The Best Bonsais For Wedding Gifts: Signs of Patience and Care
Welcome to chapter 7 of our Office Executive series! While the other parts deal with you and your productivity, this section looks at others that you work with or know in your life. Specifically, we’ll look at which bonsais are ideal as wedding gifts and the symbols they portray.
It can be challenging deciding what would be the best present for someone who’s getting married. Fortunately, we have the perfect idea that can’t fail, even if they don’t like plants! It will help them build a strong relationship throughout their marriage.
We’ll cover the following topics in this article:
We’ll cover the following topics in this article:
Bonsai Trees Have Beautiful Symbolism
Trees have always had magical meanings throughout time. If you look at some religious texts, you’ll find mention of the Tree of Life and Knowledge at the start of time. Even folklore and fiction hold trees in high esteem. The same can be said about bonsais, which are merely miniature versions of nature.
It’s not only religious beliefs that attribute these symbols but government entities too. If you look at every country, you’ll notice they have a national flower or tree. With that, there are usually some attributes mentioned that connect them to the land, such as strength, prosperity, and perseverance.
Sometimes, trees take on a specific meaning related to the country. For instance, pomegranate fruit is extremely popular in Armenia, as they use it in wine, food, and decorations. The symbols the residents associate with it are fertility, marriage, and abundance, all values they hold in high esteem.
It’s thanks to this beautiful symbolism that bonsais make outstanding wedding gifts. There’s a special meaning connected to the species that the couple can take with them into their marriage. What’s more, they live for hundreds of years, which means it could be their marital companion for the rest of their lives.
Four Ways Bonsais Are Great For Weddings
Besides having a specific meaning, there are four ways in which bonsais are ideal for weddings. You can mention these in your message to the couple attached to the gift, but we’ll take a more detailed look at that later.
Representing a New Life
In the same way that the couple will embark on their new journey together, you can help them symbolize that marriage with new life. It doesn’t matter if it’s a sapling or a mature tree that’s ten years old. It’s something they can both treasure and see as a new beginning that they will embark on together.
Centerpieces at Weddings
If you don’t really want to give a bonsai away, you can place it as a centerpiece at a wedding. For this plan to work properly, you should consider the tree’s size in proportion to the surrounding area. You don’t want a tiny bonsai on a massive table in a large hall. You also have the option to place several flowering trees clustered as the main attraction.
There are some bonsai species that are symbols of love and fidelity. We’ll cover them in our article a bit later; suffice it to say that they will represent the passion and love the couple feels for each other. When they reach hard times in their marriage, they can always look back at the tree as a reminder of the love they share.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can have custom-made designs personalized for the couple. You can add small animal decorations if you know what they live, or even fairies if they’re into the supernatural. There are some custom shops that will place their names on the pot with the date and venue of the wedding. You can also add some birthstones or crystals as a final touch.
What Bonsais Teach Married Couples
The bonsai meanings are tied to what it teaches the married couple in the long run. Some gifts won’t last the night, while others will last for a few years. Bonsais have deeper symbols attached to them that contain lifelong lessons. It’s essential that you mention it to them when you hand them the gift.
Here are a few examples of what bonsai gifts will teach married couples:
- Patience: In the same way that they’ll need to wait for the tree to grow, they need to have patience with each other as their relationship becomes stronger.
- Resilience: Bonsais can withstand diseases and bounce back after becoming ill when proper care is given; they need to stand fast against adversities and always work together to overcome them.
- Attentive care: It’s not enough to simply place a bonsai in light and give it water before walking away; they need to inspect for problems and prune back where there’s too much growth. Marriage requires the same attentive care, even after several years.
- Constant Maintenance: There will never be a time where they won’t need to work on their bonsai; every season requires something. Marriage will require hard work, especially when times are tough.
- Lifelong companions: In a world where divorce and separation are the easy ways out, it helps to remember that marriage should be a lifelong commitment. If they give each other the proper care, like a bonsai, they can expect a wonderful journey until their last days together.
- Hope: There are plenty of bonsais that are symbols of hope. When times seem dark, it’s great to have some hope that it will get better, like the bonsai remaining dormant in winter knowing that spring is around the corner.
The Top Bonsai Species as Wedding Gifts
We’ve gone into great detail explaining why bonsais would make ideal wedding gifts. With the extensive introduction out of the way, it’s time for us to show you which species we recommend. There are plenty of others you can try, but these are the top ones we feel would make truly outstanding presents for the reasons we’ll explain in each section.
