This article is about corsage etiquette and boutonnieres and their tradition, which is part of wedding planning etiquette. Who wears what? Read all about it here.
The Tradition of the Corsage
Traditionally, only mothers and grandmothers wore them. Now it is acceptable for the bride to give corsages to close female friends and relatives.
They can be close friends, someone you count as family. It could also be a relative like an aunt, a Godmother – someone whom you treat like a mother.
Giving corsages is seen as a gesture of appreciation.
How to Practice Good Corsage Etiquette
Your mother could be planning to wear an elegant suit. A corsage pinned to her jacket will look great.
If you are in charge of getting the corsages, check if there is a color-theme for the wedding. Better yet, ask the bride and the groom if there is any preference.
After knowing what color your corsages ideally should be, you then take into consideration the color and design of the bridesmaids’ outfits.
It is also etiquette to check with the bride if there is a preference of where the corsages should be worn. If it doesn’t matter, you and corsage wearers are free to wear them anywhere they like.
If you are the bride who is providing the corsages, decide before hand if it matters where they wear it.
You can also consider this: Does it matter to you if they decide not to wear it?
Does it matter if everyone wears their corsages in different places?
This eliminates a few issues, as I will elaborate below.
Problems of the lack of Corsage etiquette
Here are some real life situations (problems) that I’ve encountered: When some asked to wear corsages…some people
makes them look stupid’
Tip of getting the right corsages
Get corsages in neutral colors, which makes matching them to outfits a breeze.
To make things easier, you could also
give them the freedom of wearing their corsages anywhere they like (or not).
For the Corsage Wearer
If you’re going to be wearing a corsage, it is good corsage etiquette to just be easy going and do whatever the bride wants.
The classic look
A boutonniere is a floral decoration worn by men, typically a single flower or bud.
These are the “corsages” men wear on their suit.
The rose, the orchid, and the mini calla lily are very popular and elegant boutonnieres choices.
For an elegant, classic and timeless look, opt for the rose and baby’s breath. For a modern feel (nonetheless elegant), pick smaller, sleeker boutonnieres.
Traditionally, the boutonniere should share a common element with the bride’s bouquet.
But I’ve found having the same color scheme works as well.
Consider also having a portable cooler handy so that you can store the boutonniere and wedding bouquet/corsages. This is especially so if they are going to be made hours before the wedding.
You could also check with your florist about this and find out which flowers are more ‘durable’. Some flowers don’t hold up well. You’ll want your corsages and boutonnieres looking as fresh as possible.
Tip. Always have spare corsages and boutonnieres AND a ‘back up’ wedding bouquet.
Who wears boutonnieres?
- The Groom
- The groomsmen
- The fathers of the bride and groom
- The ring bearer
- And the ushers, if you like.
The groomsmen’s boutonnieres should all match. You can have the groom’s boutonniere made a little ‘fuller’. But he should already stand out, so
it may not be necessary.
Elegant Corsage Etiquette Gallery
These are my favorite elegant corsages.
Elegant Orchid Corsage
Elegant Corsage bracelet
Many women prefer a wrist corsage that won’t be in their way, or make marks on their dresses.
Against using Corsages?
From The Wedding Book,
Though they embody a lovely sentiment, corsages can look outdated, especially on a mother in a slinky Badgley Mischa gown.
Without losing the significance of a corsage, you could consider these alternatives:
Corsage Etiquette Moments
Even though I love flowers, corsages and boutonnieres, I ‘get’ why she wrote that statement, especially in some Facebook wedding photos posted
by a long lost distant relative. Some corsage and boutonnieres’ fashion don’t age very well. Flip that wedding album in a few years and the dated look becomes
So I’ve included corsage alternatives for you to consider.
- A small bouquet (for your bridesmaids)
- Floral hair accessory
- A wristlet
- A pendant made out of little flower buds
- A corsage blouse pin (not made out of real flowers.)
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