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Prom prep: we’ll help with corsages, boutonnieres and hand-held bouquets for the spring formal

Every spring, hundreds of thousands of high school students take college admission exams.

Many of the juniors and seniors also will partake of another rite of passage, one that’s a lot more fun than hours of testing: prom.

But will selecting prom flowers be:

  1. Stressful
  2. Confusing
  3. Costly
  4. None of the above

You can color in the oval next to D if you work with Royer’s Flowers & Gifts. We draw upon decades of helping high school students with prom prep. It’s quite possible that your parents or even your grandparents shopped for prom flowers with us when they were in school.

Whether you are attending prom with your significant other or with friends, flowers remain an integral part of the experience. We’re here to help you raise your flower-selection score. 

Prom primer

Prom is short for promenade, which describes a leisurely walk or a place for walking but also movements in ballet and ballroom dancing, according to USA Today.

Proms were modeled after debutante balls in high society, with the first ones traced to colleges and universities in the Northeast in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They were formal events meant to teach etiquette and manners and featured waltzes and other formal dances.

By the 1930s, according to, proms had reached high schools and began to look more like the events we know today. Amy Best, in her book, “Prom Night: Youth, Schools and Popular Culture,” said they became “a democratized version of the debutante ball.” 

It gave anyone attending high school the sense that they, too, were making a formal entrance into society, “that they could transcend the boundaries of class,” Best wrote. “The message was that you did not have to be rich to wear a fancy frock, to be adorned with a corsage, or to waltz the night away.”

At Royer’s, we emphasize the specialness of prom and how flowers honor the people wearing them. We offer a wide selection of flowers, work with all budgets and are eager to discuss your specific needs.  

Meanwhile, here are some things to keep in mind:

Corsages and boutonnieres

These are the traditional prom favorites. Women typically wear a corsage, which is taken from the French “bouquet de corsage,” or flowers pinned to the upper part of the body. As spaghetti straps and strapless dresses become popular, the corsage moved to the wrist, to which it is tied.

Men often wear boutonnieres, also of French origin, meaning buttonhole. The boutonniere doesn’t go in the buttonhole but rather is pinned above it with the stem down.

Hand-held bouquets

Of late, the corsage’s popularity is being challenged by the hand-held bouquet, which has become a darling of TikTok. We’ve added more options to our lineup to capture what students are looking for. Something to consider is that while a hand-held bouquet can make a statement in photos, it may not be something a date wants to hold onto all night.

Complementary colors

Dresses come in an array of designer colors that aren’t always available in fresh-cut flowers. You can save yourself a lot of aggravation by picking complementary rather than aiming for an exact match.

Perhaps you don’t want the flowers to be as bold as the dress color. Consider tints or shades of the dress color: for instance, purple, lavender, magenta or orchid.

Contrasting colors

If you want a bold look, consider contrasting colors that also are complementary. These are opposites on the color wheel that provide a nice pop: for instance, red and green, yellow and purple, orange and blue. 

A nod to neutral

When in doubt, you can always stay neutral. The fact is that all-white continues to be our most popular corsage year after year, often accented with silver or gold to match jewelry instead of dress color.

Our staff is always available to assist with your prom needs. Of course, decisions about prom flowers come down to what you like and what your budget allows.

When you choose what’s appropriate for your prom experience, there are no wrong answers.

Royer’s gives back 10 percent of online prom purchases to area high schools

No doubt, high school students throughout Royer’s market area will have lasting fond memories of having attended their spring proms.
And eight high school prom committees will have a little extra money after participating in Royer’s first prom fundraiser.
Royer’s sent reimbursement checks representing 10 percent of the $1,621.09 in corsages and boutonnieres purchased for proms at these high schools: Carlisle, Central Dauphin, Cocalico, Ephrata, Lampeter-Strasburg, Manheim Central, Manheim Township, Wyomissing.
The schools may use the reimbursed funds at their discretion. The fundraiser was open to all high schools in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon or York counties.
Royer’s plans to offer a similar fundraiser next year. Prom committees interested in participating in 2018 should contact Jaime Kevles, Royer’s marketing coordinator, at

