&noscript=1 />

Blooms for the Big Day: Boutonnieres Demystified

wedding boutonniere
If you enjoy the post, consider sharing it with your friends...

Weddings are an important occasion for many couples, and often involve a lot of planning and decision-making. One of the small details that can make a big difference to the overall look and feel of a wedding is the boutonniere. But who traditionally wears a boutonniere at a wedding, and what is the etiquette surrounding this accessory?

In this article, we’ll explore the tradition and etiquette surrounding boutonnieres at weddings, from the groomsmen to the father of the bride. We’ll also take a look at modern trends and alternatives, to help you decide what will work best for your special day.

Key Takeaways:

  • Boutonnieres are a small but significant accessory worn at weddings.
  • Traditionally, boutonnieres are worn by the groom and his groomsmen, as well as the father of the bride.
  • Boutonniere placement is important, with the flower typically worn on the left lapel.
  • Modern trends and alternatives include unique designs and alternative accessories.

What is a Boutonniere?

A boutonniere is a small floral decoration worn by men on the lapel of their jacket or suit for formal occasions, including weddings. It is typically made of one or more small blooms, such as a single rose or carnation, and is pinned to the left lapel of the jacket, just above the heart.

The word “boutonniere” is derived from the French word “boutonnière,” which means “buttonhole,” referring to the small slit on the lapel of a jacket through which the stem of the flower is inserted. In some cultures, the boutonniere is also known as a “buttonhole flower” or “facing flower.”

Boutonniere Tradition and Etiquette

Boutonnieres have been a traditional accessory for grooms and groomsmen for centuries, and they are still an essential part of a wedding ensemble. These small, elegant floral arrangements are typically worn on the left lapel of the suit jacket, and they are a symbol of the wearer’s participation in the wedding ceremony.

Traditionally, the groom and his groomsmen wear matching boutonnieres, which are usually chosen to complement the bridal bouquet and the rest of the wedding color scheme. The father of the bride and other male relatives of the couple may also wear boutonnieres, often with a slightly different design to distinguish them from the groomsmen.

Boutonniere placement is important for both aesthetic and sentimental reasons. It is customary to pin the boutonniere to the left lapel of the jacket, near the heart. This position symbolizes the love and affection that the wearer has for the couple and their families. It is also important to ensure that the boutonniere is securely fastened so that it does not fall off during the wedding ceremony or reception.

While boutonnieres are traditionally worn by men, some modern couples choose to include them as part of the female wedding party’s accessories, such as mothers of the bride and groom, grandmothers, and female ushers. These are typically smaller in size and reflect the wedding color scheme.

Boutonniere Selection

When selecting boutonnieres, there are a few factors to consider, including the wedding’s theme, color scheme, and season. It is important to choose flowers that are in season and will match well with the overall look of the wedding. Popular choices for boutonnieres include roses, carnations, and orchids, but there are many other options available.

In addition to flowers, boutonnieres may also include other elements, such as greenery, berries, feathers, or decorative wire. Some couples choose to incorporate personal touches into the boutonnieres, such as a small charm or token that represents a shared interest or hobby.

Ultimately, the choice of boutonniere design and style should reflect the couple’s personal taste and preferences, as well as their cultural or family traditions.

Groomsmen Boutonnieres

Groomsmen play a significant role in the wedding ceremony, and their boutonnieres reflect that importance. Typically, the groomsmen’s boutonnieres match the bride’s bouquet or the groom’s boutonniere for a cohesive look.

The groomsmen’s boutonnieres are usually less elaborate than the groom’s and should coordinate with their attire. It’s essential to ensure that all the boutonnieres in the wedding party match so that they look great in photos.

Boutonniere Placement for Groomsmen

The boutonniere for the groomsmen should be placed on the left lapel, close to the heart. It’s important to ensure that the boutonniere is pinned securely and that the stem is trimmed to avoid poking or scratching the wearer.

The groom’s boutonniere can be slightly different from the groomsmen’s boutonnieres to set him apart as the groom. The groom may opt for a more elaborate boutonniere with additional flowers or unique elements to differentiate his from the groomsmen’s boutonnieres.

Father of the Bride Boutonniere

The father of the bride typically wears a boutonniere that is slightly different from the rest of the wedding party. This is because he is a special member of the family, and his boutonniere should reflect that.

The father of the bride boutonniere is usually a larger, more elaborate design than the groomsmen boutonnieres. It may also feature a different flower or color scheme to match the mother of the bride’s corsage.

Traditionally, the father of the bride would pin the boutonniere onto his own lapel before the wedding ceremony. However, in modern times, it is common for the best man or another family member to help with the pinning.

Symbolism of the Father of the Bride Boutonniere

The father of the bride boutonniere symbolizes his important role in the wedding ceremony. It represents the love and support he has for his daughter and the pride he feels in seeing her get married.

Many fathers choose to keep their boutonnieres as a keepsake after the wedding as a reminder of this special day and their daughter’s marriage.

Boutonnieres for Other Family Members

In addition to the groomsmen and father of the bride, there are other family members who may wear boutonnieres at a wedding. The best man, for example, traditionally wears a boutonniere that matches the groomsmen’s but is slightly different to distinguish his role.

The groom himself may also wear a boutonniere that is either similar to or different from those worn by his groomsmen. This can be a way to add a personal touch to his wedding day attire.

