Centuries ago, couples often married for political reasons rather than love. In some cultures, marriages were arranged by parents. In these arranged marriages, the bride and groom did not meet before the wedding. Since procreation was the primary purpose of arranged marriages, fertility was a concern for the newlyweds. To symbolize the blessings of fertility and prosperity for the couple, flower girls carried sheaves of wheat and bouquets of herbs. In the present-day U. S. , these historical fertility symbols have been replaced by flowers or flower petals.