Corsage Etiquette

~To Pin or Not To Pin~

Corsage Etiquette is a vital bit of knowledge to have when you are getting married, attending a formal dance (like prom), or celebrating a special day. It can be a touchy subject, literally. This page will guide you through so that you don't have one of those 'awkward moments' with a corsage.

wrist corsageTraditionally corsage etiquette had the flowers pinned onto the dress or suit, for men and women alike. Modern etiquette allows the corsages to be worn on the wrist, in her hair, on her hand bag, on the waist band or even on a hat. There are a lot of options available. Corsage etiquette has it worn on the left side, always.

A corsage for a man is called a boutonniere. They are smaller and tailored for a man to wear on the lapel of his suit. Boutonniere etiquette states that is should always be worn on the left lapel, pinned to the button hole, with the flowers pointing up.

The most popular place for the ladies to wear a corsage is on their wrist. It is a very pretty and, believe it or not, functional way to wear her flowers.  A wrist corsage will also avoid the moment of, "How & Where do I pin this on?" Many fathers of young girls appreciate the wrist corsage.

For the Wedding Party

Traditionally the bridesmaids have carried a small bouquet of flowers, instead of wearing a pinned corsage. Wrist corsages are becoming more popular, as they allow the bridesmaids to have their hands free for greeting the wedding guests. Good wedding etiquette will have all of the bridesmaids wearing their corsages on  p their left wrist preferably. If that is not an option, just make sure that they are worn the same way on everyone.  They are a beautiful way to compliment the flowers in the bride's bouquet.


Young men, good prom etiquette will have you ask your date the colors she is planning on wearing before you order her corsage. It is also okay to ask her what type of corsage she prefers. When you order, keep the corsage simple. One of the dates I attended a dance with in high school bought me a wrist corsage that covered my entire forearm. The flowers were very beautiful, however keeping it in place was another story.

As you present your date with her corsage, open the box and then hand it to her to look at. She will more than likely ooh and aah over it with her mother for a few seconds.

Depending on the type of corsage you have purchased, here is where it gets a little tricky.  If you are smart and have chosen a wrist corsage, then slip it carefully out of the box and slide the corsage onto her left wrist. If you have chosen a pinned corsage.... let her or her mother pin it on. This is good corsage etiquette. You will avoid the "what do you think you are doing?" eyes from her parents, especially her father.

Pinning A Corsage

Like everything in life, pinning a corsage on can be simple. Following a few steps will help you place it securely in the right place.
  1. Take the corsage in one hand, with the flowers pointing towards you. Come in about 4 inches from the left shoulder, on a suit it is the button hole on the lapel. Slightly angle the flowers toward the shoulder. corsage pinning
  2. Using the Corsage Pins, pin the flower to the suit or dress beginning at the bottom left corner of the stem.
  3. Next, weave the pin back out of the fabric by pushing it through and laying it at a slight angle over the corsage stem.
  4. Now stick the tip of the pin back into the suit or dress on the other side. Make sure the stem is in place with the pin holding it in place.
  5. Bring the pin out of the fabric again. Make sure that the tip of the pin is not poking out or into the skin.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 using the second Corsage Pin. This time, however, start at the top left corner of the stem, right under the flowers. Both pins are necessary to secure the corsage and keep it from sagging.
Now that wasn't so bad was it?

Wearing corsages adds simple beauty to any occasion. Corsage etiquette gives the added flair the wearer and flowers deserve.

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