Wedding corsages are a very old tradition that dates back to the ancient Greeks. They believed that strong fragrances could keep evil spirits away from the ceremony. The "security devices" consisted of very aromatic flowers and herbs that were carried by the bride in her bouquet and small nosegays given to attendants in the wedding party.
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We have seen many wedding traditions change through the years, but corsages have remained much as they were years ago, except for the fact that most people no longer believe in their ability to protect, but rather that they add color and fragrance that are aesthetically pleasing.
It is traditional to give corsages to the mothers of the bride and groom and the grandmothers. If you want to throw a wider net, you may wish to also give corsages to the officiant, if female, the guest book attendant, soloist and any other family members, or friends you would like recognized, such as the godmothers, female candle lighters, female ring bearers, and female wedding coordinator. If family members or friends will be servers at the reception, they too may be included. This "second tier" of corsages can be smaller versions of the one's given to the "main" participants.
As for the gentlemen, boutonnieres, also called buttonholes, are worn by the groom, groomsmen, ushers, and the fathers of the bride and groom. If someone other than her father is escorting the bride down the aisle, he too should be given a boutonniere to wear. The bride may also wish to give a boutonniere to the minister or officiant, if he is not wearing a robe.
These very helpful instructions were sent to us by an anonymous florist.
Attaching and Wearing a Buttonhole:
1- Worn on the left-hand side -a man's buttonhole should be worn on the outside of the buttonhole of the left lapel: Not in the button hole.
2- It is usually secured by placing a pearl-headed pin from the back of the lapel. The pin will then be invisible from the front.
3- If the gentleman has a gold or a decorative pin he wants to show it off. Then the boutonniere (buttonhole) can be pinned the from the front.
4- The buttonhole is traditionally worn on the left lapel, because it's above the heart, but may be worn on either side. Whichever lapel, the groom and groomsmen must all wear their buttonholes on the same side.
5- The stems of the buttonholes point down.
How to Pin on and Wear a Corsage:
1- With one hand behind the corsage and the other holding the stem of the corsage, flowers facing away from the wearer and toward the wearer, place the corsage at a slight angle on the dress or lapel. This is an average of about 4 inches in from the tip of the left shoulder.
2- Make sure that the corsage is evenly placed on the lapel before attempting to pin it.
3- Use a Corsage Pin to pin into the fabric at the bottom left corner of the stem.
4- Weave the pin back out from under the fabric. Push it through about 1 inch, laying it at an angle over the top of the corsage stem.
5- Stick the tip of the pin back into the fabric on the other side of the stem. Insure that the stem is tightly in place with the length of the pin pushing it down.
6- Weave the pin back out of the fabric once more. Be sure that the very tip of the pin does not stick out, nor does it poke under the fabric and touch the skin.
7- Repeat this process with the Corsage pin at the top left corner of the stem, just under the heads of the flowers.
8- Two Corsage pins will help to support the weight of heavy flowers on delicate attire.
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