally send a misleading or inappropriate message. For example, sending yellow roses (friendship) instead of red roses (romantic love) could confuse the recipient about the sender’s intentions.


Enriching Aesthetic and Emotional Experience

Recognizing the symbolism of roses can augment the aesthetic pleasure of receiving, giving, or observing them. The emotions evoked can be deeper and more nuanced.


Business and Diplomacy

In professional or diplomatic contexts, gestures can carry significant weight. Gifting roses with an understanding of their symbolism can enhance diplomatic relations or business partnerships.

In essence, understanding the symbolism of roses—or any symbolic system—adds depth to personal interactions, enriches cultural experiences, and aids in navigating social nuances with sensitivity and grace.


The Symbolism of Roses in Special Occasions


fantastic roses


Roses have been revered for centuries for their beauty, fragrance, and the profound symbolism they carry. Different colors of roses have different meanings, making them suitable for a variety of special occasions:


Red Roses

Symbolism: Love, respect, and courage.

Occasions: Most commonly associated with romantic love, making them a popular choice for Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, and romantic occasions. They are also used in funerals and memorials to represent respect and love for the departed.


White Roses

Symbolism: Purity, innocence, reverence, and humility.

Occasions: Often used in weddings to symbolize pure love and unity. They are also seen in funerals, symbolizing remembrance and reverence for the departed.


Yellow Roses

Symbolism: Friendship, joy, and care.

Occasions: Typically given to friends or loved ones during happy occasions like birthdays, graduations, or to cheer someone up.


Pink Roses

Symbolism: Gratitude, appreciation, and admiration. Light pink denotes sweetness and thoughtfulness, while darker pink reflects gratitude and appreciation.

Occasions: Great for showing appreciation, whether it’s for a friend, family member, or colleague. Also used to express sympathy.


Orange Roses

Symbolism: Enthusiasm, passion, and desire.

Occasions: Given when you want to express fascination or to symbolize a budding romance.


Lavender Roses

Symbolism: Enchantment and love at first sight.

Occasions: When you want to convey a sense of wonder or express feelings of adoration.


Blue Roses

Symbolism: The unattainable or the mysterious.

Occasions: Blue roses are often used to symbolize mystery or the chase and pursuit of the impossible since naturally blue roses don’t exist and are a result of dyeing.


When selecting roses for a special occasion, understanding the symbolism behind their colors can enhance the meaning and impact of your gesture.


How Occasions Dictate the Choice of Rose


bunch of roses


Different ceremonies dictate the type of rose one might choose. For instance:

  • Weddings: Typically dominated by white roses symbolizing pure love and union.
  • Anniversaries: Red or pink roses are favorites, symbolizing deep love and gratitude.
  • Birthdays: Depending on personal preferences, yellow for joy or lavender for admiration might be chosen.
  • Funerals: White for reverence, and sometimes red to symbolize the deep love for the departed.


The 7 Best Types of Roses for Special Occasions


Hybrid Tea Roses

Hybrid Tea Roses


Hybrid Tea Roses stand out for their iconic form; a tall, elegant stem topped with a singular, large bloom. This type boasts a variety of vibrant colors, each radiating a distinct fragrance. Often considered the most popular rose for floral arrangements, their long stems make them perfect for vase displays. They bloom in cycles, providing beauty throughout their growing season.

Best occasions: Due to their classical and romantic appearance, they are frequently chosen for weddings, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day bouquets.


Floribunda Roses

Floribunda Roses


Floribunda Roses, as their name suggests (‘floribunda’ means ‘many-flowering’), are known to produce bouquets of flowers on a single stem. These roses are hardy and relatively easy to care for. They offer a symphony of colors and often have a delightful scent that can fill a garden or room.

Best occasions: Their vibrant and cheerful appearance makes them the choice for celebratory events like garden parties, birthdays, and other jovial gatherings.


David Austin (English) Roses

David Austin (English) Roses


David Austin Roses are a blend of old garden rose charm and modern rose robustness, bloom size, and color range. These roses are renowned for their intricate petal structures, pleasant aromas, and large, globe-like shapes.

Best occasions: Their vintage look and rich fragrance make them perfect for romantic occasions, intimate proposals, and moments where an old-world charm is desired.


Climbing Rose

climbing roses


Climbing Roses are not true climbers in the way vines are, but they produce long canes that can be attached to trellises or walls. These roses come in various colors and often possess a sweet scent. When well-maintained, they can act as a living curtain of color.

Best occasions: Ideal for outdoor events, where they can be used to adorn arches, gates, and trellises, adding a fairytale touch to garden weddings or receptions.


