I am spending this morning working with flower budgets for Claire and Danielle’s weddings next year. The task actually inspired me to take a break and blog about flowers for your parents at your Caribbean destination wedding. What is traditional back home is not the norm in the Caribbean. Especially on Vieques Island. But what is traditional back home has been changing anyway, so why worry about tradition at all? For example, the pin-on corsage has gone the way of losing your virginity on your wedding night. It’s rarely expected anymore.
Moms used to wear ridiculous-looking corsages about the size of a grapefruit, pinned prominently over one boob. The weight of the flowers would cause the pins to leave permanent marks on the fabric of the dress. If the fabric wasn’t very sturdy (as most MoB and MoG dresses are made of lightweight fabrics in the Caribbean), the corsage would hang funny and probably not last through the evening. And every time the mom hugged somebody, the flowers would get mushed. Over and over and over again. Corsages usually look pretty bedraggled in the pics toward the end of the wedding festivities.
Wrist corsages were an excellent solution to ruined dresses and smashed flowers. Except that wrist corsages have a tendency to be heavy and to slide around on your wrist. Yes, it feels a bit like you’re wearing a bush on your hand. Not a fabulous feeling to have all night long. And it’s even worse in the Caribbean where you will definitely be hot and sweaty after dancing. The heat is hard on flowers that aren’t in water, and reasonably-sized corsages and boutonnieres can’t be put in flour tubes or oasis.
The most popular solution is to give the MoB and MoG (and don’t forget any grandmothers who happened to be in attendance) little keepsake bouquets made of the same blooms used in the bridal party flowers. You can be really creative with this if you want to. Here are some examples of great combinations I’ve seen:
— The bride carried three shades of pink roses and her attendants carried solid white rose bouquets. The flowers for moms consisted of one stem of each color rose, tied with a white satin ribbon to match the bride’s bouquet. Lovely!
— The bride carried ivory calla lilies. The bridesmaids carried yellow calla lilies. We gave the moms little bouquets of yellow and ivory mini calla lilies.
— The bride carried a bouquet of fabulous roses and Cymbidium orchids. Her attendants carried bouquets of just roses. Each mother carried one giant stem of Cymbidium orchids.
You get my point. Nobody does corsages anymore. But boutonnieres are another story and one tradition that seems to have stuck, for the most part. It depends entirely on what kind of shirt the gentlemen in the wedding party will be wearing. If the group is wearing something with lapels, then the wedding party should wear boutonnieres. They look nice on a jacket. If the groom is wearing a suit, but his groomsmen are wearing shirts, it is perfectly all right for the groom to wear a flower but leave his gentleman out of the mix. Same with the father of both the bride and the groom. If the father of the bride is wearing a jacket to walk his daughter down the aisle, he should have a boutonniere. If he has a boutonniere, the groom’s father gets one too. And so on for any grandfathers in attendance. If your groom is wearing a guayabera shirt (Mexican wedding shirt) or another shirt without a jacket, consider the weight of the fabric and whether the shirt has a pocket before deciding about a boutonniere. It’s okay to skip it if it’s going to look bad. And listen to your florist or wedding planner when they advise you that a certain flower is too heavy for a certain kind of fabric. They usually know what looks good in pictures.
You can also do small bouquets or boutonnieres for close family members who are in attendance but not members of the wedding party. For example, siblings who are not bridesmaids or groomsmen. It isn’t necessary but it’s a nice gesture.
If you have a tight wedding budget and you need to keep your flower spending down, skip the boutonnieres (except for the groom if he is wearing a jacket) entirely. Do one stem of flowers for each mom instead of a mini bouquet. And don’t do any flowers for anyone outside the wedding party.
Alright kids, I need to get back to the grind. Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra! Next blog, I’m going to give you a surefire way to start packing now for your 2011 wedding. It’s always good to be ahead of the curve!