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Wedding History Series - Part 2 - The Corsage and Boutonniere

boutonniere buttonhole corsages toronto florist wedding flowers

In our second installment of wedding flower history, it’s time to talk about the humble corsage and boutonniere. Boutonnieres and corsages are the finishing touches to wedding day attire and both have been around for centuries. 

Originally worn in an effort to prevent disease and ward off evil spirits, corsages were typically tucked into the necklines of gowns or pinned to the fabric of the bodice. In fact, the word “corsage” originates from the French term “bouquet de corsage,” meaning a spray of flowers worn on the upper part of a woman’s dress. During the 16th and 17th centuries, corsages were probably part of everyday life. Over time, however, they became reserved for special occasions and were worn by women to weddings and funerals. Nowadays, wedding corsages are traditionally worn on the left shoulder area or left wrist by the mothers and grandmothers of the bride and groom.

Corsages can be made from a single flower or a small bunch of flowers, and a variety of different flowers can be used. Generally, though, the flowers complement the rest of the wedding florals. And, as a lovely memento of the special day, corsages can be dried and pressed to be preserved.

And now for the gents: Boutonnieres have always been a symbol of masculine luxury. Originally tucked into a buttonhole or pocket, or pinned to the lapel or shoulder of a man’s garment, boutonnieres, like corsages, were originally intended to keep bad luck, evil spirits and disease at bay. The word “Boutonniere” comes from the french word "Buttonhole Flower." 

During the 18th and 19th centuries, boutonnieres became popular as fashion statements. In many parts of Europe during this time, it was common for men to wear a boutonniere through the buttonhole of a frock coat. With the increasing interest in all things botanical, boutonnieres became fashionable as the sophisticated man’s accessory during the Romantic era. After World War I and II, flower-wearing was still commonplace, and thanks to the influence of cinema, became synonymous with honor, elegance, and masculinity.

Today, boutonnieres are still very much a part of a man’s attire, but are normally reserved for special occasions. Usually, all the prominent male figures in a wedding wear a boutonniere to distinguish them from the rest of the guests. Traditionally, the groom’s boutonniere is unique and different from the rest of his wedding party, and often matches the flowers used in the bride’s bouquet.

Whether you’re looking for a traditional, modern or simple look, we can design and make corsages and boutonnieres that are perfect for your entire wedding party. Contact us at (416) 236 8273 or visit our website.

 


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