Miniature Roses

Miniature Roses


These roses are a diminutive version of larger roses, often growing only 1 to 2 feet tall. Their petite size doesn’t compromise their beauty; they are perfectly proportioned and come in a range of colors.

Best occasions: Their dainty appearance makes them excellent for table arrangements, corsages, boutonnieres, or as part of gift bouquets.


Grandiflora Roses

Grandiflora Roses


A beautiful cross between the Hybrid Tea and Floribunda roses, Grandiflora Roses combine the best of both, showcasing large, distinctive blooms on tall, sturdy stems. They usually feature clustered bouquets and are known for their strong, heady scents.

Best occasions: Their majestic presence makes them suitable for significant ceremonies, stage decorations, and any event where a grand floral statement is required.


Groundcover Roses

Groundcover Roses


These roses are bred for their sprawling habit. They are low-maintenance, disease-resistant, and produce a plethora of small blooms. Their beauty lies in their ability to cover ground quickly, providing a carpet of color.

Best occasions: Perfect for outdoor ceremonies where a natural floral carpet is desired, pathway linings, or garden events where the surroundings play a crucial role.


Each of these roses carries its own unique charm and significance. Choosing the right one can truly accentuate and amplify the emotion and theme of any special occasion.


Caring for Your Special Occasion Roses


Special Occasion Roses


Caring for roses for special occasions involves ensuring these beautiful flowers remain fresh and vibrant during their display and beyond. Here are steps to ensure that roses shine on your special day:


1. Selection

Opt for fresh roses. The petals should be firm and buds slightly open. Avoid roses with wilted or brown edges.


2. Initial Care

As soon as you get them, remove any leaves that would be submerged in water, as they can rot and produce bacteria that can shorten the rose’s lifespan.

Give the stems a fresh cut. Cut about 1-2 inches off the bottom of the stem using sharp scissors or pruners, and make the cut at a 45-degree angle. This increases the surface area for water uptake.


3. Watering and Feeding

Use a clean vase and fill it with fresh, cold water. You can add a commercial floral preservative, which provides the roses with nutrients and reduces the growth of bacteria.

Change the water and trim the stems every 1-2 days. Every time you change the water, add a new floral preservative.


4. Location

Keep roses away from direct sunlight, heat, and drafts. These can cause the roses to wilt quickly.

Don’t place the roses near fruits or vegetables. Some produce, like apples and bananas, give off ethylene gas which can cause flowers to deteriorate faster.


5. Extra Touches for the Special Occasion

If you’re using the roses for a centerpiece, consider adding complementary flowers or greens to accentuate the roses and create a fuller display.

To revive roses that appear wilted, try submerging the entire rose – stem, leaves, and bloom – in a sink or bathtub of lukewarm water for 30-60 minutes. This can help rejuvenate the roses.


6. Preparing for the Occasion

If the event is outside, make sure the roses are displayed in a shaded area, or if it’s an evening event, ensure they are not exposed to direct sunlight throughout the day.

Roses can be misted with water to maintain freshness and enhance their appearance.


7. Post-occasion care

If you wish to dry and save the roses as mementos, hang them upside down in a cool, dry place for several weeks. Once dried, they can be displayed in arrangements or saved in keepsake boxes.






The timeless allure of roses makes them an irreplaceable part of life’s special moments. Choosing the right rose amplifies the emotions and sentiments of the occasion, making memories even more poignant.

From the ageless allure of the Hybrid Tea Roses to the sprawling beauty of Groundcover Roses, the perfect bloom for every occasion awaits. Flowers, especially roses, transcend mere aesthetics, becoming deeply intertwined symbols of our life’s most cherished moments. Should you wish to elevate your next special occasion with the exquisite charm of roses, look no further than Bourkes Florist. With years of expertise and a passion for floral artistry, we ensure your sentiments are perfectly captured in every petal. Ready to leave a lasting impression? Order your bespoke bouquet from Bourkes Florist and let us bring your heartfelt wishes to life, right at your doorstep.



Q: How long do freshly cut roses last?

Typically, with proper care, they can last 7-10 days.


Q: Does the number of rose petals or thorns have any particular significance?

Traditionally, petals symbolize love and thorns symbolize the challenges in love.


Q: Is it possible to customize the color of roses naturally?

While breeding can produce new shades, true customization might require dyes.


Q: How do I choose between a scented or non-scented rose for my event?

It’s a matter of personal preference; consider the event’s nature and attendee preferences.


Q: What are some eco-friendly alternatives to traditional rose arrangements?

Opt for locally grown roses, use reusable materials for arrangements, or choose living rose plants as decor.


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