While bridesmaids sparkle with their jewelry and beautiful bouquets, the men adorn themselves in a more simple fashion: a delicate boutonniere. Have you ever wondered what the tradition behind this elegant accessory is or what makes it a staple even in today’s modern wedding and trends? Keep reading below to learn more and to view a few of our favorite boutonnieres captured by Something Blue Wedding Photography and Lisa Hibbert Photography!
Boutonnieres—floral accessories worn by men on the left lapel—have been an essential piece of a groom’s and groomsmen’s attire since at least the early 19th Century, where their original purpose was to disguise odors, diseases, and evil spirits. The rise of the boutonniere, which is a French word that means “buttonhole”, was due to the rise in the new trend of jackets that were designed with the buttonholes higher up in the lapel. It is believed that boutonnieres, in general, have been a floral decoration that has been in style since the time of ancient Aztecs and Egyptians, where the color of the flowers were used to show support, in a sporting event, for a certain individual or team. The same concept was also believed to have been seen in the Civil War, where men wore the boutonnieres of different color flowers to distinguish friend and enemy.
Today, the flower is not to show allegiance, but to show unity, as it is one that typically matches a flower found in the bridal bouquet, so they compliment each other. The boutonniere itself is attached through the buttonhole of the lapel, with the stem kept in place with a loop behind the lapel, so that it remains upright and elegant throughout the wedding festivities. While carnations were typically the traditional flower that was used to make boutonnieres, couples are now displaying their personalities by selecting vibrant, colorful, and unique designs.
While this wedding tradition might have evolved in meaning, this classic statement piece is still worn on the left side, close to the heart. What type of boutonniere will your groom wear on your wedding? Tell us by leaving a comment below. We would love to hear from you!