How to Light a Boutonniere in 6 Simple Steps | (2023)

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When I photograph the groom and his groomsmen, I almost always hear them asking question #1, how to attach a boutonniere to his jacket. When I first started shooting weddings, I quickly hid behind my camera hoping they wouldn't see me as a help because I was just as lost as they were on how to place a pin!

Well, after doing this a few times, I decided that learning the ins and outs of attaching this delicate accessory would be totally worth it. Whether you're a photographer trying to figure out how to pin a boutonniere, a groom or best man at an upcoming wedding, or someone planning to help out the bridal party with pins in their flowers, I'll break down how to do just that!

How to Light a Boutonniere in 6 Simple Steps | (1)

How to pin a boutonniere

There are 6 main steps to attaching a boutonniere. If you don't want to read everything in depth and just want the short version of SparkNotes, I've got you! And I even compressed it to 4 steps. :)

  1. Correctly position the lapel on the lapel
  2. Fold the lapels and fold them through the rod at a downward angle.
  3. Bring the pin back through the lapel so the pin is completely hidden.
  4. Gently pull on the boutonniere to ensure it is secure.

If you want the more detailed steps on how to attach a boutonniere to a tuxedo, read on!

Step 1: Hold the boutonniere correctly

I know this sounds obvious, but holding the piece of flower correctly will determine whether or not you'll be able to pin it to your jacket lapel. In general, the boutonniere flower or centerpiece should face the groom's chest.

That way, everyone can really see the details of that accessory. The leaves or foliage should be placed on the groom's chest and serve as a beautiful background for the main floral motif.

How to Light a Boutonniere in 6 Simple Steps | (2)

Step 2: Position the lapel on the lapel

There are some key points and questions to ask about boutonniere placement, which I've outlined below.

(Video) Quick Tip For Wedding Photographers: How To Pin A Boutonniere

  • Which side is the lapel flower on?The lapel must be placed on the left lapel. An easy way to remember this is to associate it with walking on the same page as your heart.
  • Where on the lapel should it be placed?Exact flower placement is somewhat subjective, but here are some general guidelines. If you look at the groom's lapels, identify the widest section. From there, place the main flower inside the lapel just below the widest point. Taking a step back, it should be positioned above the pocket square and under a loop.
  • Should the boutonniere be attached at an angle or straight?When working out how to put on a boutineer and figuring out the best angle, follow this rule of thumb: follow the lapel angle. Typically, the lapels slope slightly towards the center of the bust, so let the flower follow that line. This way, both the stem of the flower and the lapel are parallel to each other!

Step 3: Start pinning at the back of the lapel

How to Light a Boutonniere in 6 Simple Steps | (3)
How to Light a Boutonniere in 6 Simple Steps | (4)

Now that you've positioned the lapel in the right place, the fun really begins - pinning it down! :) Hold the flower firmly and lift the lapels so you can see the back.

If you like, you can even fold the lapels over the lapel to get a better view of what you're doing. This is where you start with the pin. Hold the needle in your right hand and start threading it through the lapel at a downward angle.

Step 4: Push the flower stem

When it comes to how to attach flower buttonholes, this step is important and will determine how secure your buttonhole really is! Continue the needle in a downward motion, pushing it through the thickest part of the flower's stem.

A few things to note here: First, you must ensure your pin falls off because this will prevent the pin and flower from falling out of your jacket during the event.

Second, piercing the thickest area of ​​the flower's stem will keep it from moving, especially when you're moving around on the dance floor!

(Video) Wedding Boutonniere - Who Get's One?

Step 5: Thread the needle through the lapel

Continuing the downward motion, slide the needle down the shaft and into the back of the lapel. Both ends of the pin should now be hidden behind the lapel and you shouldn't be able to see any part of the pin at the front.

Step 6: Check the durability of your pinout

Gently rock the boutonniere back and forth to see how secure it feels. It should be quite comfortable and resistant to a lot of movement. If the stem and bud seem to wobble a lot when you touch them, try re-pinning them to make them more secure.

If that doesn't work (some pins are pretty heavy!), insert a second pin. Make this pin start in the opposite corner to form an “X” with the 2 needles.

How to Light a Boutonniere in 6 Simple Steps | (5)
How to Light a Boutonniere in 6 Simple Steps | (6)

How to attach a boutonniere with magnets

If you're looking for an alternative to safety pins to keep your lapel on your jacket all day, consider using small magnets! Not only is this a creative solution, but it only takes a few seconds to attach the lapel to the lapel.

