"Boutonniere" is French for buttonhole; but, nowadays, it is more commonly used to refer to the floral decoration worn by men. Boutonnieres are placed on the left lapel of one's suit jacket and are reserved for special events like proms and weddings. You, most likely, won't have a say on the boutonniere you'll rock at your mate's wedding so we'll talk about other things boutonniere related. Like how to properly pin the thing onto your jacket without pricking your finger in the process.
And here to enlighten us on the process and all things boutonniere is Stacy K. Ercan, owner of Stacy K Floral a wedding and event floral design studio in Rochester, New York. Here's our conversation with Ms. Ercan and her boutonniere advice:
BESTMANSPEECHWRITER.com: What's the proper way to pin a boutonniere?
Stacy: We prefer to hold the boutonniere at the left lapel and pin behind the lapel either down through the stem or across grabbing only a small section of the lapel as to not let it pucker.
How about the bigger, heavier boutonnieres - is there a trick to pinning these so they stay in place and don't tug on the lapel?
The from-the-back option (as described in the previous answer) doesn't allow for this to occur and should be sufficient in preventing a bigger and/or heavier boutonniere from tugging at the lapel. However, sometimes if it's a really heavy boutonniere, you may need two pins. But, for most cases, one pin should be enough to hold the boutonniere in place and lay nicely, keep the lapel from puckering, hide the pin, and, of course, maintain the focus on the flowers.
About when during the wedding day should the best man expect boutonnieres to be given/distributed?
Usually, the boutonnieres will be available to the groom and groomsmen about an hour prior to the ceremony. The florist will either drop off the boutonnieres or provide a pin service. If the florist is dropping off the boutonnieres, each will be labeled and are usually located at the entrance of the ceremony location. Also, the best man and groomsmen will have to pin the boutonniere themselves. Now, if the florist is servicing, then s/he will do all the pinning for the gentlemen.
Are there any flowers and/or fauna a best man should be careful handling?
Not really. The florist should have chosen flowers that hold up well to the abuse a boutonniere traditionally takes. On any boutonniere and or flower, it is best to handle it from the stem as the salts on our hands can brown all types of petals. Also, those big burly hugs that men tend to give - I'd suggest for the boutonniere-wearing best man to lighten them up a bit to help keep the flowers from getting smushed.
Boutonnieres are generally worn on the left lapel of a man’s suit jacket. But how about if, as chosen by the couple, the best man’s wedding day outfit is without a suit jacket - where would the boutonniere be worn in this scenario?
Proper boutonniere etiquette is that if the gentleman does not have a jacket he should not wear a boutonniere. Personally, I do not prefer how a boutonniere looks on a vest or a shirt; as usually these items are not made out of materials that support a boutonniere well and it kind of just floats around strangely. But IF our client insists on having them, we will usually suggest a suspender or the vest and would still put it on the left side.
What’s the most popular flower(s) used for boutonnieres? Any upcoming boutonniere trends you’d like to share?
Callas, roses, and orchids are the more popular flowers for a boutonniere. As for what's new, we really enjoy when a client switches to the floral pocket squares. It's a unique take on a traditional element. We use a lot of textures and elements that are non-floral in our studio, like pods, berries, wires, ribbons, feathers - things that are light but add dimension to the boutonniere.
A maid-of-honor often holds the bouquet for the bride. Is there a wedding floral/boutonniere tradition/etiquette that relates to the groom that a best man should know?
Nope. The best man is usually holding the rings and there isn't any floral-specific thing they should do - just hug lightly!
Any other advice you’d like to share with soon-to-be and future best men?
If the gentlemen have to pin on the boutonnieres themselves, make sure to use the pinning techniques I mentioned and double check that all the boutonnieres are at the same heights and facing the same way - it will really help the photographs to look crisp and sharp. If, for any reason, a flower should break in someone's boutonniere, there should always be extra pins so take one and pin that flower back in. Just make sure the pin is hidden.
Many thanks to Stacy for imparting her boutonniere wisdom and tips! Visit Stacy online via her website, Facebook, and, for the creatives, Pinterest. And, of course, contact Stacy K Floral when you want to spoil your loved ones with an unique and beautiful arrangement of flowers.