Buttonholes and corsages are traditionally worn by members of the wedding party including grooms,  groomsmen,  best men, fathers, brothers, mums and sisters, but there is nothing to stop any wedding guest from donning some pretty floral decoration to celebrate a wedding.  Wrist corsages for proms are also becoming more of a ‘thing’ in UK too. As we head into wedding and prom season some of you may be wearing a buttonhole or corsage so I thought I’d give you some little pointers about how and where to wear them.

Men’s Buttonholes –

These go on the lapel of the man’s jacket on his left-hand side (right as you look at him).   They can be a single flower or a cluster of small flowers.

Ensure the flower is facing outwards and the supporting foliage is against your jacket.  (I’ve seen a number of men wearing them backwards so the flower is facing into the jacket!!)

Putting on a buttonhole – 1

Position the flower at the broadest part and equidistance from each side of the lapel. Then angle the stems so that they follow the slanted line of the lapel.

Push the pin in from the under-side of your jacket, through the fabric and the stems and then back into the jacket so that both the head and point of the pin is on the back of the lapel.  This ensures that the pin cannot scratch anyone – there’s lots of hugging at a wedding! Pinning through the stems (rather than just across the front of them) ensures that the buttonhole doesn’t tip or slip sideways.

Don’t put the buttonholes on too early and if they are looking shabby after the ceremony, photos and dinner (from lots of hugs, sunshine and body warmth) then consider removing them to give your outfit a cleaner look for the evening. The groom could also order a spare one to wear for the photoshoot so that the flowers look pristine after receiving all those hugs!

Men’s Pocket Flowers

  • These are a lovely alternative to a buttonhole, providing more flowers and a more modern look for the groom and groomsmen. They simply slip into your breast pocket and away you go!

Men’s Lapel Flowers

If you’re a groom who wants to make a statement,  consider ordering a full floral lapel.  These are usually made on cardboard or craft foam and are attached with pins or magnets.  They certainly provide the wow factor.  Your florist will need a template of your jacket lapel to create a bespoke design which fits perfectly.  Again, these are worn on the left-hand side across the heart.

Women’s Corsages 

Traditional women’s corsages These are worn on the right-hand side (left as you look at her).   Corsages are kite/teardrop-shaped and should be placed with the longer tail down so that the flowers face downwards.  If they are wired this will mean that the wired stems go upwards toward the shoulder.  Glued corsages don’t have stems showing but the long end should still point downwards.  The corsage should be gently angled inwards to the chest to follow the line of the body. Magnets – Many corsages are supplied with magnets which are better for delicate fabrics. Try to slide rather than pull the back magnet off.  The magnets are strong and can be tricky to separate!  I use two magnets to prevent the corsage slipping out of place. Pins – These are most suitable to use on a jacket and if your corsage comes with a pin attach it the same way you would a buttonhole – pinning through the stems from the rear of the jacket.  

How to wear a corsage – 1

Bags and Hat –  Corsages can be attached to handbags and hats tooMagnets are the best choice as they don’t puncture the bag or hat.  If you’d like to wear your corsage this way, it’s best to inform your florist beforehand because the shape of the corsage may be slightly different so that it sits nicely around a brim or along the top of a bag.   

Hat corsage – 1

Wrist Corsages Wrist corsages are traditionally worn on the non-dominant hand, usually the left. They come on a band of ribbon or a pre-made bracelet.  Pre-made bracelets are easy to slip on and ribbons can be tied to fit any wrist size.   If using ribbons I suggest a double knot and a bow to finish.  Ribbons can be cut to any length to suit your style. Your florist should carry scissors but it’s a good idea to pack some with you just in case.         

Wrist corsage – 1

Women’s Buttonholes Sometimes women wear traditional buttonholes, and these can be pinned the same way as a man’s.  Tradition would suggest that these are worn on the right-hand side for women, but it is really down to personal choice.

Woman’s buttonhole – 1

I hope these tips help. Enjoy wearing your flowers!

MAGNETS – Magnets are not suitable for people with pacemakers. Please take medical advice if you, or someone in your wedding party, has a pacemaker before using magnetic attachments.