Flowers are some of the most versatile decorative and fashionable pieces. Flowers can be in a bouquet, a centerpiece, a flower crown, and smaller arrangements like a boutonniere or a corsage.


High school prom, homecoming, graduation, and weddings are some of the special events where you can use a smaller flower arrangement to bring a classy outfit together and complement with your date. After the event, you can preserve the arrangement to cherish the memories you made for a lifetime.


What is the difference between boutonnieres and corsages?

Both floral arrangements consist of a small bundle of flowers which can be pinned to clothing or tied around the wrist. Here is what you need to know about which accessory you can wear:

  • Bridesmaids and ladies going to prom often wear a corsage.
  • Groomsmen and young men during graduation and homecoming can pin a boutonniere, an even smaller flower arrangement on their tux.
  • In weddings, family members and sorority/fraternity members may also don this accessory.


As a little background, the French started this trend by wearing a “bouquet de corsage” pinned to the top of their dresses when attending weddings and funerals. When thinner straps and strapless dresses became popular, women started wearing corsages on their wrists. Boutonniere also comes from the French word for buttonhole. Women had encouraged their men to accessorize with flowers to identify them as a couple.


The right way to wear this accessory

Depending on the style of your outfit, you can pin the accessory on the left shoulder or lapel of your dress or tux. The accessory should be facing downwards. The pin should not show.


If you are wearing a strapless gown, you may don the corsage on the left side of the top bodice, left side of the top of the waist, or on your left wrist.


Who should buy the accessories?

The man should buy the corsage while the woman buys the boutonniere. On the day of the occasion, they exchange gifts and put on the accessory on their date. Parents and friends may also buy these accessories to give to one another. Some people also buy this accessory themselves.


How to choose the perfect accessory?

When buying the accessory for your date, it is wise to know if they have an allergic reaction to flowers and which types, their favorite flower, the color and style of their outfit, and the date of the event. Here are some tips on finding the right boutonniere and corsage:

  • Opt for hypoallergenic flowers in neutral colors.
  • Find out the style of your partner’s outfit to help your florist give you the best options that will complement and not work against the outfit.
  • Consider adding a special touch like rhinestones and a ribbon.
  • Hardy flowers make good choices when choosing flowers for your boutonniere and corsage. Roses and orchids are some example.
  • It is also good to know the symbolism of the flowers you choose: roses for romantic love, lilies for friendship, carnation for young love, and orchids for elegance.


Keep in mind that the flower arrangements you choose for your bridal party or for your prom date need not perfectly match. However, the flowers do need to look and feel harmonious. Opting for complementing colors, the same hue, or going with neutral colors can achieve this purpose.


What flowers to use in a boutonniere and corsage?

A boutonniere often has a single focal flower arranged with a stem of fillers like baby’s breath or leaves. As for a corsage, you may start with two stems of focal flowers and a single stem of greens or fillers. With both accessories, you may also opt to bundle up to two small secondary flowers in the arrangement.


  • Some good focal flowers to use for a boutonniere or a corsage are spray roses, white calla lilies, gerbera daisies, carnations or something exotic like Asiatic lilies or sunflowers.
  • Corsages can also be held as a small hand bouquet. You may opt to include secondary flowers in such arrangement. Some good secondary flowers are snapdragons, chrysanthemum pom poms, alstroemerias, delphiums, or Bells of Ireland.
  • For your fillers and greens, you can always go with baby’s breath flowers, asters, lily grass, leather leaves, or something fragrant like eucalyptus.


Keeping the flowers fresh

  1. It is best to ask your florist to deliver the boutonniere or corsage a day, or at most two days before the event. You may also pick up the flowers at your local flower shop Singapore a day before the event or on the same day if the event takes place in the evening.
  2. Also, it is good to order pre-order the flowers for at least a week prior to the event. However, you wouldn’t want to have the flowers delivered too early and left under your care for a long time.
  3. Once the flowers are with you, be sure to keep the flowers fresh by spraying cool water at the stem ends. Consider storing the flowers in the fridge if you need to keep them overnight before the event. However, don’t refrigerate the flowers for more than 24 hours. Also, do not place the flowers in the freezer. Opt for the shelves near the door instead.
  4. You may also use a sealant or spray the corsage or boutonniere with cool water before you head out to the event. This will ensure that the flowers will look fresh under camera lights and a long night of fun, dancing, and making memories.


After the event, don’t just throw your corsage and boutonnieres. You can air-dry them and place them in a scrapbook or as a wall décor. You can opt to keep the flowers your date gives you especially on special occasions.