A wrist corsage is appropriate for events where dancing takes place because a shoulder corsage would be crushed. They are also preferred when the design of a dress makes it inconvenient to wear a pinned corsage. For example, a strapless bodice has no place to pin a corsage, and light fabrics such as chiffon can't handle the weight of a corsage. Wrist corsages are made with fewer flowers than shoulder corsages, and are generally less expensive.
Roses are sturdy flowers that will last through a long evening of dinner and dancing. They come in every color except true blue, although white roses can be dyed in a water dye bath or with floral spray to achieve this hue. Use roses alone or in combination with baby's breath or mini carnations.
Carnations are 3 inches round and packed with frilled petals. They resemble a fluffy powder puff. Some have a heavy spicy fragrance if grown at home. Florist carnations have little if any scent. Carnations grow to 3 feet high with long stems and narrow grey-green leaves. Three carnations make a medium size corsage. Small sweetheart roses are sometimes used with carnations.
Chrysanthemums were once the favorite for the homecoming game corsage. Now they're used for floral bouquets, arrangements and wrist corsages for any time of year. Mums range in size from button mums that are only 1 inch across to spider mums, which are up to 6 inches wide. Smaller daisy-shaped mums are popular for corsages. Mums come in every color except true blue and true red, although there are burgundy and rust colored mums.
Cattleya orchids are showy and big, up to 5 inches across and wide. They're used for shoulder corsages, but are too big for wrist corsages. Moth orchids or phalaenopsis orchids are a more appropriate size for wrist corsages. A cluster of vanda orchids works as well. Orchids are delicate looking and damaged by cold, but will last as a corsage. Orchids are glamorous alone, but are sometimes combined with roses. Orchids come in shades of white, purple, pink, almost red, yellow and burgundy.
Gardenias are highly fragrant; one bud can scent an entire room. The stems are short, so they aren't used much as cut flowers in arrangements, but they frequently appear in corsages and wedding bouquets. The leaves of gardenias are dark green, oval-shaped and make a good contrast to the snowy white of the gardenia. Gardenias are only available in white.