Traditions and Etiquette: Do Mother of the Bride and Groom Wear Corsages?

The question of whether the mother of the bride and groom should wear corsages has been a topic of debate for quite some time. While corsages are traditionally worn by the bride’s mother, there is no hard and fast rule that dictates this. In fact, the choice of whether to wear a corsage or not is often left up to the individual’s personal preference. This article will explore the tradition behind corsages and the etiquette surrounding their use, as well as provide some tips on how to make the decision of whether to wear one as the mother of the bride or groom.

Quick Answer:
Yes, it is a common tradition for the mother of the bride to wear a corsage on her dress, typically on the opposite side of the waistline. It is also common for the mother of the groom to wear a corsage as well. The corsage is usually a small bouquet of flowers or a single flower that is attached to a ribbon or a brooch. This tradition is a way to honor the mothers of the bride and groom and to give them a special token of appreciation on their child’s wedding day. It is a beautiful and traditional way to complete the bride’s ensemble and add a touch of elegance to the wedding.

Understanding the Role of the Mother of the Bride

Pre-Wedding Ceremony

Choosing the Dress

One of the most significant pre-wedding ceremonies for the mother of the bride is choosing the dress she will wear to the wedding. This dress is typically a formal gown that is chosen to complement the overall theme and style of the wedding. The mother of the bride may choose to work with a wedding planner or stylist to select the perfect dress, taking into consideration factors such as the venue, the time of day, and the color scheme of the wedding.

Planning the Wedding

The mother of the bride also plays a significant role in planning the wedding itself. This may include working with the wedding planner to select vendors, such as caterers, florists, and musicians, as well as helping to coordinate the various details of the wedding day, such as transportation and timelines. The mother of the bride may also be responsible for hosting pre-wedding events, such as showers and rehearsal dinners, and for helping to manage the guest list and invitations.

Hosting Pre-Wedding Events

In addition to helping to plan the wedding, the mother of the bride may also be responsible for hosting pre-wedding events, such as showers and rehearsal dinners. These events are typically designed to celebrate the upcoming wedding and to bring together family and friends to wish the couple well. The mother of the bride may work with a wedding planner or caterer to select a venue, create a menu, and organize decorations and entertainment for these events.

Overall, the mother of the bride plays a significant role in the pre-wedding ceremony, helping to plan and organize various aspects of the wedding and hosting pre-wedding events to celebrate the upcoming union of the couple.

Wedding Day

Walking the bride down the aisle

One of the most significant roles of the mother of the bride on the wedding day is to walk the bride down the aisle. This tradition has been a staple in wedding ceremonies for centuries, symbolizing the giving away of the bride from her father’s care to that of her husband. It is a momentous occasion that holds great significance for both the bride and her family.

Standing with the groom’s family

Another responsibility of the mother of the bride on the wedding day is to stand with the groom’s family during the ceremony. This is typically done as a show of unity and support for the couple, as well as to acknowledge the blending of two families. It is an opportunity for the mother of the bride to show her appreciation for the groom’s family and to help create a sense of togetherness and harmony.

Supporting the bride

The mother of the bride plays a crucial role in supporting the bride throughout the wedding day. This can include everything from helping the bride get ready in the morning to offering emotional support during the ceremony and reception. The mother of the bride is often a key figure in the wedding party, providing guidance and encouragement to the bride as she embarks on this significant life milestone.

Post-Wedding

Throwing the bouquet

Traditionally, the mother of the bride has the honor of throwing the bouquet, which is a long-standing custom that dates back to the 19th century. The bouquet toss is typically performed towards the end of the reception, and it is believed to bring good luck to the unmarried women in attendance. According to folklore, the woman who catches the bouquet will be the next to marry.

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Hosting the reception

The mother of the bride often plays a significant role in hosting the wedding reception, which is a grand celebration that takes place after the ceremony. In many cases, the mother of the bride may be responsible for coordinating the logistics of the reception, such as selecting the venue, hiring the caterer, and arranging for the decorations. Additionally, she may also be responsible for greeting guests, making sure that everyone has a great time, and ensuring that everything runs smoothly.

Continuing to support the couple

After the wedding, the mother of the bride continues to play an important role in supporting the newlyweds. This may involve offering advice and guidance, helping to plan future events, and simply being there to listen and offer support. Many mothers of the bride find that their role changes after the wedding, but they remain an integral part of the couple’s support system.

Corsages for the Mother of the Bride

Key takeaway: The mother of the bride plays a significant role in the pre-wedding ceremony, helping to plan and organize various aspects of the wedding and hosting pre-wedding events to celebrate the upcoming union of the couple. On the wedding day, she traditionally walks the bride down the aisle, stands with the groom’s family, supports the bride, and throws the bouquet. After the wedding, she continues to play an important role in supporting the newlyweds. Corsages are a popular choice for the mother of the bride to wear on her special day, and there are several types of corsages to choose from, including wrist corsages, boutonniere corsages, and pinned corsages. Contemporary trends include boutonnieres for both parents, fresh or silk flowers, and accessorizing with jewelry.

