My Little Etiquette Shop: Prom Posies and the Problems they Pose

It’s that time of year again, when you’ll see groups of teens looking awfully snazzy overtaking hotel ballrooms all over the country.  The occasion? You likely remember it well: Prom.  As this year’s crop of Juniors and Seniors gets ready to boogie down in their gowns and tuxes, we thought we’d tackle 2 of the etiquette questions that pop up when kids venture out into the wonderful world of social events. Have others? Send ’em in! We’ll revisit prom in a future blog post.

Succulent boutonniere suitable for wedding or prom
Boutonniere using succulent - perfect for prom or desert wedding

Q: Who orders and pays for the flowers?

A: Each date buys the others’ flowers (corsage or boutonniere as appropriate).  Mom, feel like taking over for your busy teen?  We actually recommend letting  your son or daughter handle this on their own.  It’s an important step for young people to learn how to operate in the world – making Prom arrangements with local businesses is a great start. Encourage your teen to order flowers, and to communicate with their dates to find out what they are wearing so that everything coordinates nicely.

Q:  What do I do if my date arrives and the flowers don’t match my outfit? Or are really ugly? Do I have to wear them?

A: Whatever those flowers look like, smile, say thank you, and put them on.  This is someone who you liked enough to go with to the Prom, and they are giving you a gift. Do you really want to crush them and start the evening off on a negative note?  Not good form. The exception to this rule is if you have allergies. If your corsage is going to make you sick, by all means thank your date, and explain that you’ll keep it at home to admire later due to your sensitivity to the particular bloom.

Corsages and boutonnieres have come a long way. Gone is the single rose and baby’s breath that was the mainstay of every prom and wedding in the eighties, replaced by succulents or other unexpected elements. The scratchy elastic bands have been replaced with silky ribbons and stretchy pearled bracelets.  Some girls even carry a small handheld bouquet.  Let your floral professional create a special memory for your big night.

Stay safe everyone!