Our daughter’s big day is coming up and we’re wondering about wedding bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages. How to choose them and how to distribute them? Do we take them to the church? Do the bridesmaids and groomsmen pick them up from us on the way to the church?
What colors should the boutonnieres be, or what color should they not be?
The bouquets are white, with shades of blues and pinks.
Likewise, who beside the bride, bridesmaids and mother of the bride and groom’s mother carry bouquets or wear corsages, and what colors should they be?
–MOB, Westport, CT
Dear MOB,Let's talk about the hours leading up to the ceremony and wedding bouquets and boutonnieres. Having the formal photos of the families and the bridal party taken ahead of time, prior to the ceremony, is popular for practical reasons. Because you want everyone participating in the photo taking, looking their best and not disheveled before they've had something to drink. Choosing a picturesque location along the route between the house of worship and the reception is ideal. It can even be outside the church, or on the grounds of the reception venue. After the reception begins swinging, nobody will want to be responsible for rounding up the bridal party for formal shots. Least of all the mother of the bride. Corralling the wedding party into formal photos after the ceremony, and before the reception, can be problematic and tiresome. When everyone is driving in different vehicles to the reception, there can be holdups delaying the arrival of the wedding couple at the wedding. For instance if they stop at a location along the way for the formal photos, it is easy to forget guests are waiting at the reception. The bridesmaids gather around the bride ceremonially in her home or hotel room to "dress" the bride and check one another's hair and makeup over ice tea and tea sandwiches. The groom meets his groomsmen and ushers at the church ahead of time where their boutonnière is either inserted into the buttonhole of their lapel or secured with a pin. The mother of the bride arrives at the church at about that time to supervise and she is the last person in the bridal party to be escorted to her seat. As the saying goes, the mother of the bride "shuts" the church door. Boutonnière is the French word for buttonhole. Traditionally they were worn by men for special occasions, less often now except at weddings and funerals to distinguish, members of the wedding party from the the guests. If a guest needs information, he looks for a groomsman or usher wearing a white, red, or blue cornflower in the button hole of his jacket's right lapel above the handkerchief pocket. A green flower is worn to declare homosexuality. Making sure a long straight pin is included with the boutonnière is helpful. Pushing the pin from inside the jacket out and in again tightly will secure the flowers calyx to the jacket. It goes without saying that any male guest can wear his own style of boutonnière. The ones you'll be providing (or the groom will be responsible for) are for: the groom, his father, his best man, his groomsmen and his ushers, as well as for the bride's father. Grandparents and uncles are optional, because when extended families extend to step-parents and their parents, it can get pricey. A white boutonnière is the most formal and certain holidays call for a specific color flower, but nowadays anything goes for a wedding. Personally, I like the blue cornflower, although they are often difficult to find. Wedding bouquets naturally reflect the flowers of the season and the bridesmaids' bouquets should be a smaller version of the brides' bouquet. In winter the flowers are deeper in color, in the fall they are the colors of autumn and in spring and summer you'll see anything from pastels to the brightest pinks, blues, yellows, and purples. More than likely the bridal bouquet includes at least one of the wedding colors, which is also found in the bridesmaids bouquets, boutonnières, corsages, table centerpieces and then again decorated on the wedding cake. Personally, I'm not a fan of corsages. I don't like making pin pricks in my clothing to attach them or having them crushed while dancing cheek to cheek. I wouldn't wear a wrist corsage either unless I was reliving my junior prom.