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Marketing Tips for Prom

Unlike other floral holidays and weddings, prom holds a certain type of charm. Due to the fact that customers around this time of year are younger than the usual customer (most of the time not even 18), there seems to be a trickiness to designing for these floral newbies. We reached out to a couple of florists to offer insight on prom marketing, as well as tips on approaching the younger generation.

 The Young Customer

There are a couple of misconceptions that come up during this time of year about the young customer. The first is that customer service shouldn’t apply to them since their parent’s are purchasing the corsage. Second, that these kids don’t know anything about flowers so why bother when they are looking for something cheap. While it is true that many parents help these teens purchase their prom florals, others have savings from their part-time job. Either way, it is important to acknowledge the teen as a paying customer as you would acknowledge a bride whose parents are paying for the flowers. As for their ignorance on the value of flowers, there is a solution.

According to Doug Bates of Designs by VOGT’s of Sturgis, Michigan, it’s very important to introduce high school kids to flowers.

“If you don’t hook the younger generation by the time they are 25, they will never understand the value of flowers,” Bates said. “When you get them interested you become a part of their life.”

Bates believes that prom is the perfect time to start making new customers. If you make their first time flower experience memorable, they will become lifetime customers.

“You need to foster these relationships because in 5 years these girls will be brides,” Bates said. Bates told the story of one couple who came into the shop for their prom and years later he did their wedding flowers and have become long-time customers for other events as well. “It’s important to make their experience fun. When it’s apparent that you don’t want to work with them, they notice that. Make it engaging or they will go to your competitors.”

Marketing Tips and Tricks

Marketing for prom is just as important as treating the customer. Here are a couple of ideas to market your shop!

Go To School

Bates said that the best advice he heard about prom was to get involved with the school in any way you can. Whether it’s donating an arrangement or offering a discount for an event, everything stands out. One tip is to give a couple of teachers at your local high school corsages and boutonnieres to wear the week before and the week of prom.

Social Media Contest

This tip from Bates is great to also amp up your social media traffic. Offer a “Prom Mom Contest” when someone makes a purchase for prom. They must like your Facebook page and post a picture of their corsage with their dress during prom. The one with the most likes wins a free bouquet to give to their mom on Mother’s Day.

“Last year, we had such a high number of posts that we ended up choosing more than one winner,” Bates said. “It’s a great way to get your name out there, get likes, more traffic, and people posting your designs online.”

Prom is the perfect time to introduce flowers to the younger generation. You never know who may become a lifelong customer! For more marketing tips and ideas, check back with the Bloomin’ Blog.

Photo courtesy of Designs by VOGT’s.


Frequently Asked Prom Corsage Questions — ANSWERED!

What is a prom corsage? A prom corsage is a small flower arrangement that typically adorns a girl’s wrist or collar and is bought and given to her by her prom date. Most prom-goers, these days, prefer the wrist corsage. Flowers and accessories usually match or accent the girl’s prom dress.

What is a boutonniere? A boutonniere is the floral design worn by guys on their lapels. The boutonniere is bought for the guy by his date and often matches the colors and style of his date’s corsage.

What wrist do your wear your corsage on? It is generally recognized as proper etiquette to wear the wrist corsage on the left, although a left-handed date may prefer her wrist corsage worn on the right arm.

Do the corsage and boutonniere have to match? Not necessarily, but it usually looks more stylish and put-together that way. Talk to your local florist about your choice of formal wear for prom, both for the guy and the girl, and discuss what corsage/bout options would work best for your combined look. (Also check out: Matching Prom Dress to Prom Corsage!)

Matching Your Prom Dress To Your Corsage Polka Dot Prom

How do I get my guy to buy the perfect prom corsage for me? Make sure the florist sees your dress. Your florist is sure to make something that accents your specific style. Seeing the dress ensures your flowers and prom accessories will match perfectly. Give your guy pictures of prom corsages you like to get him heading in the right direction. He can also show these to his florist. Why not go into your local flower shop together? You can buy both the amazing corsage and boutonniere together!

If I wanted something special, would a florist work with me? Absolutely! Florists love a challenge! If you’ve got something special in mind, talk to your florist about how they can customize your corsage just for you! May you’ve got a dark dress and are thinking of a Black Swan style? No problem! Love bright and playful? Your florist can fix you up with wire swirls and colorful daisies. Just don’t be afraid to ask!

Many florists are starting to offer Corsage Bar events in their store. This is a buffet-like setup where prom-goers can go down a row and pick out all the separate elements of their corsage. No guessing as to what it will look like when YOU’VE picked it all out!

