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At prom, flowers not just for corsages and boutonnieres anymore

Prom flowers these days are not only something to stick on a lapel or strap around a wrist. New arrangements created by creative florists have flowers popping up on prom attire from head to toe. 

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"Everything sparkly continues to be very popular. I've had a couple of girls, they just want glitter all over their flowers. I'm starting to see more personalization with their whole outfit," said Tracey Foster, owner of Twigs florists in Yerington, Nev., and writer of the blog Promflowers.blogspot.com.

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How about a glow? A company called Bioconst has come up with cut flowers that offer a blacklight effect when treated with its fluorescent formulation and combined with a UV device embedded in a corsage or boutonniere. Another company sells LED kits similar to tiny Christmas tree lights to arrange among the flowers.

Placement

Wearing the prom arrangement on the wrist remains popular, but florists and designers support other placements as well, the head among them.

"I love doing hair flowers," said Stacey Bendet of Alice & Olivia. "It's more modern."

Gillespie and Twigs are among shops offering florals attached to rhinestone-studded tiaras, more relaxed bohemian headbands worn across the forehead or around-the-head wreaths.

"Or he can just pick some and she can pin them to her hair or a bun," Bendet said. "Hair flowers are definitely a trend right now."

She also suggests floral arrangements attached to purses or phone cases. Gillespie will make small arrangements intended for the toe or ankle strap of a shoe, either glued or tied on with ribbon, or hang an arrangement from a rhinestone-studded necklace that ties with ribbon at the back.

"How about a flower you attach to a chain?" asks Bendet.

Mendenhall said sales of corsage alternatives for prom, also including elaborate upper-arm cuffs on wire bases, are a small percentage of Gillespie's prom business in comparison to the wrist style. But she and Foster agree that corsages are far more elaborate, and prom planning has definitely amped up.

"Now girls, and their mothers, will spend countless hours on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram looking for prom corsage ideas, find something they like and try to find a florist who will make it happen," Foster said.

Where does all of this leave the boys?

"I have guys coming in here with printouts of a web page, saying my girlfriend gave this to me and she wants this and here's a picture of her dress," Mendenhall said. "This is their biggest night of the year."

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