The Wedding Buttonhole

The Wedding Buttonhole, or Boutonnière to give it its ‘Sunday’ name, is enjoying a resurgence in popularity with quirky asymmetrical designs in exciting & bold colourways. But have you ever wondered where it originated from?

Above: Red Floral Architecture

In Ancient Greece, the men would wear a small bunch of freshly picked flowers mixed with herbs & pin these to the left side of their chest close to their heart. These were said to ward off the evil spirits that otherwise would prevent the groom from loving his new bride.

In Medieval England, Knights would display their ladies’ colours on the left of their chest to demonstrate their love & commitment.

Above: Skelmersdale Flower Centre

The word ‘boutonnière’ is French is origin and translates as ‘buttonhole’. The French connection may have originated from the Renaissance period when men wore certain coloured flowers in their lapels to denote political allegiance. A little like our very own ‘War of the Roses’ perhaps where Lancastrians wore red roses, and Yorkshiremen wore white.

In Victorian England, the buttonhole was worn everyday as a single stem through the lapel of a gentleman’s coat. And according to the history books, Queen Victoria presented Prince Albert with a flower from her wedding bouquet, for which he proceeded to cut a small hole in the lapel of his coat to hold it.

Below: Red Floral Architecture

The modern boutonnière is reserved mainly for formal dress now, and it’s an essential accessory to every groom’s attire. Using the main flowers from the brides’ bouquet, they add splashes of colour, creativity and personality to a neutral background.

And use a hand picked collection of flowers for a twist on the traditional handkerchief pocket square:

Above: Skelmersdale Flower Centre

Below: The Flower Studio Manchester

Thanks to the florists that appear in our latest edition of our Little White Books magazine for supplying fantastic examples of buttonholes, or boutonnières. These images all go to show that there are no boundaries when creating your buttonholes – be quirky, be sophisticated, be bright!

Above: The Flower Studio Manchester

Above and below: A.M. Flowers

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