Keep in mind that these are objective, and you’ll need to review each one on a personal level. It helps if you know the recipients’ personalities or the background of how they met. In that way, you can tie the bonsai tree to their relationship in an intimate way.
Cherry Blossom (Prunus serrulata)
The Cherry Blossom is a tree that grows natively in Korea, China, Russia, and Japan. It has stunning pink flowers that will make any wedding ceremony look beautiful, especially if you have a few in select locations. The racemose clusters will make the couple feel like renewing their love for each other then they appear in spring.
When it comes to marital symbolism, the Cherry Blossom tree represents a door closing and a new one opening. It’s ideal for the couple to end their private lives apart and starting a new one together. Other symbols which speak to building a strong relationship include honesty, stability, equality, balance, goodness, sweetness, and strength.
It’s easy to care for the Cherry Blossom bonsai tree. If you can supply it with enough sun in spring and summer for the flowers, you should balance it with sufficient water without flooding the leaves. It also enjoys regular feeding with fertilizer to keep up its strength for producing blossoms.
Chinese Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis)
As you may tell from the bean-like pods that the Chinese Wisteria produces, it belongs to the legume family, Fabaceae. It grows natively in several Chinese provinces, but the species has traveled to the west due to bonsai collectors. The violet flowers will make a beautiful floral arrangement for any table.
In terms of symbolism, the top meaning is love, sharing its passionate energy with the married couple. It also represents beauty, creativity, and fertility that are all essential aspects for the newlyweds. Finally, it presents everlasting wisdom and life, which means you can expect it to remain with them for several decades.
Of course, they’ll need to give it the proper care to nurture both their relationship and the Chinese Wisteria bonsai. To encourage blooming, you’ll need to wait until the tree is 10 years old and practice proper pruning. It loves loads of water, full or partial sunlight, and hard pruning in winter.
White Jasmine (Jasminum officinale)
The White Jasmine has several interesting names, such as Summer, Poet’s, or True Jasmine, while some use the nickname Jessamine. It grows natively in several continents, most notably in Europe and Asia. Pakistan has it as the national flower, while many gardeners in the tropical regions love placing it for the scent.
While the White Jasmine bonsai also represents love, we’re selecting this one for purity. It also symbolizes fidelity, beauty, motherhood, and sensuality. You can always gift this tree to a married couple who are looking to bring the spark back to their relationship.
It loves the bright light in the warmer seasons and may enjoy being outside in the garden or on a balcony. It will soak the sunlight to produce wonderful flowers, but you’ll need to avoid letting the soil dry out. You can spray the leaves in summer, but it’s best if you use a humidity tray in winter.
Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)
The Coast Redwood is one of the most popular trees from the Sequoia genus to grow as a bonsai. It’s evergreen in nature, so you don’t need to worry about leaves dropping in autumn unless it isn’t receiving the proper care. It’s commonly found in California and along the coasts of Oregon.
Some say that a Redwood forest presents nature’s cathedral, and the top symbols are longevity and vitality. Other meanings include wisdom, wellness, and safety. When it comes to the married couple, it also represents communication, and the bonsai will be a reminder that they should always speak openly to each other.
As the Coast Redwood is used to outdoor, coastal environments, you’ll want to ensure sufficient sunlight and humidity. Try to ensure that there’s shade in the peak afternoon so that the leaves don’t burn. You’ll need to give it enough water to reach the roots at the bottom of the pot.
White Rabbit’s Foot Fern (Humata tyermanii)
This fern is native to the Canary Islands, and you can grow it as a small bonsai if you train it enough. Buyers love the fern leaves and making them smaller via design maintenance. The silver rhizomes cascade over the side of the pot, which looks like a white rabbit foot.
The main symbolism of the White Rabbit’s Foot bonsai is love and good fortune. When times seem to be at their worst, it helps to have a bit of divine intervention to pull you through. You can give it to the married couple as a blessing for the rest of their lives together.
In this instance, you only want to provide indirect light, and it can also handle low-light conditions. While not overwatering, ensure that the soil never dries out. You’ll want to keep it away from draughts while maintaining a warm environment.
Snowrose (Serissa japonica)
Image courtesy of 3.0 United States
As the only species in the Serissa genus, the Snowrose tree is native to the sub-tropical regions of Asia. It grows most notably in China, Japan, and India. It has several other common names, such as Tree of a Thousand Stars and Japanese Boxthorn.
Among the several meanings of the Snowrose bonsai, the top ones include harmony, ordered thoughts, peace, balance, good wishes and health. While all of these are essential for a healthy marriage, the one you might want to aim for is protection. It shows them that you care about their relationship and want them to remain safe from harm.
