What’s trending for prom flowers in 2020?  Color… fashion… style… succulents… wirework… flower accessories?

“Individuality,” answers Loann Burke AIFD, AAF, PFCI event specialist at Furst the Florist in Dayton, Ohio and a Smithers-Oasis design director.

Prom corsage and boutonniere with a succulent incorporated.
Photo by Loann Burke

That’s good news for innovative florists who build their floral businesses by showcasing creativity.

If originality is your flower shop’s silent salesperson – then no two prom designs should look alike.

Prom-savvy teens agree this isn’t their parent’s prom! These young customers have money to spend and they’re buying trends over tradition.

What will your trendsetting prom customers want to purchase in 2020?

Glittery Equals Glam

When it comes to memorable prom flowers – glittery equals glam.

This is no dress rehearsal, everyone will be looking their best on prom night. One-of-a-kind flowers are needed to make your prom couples stand out in a crowd.

Purple prom wristlet, bout, and hair comb.
Photo by Loann Burke

This year’s prom fashions vary from classic ballgowns to fancy jumpsuits and stylish pantsuits. Metallics and sequins shimmer and shine in gold, rose gold, silver and gunmetal finishes.

Harmonious shades of purple, blue, navy and midnight are on-trend. Hearty-red hues of wine or burgundy remain on the dance card. Up-trending softer tones of blue, pink, and mauve come waltzing-in this season.

Even bold yellow is showing up for the big dance. It’s up to you to create prom flower designs that accessorize these color and fashion trends for your teen clientele.

What will your prom customers look for?

Matching Sets

In recent years, prom dates have learned to buy their flowers together for a more cohesive look. 90% of Furst the Florist prom orders are for a prom wristlet and matching boutonniere set.

Matching prom wristlets and bouts in deep rich shades of red.
Photo by Loann Burke

“Selling the two designs together definitely helps to elevate the price of a bout,” says Loann.

While $25-plus for a boutonniere seems high, once it becomes part of $70-plus companion piece set it makes the pricing more palatable.

Add-on items like necklaces and rings help bump up the tab.

Decorative wire necklace featuring Dendrobium orchids.
Photo by Loann Burke

“Last prom season, we sold many more personal items like rings,” shares Loann. “Mini gerbera daisy rings were especially popular.”

To avoid hectic last-minute labor, decorative wire jewelry, corsage, and boutonniere forms must be created in advance. Fresh flowers and foliages are then glued into place with floral adhesive on pre-prom design days.

 Wire cutters and jewelry pliers come in handy for creating the handcrafted wire forms.

Which glue to use for corsage and boutonniere work? Find out in this video

‘Peel and Stick’ Designs

This ‘peel and stick’ pocket square is for the young man with a creative edge or the girl who wants her date’s flowers to get noticed.

Fresh flower pocket square for Prom.
Photo by Loann Burke

Designing the pocket square atop a single UGLU strip is preferable, but it’s possible to substitute with four UGLU dashes.

How can you introduce ‘peel and stick’ to your customers as a replacement for boutonniere pins or magnets?

Prom boutonniere in hot pink and soft blue.
Photo by Loann Burke

“Last year we randomly made some ‘peel and stick’ designs like this cluster boutonniere,” Loann explains. “A typed note was placed with the designs to educate the recipients on how to apply the design.”

The front desk sales staff gives verbal instructions to the randomly-chosen customers when they pick up the ‘peel and stick’ flowers. “We really have to stress ‘press firmly in place,’ she adds.

Lollipop Technique

Loann offers a solution for stabilizing a stick-on boutonniere that is glued together rather than ‘wired and taped’. She calls it a lollipop technique.

Coral ranunculus boutonniere.
Photo by Loann Burke

A ‘lollipop’ form becomes the boutonniere base.

  • Use floral scissors to cut a 2” long piece of 2.5” flat wire.
  • Take a UGLU strip and cut it in half.
  • Adhere one half to one side of the flat wire.
  • Place the other half on the backside of the flat wire.
  • Cutaway 1/4th” on either side to make a skinny stem.
  • Pull off one side of white paper; press a stiff leaf onto UGLU.
  • Glue flowers onto the form with floral adhesive.

“You can even make a bout look traditional by taping it in,” adds Loann.

Watch how easily she constructed a ‘peel and stick’ boutonniere this how-to video.

A Finishing Touch

Sometimes flower bracelets feel unstable under the weight of flowers. If the design mechanics show underneath the bracelet, the design looks unfinished.

Floral mechanics for professionally-designed pearl wristlet.
Photo by Loann Burke

Loann offers a solution. She suggests finishing the underside of each bracelet to help stabilize the structure and cover mechanics.

“Attach a 6-inch piece of matching #9 ribbon to cover the 1 ½-inch center of the bracelet,” she instructs.

The bracelet feels more secure once the flowers are glued on. The ribbon hides the glue that is normally visible through the clear attachment disk.

“It’s a prettier finished product with no visible glue,” Loann explains.

Organized Chaos

While finished products are the main focus, an organized design process is key to eliminating prom season chaos.

White wristlet and boutonniere with blue decorative wire curls.
Photo by Loann Burke

While finished products are the main focus, an organized design process is the key to eliminating prom season chaos.

As prom season arrives, the Furst staff organizes a bling buffet for customers to buy from. Cut lengths of ribbon are tied together on one end in a knot so customers can see and choose their ribbon.

Teens come in to select their bracelets, bling, and ribbon. “We take a snip of that ribbon and staple it to the order,” Loann explains. The chosen items are added to a corsage bag that goes with the order.  

In-between deliveries, Delivery Coordinator/Driver Della White makes the bow and preps the bracelet. She pan glues the bow to the bracelet creating a base for the flowers to be glued onto.

Loann assembles the wristlet by gluing fresh flowers onto the prepped bracelets. She has a specially-build board clamped to the table allowing her to design three bracelets at once.

Loann puts the finished design back into the corsage bag. Della checks the design, mists it with Crowning Glory, tags, and boxes it for the cooler until pickup.

Find more prom design photos here including decorative wire designs.

Wirework Wow

Wow, your prom customers by offering interesting wirework designs. Be sure to calculate the increased labor cost in the price of the upscale designs.

Fresh flower prom wristlets featuring decorative wire accents and a hoop design.
Photo by Loann Burke

Create decorative wire forms in advance of the prom sales season. Display the handcrafted structures along with purchased wristlet forms for prom dates to choose from. Incorporate decorative materials like pearl bracelets and rhinestone sprays.

Learn to make perfect aluminum wire circles with this video. 

Make Plans Now

As prom season nears, now is the time to organize your floral business for meeting the individual needs of your prom customers. Make detailed plans for promoting, selling, and designing trend-savvy prom flowers for your teen clientele.

While making plans revisit the prom tips, trends, and techniques in these flower blogs:

Why and How to Glue Prom (and Other) Flowers

Eight Ways to Turn Petals to Profits with Prom Flowers

How to Create Fabulous Fashion your Clients will Really Wear

Bout Art – 26 ways real men wear cool flowers

What organizational tips can you share with us for prom season?