However, as a disclaimer, it does require a little prep work to attach the magnet to the boutonniere stem. When ordering the badges, ask the florist if they offer magnets as an option. If not, here is the DIY method you can follow. Just make sure you have enough time to do this throughout your wedding day!

(Video) How to make corsage and boutonniere set for prom or wedding

Step 1: Get Small Magnets

To keep the magnets inconspicuous, look for ones that are the size of your little fingernail. You can usually find lapel magnets at craft stores or when you area lazyan efficient shopper like me, youfind some to buy online.

How to Light a Boutonniere in 6 Simple Steps | (7)

Step 2: Attach the magnet to the boutonniere

It's time to get smart! There are two basic ways to do this part: with glue or floral tape. Both methods are effective, and which one you use will likely depend on what your boutonniere looks like. For example, if you have burlap wrapped around the flower stem, glue is the best option, as the tape would clash with the burlap.

When attaching the magnet, make sure it is on the "back side" of the boutonniere (ie, the side with the leaves and the green).

If using glue, get sticky glue or hot glue to make sure the magnet is really secure. Put some glue on the back of the magnet and press it onto the thickest part of the rod. Hold for 10-15 seconds or until glue is dry.

For floral tape, cut a thin strip and wrap it around the magnet and stem until snug. The advantage of this method is that the magnet is virtually invisible as it will be covered with floral tape.

Step 3: Attach the flower to the lapel

Position the lapel on the lapel (as you would in the steps above if using a safety pin). From there, take the magnet that is not attached to the rod and hold it against the back of the lapel. Move it around until it is magnetically attached to the one attached to the boutonniere. The magnet should be strong enough to hold the flower in place all day, so let's get started!

How to Light a Boutonniere in 6 Simple Steps | (8)

How to pin a boutonniere to a shirt

If you're having a more casual or demure wedding and want to ditch the suit jacket, you can always pin a boutonniere to your shirt. Note: If you follow this method I shared, the pin will be visible. If you do, consider getting a nicer pin to make it more of an accent piece (instead of a simple pin).

Step 1: Determine the placement of the boutonniere

As in all other methods, the boutonniere is placed on the left side. If you have a pocket and it sits high enough, try running the needle through the top of the pocket (where the material is reinforced. If the pocket is a little low or there is no pocket, plan to place it close to where your heart is).

(Video) b77 + b79 Tutorial – Buttonholes (7/11)

You're not going to put the lapel button on your shirt yet, so think about the basic placement of where you want it.

Step 2: Pinch the shirt fabric and thread the needle

This might sound a little complicated, but stick with me! It's actually easier than it looks. Think about where you want to place your flower and pin your shirt fabric directly to the left of it. Take the needle and insert it directly into the fabric (the needle should go all the way to the shirt buttons).

Now pinch the material directly to the right of where your boutonniere will be. Again, take the needle and run it through the pulled fabric, towards the buttons. Both ends of the needle should be on the outside of the shirt.

How to Light a Boutonniere in 6 Simple Steps | (9)
How to Light a Boutonniere in 6 Simple Steps | (10)

Step 3: Insert your boutonniere

At this point you should have 2 pinched fabric sections with a small blank section in the middle. Put your boutonniere in this open section! Take the stem of your boutonniere and thread it through the opening. It should be snug so the accessory doesn't wobble or move throughout the day.

final thoughts

So there you have it! Overall, these flowers take a little practice to get used to, but once you've made a few, they're easy!

(Video) How To Make A Wrist Corsage


What is the correct way to pin on a boutonniere? ›

Boutonnieres are usually pinned on, with the flower pointing up and the stem running parallel to the direction of the lapel. To pin a boutonniere on, insert one pin from the BACK of the lapel, pushing through the fabric to catch the stem portion of the boutonniere and then pushing back out toward the lapel back.

What supplies are needed for boutonniere? ›

Supplies Needed
  • Main flowers.
  • Filler foliage.
  • Floral wire.
  • Floral tape.
  • Ribbon.
  • Corsage pin- if it is to be pinned to the dress.
  • Elastic wristlet.
  • Hot glue gun.
Jul 16, 2018

Which wrist does boutonniere go on? ›

A corsage that is attached to a wristband or wristlet is traditionally worn on the left wrist. However, some left-handed people prefer to wear it on their right wrist. This is perfectly acceptable.

Does the girl pin the boutonniere? ›

Boutonnieres. Proper etiquette dictates that the girl buys a boutonniere for her date. Boutonnieres are one or two blossoms of flowers to be worn on the left lapel of his jacket. The girl pins the boutonniere on her date's jacket when he arrives to pick her up for the dance.