History of Corsages

Victorian Era

During the Victorian era, corsages were an essential part of formal dressing. The era was marked by the promotion of modesty, elegance, and grace, and corsages were an integral part of achieving these ideals. Women during this time would wear corsages with their evening gowns or formal day dresses. These corsages were often small and discreet, typically made of silk or velvet, and worn on the wrist or bosom. The use of lace and other embellishments added to the elegance of the corsage.

Tussy Mussy

In the mid-19th century, a new type of corsage called the “Tussy Mussy” became popular. This corsage was designed to be worn on the bustle, which was a prominent feature of Victorian dresses. The Tussy Mussy was a small, delicate bouquet of flowers that was worn on the bustle to add a touch of color and fragrance to the outfit. It was typically made of fresh flowers or artificial blooms, and was often accompanied by a small ribbon or bow.

Modern Times

In modern times, corsages have retained their elegance and sophistication, but have also become more versatile and varied. They can be worn on the wrist, waist, or lapels of a jacket, and can be made of a variety of materials, including silk, velvet, satin, and lace. Corsages can also be designed to match the colors and theme of the wedding, adding a personalized touch to the mother of the bride‘s outfit.

While corsages are no longer as ubiquitous as they were during the Victorian era, they continue to be a popular choice for formal occasions, including weddings. The history of corsages is rich and varied, and has evolved over time to meet the changing needs and tastes of women’s fashion.

Types of Corsages

There are several types of corsages that the mother of the bride can wear on her special day. The most common types of corsages include wrist corsages, boutonniere corsages, and pinned corsages.

Wrist corsages

Wrist corsages are a classic choice for the mother of the bride. They are simple yet elegant and can be worn on the wrist or attached to a bracelet. These corsages are typically made of flowers or other decorative materials and are often designed to match the bridesmaids’ dresses or the overall theme of the wedding.

Boutonniere corsages

Boutonniere corsages are similar to wrist corsages, but they are designed to be worn on the lapel of the mother of the bride’s dress. These corsages typically feature a single flower or a small bouquet of flowers and are often attached to a ribbon or a pin. Boutonniere corsages are a great option for mothers who want to add a touch of color and style to their outfit without overwhelming it with a large corsage.

Pinned corsages

Pinned corsages are another popular choice for the mother of the bride. These corsages are designed to be pinned to the mother’s dress and can be worn at the waist, hip, or shoulder. Pinned corsages are often larger and more elaborate than wrist or boutonniere corsages, and they can be made from a variety of materials, including flowers, leaves, and ribbons. Pinned corsages are a great option for mothers who want to make a statement and add some extra flair to their outfit.

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Factors to Consider

When deciding whether to wear a corsage as the mother of the bride, there are several factors to consider.

  • Personal preference: The most important factor to consider is whether the mother of the bride wants to wear a corsage. Some mothers may prefer a more subtle look, while others may want to wear a corsage to match the theme of the wedding.
  • Dress color and style: The color and style of the mother of the bride’s dress can also influence the decision to wear a corsage. If the dress is already decorated or has a bold pattern, a simple corsage may be the best choice. On the other hand, if the dress is plain, a more elaborate corsage can add some extra flair.
  • Traditions and customs: Different cultures and regions have their own traditions and customs when it comes to wearing corsages. For example, in some cultures, it is customary for the mother of the bride to wear a corsage that matches the groom’s boutonniere. It is important to consider these traditions and customs when making a decision.

Contemporary Trends

In recent times, there has been a shift in the traditional corsage styles for the mother of the bride. Modern brides and their families are opting for more contemporary and personalized options to suit their individual tastes and preferences. Some of the current trends include:

  • Boutonnieres for both parents: Instead of wearing corsages, some mothers of the groom and fathers of the bride are choosing to wear boutonnieres that match the flowers used in the bridal bouquet or wedding arrangements. This adds a touch of personalization and ensures that both parents feel included in the wedding’s aesthetic.
  • Fresh or silk flowers: There is a growing trend of incorporating fresh or silk flowers into the corsage design. This adds a pop of color and texture to the overall look, while also providing a beautiful accent to the mother’s outfit. The use of silk flowers allows for a longer-lasting display, which can be cherished as a keepsake after the wedding.
  • Accessorizing with jewelry: Some mothers of the bride are choosing to wear statement jewelry, such as bracelets or necklaces, in place of a traditional corsage. This provides an opportunity to showcase personal style and add a touch of glamour to the overall wedding aesthetic. The jewelry can be designed to complement the wedding theme or the mother’s outfit, creating a cohesive and stylish look.

Other Wedding Flowers for the Mother of the Bride

Bouquets

When it comes to bouquets for the mother of the bride, there are many options to choose from. From classic to designer styles, there is a bouquet to suit every mother’s personal taste and style. Here are some options to consider:

Classic Bouquet Styles

For a traditional look, a classic bouquet is a great option. These bouquets typically feature a round or oval shape and are made up of a variety of flowers, such as roses, carnations, and baby’s breath. They are elegant and timeless, and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

Designer Bouquets

For a more modern look, designer bouquets are a great option. These bouquets are often more asymmetrical in shape and feature unconventional flower combinations. They can be quite elaborate and may include special touches like ribbons, beads, or other embellishments. Designer bouquets are perfect for mothers who want to make a statement and stand out from the crowd.