Prom Corsage Bar

When do I need to order my prom flowers? Order right now! It’s always good to plan ahead and get your order in as soon as possible. The spring is a very busy time for florists, with wedding season just beginning and Mother’s Day right around the corner. At any rate, order at least two weeks in advance.

Why do I need to use a florist, can’t I make my own DIY corsage? Not only do corsages have to look great, but they must hold up throughout the night of dancing and celebration. It’s always a good idea to buy a corsage from your local florist, rather than try to create one yourself. Corsages are not easy to make; the flowers have to stay ON the corsage, and stay looking fresh for long periods of time. Just talk to your florist about your budget and your options, it might surprise you what they’ll come up with!

What if I’m on a tight budget, can I still get a great-looking prom corsage? Yes, talk to your florist about your situation and ask what suggestions they might have. Often times by using seasonal or flowers your florist might have in excess can cut down on costs and still give you a great-looking corsage!

What do I need before I visit my local florist? Be sure to bring a picture of the dress you are wearing. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, even a picture from a cell phone will do. Bring any pictures of prom corsages you like from the internet or magazines for your florist to look at.

What are the hottest prom flower trends to date? Bright and bold colors that really make a statement, mixed with a variety of textures and details. We’ve seen a lot different uses of wire and other accessories. Another prom accessory we just love this year is the reusable wristlets. Instead of a cheap corsage holder for the wrist, invest in a beautiful corsage bracelet. Not only will your corsage look amazing, you can wear the bracelet for years to come and always be reminded of your big night.

Creative Prom Corsage

I also have to talk about body flowers! Florists can do WAY more than just wrist corsages, ask your florist what body flowers would look best with your dress! One of our favorite looks is a strapless dress with over-the-shoulder flowers — a stunning look! You can also have flower rings, necklaces and even flowers for your shoes created! It’s all about using flowers to add color and style to your prom look.

Get MORE Prom Inspiration »

This post is brought to you by local Casper WY florists.
Not in Wyoming? No worries, Flower Shop Network makes it easy to find your local florist with our real local florist directory.

FSN’s 2010 Prom Recap

Unique Orchid Masterpiece

Do you LOVE prom? We do! Flower Shop Network has really got the school spirit this prom season! We have gone to several proms to take corsage photos. We have interviewed, videoed and photographed florists all over our area doin’ the prom thing. We have also written lots of articles in our blog about prom! (Check here and here.) Not to mention all the [Read more…]

Match Making: Matching Prom Corsage To The Dress

Friday night, we visited a local prom to get the scoop on this years hottest 2010 Prom Corsage trends! The result? Matching, matching, matching!

A prom corsage is an accessory just like jewelry, shoes, purses, etc. Why would you want a boring, red-rose-and-babys-breath corsage when you’re prom dress is super-fab psychedelic colors? (Which they were. The biggest trend in prom dresses was bright, bold colors!) Fashion savvy girls have really gotten involved with their own prom corsages by attending corsage bar parties.

Another great way they’ve been using technology to help their prom coordinating, is by using cellphone cameras. They can easily go to their florist and show them a picture of their prom dress on their phones. Many florists even let the girls text them the picture so they will have it when they are ready to build their corsage. (Most people now have free picture texts with their phone plans, make sure you are able to receive multi-media messages at no charge before you try this.)

You can see from the above picture, the florist knew her color theory! Blue’s complement is orange, however with the addition purple, the best choice for this vibrant, bright dress was yellow. Love that orchid corsage!

This florist went ALL out for this wild prom corsage! The girl is wearing a pink with black, sequin, polka-dot dress. Obviously, this girl has a [Read more…]

Corsage Bar How-To!

It’s that time again — PROM! Fancy dresses, perfect hair, jewelry, makeup, high-heels and beautiful flowers — when these are the essentials, you know it’s bound to be a good night! Mothers and daughters everywhere are planning big things for this year’s festivities.

prom-corsagesFor florists, however, prom can be a daunting task. Designing corsage after corsage with little guidance will really drain your creativity. The solution? A corsage bar! They are one of this prom season’s coolest trends.

A corsage bar is a buffet-style spread of all sorts of cool corsage accessories. Your prom-goers will be able to pick their “base design” and build their own unique corsage with whatever materials they choose.

Here is an example of the process:

  • Have a few examples of basic corsage designs and let them pick their own flower types, flower colors, ribbons and maybe a few other basics for a base price.
  • Have several trays and bowls set up on a table in different colors or styles to make it easy for color coding.
  • Put all of your smallest trinkets into a red bowl, the bigger, more unique things on a blue tray. Lay feathers and wires on a green mat.
  • Have a price guide based on your colored bowls and trays, so they can pick and choose what they want within their budget.


