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The Bride's Guide Blog

Etiquette: Who Gets a Corsage or Boutonniere?

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This week, Nikki wrote to us at our AskMartha mailbox ( with this question:

Who gets a corsage or boutonniere at my wedding?

Money is tight, but she still wants to honor people, so where does she draw the line?

In general, etiquette doesn't require you to give anybody a corsage or boutonniere. (You could probably even skip the groomsmen and maybe even the groom, and nobody would notice!) But it's common enough that all parents and grandparents will probably be expecting it -- so at the very least, make sure they're given one.

Maybe a godparent could be included, or siblings -- but beware: Once you start making the circle bigger, you may have aunts or uncles who are hurt to be left out of it.

Who are you giving corsages or boutonnieres to?

And speaking of, check out these great leaf boutonnieres -- very  masculine and potentially inexpensive. And since this is Martha Stewart Weddings, after all, I feel bound to mention: You could always expand the list inexpensively if you make your own!

Comments (5)

  • A great way to save some money on your wedding day is through the creation of your very own beautiful boutonnieres and corsages! You don't need to have much experience for that! There are many tutorials with step by step instructions.

  • My 29 year old step-son was recently married and left me out of the corsage circle. His mother all but abandoned him. I have been maried to his dad, who had full custody of the children for over 8 years (together for over 13)I helped raise him and have been told how special he thinks I am, but I didn't get a corsage. My heart is broken and I don't know how to stop the pain. I felt as if I was slapped. Foot note-I kept smiling. His "mother" got drunk and went off the rails and ruined reception.

  • @Suzanne, as a frazzled bride-to-be, my biggest fear is inadvertently leaving someone out and leaving feelings hurt. My best guess is that the bride accidentally overlooked some details with all of the other things reeling through her mind. If your step-son is anything like many grooms, he is probably clueless as to what's going on and/or what is expected. I doubt it was intentional. Good on you for smiling through it all though!

  • @Kelli, Thank you for your kindness. No it was not an oversight. I had to ask and was told that it was his decision to make it about his parents. His family. I have a reason but it doesn't help. It was a thoughtless act to not inform me earlier.

  • Consider this--rather than an insult, you dodged a bullet! I haven't seen a corsage in ages--they're not done anymore in the circles in which I travel--so feel happy that you didn't have to spoil your dress and look like the prom queen c. 1965!

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