In some cases, the mothers of the bride and groom may also wear corsages instead of or in addition to a boutonniere. A corsage is a small arrangement of flowers that is typically worn on the wrist or pinned to the dress.

It’s important to consider the roles and significance of each family member when deciding on boutonnieres or corsages. Including them in the tradition can add a special touch to the wedding day and show appreciation for their support and involvement.

Wedding Party Accessories

In addition to boutonnieres, there are several other accessories commonly worn by members of the wedding party. These accessories are typically worn by female members of the party and can complement the boutonnieres worn by the men.

Corsages are a popular choice for mothers of the bride and groom, as well as female members of the wedding party. They are typically made up of a small cluster of flowers and are worn on the wrist or pinned to the dress or jacket. Corsages can be matched to the colors and style of the wedding, and can help to tie the whole look together.

Another popular accessory for female members of the wedding party is the hairpiece. These can range from simple flowers or feathers to more elaborate designs, such as crystal-studded barrettes or floral wreaths. Hairpieces are often worn by bridesmaids and flower girls, and can help to create a cohesive look among the members of the party.

In addition to these traditional accessories, there are also plenty of modern alternatives to consider. For example, some couples opt for non-flower boutonnieres, such as those made from feathers, buttons, or other unique materials. Others may choose to forego traditional accessories altogether and opt for statement jewelry or bold hair accessories instead.

Overall, the accessories worn by the wedding party are an important part of the overall look and feel of the wedding. Whether you choose to go with traditional boutonnieres and corsages or opt for more modern alternatives, these accessories can help to tie the whole wedding party together and create a cohesive look that is sure to make a lasting impression.

While traditional boutonnieres remain a popular choice for weddings, modern trends have introduced unique and creative alternatives to this classic accessory. For example, some grooms opt for non-floral boutonnieres made from feathers, paper, or even buttons. These handmade boutonnieres can be personalized to match the wedding colors or themes, adding a unique touch to the groom’s attire.

Another trend is the use of succulents and greenery in boutonnieres. These natural elements bring a touch of organic elegance to the wedding party’s look and can be a great choice for outdoor or rustic-themed weddings.

For a truly unconventional choice, some couples are opting for alternative accessories beyond the traditional boutonniere. This includes lapel pins, tie clips, and even pocket squares. These stylish accessories can still complement the wedding party’s attire while providing a fresh and unique twist.

Regardless of the choice, couples should consider their personal style and wedding theme when selecting boutonnieres or alternative accessories. The options are endless, so don’t be afraid to get creative!


In summary, boutonnieres are a significant accessory for weddings, worn by the groom, groomsmen, and other family members. These elegant floral arrangements add a touch of sophistication and formality to a wedding and serve as a symbol of the special day. It is important to follow the traditional etiquette of boutonniere placement for weddings, ensuring proper positioning on the lapel or jacket. However, modern trends and alternatives provide unique options for those looking to break away from traditional designs. Wedding party accessories such as corsages for female members are also an important aspect of the overall look.

In conclusion, the boutonniere remains an essential aspect of the traditional wedding attire. It is a symbol of love, unity, and celebration. Whether you choose a classic style or a modern trend, the boutonniere is an important accessory that adds elegance and sophistication to any wedding.


Q: Who wears boutonnieres at a wedding?

A: Boutonnieres are traditionally worn by the groom, groomsmen, and fathers of the bride and groom. However, it is becoming more common for other family members and even female members of the wedding party to wear boutonnieres as well.

Q: What is a boutonniere?

A: A boutonniere is a small floral arrangement, typically consisting of one or two flowers and some greenery, that is worn on the lapel or jacket of a person’s attire. It is a traditional accessory for weddings and formal events.

Q: What is the tradition and etiquette surrounding boutonnieres?

A: Boutonnieres are traditionally given to the groom, groomsmen, and fathers of the bride and groom to signify their roles in the wedding party. The boutonniere is typically worn on the left lapel, and the stem should be pinned vertically to ensure it stays secure throughout the event.

Q: What about groomsmen boutonnieres?

A: Groomsmen typically wear boutonnieres that match or complement the flowers used in the bridal bouquet or the overall wedding color scheme. The groom’s boutonniere is often slightly different to distinguish him as the groom.

Q: What is the significance of the father of the bride boutonniere?

A: The boutonniere worn by the father of the bride symbolizes his role in the wedding and his pride in his daughter. It is a way to honor and recognize his position as a key figure in the celebration.

Q: Are there boutonnieres for other family members?

A: Yes, other family members such as the best man and the groom himself may also wear boutonnieres. The best man’s boutonniere is typically similar to the groomsmen’s, while the groom’s boutonniere may be distinct to highlight his role as the central figure of the wedding.

Q: What other accessories are commonly worn by the wedding party?

A: In addition to boutonnieres, female members of the wedding party often wear corsages, which are similar to boutonnieres but worn on the wrist or pinned to the dress. Corsages are typically given to the mothers and grandmothers of the couple.

A: Yes, there are many modern trends and alternatives to traditional boutonnieres. Some couples opt for unique designs or non-floral accessories, such as feathers or succulents. Others choose to forgo boutonnieres altogether and embrace alternative wedding accessories that reflect their personal style.

If you enjoy the post, consider sharing it with your friends...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top