Wedding Flower Etiquette: Boutonniere & Corsage

Updated July 19, 2017

Planning a wedding is no small task. A bride has so much to think about and details to attend to leading up to her big day. Worrying about boutonnière and corsage etiquette should not be on a bride's mind while she is preparing for the wedding. Learn boutonnière and corsage etiquette before the big wedding day. Being prepared and armed with knowledge of how to pin a boutonnière and who should receive a corsage will help reduce stress on the day and the chance of offending someone special.

Who Gives Boutonnieres & Corsages

Traditionally, the groom is responsible for giving floral corsages to both the bride's and groom's mother and grandmothers. The groom is also responsible for giving boutonnières to the groomsmen. Though it's traditional that these flowers be given by the groom, many modern couples decide on the colour and design of the corsages and groomsmen's boutonnières together while they are choosing other wedding flowers. Other guests that could receive and wear flowers include the guest book attendant, soloist, pianist or godparents. The officiant can wear a boutonnière or corsage if not wearing a robe.

How to Pin a Boutonniere

A boutonnière is to be worn on the left lapel, just above the heart. Pin the boutonnière over, not in, the button hole with the stem pointing downward. The flower or flowers are usually attached to the lapel with a pearl headed pin from the back. The pin should not show from the front.

How to Pin a Corsage

Pin a corsage about 4 inches from the tip of the left shoulder and above the heart. Pin the corsage at a slight angle with the stems of the flowers pointing downward. Use a corsage pin and poke it into the fabric starting from the bottom left portion of the stem. Weave it carefully between the stem and the fabric. The tip of the pin should not stick out or poke the wearer.

Other Boutonniere & Corsage Etiquette

It's considered courteous to choose corsage flowers in a neutral colour so that they will not clash with the wearer's clothing. Boutonnières can be given to the bridal couple's fathers and grandfathers. Even when it is appropriate to give a boutonnière and corsage, they should not be worn by members of the military when in uniform.

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About the Author

Stephanie Kelley has been writing articles and columns online for SGM Radio and SGN Scoops Digital since 2005. She has a Bachelor of Arts in art history/anthropology from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. and writes on a number of topics including art, frugal living, children and travel.