While flowers certainly add beauty and a wonderful aroma to wedding ceremonies and receptions, there are other reasons behind their inclusion in such festivities. In ancient Rome, brides carried or wore flower garlands because the Romans believed flowers signified hope, fertility and new beginnings. In the Middle Ages, brides did not carry flowers, but rather strong-smelling spices and herbs. The rationale was that the herbs and spices would drive away bad luck and evil spirits. Flowers also served another practical purpose. In eras when bathing was a luxury, different flowers and herbs helped mask body odors. It wasn't until the Victorian era, when flowers were used to symbolize romantic love, that they became part of wedding ceremonies, according to Modern Weddings magazine.