Prom is arguably one of the most important events of a teenager’s life. For teenage girls, it’s an event that ranks right up there with getting a driver’s license. Prom is a night when young women get a chance to feel like princesses in their beautiful gowns, professionally styled hair, elegant shoes, classy evening bags, and, of course, the painstakingly selected corsages and boutonniere.

As a florist, I’ve helped hundreds of excited teenagers choose the right flowers to match their prom attire, so I know how important this event is in a young person’s life. It is always my pleasure to spend time finding out what kind of flowers they have in mind and which colors and styles will best match the dress and tuxedo. While I thoroughly enjoy the occasion, I understand that many of these young people are ordering flowers for the first time in their lives. They’re often nervous and uncertain about how to get what they have in mind. Here are a few tips to make the process easier:

• Order early. Prom occurs during peak wedding season and sometimes falls on Mother’s Day weekend. Wedding season and Mother’s Day are extremely busy times for florists. Many of the flowers that are popular for use in corsages and boutonnieres are also popular in arrangements for both weddings and Mother’s Day. Therefore, you should place your prom flower order at least two weeks before the event. This will allow your florist the time to make certain he or she has the proper quantities of the high-demand flowers on hand.

 Let your date know which flowers you like, or go together to order your flowers. If you’ve been dreaming of a particular look for your corsage or boutonniere and you know what kind of flowers you want in it, it’s perfectly okay to let your date know that. Many couples make the trip to the florist together and order matching corsages and boutonnieres, which has become a popular trend. If you’re not able to go together to order your flowers, you may want to give your date a picture of the kind of flowers you want.

• Consider your date’s attire when ordering. This tip is especially important for young men ordering corsages. If the young lady is wearing a strapless gown, a pin-on corsage may not be the best choice. Two popular styles of prom flowers are wrist corsages and hand-held nosegays. These two styles are the perfect choice to go with strapless gowns or ones made with fabrics that may be damaged by pins. To make sure you have the perfect match for your attire, bring in the gown itself a fabric swatch, or a photo. This will allow your florist to match the flowers, ribbons, and colors to your clothing.

 Your prom flowers don’t have to be expensive to be beautiful. Talk to your florist about your budget. He or she can suggest inexpensive flowers that, when placed in a nicely designed corsage, will be every bit as lovely as the more expensive varieties.

All in all, the best advice I can probably give for ordering your prom flowers is to take the time to engage your florist in a conversation about what you want, what will best match your clothing, and how much you’d like to spend. Remember, your florist is a professional and will be happy to take the time you need to help you pick the perfect prom flowers.