E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Orange Blossoms Worn at Weddings.
The Saracen brides used to wear orange blossoms as an emblem of fecundity; and occasionally the same emblem may have been worn by European brides ever since the time of the Crusades; but the general adoption of wreaths of orange blossoms for brides is comparatively a modern practice, due especially to the recent taste for flowerlanguage. The subject of bridal decorations being made a study, and the orange flower being found suitable, from the use made of it by the ancient Saracens, it was introduced by modistes as a fit ornament for brides. The notion once planted, soon became a custom, now very generally adopted by those who study the conventions of society, and follow the accepted fashions. (See OLIVE.)
To gather orange blossoms. To look for a wife. A bride wears orange blossoms to indicate the hope of fruitfulness, no tree being more prolific. An orange tree of moderate size will yield three or four thousand oranges in a year; and the blossom being white, is a symbol of innocence and chastity. The orange was also used by Cardinal Wolsey as a pomander. It is said that some sweet oranges turn bitter by neglect.