Boutonnieres and corsages always spark a lot of conversation in my consultations. Many people have strong opinions and many brides have no idea what the proper etiquette dictates.
Traditionally, boutonnieres and corsages are for the men in the bridal party, grandparents, parents, ushers, readers, and any other persons involved with the wedding. Brides adapt this list in many ways, depending upon the circumstances and what they feel is appropriate. Here are a few key I talk through with my clients when determining how many boutonnieres and corsages they need:
Modern Etiquette for Boutonnières + Corsages:
- If it will offend someone to not have a boutonnière or corsage, you should get him or her one. No need to hurt your new mother in law’s feelings.
- If it will honor someone and they have value for it, you should get them a corsage. Most often, grandma will want a corsage.
- If your groomsmen are wearing pocket squares you do not need to get them one. A pocket square and a boutonniere are a little much, pick one.
- Men in uniform do not receive one.
- If you have a personal relationship with your officiant, you should get them one.
- Less than 3 years old, skip the ring bearer. 3-7 years old, put the boutonniere on a magnet (the younger ones could swallow the magnet).
Other Things to Consider:
- If it’s going to be extra warm/cold the flowers will probably wilt.
- If there’s a long break between your ceremony and the reception, the flowers will probably not make it. You will need additional boutonnieres for the reception.
- If you have a hug-y crowd, flowers on the chest will likely get smashed
- Although boutonnieres and corsages are fairly inexpensive individually, when numbers start to go up, it gets pretty pricey. Would you rather have flowers for everyone or a beautiful focal point arrangement?
- If you’d like to honor someone with flowers, why not send them home with a centerpiece after the wedding. That way they can enjoy the flowers for a longer period of time.