Groom’s Buttonhole

We need to talk flowers. Wake up at the back! It’s traditional for the groom to wear a flower in the buttonhole of his lapel. The groom’s buttonhole (as this type of mini-flower arrangement is known) will usually be prepared by the florist who does all the other flowers for the wedding.

Your best man, the ushers, and the fathers of the bride and groom usually also wear buttonholes. The groom can have the same design as everyone else, or choose something a little different in order to stand out. Some grooms opt for the whole party to have the same type of flower, but have their own buttonhole in a different colour.

Your fiancee may have very fixed ideas about what you’ll be wearing in your buttonhole, as she may want the type of flower to match the existing arrangements and the colour to match the overall scheme of the wedding.

If you can, go with the flow. If not, put your foot down as delicately as you can. You might remind her that if you are a wearing a traditional groom’s outfit then your buttonhole is one of the very few areas where you’ll have any choice at all about your appearance (along with your tie and waistcoat).

You might also want to ask the florist what “greenery” the flower will come with. Some groom’s buttonholes are practically forest-like, and this is considered a bit “naff” in some circles. But a few leaves here and there are absolutely fine.

Give a bit of attention before the day to how and where you will pin the buttonhole to your jacket. The buttonhole will come with about two or three inches of “stalk” which will probably be tightly wrapped in a kind of green-ish binding.

The florist will provide pins (but check in advance). You are supposed to poke the stalk through the front of your buttonhole and pin the stalk from the back. This is a bit fiddly and you’ll need someone to help you.

Also, bear in mind are that some jackets don’t have real buttonholes, in the sense that it looks like a buttonhole from a distance but in fact there is no actual hole to poke anything through. If so, you just pin the whole thing to the front of your lapel, and leave the stalk showing (as in the photo above).

Finally, make sure that arrangements are in place for getting the buttonholes from the florist to the men who need them. Most florists will happily drop off your buttonholes to a central location on the morning of your wedding, but they then need to be distributed.

This probably won’t be as easy as you think. For example, the father of the bride will probably be at home with his daughter, you’ll be somewhere else getting ready, your father might be in yet another location. This all needs to be planned out.  Quite a lot of hassle for a few little flowers!

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