When you’re planning your wedding there are loads of traditions, etiquette and ideas to keep you busy.  Obviously it’s entirely up to you what you’ll go for on your wedding day.  You can keep it sweet and simple or you can turn the day into a mega party with all the trimmings you could possibly think of.

In order to help your planning, we've answered some of the frequently asked questions.

What are wedding corsages or boutonnieres?

Corsages are flowers worn on the body. The word ‘corsage’ is French and refers to the item of ladies’ clothing to which the little bunch of flowers would have been attached to in the days that corsages were actually worn.

Gentlemen wear their flowers in the buttonhole of their suit (= boutonniere in French).  Corsages or boutonnieres have been worn throughout history in many parts of the world.  These days, corsages are worn on special occasions such as weddings, proms or special birthdays.

Corsages and boutonnieres/ buttonholes may be different for men and women but often enough they're exactly the same.  It's your choice! 

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Who wears wedding corsages and who wears boutonnieres?

Are they really necessary?  Or are they outdated? 

Traditionally, the mother of the bride and her grandmothers wore a wedding corsage but it’s now popular for the mother of the groom, aunts, godmothers, & close friends to wear a corsage as well.  Being given a corsage to wear is often felt as a gesture of appreciation.

The boutonniere is traditionally worn by the groom, his father, best man, ushers, the father of the bride and the ring-bearer.  The groom’s boutonniere may be slightly fuller than that of the others to make sure he really stands out. 

Traditionally, the main bloom of the boutonniere would have been taken from the bride’s bouquet, to symbolise unity.  However, these days everything goes and you’re quite free to plan your wedding as you like best. 

You can use any flower combination, silk flowers, bling or peacock feathers for your corsages and boutonnieres.  If you want the entire wedding party to wear corsages/ boutonnieres, that’s entirely up to you.  It’s certainly symbolic for everyone to wear the same bloom.

On the other hand, you can choose not to have any corsages or boutonnieres at all.  They’re not essential for a wedding. You may want to have a few small bunches of flowers (tussie mussies) for a number of people instead.

An option is also to make your own corsages the day before your wedding.  That’s not as difficult as you may imagine and a great way to enjoy spending quality time with your friends & family who you can ask to help.  Check out this video on how to make a corsage using stephanotis flowers and baby's breath.

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How to wear a wedding corsage

Is there a particular side is a corsage is worn on?  Can a corsage be worn in the hair, on the wrist or a handbag?

Traditionally, a corsage is worn over the heart, meaning on the left hand side of the chest. 

You’ll find that not everyone likes to wear their corsage on their chest, though.  Some worry that their outfit may be ruined by a heavy corsage pinned to it.  The solution here is to use light-weight corsages that fix by means of a magnet. 

You can also leave it up to your guests how they want to wear their corsage.  If they want to fix it to their handbag, in their hair or on their wrist then that’s also an option.  Because hair, wrist or handbag corsages are attached in different ways, it may be worth checking with your guests up-front.

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Who pays for corsages and boutonnieres?

Traditionally, the bride's family pay for all the floral arrangements at a wedding, with the exception of the bridal bouquet, flowers for the mother-of-the-bride, bridesmaids, buttonholes and corsages.  These are traditionally paid for by the groom.

 

In summary, these days everything's possible with weddings.  The decisions you make for your big day are yours.  Maybe your family (-in-law)  is very particular about certain aspects.  It's polite to take these into account.  

Your budget is obviously also a consideration.  Buying ready-made corsages for all your guests isn't cheap, considering that you'll probably also want a fabulous bridal bouquet, something for the bridesmaids and floral decoration for your venue(s).

Silk flowers are an option, of course.  Maybe you can hire displays to decorate your venue?  

However, if your heart is fixed on the real thing, then having a go at making your own may be a fun thing-to-do as part of your hen party.  Being creative with flowers is a great stress-relief!  You can buy magnetic corsage holders here.  Reasonably priced wholesale wedding flowers are availble here.