A Ceremony By Design

Lapel Flowers

Susan Artup

I’m talking about those frustrating little flower arrangements that are supposed to be affixed to the groom’s and groomsmen’s suit jackets. If you intend to use these, make sure they are attached to an easy-entry pin or magnet and don’t leave attaching them to the last minute when nerves set in and fingers fumble more than usual!

Lapel flowers are properly called ‘boutonnieres’ – things to put in a button-hole (the reason jackets are designed with them). Button-holes make it easier to attach a boutonniere.

So, which masculine chest is to be adorned with a boutonniere?

The modern purpose of giving men a boutonniere to wear is to indicate their connection to the bridal party – so the groom will wear one, as well as his groomsmen or attendants.

The symbolism of wearing a boutonniere goes back to medieval times (next blog), but in the context of a wedding, it originated when a bride would present her groom with a flower out of her wedding bouquet on the day of her wedding. He would wear it to proclaim their love. This is a very romantic tradition in heterosexual weddings and for same-sex weddings the possibilities for adapting this symbol are endless. Weddings are, finally, being reimagined by the LGBTQI community and the opportunities to create bespoke ceremonies are endless.

So, the flower a groom (or one party) wears will be from the main wedding bouquet, while the groomsmen’s will be from the corresponding attendants’ bouquet.

And you should also note that boutonnieres are not worn with military uniforms at all. Do not mess with those chests!

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