4 steps to creating your prom corsage

Another school year is winding down, but not before the return of prom season.
Erica Bixby, Royer’s store manager in Lebanon, visited Fox 43 Morning News today to discuss prom corsages and boutonnieres with Amy Lutz. Erica boiled the process down to four easy steps, with help from Amy.
1. “You always want to start with your bracelet,” Erica said, noting that the options range from sparkly to the classic pearl style that Amy selected. “Blues and blush colors and creams are really popular this year.”
2. Next comes the base ribbon, which helps to keep the flowers in place. It can remain white or be sprayed a color; Amy chose gold.
“Depending on your dress, you want to kind of match the dress,” Erica said. “It’s always better to complement. And we’ll spray that just to give it a little pop of color.”
3. For flowers, options include sweetheart roses, dendrobium orchids, daisies, mini carnations with accent flowers (babies breath, delphinium florets, caspia, statice). Amy opted for white sweetheart roses, which Erica said are the most popular choice. “We go through a lot of white sweethearts this time of year,” she said.
4. Erica suggested adding “a pop” of fancy ribbon (silver or gold) or some sparkle (gems, rhinestones, pearls).
For a finishing touch: a light spray of glitter.
Of course, the guy’s boutonniere should match his date’s corsage.
“So maybe we’ll do two sweetheart roses with the gold ribbon,” Erica suggested.
This year, Royer’s added a “corsage builder” section on its website. For the less adventurous, pre-styled corsages and boutonnieres are available, too.
And if you’re not quite sure or want some hands-on help, you can always visit a Royer’s store.
“We’re here to help,” Erica said.

Royer’s giving back portion of online prom sales to area high schools

Area high schools compete in many ways, from football games to tennis matches, debates to television quiz shows.
Here’s a new one for them to consider: prom flowers. Except in this competition, there are only winners.
For the first time, Royer’s Flowers is returning a percentage of online prom sales to participating area high schools in the form of cash or flowers. For total sales of $2,500 or more, schools will earn 15 percent; for sales below $2,500, they will earn 10 percent.
The schools can use the reimbursed cash or flowers at their discretion.
“It’s not school against school, but we are hoping to generate a little friendly competition among them,” said Greg Royer, president and CEO of family-owned Royer’s. “If a school registers and records even one online prom sale, it wins. We look forward to seeing which school comes out on top.”
Prom season has begun and continues into early June. Royer’s has compiled a list of high schools and dates of their proms in the seven counties in which the company operates.
By going to, dance-goers can select their school from a drop-down menu and then shop for corsages and boutonnieres.
If a school has not registered, it can do so by having one of its prom organizers contact Jaime Kevles at

Royer’s partners with Manheim Township High School to raise more than $400 for Mini-THON

Kara Rickenbach approached Royer’s with a fundraising idea for Manheim Township High School’s Mini-THON in February.
Rickenbach, a junior and head of the Lancaster County school’s donor and alumni relations committee, wanted to sell corsages and boutonnieres to classmates attending homecoming in October.
Working with Pam Sigel, who manages Royer’s Lancaster North store, Rickenbach and other committee members took orders during school lunches.
Earning a 15 percent commission on their sales, the committee raised $413.86. The school’s seventh annual Mini-THON, scheduled for Feb. 24, will benefit Four Diamonds at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.
Cheryl Brill, Royer’s vice president of retail operations, said the company hopes to build on Rickenbach’s efforts by working with Manheim Township and other high schools on similar fundraisers.
Photo: From left, Christopher Sneeringer, Mini-THON advisor, and Kara Rickenbach, donor and alumni committee chair, Manheim Township High School; and Pam Sigel, store manager of Royer’s, 873 N. Queen St., Lancaster.

Previewing prom season on Fox 43

Erica Bixby, our store manager in Hershey, brought along a prom primer for her latest appearance on Fox 43 Morning News.
Joining Melanie Orlins of Fox 43, Erica said “bling is in” for this prom season.
Erica shared an array of bracelet options to which a corsage can be attached.
“These are great keepsakes,” Erica said of the bracelets. She suggested rhinestones and ribbons as nice complements to the bracelets.
As for flowers, orchids and roses are traditional favorites; this year, succulents are popular.
“It’s always best to complement” when it comes to flower colors for corsages and boutonnieres, Erica said. “Sometimes people will get held up trying to match exactly. It always looks nice when you have a contrast or a little bit of color against the dress. And it makes the pictures look really nice, too.”
You can view the segment here:

Prom time players

Spring is in the air, and prom season is upon us.
Barry Spengler of Royer’s joined Fox 43’s Morning News to talk about the latest floral trends for proms, from keepsake bracelets and floral rings to wrist cuffs and arm corsages. And for the guys, there are boutonnieres that attach with a magnet.
You can view Barry’s visit with Ashley Palutis below.
Meanwhile, Royer’s in Camp Hill is holding a “prom party” from 4 to 7 p.m. April 16-17. It’s an opportunity to see the latest design trends, colors and flowers, and to receive a 15 percent discount on corsage and boutonniere orders. Refreshments will be served.