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Boutonnières, also known as “buttonholes”, are most notably worn by the groom, groomsmen, and male family members of the groom. However, we have been seeing them become more popular among females as well! They should be worn on the left lapel of the man’s suit jacket. Boutonnières have a long history. Historians believe that they can possibly be traced all the way back to the Egyptians or the Aztecs. Boutonnières seemed to have gained popularity as a fashion accessory in the 19th century. The choice of a fresh boutonnière was as important as a pair of freshly shined shoes. Moving into the 20th-century and present day, men transitioned the boutonnière into more of an accessory for their wedding day ensemble. Typically the groom’s boutonnière matches the bridal bouquet and the groomsmen and fathers/family have similar style boutonnières. Though, we have seen a rise in all matching boutonnières lately.

Coryn Kiefer Photographer

Now that we have the history out of the way, let’s talk about what they are made of. The short answer, is almost anything! Some flowers and greeneries are certainly better suited than others as they hold up better. While you can technically make a boutonnière out of anything, there are some flowers we will refuse to put in them as they don’t hold up well enough or for other reasons. The first is hydrangea. Hydrangea, although beautiful and long-lasting in a vase, are not well suited for boutonnières as they wilt so fast out of water. Lilac, similar to hydrangea, does not hold well out of water and will certainly wilt before your photos are done. We also do not love using large head roses but not because they don’t hold up, because they are too large and heavy. A large head rose can have a tendency to pull away from the wearer and appear to droop. Anemones, say what? But I have seen these on Pinterest! Yes, you have. You have probably even seen them in our portfolio. That is how we can confidently say no to them. We call them “one-hug-wonders”. One hug from grandma and those paper-thin petals will bruise. Ok, so what does go in a boutonnière if I can’t have any of those flowers? Some of our favorite flowers to put in boutonnières are lisianthus, spray roses, ranunculus, thistle, billy balls, pom mums, berries, strawflower, any and all eucalyptus, Italian ruscus, as well as any bleached or dried florals. Our go-to boutonnière is a lisianthus bloom or a ranunculus bloom with thistle, bits of eucalyptus, and ruscus.

Anne Mientka Photography

So how much do boutonnières typically cost? This of course varies on many factors such as the focal flower and other flowers being used, the attachment style (i.e. pin on, magnetic or other), and the finished wrap style. Traditionally florists used to just wrap the boutonnière stems in plain green tape. We think that is a little outdated and more prom than wedding though. Some of the most common stem wraps we do include twine, satin ribbon, and silk. A standard boutonnière will usually cost between $22-$28.

Shem Roose Photography

It’s the wedding day, and you’re ready to pin that boutonnière on but you are not sure how. Depending on the man’s attire, you will have to choose the correct method for the application. For grooms who are wearing a traditional suit, the boutonnière will be placed on the left lapel. Place your thumb on the underside of the lapel and firmly grasp the front of the boutonnière with your index finger. Once the boutonnière is in the correct place gently fold back the lapel to expose the underside. Gently push the pin into the fabric starting from the outer edge of the lapel. Continue to push the pin through the stems and back into the underside of the lapel. Think of a sewing stitch! If you have a heavier boutonnière you can place another pin in about a 1/2″ below the first one. Remember you should be pinning through the top of the stem where it is the thickest. 

Jenna Brisson Photography

Have any other questions regarding boutonnières? Drop them in the comments below and we will be happy to answer them! 

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