Prom Boutonnieres and Corsages – What Do the Flowers Mean?

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One prom tradition that has endured for decades is presenting your date with a boutonniere or corsage. These blooming accessories complement your tux, suit or prom dress. They are gifts, sometimes romantic and sometimes tokens of friendship, and they have a way of making prom feel official.

Did you also know that they can tell a story?

You see, flowers are often ascribed meanings. A red rose means romance, for example. You would generally give it to someone you love, were dating or wanted to date. What do you do, though, if your date is just a buddy? You want to send the right message and still offer the perfect flowers to coordinate with the perfect prom dress or suit. Knowing the traditional meanings behind each flower can help you make the right choice.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac has been published annually since 1792 and includes things that farmers need to know to have successful harvests – weather patterns, soil conditions – along with predictions about the latest fashion trends, popular foods and more. It also contains the traditional meanings of different flowers.

As the go-to source of this information, we consulted the almanac to bring you the meanings of the most popular flowers found in prom boutonnieres and corsages today.

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac:

  • Yellow roses mean friendship or a new beginning
  • White roses stand for innocence
  • Pink roses signify happiness
  • Lavender roses mean love at first sight
  • Coral roses mean friendship or modesty
  • Carnations mean love
  • Daisies mean hope
  • Daffodils mean regard
  • Hydrangea means gratitude
  • Magnolia signifies a love of nature
  • Sunflowers mean adoration
  • Violets stand for loyalty and devotion
  • Purple hyacinth stands for regret
  • Yellow hyacinth means jealousy

Greenery and some filler flowers also have meaning in the almanac:

  • Fern means sincerity
  • Holly signifies hope
  • Ivy means friendship and continuity
  • Nasturtium symbolizes patriotism

By combining flowers that have different meanings, you can use the language of flowers to communicate many thoughts and feelings.

Of course, you can always simply choose flowers that look great and complement your attire! Think about the style and color of the dress or suit your date will wear, and whether a pin-on corsage or a wristlet is your best choice (hint, pin-on lasts longer, but will drag down many strapless dresses).

Ask your local florist for advice if you’re having trouble choosing a boutonniere or corsage for prom. They not only know the significance of different blooms, they can give you an idea of what your boutonniere or corsage will look like when it’s complete, how long it will last if you dance the night away, and how you can store or preserve it after prom if you choose to keep it as a souvenir.

To some people, the meaning of a flower is everything, while to others it doesn’t matter at all. Each of us is unique. What about you? How will you choose a flower for your prom date?

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