Package A: Base Design + 1 red bowl trinkets + 1 blue tray accessory + 1 green mat = $XX

Package B: Base Design + 3 red + 2 blue + 3 green = $XX

You get the idea.

  • Price your pieces individually too. Everything in the red bowl is $X each. So I can get Package A with 3 extra red bowl accessories at ($ Package A) + 3 × ($ red bowl price) = AWESOME CUSTOM CORSAGE. [Sorry about the confusing math, if you have questions just ask!]
  • Ask your floral supplies wholesaler what’s new or prowl through your local craft store and get everything you find that goes with this years look!

Don’t be afraid to suggest other accessories! Flowers to wear are a big trend this season! Use fresh or silk flowers on hair barrettes, necklaces, even on the straps of their shoes! Creating a flower ring out of wire and beads with flowers is super easy and a great add-on sale that the girls will really love!

pink-prom-corsageA corsage bar is a great way to spark your creativity, as well as gain valuable interest in your shop. Make it an event by creating flyers to hang in local high schools. Facebook is another great way to publicize this awesome opportunity. Create an event page and invite students from local schools, parents you may know and your other florist friends to let everyone know what is happening in your shop.

Trust me, once students get a taste of creating their own floral designs, and parents experience having a little more control over the prom budget, everyone will be looking forward celebrating this year’s event in your flower shop! Start a tradition this year with your very own corsage bar!

Try These 5 Prom Flower Styles in 2009!

Ok. It’s the big night. You’re standing there looking stunning in the dress that took two weeks and as many credit cards to find. Your hair has never looked better. Your face is clear, your teeth sparkle. You are a beauty to behold. That’s when you hear your date ring the doorbell. You coyly greet him only to find that he has brought something else besides a prom corsage. Could it be so? Is he even able to do that?


Prom flowers have taken many new shapes and sizes over the years. As the dresses get shorter, lighter and much more “springy,” so also do prom flowers change. (Yes, I actually say “so also do” and I’m not 100.) As far as having to stick to prom corsages goes, that’s not so much the case anymore. These flowers are gorgeous and perfectly acceptable. Plus, you can dress them up to fit you. However, don’t be alarmed if your date shows up with something a little less standard.

Florists are finding more and more that prom flowers need to fit the personalities of both the young lady and the young man. What I mean by this is that if you are a flashy, showy woman who likes to be bold–try a bolder looking bracelet wrist corsage. As a rocking young woman, I prefer these because your accessories ring a lot of personality to the whole ensemble. Instead of simple black and a pop of color, you now have your pretty black dress with an eye-catching bracelet and flowers that suck the attention straight back to you.

Prom Flowers by Inspired Floral Design Prom Pocket Squares from Oakhill Florist Beautiful Prom Corsages

Want to get some major compliments on prom night? Here are some flowers for prom that are hot in 2009:

1) Prom Pocket Squares (for guys) — not as familiar as the rest but definitely worth the wear. Prom pocket squares hold a photo of your date with floral accents to complement her corsage. Want more information on prom pocket squares? Call Oakhill Florist, a great flower shop in Scarborough Maine.

1) Wrist Corsages — you guessed it. The traditional is always going to show up in a list like this. However, modern girls are turning the traditional prom accessory into something trendy and fun. All it takes is a phone call to your local florist. He or she will talk with you about how to use ribbons, jeweled bracelets and particular types of flowers to make your corsage work for you.

2) Boutonnieres — again with the traditional but there are modern spins to be put on these as well. Just let your florist know that you want a very unique, contemporary boutonniere for your date. Once you know what color he’ll wear, the rest is a breeze! (Want a fun prom photo? Have a friend snap a pic of your date wearing your flowers and you wearing his. Strike a James Bond-esque “cool” pose and laugh about it for years.)

3) Bracelet Corsages — this is a little bit different than a typical wrist corsage because modern prom flowers mean very contemporary styles for the accessories worn with them. Jeweled bracelets make people WANT to show off what used to just be something to keep the flowers on their wrists. Now it’s an eye-catching fashion statement! Florists now have awesome bracelets and other jewelry that they can attach the flowers to.

4) Flower Bouquets — seems a little unorthodox considering the party atmosphere of a prom but these favored flowers are anything but passe. If your date shows up with a bouquet of flowers–well, that’s just worthy of a good solid hug. Only a sweetheart would go the extra mile to make YOU fell special. After all, you’re not going to be showing off a bouquet to your friends. These flowers are just for you; something to keep the memories of that night alive. Extra points for him and you if he shows up with something to wear to prom AND something to enjoy for yourself. He’s a keeper!

