Flowers are incorporated in a plethora of ways when it comes to a wedding day design. From the bouquet to the boutonnieres, blooms have long since been carried and worn as a mark of distinction for those involved in the celebration at an intimate level, whether a flower girl or usher. Despite trends that come and go and a variety of wedding styles, there will always be a way to use flowers to honor those closest to you. Enter: corsages.
“A corsage is a form of floral jewelry that’s worn by a female member of the wedding party,” shares Uche Ojunta of Designs by Oochay. The Maryland-based floral and event designer explains that there are two types of corsages to consider when finalizing your floral needs for a trip down the aisle. “The wrist corsage is the more popular option since it’s more easily worn," she explains. "Due to the nature of dress fabric, a pin-on corsage can snag the threading of the dress, which is why most women shy away from them.”
Meet the Expert
Traditionally given to mothers, godmothers, step-mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and sisters-in-law, “a corsage is a piece that honors those most important, people who have had the most impact in your life up until this point,” Genevieve Targoni adds.
Corsages can range anywhere from $30-$65, based on the florist, how it’s designed, and what flowers are in season at the time.
Here are 14 corsage concepts to distinguish those you love—whether they're bridesmaids, family, or VIP attendants.
Use Statement Blooms
Peonies are always set to leave their mark. This corsage, designed by Emily Kaye Floral Atelier, was made with a metal cuff, tied to the bride's wrist with plant-dyed silk ribbon from a local textile artist. “I wanted to create something luxurious, comfortable, and feminine that wouldn't overwhelm the bride,” says the florist.
Make It Monochromatic
It’s hard not to fall in love with these cranberry-hued cuffs! The bridesmaids at this wedding in Washington DC donned corsages filled with orchids, ranunculus, dahlias, and snowberries in the deep jewel tone.
“We love adding 3-5 different elements for lots of great depth and texture with one focal flower and several complementary textural elements,” encourages Targoni. For the corsage cuffs at this New Orleans wedding, the zinnia’s texture creates a wonderful contrast amongst the leaves of greenery. “Flowers that are not as delicate and withstand being out of water work better than others,” says Targoni.
Make a statement with a monochromatic look, as this bride and her wedding party did in New Orleans. "We wanted something different than bouquets for my bridesmaids," explains the bride. "My mother-in-law thought of the idea of having a corsage with lots of greenery and flowers that went up to their forearms. It was very romantic, unique, and a nice touch."
Do Something Unconventional
Who says corsages have to be traditional? Targoni encourages her clients to think about what makes them excited and comfortable, and most of all, what makes them feel appreciated. “The great thing about traditions is that it is OK to change your mind and set new traditions as you transition into your own family and story.” For these pieces, floral designers Honey & Poppies, along with event designer Bash Please, created delicate floral chains of baby’s' breath, finished off with silk ribbon so that they could be casually worn over the wrist.
Consider Something Preserved
This dried corsage is perfect for a boho-loving bride. “It was created with antique hydrangea, strawflower, bunny tail grass, and foraged dried bits,” says floral designer Amy Nicole. “It’s perfectly neutral and can survive any temperature because it’s completely preserved!”
Add a Bow
Corsages have traditionally be crafted with ribbon for easy wearing. By coordinating the ribbon with the colors of the flowers, both elements get to have their moment in the spotlight throughout the day! Pro tip: “If the corsage is going to be worn by a child, then a ribbon would be a better option than a cuff,” says Ojunta.
Make It Last
Instead of corsages, the mothers of the bride and groom at this fall wedding in Brooklyn wore gold cuff bracelets adorned with blooms. The added perk of a cuff means the piece of jewelry will be available to wear again and again long after the wedding day is over—a perfect memento!
Mix It Up
Use a variety of stems within one design! While these corsages and boutonnieres coordinate with each other, the mixture of dried grasses with white roses within each creates a layer of intrigue, a perfect reflection of the juxtaposition of styles for this modern farm wedding
Choose Local Blooms
Selecting flowers that are native to the area where you’re tying the knot is a thoughtful touch. “I found the addition of locally grown zinnias to be particularly striking, and I love using a ribbon or moss as a base,” says florist Hayley Shae. The cuffs that were used in this design were available from a local jeweler for this August wedding, offering a modern touch for clients interested in something different than the elastic bands or traditional pearl wristlets traditionally used for corsages.
These aren’t your grandmother’s fake flowers! "Weddings can be stressful, and the last thing a bride needs to worry about is high-maintenance fresh flowers,” says CasiDee Clement of Flower Crush. “Each of our arrangements, from our wrist corsages to our bouquets, to our floral flat lay kits, are created with artificial flowers. They're beautifully like-like, low-maintenance, and modern in design.”
Once you’ve settled on the design inspiration, take into consideration your floral budget to make sure you make the most of it.