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Creamy, Frothy, Snowy White Bouquets: Boutonnieres

Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer/Fall 1998

Do you know that at one time it was fashionable to pin one' s boutonniere on upside down, so its blossoms would not fade too soon? Edwardian Age grooms preferred to wear aromatic, ivory-hued gardenias in their lapels, a formal, elegant choice.

In Shakespearean times, the first blossomings of a poetic "language of flowers" moved love-besotted grooms to pin "meaningful" nosegays to their doublets -- though nosegays were also carried, especially by ladies, to press to the nose at highly emotional moments. In due and eventual course (for male fashion changes at a cautious -- not to say snail-like -- pace) that second exceptionally flowery era -- Victoria's -- prompted grooms to pluck one perfect blossom from their brides' bouquets to pin on their lapels, which, with minor variations, is where boutonnieres sit today.

A selection of boutonnieres, each related to our bouquets and wrapped, for the most part, in ribbons that blend with dark lapels. Clockwise, from upper right: A green-ribbon-wrapped rose and bud; a sprig of chaste snowberries; three scented tuberose blossoms and buds; two green acorns and stephanotis, their stems twisted together in striped ribbon; the organdy-like petals of ranunculus bound in baby blue; a single fragile spray of lily of the valley on its own green leaf, doubly bowed; one fresh gardenia on its own gleaming leaves.

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