The buttonhole or boutonniere as it’s called over the pond is a must at any wedding. A lot of couples ask me who should wear one. When my parents got married over 40 years ago it was tradition for every guest to be given one to wear. Usually a carnation and fern with foil around the stems! Very tasteful I’m sure. A lot has changed over the years. Now the etiquette is to provide buttonholes for the main men of the wedding party – groom, best man, ushers, page boys, father/s of the bride and groom. You could also provide one for grandfathers or ring bearers. I usually suggest to stop there as it can quickly snow ball. “What about my brother? But then perhaps we should get one for his wife” You can see how it can go on and on!
Styles of buttonholes have also changed over the last 10 years. When I was first taught how to make a buttonhole 30 years ago they were all wired and taped – usually a rose or carnation with a touch of delicate fern. They are pretty robust flowers and will not wilt too quickly. Men do a lot of hugging at weddings so they can get crushed quite easily so choosing flowers that will not look ropey before you walk down the aisle is a must. Your florist should be able to advise you on this.
It’s now really popular to have a more natural looking buttonhole. More of a group or cluster of small flowers and foliage taped together and tied with some pretty velvet, silk or twine for a rustic look. Herbs, berries and thistles are very popular. Although they are gorgeous they tend not to last quite as long as a wired buttonhole, but in my opinion once you have walked down the aisle and had your photographs taken they have served their purpose. Men tend to take their jackets off when they sit down for the wedding breakfast.
How to wear a buttonhole – for men it’s on the left hand lapel of their jacket, on the outside, facing upwards. With the pin provided you push it through from the back of the lapel over the stems then back through the lapel. This way you will not see the pin. I attach instructions on how to attach buttonholes and corsages as most people have never had to do it before.
The cost of men’s buttonholes can vary from florist to florist but you can expect to pay between £8 and £20 depending what flowers are used. They are pretty time consuming to make, I tend to make mine on the morning of the wedding or if there are a lot of them I make them the evening before, giving them a light mist of water, I then wrap them in cellophane and pop them in the fridge. This keeps them nice and fresh.
I hope this has helped, now when you meet with your chosen florist to discuss your wedding flowers you will be the oracle of buttonholes!
Best wishes, E x
Thank you Evoke Pictures for the gorgeous pictures.