Florist Tips to Save Money on Your Prom or Homecoming Corsage
Save Money Without Looking Like A Cheapskate
Prom is an expensive affair - the tuxedo rental, the dinner, the dress, the shoes, the matching bag - not to mention the hair stylist, the photographer and the prom tickets themselves! Prom corsages only add to these expenses. But you can easily save money on your prom corsage without looking like a cheapskate.
In eighteen years as a professional florist I learned a thing or two about prom corsages. To someone outside the floral business some of the things which them so expensive might not be obvious. So take a look below and you'll learn why they are so expensive and how you can avoid some of that expense and still get a beautiful prom corsage for you, your child, or your date.
Labor is What Makes Them so Expensive
Reduce the Labor, Reduce the Cost
People have asked me if it was the roses, the ribbon, the elastic band or some kind of secret product florists spray the flowers with that make prom corsages so expensive. The answer is - none of the above. It's the one thing people almost never consider when buying flowers - labor. They are very labor intensive. Prom corsages, especially the type worn on the wrist, can take anywhere from ten minutes to half an hour to make.
The number one thing you can do to reduce the cost is to reduce the amount of florist labor involved. For the exceptionally brave or crafty, this can go as far as buying cut flowers and making the prom corsage themselves. For those who are a little less bold there are still things you can do to reduce the amount of labor the florist puts into it to reduce its cost.
Wrist Corsages Are Much More Labor-Intensive
So Don't Order One! Tie One On Instead
Wrist corsages take longer to make than the pin-on type and usually have a much higher starting price. By choosing a pin-on prom corsage you can reduce your costs. However, that doesn't mean that the it can't be worn on the wrist, it just means you aren't paying for a wristlet and the extra labor involved in attaching the flowers to it.
A pin on corsage can be attached to the wrist in several ways. Choose a ribbon that coordinates with the prom dress and tie it through the corsage leaving enough ribbon on either side to tie it securely around a wrist. Leave short or long tails when you tie it on or you can tie a bow just as you tie your shoes. Don't tie the ribbon too tightly. This is definitely a two person job. This technique for attaching a prom corsage also has the advantage of making it look less tacky than the ones made with the mass produced elastic bands most florists use.
A prom corsage can also be attached to the wrist with a bracelet. Any relatively close-fitting bracelet that has a clasp will work. Slide the bracelet through the center of the corsage, using the bracelet to hold it against the wrist. Then fasten the clasp.
The third option for attaching a pin-on prom corsage to the wrist is to buy the elastic wristlet from the florist separately. To attach the it to the wristlet, bend the four prongs around the back of the corsage and pinch them tightly.
Tie a Pin-On Corsage to this Bracelet for a Cheaper Option
This band is cheaper and looks classier than the bands most florists use.
Clutch Bouquets or Tussy-Mussies Can Be Less Expensive than Corsages for Prom
...Especially if You Make Them Yourself!
Little clutch bouquets have also become quite popular for proms and other formal dances and may have a lower starting price than prom corsages.
To save even more, you can make a clutch bouquet yourself. Select several nice blooms and hold them so their heads are clustered together, then tie them under the blooms with a ribbon. Tie the bundle of stems again about six to eight inches down and cut the stems off just below it. Wait until the last minute to make that final cut, keeping the flowers in water until then.
A Big Way to Save Money on Your Prom Corsage - Skip It
It is just as elegant to carry a single open flower as it is to wear a prom corsage. Believe it or not, many grocery store flowers are up to florist quality these days. They often use the same suppliers, so there's no reason you can't find a lovely single flower at the grocery store.
A Parting Tip - Try Designer's Choice
If none of this sounds like something you'd feel comfortable doing, there's one more tip I have to at least help you get the biggest bang for your buck from your prom corsage.
Order what is called a "designer's choice" prom corsage. Tell the florist what color the prom dress is and how much you can spend and leave the exact details up to the professionals. This gives the florist the leeway to choose what she thinks are the nicest flowers in your price range and to arrange them to the best of her judgment.
In my experience, designers give special care to this kind of order. Ordering a designer's choice corsage not only expresses your respect for them as professionals (motivating them to give their best effort) it also gives the designer a chance to really show off. Floral designers sometimes even use these opportunities to compete to see who can create the best corsage.
© 2010 Kylyssa Shay