How do you pin a boutonniere with a safety pin? ›

Push the pin through the back of the lapel and through the stem of the boutonniere. Position the pin so that it is facing down. The point of the pin should go through the stem where it is thick, just below where it attaches to the petals. Guide the pin back through the stem and lapel, as though sewing a stitch.

How do you wire a boutonniere on a flower? ›

Steps For Making a Boutonnière

Cut the rose stems to a length of 1‑inch and insert the wire thru the stem about ¼ down from the base of the head. Run the wire thru so that the stem has the wire sticking out on both sides evenly and then drop them down to parallel where the stem had been, making a new thin stem.

How many flowers should be in a boutonniere? ›

Corsages and boutonnieres can have 1 or up to 5 flowers. They can be of any color and a combination of colors.

How many pins does a boutonniere have? ›

The head of the pin should be hidden behind the lapel and not at all visible. You should only need one pin but can use a couple to make sure it's super secure. Typically, the best man or one of the groom's parents will secure the boutonnière on the groom's jacket.

How much does a simple boutonniere cost? ›

The average cost of a boutonniere is $20. However, a groom's boutonniere tends to be more elaborate and may cost more. It is typical for boutonnieres to complement the color and floral choices of the bridal bouquet.

What is the proper placement and pinning of corsages and boutonniere? ›

Both boutonnieres and corsages should be worn on the left side, over your heart. Originally they were actually tucked right into the buttonhole on the lapel, hence their name. Not all lapels will have the buttonhole so now they are just pinned onto the lapel.

Why does boutonniere go on left? ›

Why? The boutonniere is worn on the left because that's where lapel buttonhole is. In fact, all buttonholes on men's clothing are on the left side — buttonholes on women's clothing are on the right side.

Should corsage and boutonniere match? ›

Do the corsage and boutonniere have to match? Not necessarily, but flowers that are color-coordinated offer a more harmonious and put-together look that will pop in photos.

What color should the boutonniere be? ›

Usually a single flower or bud, typically white but can be a solid color that goes with any theme or even a date's dress (talking to you prom goers). Oh and a quick boutonnière hack- it always goes over your heart! Or at least on the lapel on that side...

How do you make a boutonniere without wire? ›

"The traditional way of making a boutonniere is to wrap the entire exposed stem in floral tape," she says. "This tape is specially designed to help seal the stem of the flower and prevent it from wilting because you're working without a wire source."

What is the female version of a boutonniere? ›

Corsages are the female equivalent of a boutonniere, and are typically worn to formal events including weddings, prom and funerals. A corsage is made of up of two or more focal flowers complimented by greenery and/or filler flowers.

Do you refrigerate boutonnieres? ›

For boutonnieres, trim stems to the desired length, pat dry, wrap in ribbon, and mist from a distance. If possible, request to store these on-site in a refrigerator until the groom and groomsmen are ready to pin them on.

How do you put a bead on a safety pin? ›

If you have a pair of split ring openers, use them to open the coil end of the safety pin. When the coil has been separated, you will have enough of an opening to pass seed beads to the closed side of the safety pin. If you don't have a pair of split ring openers, use two pairs of chain-nose pliers instead.

What is the best floral wire for boutonniere? ›

A low gauge like a 16 or 18 gauge green floral wire is used for supporting flower stems, binding florist netting around floral foam and securing floral foam into a container. 21 and 22 gauge wires are a good all purpose wire used for securing bows. 26 gauge wire is used primarily in corsage and boutonniere making.

What is the most common method for wiring the roses for corsage work? ›

Piercing. Also called cross-piercing, this technique is best for flowers with sturdy stems, such as roses, lisianthus, and carnations. Using a 24-gauge floral wire, pierce the stem of the flower, just below the calyx. (For large or heavy blooms, insert another wire just below the first.)

Should all boutonnieres be the same? ›

A: No. Traditionally, the groom's boutonniere must be different or more extravagant compared to the others'. The women's corsages, on the other hand, may all look the same.

Do you need a pocket square if you have a boutonniere? ›

And speaking of pocket squares, you are permitted to wear a boutonniere with a pocket square, although a boutonniere by itself can stand in for a pocket square. The rule here is balance; avoid too much of a good thing by muting down the color of your square or wearing a white pocket handkerchief.

Are boutonnieres still in style? ›

Groomsmen have traditionally worn boutonnieres, but nowadays, any wedding party members who would like to wear a boutonniere may do so.

