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Flowers are one of the great fringe benefits of the prom. The perfect corsage or boutonniere can be the perfect touch to your event. How should you go about buying a corsage or boutonniere for your date? What kind of corsage is best? How much should you expect to pay?

A boutonniere is a small pinning of one or two flowers. If the bud is large enough, one flower might be enough. The boutonniere should be subtle enough to blend in with your date's tux, but yet still add a touch of class. Roses are most commonly used for the boutonniere. If you date has already talked to you before he got your corsage, use this to your advantage. If you know, get the same kind of flower for his boutonniere that he got for your corsage. This will be a great touch defining you as a "couple"! Just like a corsage, the price of a boutonniere depends on how extravagant you decide to be. The average boutonniere should cost you around $5 - $15.

A corsage, for those of you who don't know, is a small "bouquet" of usually two or three flowers. There are two different kinds of corsages: pin-on corsages and wrist corsages. The average corsage can have anywhere from one to four flowers on it. It is usually tied with a ribbon to match your date's dress.

First, let's tackle your decision on corsage style. Franky, most girls prefer a wrist corsage. They don't have to worry about getting stabbed or squashing the corsage when they dance. Also, with many of today's strapless, form-fitting, or spaghetti-strap dresses, there's simply no room for the traditional pin-on one. You can ask your date about her preference, but chances are she'll choose a wrist corsage.

Your next decision is on flowers. Roses and carnations are the traditional corsage flowers, but roses are a much more romantic choice for prom. The best colors for the flowers are either white or red. It is best if you choose a corsage with two flowers. This creates a "balanced" corsage, plus too many flowers can make the corsage look like a whole bunch of greenery. (Not the look you're going for, trust me!)

Now, you must choose a ribbon for the corsage. This is when co-ordinating with your date is KEY! You must know her dress color (and specifically) when you select the ribbon. The ribbon must match. If you don't want to ask her about her dress color (or she wants to surprise you,) then ask one of her friends. They will be glad to find out for you, and chances are they already know. When your corsage matches her dress perfectly, she'll be thrilled and surprised. The extra work here will definately be worth it.

Finally, how much should you expect to pay? The prices can range from $10 to an upwards of $35. It all depends on your choice of flowers and how extravagant you decide to be. If you go to a grocery store like Kroger's, you can get a very nice corsage for around $10. Remember - more is not always better!



Some of you have emailed and asked me specific questions about corsages and boutonnieres. The boutonniere or pin-on corsage is usually pinned on the date's right lapel or dress. Be very careful with the pin; they hurt! I stabbed my date out of nervousness once and got so unnerved I had to make him mom help me finish pinning it! So just relax, take your time, and have fun!