New This Month

How to Put on a Boutonnière

And other questions about the groom's floral accessory, answered.

lindsey william wedding dc boutonnieres
Photography by: Abby Jiu Photography

When it comes to floral accessories at most weddings, bouquets aren't the only piece of the puzzle. Another popular arrangement category? Boutonnières. Here, with the help of flower experts from around the country, we've compiled the ultimate guide to the fashion items. Read on for answers to common questions about wedding boutonnières.

 

Related: Who Gets Personal Flowers at a Wedding?

 

What's a boutonnière?

Boutonnière is a French word that translates in English to "buttonhole." That's because, historically, they were stuck into the buttonholes found on jacket lapels. Typically, boutonnières are worn by men for formal events, including weddings. While many involve single buds, modern professionals have gotten more creative with their designs.

 

Who wears a wedding boutonnière?

According to Sierra Steifman of Poppies & Posies, based in New York, New York, boutonnières are traditionally given to grooms, groomsmen, and the fathers of the bride and groom. Rick Davis, of Amaryllis in Washington, D.C., (the company designed the accessories pictured here) adds that grandfathers, ring bearers, and ushers may wear them, too. Even readers and officiants can don them, shares Alicia Rico of Bows + Arrows, based in Dallas, Texas. "Really, you can give one to anyone that you'd like to highlight as a special guest," concludes Steifman.

 

How do you put a boutonnière on?

The general rule is that boutonnières are worn on the left side of a tuxedo, suit, or sport coat. If your formal menswear has a lapel buttonhole, you can insert the flower arrangement there. Nowadays, though, it's more common to see them pinned to lapels, instead. While Davis notes that there's a magnet method to attaching boutonnières, the florists agree that pins are usually the best way to go. "I like to use two straight pins, going up through the suit and boutonnière with one pin and down through the suit and boutonnière with the other," advises Rico. "The two pins going opposite directions help to hold it in place and not shift or slide around!" Steifman adds that placing pins horizontally "will keep the boutonnière straight."

 

Should you match your boutonnières to your wedding's other flowers?

Do the accessories have to use the exact same colors and flowers as your bridal and bridesmaids' bouquets, corsages, centerpieces, and the likes? "Boutonnières don't need to 'match' other wedding florals, but they should coordinate to make everything cohesive," says Rico.

 

Where do you buy wedding boutonnières?

This one's easy. "You can buy fresh boutonnières from a floral shop or floral designer," says Steifman, but "you can also find non-floral ones online."

 

What else should you know about wedding boutonnières?

"We always suggest hardy flowers since others will wilt quickly out of water on a boutonnière," shares Steifman. To keep real plants as fresh as possible, "they should be kept in a cooler until they're pinned on," Rico says. She also recommends having extras available, "in case one wilts or gets smashed." At the very least, you should create a dupe for the groom—one for the ceremony, and one for the reception, Davis recommends. He also points out that boutonnières shouldn't be worn with pocket squares. "Pick one or the other." Finally, "pay attention to how your boutonnières will be wrapped," Steifman advises. Ribbons are a great option.