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Flowers for Prom

With graduation quickly approaching you may be thinking about what to do for the flowers for your special evening, how to choose, what you need and where did the idea of wearing flowers come from? 

Throughout history people have adorned themselves with flowers. Think of the ancient Romans wearing laurel wreaths on their heads to signify victory or the flower crowns made famous by Frida Kahlo. Flower crowns and flower head pieces have made a recent resurgence in popular culture and are regularly seen on Hollywood's read carpets today. 

Traditionally corsage and boutonnieres have been in Vogue for Proms.  In french, corsage is "bouquet de corsage," meaning a bouquet of the bodice. A bodice is a part of the a woman's dress above the waist. In the 1900's as dress styles changed towards thin straps or strapless corsages moved from the bodice to a woman's wrist and became know as wristlets. 

Of course all the fancy words are french and that is just where the term "boutonniere" comes from, which means buttonhole! During the 19th century boutonnieres became popular for decorating a man's lapel. Famous men like Fred Astaire and Pierre Trudeau wore boutonnieres on a regular basis almost like trademarks. 

When choosing a boutonniere you'll want something that compliments your date and is usually one flower with a few greens and wrapped stems. Anything more than three flowers and you are in corsage territory! Light weight flowers such as roses and carnations are great options. You can get creative and use something like stems of wheat or lavender wrapped together. In recent years succulents have also been a popular option. At the end of the day you can choose something traditional or you can choose something unique that represents yourself. 


Boutonnieres are worn on the left lapel above the heart. Expensive suit jackets will have a buttonhole specifically for flowers and a way to attach them. As most men rent suit jackets for special events that will not have this feature floral designers specially wrap the stems and provide a pin to affix the flowers to the lapel. One little tip is to ensure that the flowers are sitting like they do in nature with the blooms facing upwards towards the sun.  

How to choose and who pays you might ask? We suggest that you talk with your date about what they would like or decide what you would like for yourself. Know your colors and flower choice and decide what combinations will look the best. Bring pictures of your outfits with you to the florist so they get an idea of your style. Traditionally the man pays for flowers for the woman and she pays for the boutonniere.  The flowers are exchanged when they meet for the evening as a gift. 

Still unsure what to do about flowers? Ask a professional floral designer. Our job is to help walk you through creative choices and assist you in finding the perfect adornment for prom.  You can also checkout the Prom Package from our website.

Writer and Photo Credit: Adele Hinkley 

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