While it loves the sun, you should ensure that it’s protected from the wind to avoid damage to the delicate branches and leaves. The rootball enjoys being moist, but avoid overwatering the bonsai at all costs. Give it enough humidity, and try to use soil and fertilizer with neutral pH levels.
Japanese Red Cedar (Cryptomeria Japonica)
Here’s another species that’s the only one in its genus, forming part of the cypress family. While it’s native to Japan where they call it “Sugi” (which means “Hair Tree”), the tree can also be found in some parts of China. It’s popular for its hardwood, which is used for wood production.
As far as symbolism goes, the Japanese Red Cedar represents purification, endurance, spiritual protection, and immortality. The one meaning we want to bring across here is healing. There will be times where the couple will feel hurt or betrayed, for such is human nature. Spending time with this bonsai together will help the healing process and make them stronger together.
You can easily place this bonsai in full light, but you’ll need to protect it from excessive heat. You should also ensure that there’s over enough water, as the roots become quite thirsty in summer. It helps if you increase the humidity to help cool the foliage.
Japanese Camellia (Camellia japonica)
In many regions, this species is also known as the Japanese Rose tree. It produces a beautiful red flower that looks almost like a rose, but it’s actually part of the tea family, Theaceae, in the Asterids clade. Despite the name, it’s also native to Korea, China, and Taiwan.
The bonsai can take on different meanings, depending on the bloom and flower color. For the most part, it signifies perfection, refinement, divinity, and noble death. When it comes to marital bliss, we’re opting here for faithfulness. As the years roll on, it will be a constant reminder to stand fast against any temptations outside the marriage.
The Japanese Camellia bonsai is fond of soil with a slightly acidic touch, and you’ll need to keep it well-drained. It loves partial shade with just a kiss of sunlight in the morning. You’ll have to protect it from strong winds and cold temperatures.
Wild Olive (Olea europaea)
Olives are well known for the fruit worldwide, where many who consume them will tell you it’s an acquired taste. The olive family actually plays host to several plants and trees you might know, such as jasmines, lilacs, ash trees, and Forsythias. As a bonsai, it’s one of the most popular species for beginners since it’s so easy to maintain.
Many religious sects praise the olive tree for being a symbol of peace. You may see images of a white dove carrying an olive branch in its beak. You can present it to the married couple as a wish for peace in their relationship, even when times are dark. Other meanings of the wild olive include prosperity, happiness, purification, and friendship.
When you supply the bonsai will direct sunlight, it will reduce the leaf size, which is what you want. Watch out that the soil doesn’t dry with so much light in the day, always checking that there’s enough moisture. It needs strong pruning when winter arrives and make sure you supply it with enough weekly food when you see growth start appearing.
Hazel (Corylus avellana)
Yes, we’re referring to the common Hazel that produces the fruit that so many people enjoy eating. It’s native to several countries in Europe, and it belongs in the Birch family surprisingly. It has stunning green leaves, and it’s possible to prune back so that it produces smaller sizes.
The three primary symbols of the Hazel bonsai are wisdom, knowledge, and inspiration. All of these are essential, as you’ll often need to make significant decisions in the marriage towards a better future. Inspiration also helps when the couple wants to do something creative together.
While the Hazel bonsai loves full sunlight, you may need to protect it with some shade when the peak heat arrives. It needs feeding every two weeks in summer, while you’ll need to provide daily watering when it’s hot. Watch out for powdery mildew that loves to infect this species.
Factors to Consider when Gifting Bonsais for a Wedding
Now that we’ve presented our best bonsais for wedding gifts, we’d like to show you some elements to consider before you go on a buying spree. There are some species you can present that shouldn’t have any issues. However, this isn’t always the case, and the recipients may feel you are inconsiderate.
In some cases, it depends on what they prefer or any side-effects of the bonsais. In others, it relates to their circumstances and whether they can actually care for the tree, financially and with enough space. Either way, here’s a quick list of what you need to look at.
For Office or Home?
Firstly, are you planning to give it to a colleague to keep in the office to remind them of their partner? If so, you should consider one of the bonsais we recommended for the office in one of our previous chapters in this series. Not all trees can handle living in a corporate environment, so you’ll need to select a species you know will do well.
You’ll also need to know what the conditions are like in the work environment or at home. Will there be an air conditioner, and how much humidity will be available. Of course, you can aim for a species that’s incredibly forgiving under any conditions and trust that the couple will sort out the rest.
Whether they keep it in the office or home, it helps to know how much space they have to place it in. We understand these details may not be readily available, so you may need to ask around and see if anyone knows.
