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Groom Focus: Your Guide to the Boutonnière

There was a time when men would regularly wear a boutonnière (which means buttonhole in English). At one time a boutonniere was meant to ward off disease, evil spirits and bad smells, but the flowers became popular on lapels in the early 19th Century. The fashions of this time included coats that folded over at the top, revealing the inside of the buttonhole.

Hollywood and music greats including Errol Flynn and Frank Sinatra were fans of a boutonnière. Although today they are mainly worn to formal events and weddings, you will see them worn by Justin Timberlake, Sean Combs and Tom Ford. 

The classic flower men would have worn were lilies of the valley, carnations or spray roses. White is the main color for a wedding boutonnière, but today they have had a makeover and can reflect the personality of the men wearing them (check out some of our favorites below). 

The boutonnière is traditionally worn pushed through the lapel buttonhole (the left one on the same side as a pocket handkerchief) and the stem is held in place with a loop or pin at the back of the lapel. If you invest in a good jacket it should have a sturdy buttonhole that will support the weight of the flower, and some have a latch that will keep the stem in place. If your jacket has no lapel you can ask your florist to create an attractive stem that can be pinned onto your lapel.


Having a fresh flower from the bride’s bouquet is commonplace at weddings, or the groom often wears a flower that reflects the color theme of the day. 

Traditionally the groom wears a different boutonnière to the rest of his wedding party. For example, if the groom is wearing a white rose then the wedding party could wear red roses.

If you want to wear something that reflects your personality there are lots of alternatives to the traditional floral boutonnière. You can show your love for music, superheroes and even fishing through your boutonnière. If you have the time (or the patience) you can have a go at making your own! There are lots of guides to making boutonnières that show you how to go about incorporating things that reflect you and your interests. These days, anything goes! 

Here's a tip - because a boutonnière is quite low cost compared to the rest of your wedding flowers you might want to get a spare one made…just in case! 




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