The tradition of a boutonniere stems from inserting flowers through an actual buttonhole in the man’s left lapel. In modern times, a lapel might have a faux buttonhole, or maybe, none at all, so the boutonniere needs to be pinned.
There is a really popular story of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria. The Queen presented Prince Albert with a small bouquet on their wedding day. He made such a gentlemanly and thoughtful gesture to show his appreciation of cutting a hole in his lapel right then and then. He then inserted those flowers in the hole he made on his lapel. From that point on, he had his tailor put that same hole in all of his jacket lapels —- and now we have this tradition.
Here are some tips:
- Hold the boutonniere by the stem with your left hand, the flower should face away from the viewer.
- The boutonniere belongs on the wearers chest below the left shoulder on the lapel.
- It should be placed about four inches down from the tip of the left shoulder. Make sure the flower is positioned correctly before pinning it in place.
- Hold a pin with your right hand, and starting from behind the lapel, push it through the fabric just beneath the head of the flower so that it doesn’t break.
- Pierce through the flower stem and inserting the tip of the pin into the fabric so that the tip of the pin ends up behind the lapel. Be sure that the flower is securely in place.
- Tug gently on the stem to be sure the boutonniere is properly fastened.
TIP: An alternative to a ”pinned” corsage would be magnetic attachment. Ask your wedding planner or florist if they can supply it for you!
For some ways to make them yourself
Leave the tough stuff to your professional florist, but if you want to add a handcrafted touch, try making the groom’s boutonniere. Click here for The Knot’s recommendation.
Unique boutonnieres (think pinecone, succulents, or bullet shell casing, etc.)
When you’re planning your wedding, you want unique touches or things that are totally you and/or go with the theme/color of your wedding. Florals aren’t your only option. Channel a rustic vibe with twine or cotton elements, succulents will lend an organic style to a lapel, or add a couple really cool feathers for a fashion-forward look. Take the look a step further with a coordinating bowtie or pocket square for a very dapper wedding day style. For some unique ways to wear them, check this out from The Knot.
No matter what you do, ensure that your photographer captures just the boutonniere. It’s one of those details you’ll want to remember for a long time!