Special Touches

No matter which type of bouquet you choose, there are several special touches you can add to make it even more special. For example, you could include the mother’s favorite flower, or incorporate a family heirloom piece, such as a brooch or pin. You could also add a personalized message or date to the bouquet, or have it delivered with a special note or gift. These special touches can make the bouquet even more meaningful and memorable.

Hair Accessories

  • Headbands
    Headbands are a popular hair accessory choice for the mother of the bride. They are simple yet elegant and can be worn with most hairstyles. Headbands can be made from a variety of materials, including silk, lace, and satin, and can be adorned with pearls, diamonds, or other embellishments.
  • Flower crowns
    Flower crowns are a more elaborate hair accessory option for the mother of the bride. They are typically made from fresh flowers such as roses, peonies, or hydrangeas, and can be designed to match the bride’s bouquet or the wedding’s overall theme. Flower crowns can be worn with loose, wavy hair or styled in an updo.
  • Hairpins
    Hairpins are a classic hair accessory that can be worn by the mother of the bride. They can be made from materials such as silver, gold, or pearl, and can be designed with intricate details such as flowers or scrollwork. Hairpins can be worn with a variety of hairstyles, including a half-up do or a French twist. They can also be used to hold a veil in place.
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Jewelry

When it comes to choosing jewelry for the mother of the bride or groom, the options are virtually endless. From simple and elegant to bold and statement-making, there is a piece of jewelry to suit every mother’s personal style and preferences.

Some popular options for jewelry for the mother of the bride or groom include:

  • Bracelets: Delicate bangles or statement cuffs can add a touch of elegance to any outfit. For a more personalized touch, consider a bracelet with a meaningful charm or stone.
  • Necklaces: A necklace can be a beautiful addition to any outfit, and can range from a simple strand of pearls to a statement piece with gemstones or a meaningful charm.
  • Earrings: Earrings can add a touch of sparkle and sophistication to any outfit. For a more traditional look, consider studs or pearl earrings. For a more dramatic statement, consider chandelier or hoop earrings.

Regardless of the type of jewelry chosen, it is important to ensure that it complements the mother’s outfit and personal style. With so many options available, there is sure to be a piece of jewelry that perfectly complements the mother of the bride or groom’s look on the big day.

Special Moments

Walking down the aisle

One of the most memorable moments for the mother of the bride is walking down the aisle to give away her daughter to her future husband. It is a proud moment for her, and she wants to look her best. She can wear a corsage that matches the bridesmaids’ dresses or a special piece that represents her daughter’s journey into marriage.

First dance

The first dance between the bride and groom is a special moment for the entire wedding party. The mother of the bride can wear a corsage that complements the groom’s attire and adds to the elegance of the occasion. She can also wear a corsage that symbolizes her relationship with her daughter and her new son-in-law.

Family photos

After the ceremony, the family photos are a must-have tradition in most weddings. The mother of the bride can wear a corsage that ties in with the wedding theme or colors. She can also wear a special piece that represents her role in the family and her love for her daughter and son-in-law. The corsage can be a beautiful accessory that adds to the memorable moments of the wedding day.

FAQs

1. What is a corsage?

A corsage is a small bouquet of flowers that is worn on the body, typically on the wrist or chest.

2. What is the tradition of wearing corsages for weddings?

The tradition of wearing corsages for weddings dates back to the Victorian era, when it was common for women to wear flowers as a symbol of love and devotion. Today, corsages are often worn by the bride, groom, and members of the wedding party as a way to add a touch of elegance and beauty to the ceremony.

3. Do mother of the bride and groom wear corsages?

Yes, traditionally the mother of the bride and groom do wear corsages. The mother of the bride usually wears a corsage that matches or complements the bridal bouquet, while the mother of the groom often wears a corsage in a complementary color to the groom’s lapel.

4. Is it necessary for the mother of the bride and groom to wear corsages?

No, it is not necessary for the mother of the bride and groom to wear corsages. However, if the couple wants to follow traditional wedding etiquette, it is customary for the mothers to wear corsages. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to wear a corsage is up to the individual.

5. Where do the mother of the bride and groom wear their corsages?

The mother of the bride typically wears her corsage on her wrist, while the mother of the groom may wear hers on her chest or waist. The corsage should be worn on the non-dominant side of the body, so if the mother is right-handed, she would wear the corsage on her left wrist or waist.

6. How should the mother of the bride and groom choose their corsages?

The mother of the bride and groom should choose corsages that complement the wedding theme and colors. They should also consider the type of dress they will be wearing, as well as their personal style and preferences. It is a good idea to consult with the bride and groom about their preferences and to work with a florist to create a cohesive look for the wedding party.

Do mothers of the bride still wear corsages?

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