If you don’t really want to ruin the surprise, you can aim for a small bonsai that they can grow as large as they like. It helps if you and your colleague are close, as it will mean you’ll already know this information and won’t need to discuss it prior to the wedding. Again, look for a species that’s easy to maintain whether large or small.
Another aspect you should discuss with the married couple when you hand the gift is how much light the bonsai needs. They may be moving into an apartment with low light or staying on a farm where direct light is easy to come by. You can engage with your colleague to discuss it, but tell them it’s a surprise. They’ll never see it coming.
Of course, you can take the easy way out and choose a bonsai that can thrive under any conditions. Ficus trees can manage with most light conditions, and you generally don’t have to stress too much about maintenance.
One vital aspect you’ll need to consider is whether any of them have allergies to pollen or are asthmatic. While we know several asthmatics that care for bonsais anyway, your colleague may not appreciate a closed chest or sore sinus when spring arrives. They may become quite dissatisfied with your present.
If you know of any allergies or sinus issues, you can opt for conifers that don’t produce flowers but develop cones instead. We made sure to add a few to our list above for this exact reason.
What to Write in the Wedding Note
Alright, so you chose the bonsai, you’ve purchased it, and you’re ready to give it to them. It’s time to write a beautiful missive to go with the wedding present, showing them how much thought you put into it. But, what do you put down, and how do you phrase it? Have you hit writer’s block?
We know how you feel, as this has happened to us several times. We have some ideas of how you can phrase your message, but you’ll need to decide on the right approach. You can also alter some of the ideas to make them more personal.
Focus on the Symbols That Mean the Most for the Marriage
At the start of this article, we shared some of the bonsai meanings that have stretched through the sands of time. There are plenty of others you can look at, so always be sure to perform proper research. Try to analyze each symbolism and see which one suits the married couple the most.
With that in mind, script your note around that singular point. For instance, resilience will speak to the vow of always being there for each other in tough times. If a bonsai has several meanings, you can discuss all of them and how it relates to the couple.
Emphasize the Journey of Life
One of the most significant aspects of marriage today is that the couple sees it as a journey through life together. They need to understand that they’re in it for the long haul, and they can expect several obstacles trying to tear them apart.
Since most bonsai trees can live for more than 100 hundred years, your gift will symbolize that life journey together. Every time they care for it, it’s a reminder that they’re there for each other through the good and the bad times.
Let it be a Reminder of the Anniversaries
Another good idea is to place the date of the wedding on the container, if possible. In that way, they’ll see the reminder whenever they water or feed the bonsai tree. While no one wants to forget an anniversary, it’s easy to do when life becomes complicated after a few years or when something goes wrong.
Of course, you shouldn’t expect them to take the tree to dinner with them every year when they celebrate. However, your note can encourage them to spend a moment by the bonsai to remember how they felt when you gave them the gift.
Cherishing Each Other
Another primary focus of your wedding missive is that they cherish each other in the time they share together. Life is short, and anything can happen to them, in the same way, that an ailment can hit the bonsai tree. While you shouldn’t focus on any dark themes, it’s a kind reminder to treasure every moment.
If you want to take it a step further, you can mention how the bonsai can call their attention to their partner, and how their loved one needs as much love and care and the small tree.
Creating a Legacy
While you may not know if they plan on having children one day, you can tell them how the bonsai tree will be their legacy. They can hand it down to someone when their final moments in this life arrive, and their love can remain on this world, passed on to someone else who can continue the adoration.
There are plenty of old bonsais that have survived for centuries, and you can find them in museums today. One day, there could be a small tree in memory of them, or perhaps someone can plant it by their grave in the ground to grow into a massive tree for all time. Just remember to keep the message positive.
Don’t Put Too Much Pressure On Them
As a final note, we’d like to mention that you shouldn’t place too much pressure on them. The last thing you want to do is make them feel like their relationship is failing because the bonsai is dying. It needs to be seen as a reinforcing element in their life, but it doesn’t reflect how well or how bad their partnership is.
For this reason, it’s essential that you select the correct species, especially if they’re beginners in the world of bonsai.
Presenting a bonsai as a wedding gift is one of the most beautiful presents you can give. There are plenty of symbols and meanings attached to various species, and you’ll be spoilt for choice. You can either just wing it, or you can make an effort and actually select one that has the most potential to enrich their marriage.
Of course, it all depends on whether they like plants or not. You don’t want to find out they abandoned it and it died. It may be best to tell them to please let you know if they can’t manage, and you’ll gladly look after it for them as a sign of their love.