Villa Gervasio

17 October 2019

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How to wear the boutonnière: tips and etiquette

The flower to the buttonhole is to the groom as the bouquet is to the bride. It is a classy detail, which gives elegance to the wedding dress of the protagonist of the wedding. The flagship is a small flower arrangement, but very often it is also a single flower, pinned with pins right on the eyelet, then on the lapel of the jacket, or above the pocket generally intended for the clutch. Very often confuses the buttonhole flower with the boutonnière: the difference between the two accessories consists in the quantity of flowers used, the first is composed of a single flower that is “stolen” from the bride’s bouquet; the boutonnière is instead a small floral arrangement, of small dimensions that sees the addition of other decorative elements. Traditionally the flower or the boutonnière are placed on the widest part of the jacket collar and always on the left side, which is the side of the heart. For an impeccable elegance it is very important that this precious accessory is fixed with a pin coordinated with the cufflinks, even if there are some models equipped with magnet or automatic buttons, more discreet but equally fine. Finally, it is fundamental that the colors of the floral composition you will wear are the same as those of the bride’s flower bouquet.

According to tradition, the flagship must be worn by the groom, by his male witnesses and by the male witnesses of the bride, as well as by the father of the groom and by the future father-in-law and, if present, by the children of the couple. But be careful, if the groom does not wear the flagship, according to the etiquette, it is also forbidden to all other men. Of course the flowers must be the same for everyone, only the groom can decide for a different variant or color.

The origin of this tradition dates back to the marriage of Queen Victoria, when she presented herself to Prince Albert with a small bouquet of flowers. He, a man of noted elegance and courtesy, engraved the collar of his jacket with a small knife and inserted the flowers inside. From that day he ordered that all the jackets be made with an eyelet giving life to this romantic and elegant tradition for ceremonies.

For the traditional buttonhole, classic flowers like white roses, calla lilies and gardenias are preferred. To create a boutonnière instead you can opt for lilies of the valley and daffodils, but also for a mixed composition of flowers, leaves and other decorative elements. It is important that the flagship is consistent with the season in which you will pronounce sentences for promises of marriage: in summer opt for spikelets of wheat, gardenias, calla lilies, roses and lilies; in spring for daisies, freesias, daffodils, jasminiums and orchids; in autumn for gentians and irises; in winter for camellias and Christmas roses. Generally the flower is removed at the end of the ceremony. If you have to wear the flower for many hours, it is a good idea to ask the florist for advice, to choose the most suitable species to resist after being cut, without quickly fading. To avoid the unpleasant image of a withered flower, you can also consider wearing a dried flower, perfect for the summer, or a silk flower (as long as it is of excellent workmanship). Instead, fake flowers should be avoided. As for the pocket handkerchief, this should never be worn with the boutonnière.