Boutonniere’s: Or A Flower In The Buttonhole


by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

I’ve gotten tons of feedback on my post about David not wanting a Boutonnière. Who knew? Apparently all of us are looking for those little ways where the wedding industry is asking us to spend more More MORE and we really don’t need to spend anything at all.

With all the buzz, I’ve done a little bit more research. Miss Manners, the source of all practical and sane advice, recommends a single flower at the button hole rather then “a bouquet.” Wikipedia offered up this touching fact: “It is a British practice to place, after a wedding, the flowers from a buttonhole (together perhaps with other wedding flowers), on the grave of a recently deceased member of one of the families concerned.

Thanks to my readers, I learned that the original tradition was that the bride broke off a piece of her bouquet and tucked it into the grooms buttonhole, so the groom was wearing the brides colors (thanks Shannon and Beck). I think this is great! It’s simple and it feels far more traditional and less contrived then the boutonnière. We are planning on doing this now. It’s going to be easy for us, since in a Jewish wedding you sign the Ketubah before the ceremony, so we can do it then. If you are choosing to not see your groom before the ceremony, you could always send along a bridesmaid with a tiny sprig of your bouquet, or more adorably, a flower girl as your tiny emissary. Or heck, you could skip all that, and he could just put a jaunty flower in his buttonhole.

I really think these are far more meaningful traditions, and the fact that they cost less money is just icing on the cake (Pun intended.)

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com. #NASTY

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  • What a sweet tradition – I love this!

  • Great tradition… but only a non-flower person would think it’s “no big deal” to break off a piece of a finished bouquet. I know florists that would chop off your hand for lesser things. In the same light, the guests all used to chase the bride and tear off a piece of her dress for good luck. Do we get to do that part too?

  • Meg

    Heck, it’s not like I’m going to WEAR the dress again…
    I’m sure we can tuck a little bit in unattached to be symbolically “broken off.”

  • Well, I was actually teasing on both the flower and the dress thing….but since you are open to suggestion, can you imagine the stir it would cause with the parents if the crowd was suddenly ripping your dress off you? Wow.

  • Wow- so much better than a man-corsage. Love it!

  • Seriously one of the cutest things I have ever heard. Definitely going to pass this idea around. Thanks!

  • Sinnamon

    My DH-to-be doesn’t like the idea of a boutonniere either so I’m hemming a handkerchief with the same fabric I’m using to make his tie and he’ll wear that in his suit pocket. I think flowers for the men are so over=rated anyway.

  • Gillian

    I really like this idea! I am definitely going to do this!

  • Hi,
    I really like the idea of the flower and I didn’t actually know that it was a tradition in Great Britain!
    Vive wikipedia as we say :)

  • Wonderful collection, many thanks for sharing Eric :)

  • μονταζ γάμου

    Wonderful collection!!!