Do I Need A Buttonhole For A Wedding?

Buttonholes, also called boutonnières, sure have a way of stepping up an outfit. 

The right color with the right bloom can literally transform a regular suit into an outfit suited for the runway. 

However, buttonholes in weddings aren’t only meant to accentuate the outfit. 

They are traditionally used to distinguish certain guests at a wedding. 

If you’re among the group of people who’ve been asking, “Do I need a buttonhole for a wedding?” you’re in luck. 

This post covers everything you need to know about buttonholes and weddings.

You’ll learn how to wear a buttonhole, what color of buttonhole to wear, and most importantly, if it’s actually compulsory to wear one to a wedding. 

What Is a Buttonhole?

Who needs a button hole at the wedding?

A buttonhole is a small flower arrangement worn by the groom on the lapel of this suit jacket.

In Ancient Greece, it was believed that wearing a small arrangement of flowers and herbs would wade off evil spirits that were capable of turning the groom’s heart against the bride. 

Who Should Wear the Buttonhole?

Traditionally, the buttonhole is worn by the men in the bridal party.

This includes the groom, his groomsmen, and the couple’s fathers.

If you have any other male members of the bridal party, for example, grandfathers and a ring bearer, they could also wear a buttonhole. 

Asides from the bridal party, your ushers could wear buttonholes as a means of identification at the wedding. 

However, times have changed, and many couples customize their weddings to suit their taste. 

As a result, the couple can decide that only the groom should wear a buttonhole.

Alternatively, the couple can also decide to have everyone wear a buttonhole, including the guests. 

What Should Be the Color Of the Buttonhole?

The color of your buttonhole doesn’t necessarily have to match the suit color for color. Remember that a buttonhole is meant to accentuate the outfit. 

You can achieve this in two ways.

You can get a buttonhole that sharply contrasts the color of your suit—for example, wearing a pink buttonhole on a deep blue suit.

The other option is picking a color that compliments the color of your suit. For example, you could wear a dark blue buttonhole on a light blue suit.

The most important rule is that the buttonhole fits into the color scheme of the wedding. 

A common practice is to match the groom’s buttonhole with the bride’s bouquet and the groomsmen’s with the bridal train’s bouquet. 

You can achieve this by patterning the buttonhole after one of the flowers in the bouquet.

You could also match the buttonholes to the wedding flower scheme.   

How Do You Wear A Buttonhole?

Buttonholes are worn on the left lapel of the suit jacket with the flower head pointing upwards. 

They are usually secured by a pin that pierces through the suit’s fabric and is secured behind the lapel.

Normally, this pin should not show unless it’s a decorative pin. 

In most cases, the hole at the left side of the suit will be sewn shut. You do not need to cut it open.

Instead, align the stem of the buttonhole with the hole and secure it with the pin. 

Pro Tip: Consider ordering an extra buttonhole for the groom. You can switch them when he arrives at the reception.

This way, he won’t have to spend the evening wearing a buttonhole that’s been squashed by congratulatory hugs. 

Fresh Flowers or Silk Flowers?

Should guests wear flowers to a wedding?

Depending on your preference, you can decide to go for silk flowers instead of fresh flowers.

Although fresh flowers are more popular, silk flowers are often more budget friendly.

This is especially true when going for expensive flowers such as stephanotis or lily of the valley.

Silk flowers are also a lifesaver in the winter when the cost of fresh flowers skyrocket. 

Asides from being more pocket-friendly, silk flowers are also more durable.

They don’t bruise easily or wilt with time. As a bonus, they can serve keepsakes for your groomsmen and whoever else you gift them to. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you keep buttonholes from wilting?

You can keep your buttonholes from wilting by sealing the stems with wire and tape. Another tip is to store it in a cool, dry place. 

It is also a great idea to keep them in the fridge on a hot day.  Just make sure they’re kept away from moisture and water. 

What types of flowers are suitable for a buttonhole?

Almost any flower can be used for a buttonhole. However, you should avoid fragile flowers like David Austin roses and tulips. 

Although the most popular flower used for buttonholes are roses, many people also use carnations, lilies, eucalyptus, or ivies. 

You can also use your favorite flower, pick one that rhymes with the bride’s bouquet, or coordinate your buttonhole with the wedding flower arrangement. 

What else can be used to make buttonholes apart from flowers?

Although flowers are most commonly used, buttonholes do not always have to be flowers. 

Consider other alterations like feathers, pampas grass, or sprigs of olives.

You could also use decorative pins, and other nick nacks that speak to the groom’s hobbies and interests. 

Do females wear buttonholes?

Female buttonholes are commonly called corsages.

They’re also traditionally worn by females in the bridal party, e.g., the couples’ mothers, grandmothers, and close relatives. 

Traditionally, females wear buttonholes on the right with the flower facing down.

However, these days, most females wear the buttonhole on the right with the flower facing up. 

Final Thoughts

Whether or not you’ll wear a buttonhole eventually boils down to you. 

A buttonhole at a wedding is not compulsory. However, it does step up your outfit and can prove helpful when differentiating certain members of the wedding party from the wedding guest.

You should discuss it with your family members beforehand if you’re not sure if they would like to wear one at your wedding. 

Remember, it’s your wedding, and ultimately, you decide the rules.