While these may not seem like “new” concepts for prom flowers, the whole idea with this accessory in 2009 is to make it all…about…YOU. Accentuate your personality because it’s YOUR prom. Flowers are just the icing on the cake. You’re the main attraction so ask your florist to create flowers for prom that bring your personality to life. Bold? Be a little brazen. Reserved? Try something traditional. In love with your date? Go romantic. It’s all up to you!

Florists Can Blossom During Prom Season

It’s hardly news to anyone that prom remains one of the biggest events in a teenager’s life. These young adults, with their mass of disposable income, spend months planning the perfect evening for themselves and their prom dates. To them, prom would be incomplete without the perfect dress or tuxedo, shoes, hair, ride, and matching corsages and boutonnières. This is where the florist can make the difference between fancy trimming and shabby accessories.

Prom Wrist Corsages

Florists often pass on prom business while many realize this sudden inward cash flow to be a profitable staple from year-to-year. The March 2008 issue of Floral Management includes an article that showcases some of the reasons florists may want to reconsider this youthful venture. Teenagers still have extreme purchasing power and choose to spend a hefty chunk of it on prom and homecoming. Being the chosen local florist is not only a profitable honor in that year but for the remainder of that teenager’s life. Taking the time to nurture the desires of your young customer will bring him or her back for their wedding, birthday, anniversary, and other floral needs.

Now that you are assuredly on the prom flowers bandwagon, here are some tips for making this prom season a big hit.

  • Be prepared! Phone a contact inside the local schools for the event dates, colors and themes, and other things that may make preparing easier.
  • Make the most of the Internet! This generation’s prom goers are increasingly tech-savvy. Most are more comfortable shopping online initially. This is a convenient trend as it reduces many costs to the florist including manpower and sales tracking.
  • Spice it up! Proms and prom attendants are now decorated to the hilt with lavish colors, sequins, glitter, boas, anklets, jewelry, and other accessories to make every vision of the evening a creative statement about themselves.
  • Show off your ideas! Let your customers see a line of possibilities first, then sell a more personalized version if necessary. Be creative! Make it fun! Organize a Corsage Bar!
  • Get your customer involved! A popular practice among florists is to let the females bring in their dresses to get a better match or to test different ideas.
  • Get to know formal wear and dress shop owners! An alliance with local dress shop owners is a fabulous way to get your name known. The customers are already in prom shopping mode and reminding them about their need for prom flowers while in the store can’t be beaten as the way to stand out.

When attracting prom customers be sure to capitalize on word of mouth. Parents, siblings, neighbors, and friends have a huge impact on who the teenager is likely to choose. You’re likely already the best around so let them know! Also, great tips for targeting young people in your area may come from the same people that give you the color scheme, themes, and dates of the proms. These people are sure to know where these young people hang out and where they’re going for their prom needs. Now you’re ready to take center stage as the go-to florist for prom and homecoming needs!

Spring Into Prom With Flowers

Prom is almost here. You have the date, the dress, the shoes, the hair, and the car. What’s missing? The prom flowers!! The perfect corsage or boutonnière makes the difference between a fun yet elegant statement and a shabby accessory. Here are some tips for finding the perfect floral decorations for your night!

  • Prom Corsage InspirationFind a decorative, matching corsage wristband! Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but funky sequins, elegant gems, coral, and pearl with your corsage make just as beautiful a statement.
  • Small flowers or floral hair accessories are definitely an up-DO! These become an eye-catching way to show off the hair and makeup you worked so hard on, not to mention the aromatic fragrance they give your date when you’re dancing cheek to cheek.
  • Talk with your florist! These experts are sure to have creative ideas and unique arrangements to bring out even more beauty.
  • Know your budget! Don’t risk spending too much or passing over the perfect bouquet because you don’t know how much you would like to spend.
  • Doll up your date also! Matching boutonniere and cummerbunds not only are a stylish look but announce to prom guests that you and your date are the perfect stylish prom couple!
  • (Guys) Surprise your date with a bouquet! It’s an unexpected twist that your date will remember and probably brag to her friends about for days. Face it; she’s expecting the corsage. Go the extra mile for a date that she’ll love!

Find a local florist to design your perfect corsage or boutonniere.

Create a Unique Prom with Flowers in this Flower Shop Network newsletter you’ll find a variety of ways to make your prom special.