A stylish wedding buttonhole completes the groom’s outfit. Weddings are generally focused on how special the bride looks, but buttonholes are an inexpensive way to ensure that the groom looks and feels special too.
You may like the groom to be the only member of the wedding party wearing a buttonhole, but more often than not they are also given to the best man, the fathers of the bride and groom, and, if your budget affords, the ushers. It’s a nice touch to have one for the grandfathers and brothers too. Have the groom stand out by providing a unique buttonhole with two blooms instead of one, or with a slightly different flourish to the others.
The colour of your buttonholes can either contrast or complement the colour of the groom’s outfit. For instance, a grey suit with a lilac cravat could be complemented by a buttonhole made from a deep purple tulip or anemone, a silvery ‘metalica’ rose or a sprig of lavender. Alternatively, they can mirror the flowers in the bridal bouquet. Little embellishments such as the creative use of foliage, wire, beads and ribbon can give your buttonholes a unique finish.
For guys who ‘don’t like flowers’ you can tone things down by using smaller blooms or substituting them with a thistle, foliage or herbs, such as rosemary.
How to Wear a Buttonhole
You should wear a buttonhole on the outside of the buttonhole of the left lapel, and not in it, secured with a pearl-headed pin from the back of the lapel. The pin will then be invisible from the front. If you have a decorative pin and want to show it off, you could pin the buttonhole from the front.
Expect to pay from £4 for a simple rose or carnation buttonhole and up to £8 for more expensive blooms such as a calla lilies or orchids.
Wedding corsages are created from a single or small group of flowers and are worn by the female members of the wedding party. They are similar to the male buttonholes, but usually slightly larger.
The mothers of the bride and groom normally wear corsages, but it is a good idea to include the grandmothers too. Check what they are going to wear so that appropriate flowers can be chosen for the corsage. Singapore orchids, stephanotis, spray roses and calla lilies all make beautiful corsages.
If you want a uniform look to your wedding, co-ordinate your corsages with the men’s buttonholes. You could choose a white rose such as ‘Akito’ or ‘Bianca’ as this will complement most people’s outfits.
How to Wear a Corsage
Corsages usually come complete with a pearl-headed pin that you push through the back of the garment, through the corsage, and back through the garment. Corsage magnets are also available for delicate fabrics where a pin may damage it. A small magnet is incorporated at the back of the corsage design, with a thin metallic disc placed on the back of the garment that secures it in place.
Wrist corsages can also look very stylish. These should be created from sturdy, circular focal flowers such as orchids or roses and finished with a wide ribbon to tie around the wrist.
Handbag corsages are becoming more popular because guests want to protect their clothes. These are created in a similar way to a normal corsage and are best attached to a rigid part of the handbag, either the handle or the main part of the bag itself.
Corsages are more expensive than buttonholes as more work goes into them. Expect to pay upwards of £12 each.
Storing Buttonholes and Corsages
As buttonholes and corsages are wired the flowers are unable to drink. Your florist will box and wrap them carefully in tissue paper and store them in a cool place until delivery. If your flowers are being delivered to your wedding venue several hours before the ceremony ask someone to place them in a cool, dark area before wearing. Hotel rooms are not ideal as they tend to be very warm.
Guest post by Gemma Beasley
Three Buttonholes: Nicola Dixon Photography
Attaching Buttonhole: Wee Beauty Photography
Mother of the Bride’s Corsage: Fiona Kelly Photography
Corsage on Jacket: Jay Emme Photography