What is the standard boutonniere size? ›

Boutonnières are typically one size: about three inches tall and one to two inches wide. Smaller sizes can be requested for babies and toddlers who may be part of the ceremony, such as the ring bearer. Boutonnières can be made with one flower, two flowers, or even just greenery and no flowers at all.

What is the most popular boutonniere? ›

The universal symbol for love, the rose is the most requested boutonniere flower. It is often embellished with a sprig of green ivy and baby's breath. Traditional couples having a formal wedding tend to choose white for eternal love or red to represent passion, or they combine both to signify unity.

How long will a Boutineer last? ›

How long do boutonnieres and corsages last? Boutonnieres and corsages made with fresh flowers typically hold up for one evening of use. Care should be taken to keep them safe since excessive contact will lead to increased bruising.

How long do fresh boutonnieres last? ›

Under the given conditions, they can last a few days in the fridge. Once the corsage or boutonniere has been worn for an event (or been out of the fridge for a few hours), it will not keep.

Do corsages go on the left or right? ›

Usually the corsage is worn on the left wrist since most people are right-handed. But this rule is not set in stone. It is best to ask your date which wrist she would like to wear the corsage.

What side does a flower go on a woman? ›

Ladies wear a button hole / corsage on their right

And this is the bit most people don't know. Ladies wear the flower differently to the men, on the opposite side. But it doesn't stop there – a lady should have the flowers pointing downwards. So the stem should be pointing towards her shoulder.

Which is better a wrist corsage or pin? ›

The wrist corsage is the more popular option since it's more easily worn," she explains. "Due to the nature of dress fabric, a pin-on corsage can snag the threading of the dress, which is why most women shy away from them.”

How do you coordinate a corsage and boutonniere? ›

It's customary to wear the corsage on the left side of the dress or the left wrist, as it is also customary to place the boutonniere on the left jacket lapel.

What is the corsage etiquette? ›

When attending prom with a date, it is customary to give your date a corsage or boutonniere. Ladies traditionally wear a corsage. Gentlemen traditionally wear a boutonniere. The keyword here is, “tradition.” It's perfectly okay to break from traditions and dare to think of flowers as your unique fashion accessory.

Where do you put a flower pin? ›

Lapel pins are most commonly attached to a stick pin that slides through the buttonhole of your lapel. Simply remove the cap at the bottom of the stick pin, then gently slide the bottom of the pin through the buttonhole. Leave the flower or emblem sitting at the top of the buttonhole where it will be visible.

How do you press a boutonniere and corsage? ›

  1. Step 1: Place your flowers between two pieces of parchment paper. Place a book on top to flatten the flowers and make them easier to iron.
  2. Step 2: Turn your iron on low. ...
  3. Step 3: Once the iron is warm, remove the book from the parchment paper. ...
  4. Step 4: Press the iron on the paper for about 15 seconds.
Jul 2, 2018

Do you need wire for a boutonniere? ›

Supplies needed to make boutonnières.

Floral wire – depending on how sturdy the stems of the flowers you will be using are, choose an 18-22 gauge floral wire to help support your boutonnière arrangement. Wire snips – grab a pair of wire cutters in the floral department of your craft store also.

Can you pin a boutonniere to a shirt? ›

The two most common methods of putting on a boutonniere are pinning it on a lapel and pinning it on a shirt. The shirt method can also be used for blouses or dresses.

How do you press button holes in flowers? ›

With your right hand, thread the pin through the fabric and through the stem just below the flower heads. Finish by threading the pin back in the fabric, as if you were making a stitch, at a slight downward angle. Wiggle the buttonhole to make sure it's well attached…and you are done!

How do you use a flower press? ›

Press flowers with a wooden flower press.

Unscrew the wingnuts and bolts and place a piece of parchment paper or wax paper on the bottom board. Arrange your flower petals on the paper and place another piece of paper on top. Tighten the top board down, and leave your flowers in the press for three weeks.

How do you press a rose for keepsake? ›

Place the flower face down in a heavy book lined with parchment paper. Close the book, weigh it down, and leave it undisturbed for 7 to 10 days. Make sure all the moisture is gone and your flower is papery before you carefully remove it from the book.

Who pins the boutonniere for prom? ›

Who buys the corsage and boutonniere for prom? Traditionally, the guy brings his date a corsage when he picks her. The girl pins the boutonniere at the same time. Style savvy couples can even coordinate their corsage and boutonniere selections together.


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