Home Flower Care Boutonnieres, Love Them or Hate Them

Boutonnieres, Love Them or Hate Them

written by Linda Lee Ruzicka October 16, 2017


Boutonnieres were originally made, along with the bride’s bouquet, to ward off disease, odors and evil spirits. Whether it worked or not, we’ll never know, but the tradition of guys wearing a flower on their left lapel for weddings, proms and homecomings is still a tradition. But is it a necessary one?

First, who wears a boutonniere at a wedding?

So, who does receive a boutonniere to be pinned on their left lapel at a wedding? Well, the guys who wear the “Bout” pronounced “Boot” as floral designers call them, are quite a list if it’s a large wedding. The list would include the groom, the best man, the groomsmen, the ring bearer (if he’s three and up), the fathers and the grandfathers. If you would be eloping, then it would be the groom; or the groom and the best man wearing them.

What does a boutonniere consist of?

There are different styles of boutonnieres decided upon and based on what the flowers are in the wedding and what the bride wants. Some boutonnieres consist of two or more flowers with greenery, filler (such as baby’s breath) and a ribbon. These are a little over the top and end up looking like a small corsage though. A simpler boutonniere would be one or two small flowers with a little greenery that’s fastened together with floral tape. A long pin is always included to fix the flowers to the guy’s lapel.

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Size is important when ordering your boutonniere, even if it’s a single flower. You don’t want it so big that it looks out of place. Or that the flower is so big that it looks as if it were going to fall off the lapel no matter how securely attached it actually is.

Even if you want something unique and different, keep it small also. Some grooms prefer a more masculine look additionally. So, they may wear a boutonniere designed from twigs and fiddlehead ferns, or herbs, or even one with the bloom made from metal.

Should the boutonniere match the bridal bouquet?

It used to be standard that the florals did match but many couples are not following that tradition anymore. They are using florals, perhaps in the same colors, but with variety and movement. Some couples are having the stems wrapped in ribbon; other couples are letting the green of the floral tape show through. It comes down to a matter of personal taste and choice. A suggestion also is to be open to what your floral designer suggests. You don’t have to use the suggestion, or you can take part of it and have the designer make it into something of your own.

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Are boutonnieres really necessary?

That brings up the question of whether a boutonniere is even necessary for the groom to wear. Well, no, it isn’t mandatory. But then again, neither are wedding flowers; it comes down to a matter of personal taste and choice. So, if you choose not to have boutonnieres, that’s up to you. It’s your wedding; you can either follow tradition or make one of your own!