How to pin on a boutonniere

Position the Boutonniere

How to pin on a boutonniere

A live flower and sharp pins can be intimidating, not to mention standing kissably close to your date! But don’t worry, it’s simple to pin a boutonniere. There are a few different methods, but this one is the easiest: it only requires one pin and doesn’t damage the head of the flower. To start, position the boutonniere on the left lapel of your date’s jacket, so the flower is facing up and the stem is facing down. Hold it in place.

Inserting the Pin

How to pin on a boutonniere

Lift the lapel up about two inches. Using your free hand, take the pin and stick it up through the back of the lapel and through the boutonniere stem. You will be pushing the pin up and away from your date’s chest.

Securing the Pin

How to pin on a boutonniere

Once the pin is pushed through the boutonniere stem, angle it down to the left. Gently push the pin down through your date’s lapel. This will secure the boutonniere in place. Think of it as if you’re sewing a stitch.

This method of pinning a boutonniere hides the pinhead behind your date’s lapel, so the flowers look streamlined.

By Diana Ganz on 2017-11-07

How to pin on a boutonniere

One of the most common mistakes men make when getting ready on their big day is poor boutonniere placement. We’ve seen it everywhere from the center of their lapel to inside the front pocket of their jacket. When you think about it, it’s understandable that this may be confusing. After all, how often do you wear a boutonniere? Maybe a couple times a year if you’re a party animal, but most will only wear a boutonniere a few times in their lifetime. All it takes is one person to be an expert in boutonniere placement and after this article, you’ll be that guy.

#1: It’s All About the Placement

The key to wearing a boutonniere is proper placement. Boutonnieres are always placed on the left lapel of your jacket. Almost all suit lapels will have a button hole which makes finding the right spot really easy as the boutonniere will be placed directly over it. Specifically, the largest part of the flower will be placed over the hole with the base of the flower where the ribbon covered stem begins laying on the lapel below the button hole. The stem of the boutonniere should be aligned with the sides of the lapel so it angles in the same direction. Fun Fact: Boutonniere is French for button hole which was originally designed to let men stick single flowers through their lapel.

How to pin on a boutonniere

#2: Get the Right Grip

Placing your thumb under the backside of the lapel, use your index and middle finger to pinch the stem and lapel together. Be firm with this to ensure the flower doesn’t move as you turn the lapel over to start the pinning process. As you’re about to discover, all the action happens behind the lapel so it’s important have a good hold on both the boutonniere and the lapel.

How to pin on a boutonniere

#3: Stick It!

Once the boutonniere is firmly placed and you have a good hold on it, you will gently fold the lapel back exposing the underside of the lapel. From the outer edge of the lapel, you will push the pin through the fabric into the top of the ribbon covered stem. You will continue to push the pin through the stem towards the inner edge of the lapel until it reappears through the fabric under the lapel. To make sure you don’t poke the gentleman you’re pinning, it’s best to keep the lapel folded back to ensure the pin is only going through the fabric on the underside of the lapel and not through additional layers of his suit, shirt and skin.

When done, the needle will look like a single stitch on the underside of the lapel that goes through the boutonniere. With the right pin placement through the top of the stem where it is thickest, one pin should be sufficient. If you have a really large or heavy boutonniere, you may want to consider using two pins. The second would go a ½” below the first one.

How to pin on a boutonniere

Common Questions

  • What if you don’t have a button hole? Because tuxedos have a satin lapel, they don’t have this helpful landmark. For notch lapel tuxedos, you can use the bottom edge of the notch where the satin fabric begins as a guide and center the base of the flower/start of the ribbon covered stem about 1.5” from the top of this satin edge of the lapel. Shawl lapels are a bit more difficult because they are one continuous piece of satin. For this reason, we look to the buttons on the shirt to guide placement, specifically the second button from the top of the shirt. This will be the highest fully exposed button. On a shawl lapel, the boutonniere should be placed with the base of the flower even to this button with the stem aligned with the lapel edges.
  • Does it matter if you don’t pin it toward the top of the stem? Yes, it does matter. Pinning it in the middle of the stem is not a secure placement and will cause the flower to flop around. Putting the pin through the top of the stem where the ribbon begins and stems are thickest is the most secure position.
  • What is the right size? The flowers used in the boutonnieres should complement the bridal bouquets and also compliment the size of the gentleman wearing it. For example, a small rose on its own may not look fitting on a larger groomsman, but may be perfect for the ring bearer.
  • How do we incorporate the colors of wedding? There are so many ways to incorporate wedding colors into your florals. Flowers vary by season and you have probably chosen your wedding colors based on the time of year and formality of your event. For example, burgundy bridesmaids’ dresses are stunning next to a groomsman in a black suit with a burgundy calla lily boutonniere. Color can also be added in the ribbon choice.
  • How do I care for my boutonniere before the wedding? Ideally, your florist will deliver your boutonnieres and other flowers day of, right before they are ready to be attached to your jacket. If they are in your possession the night before, store them gently in the refrigerator close to the door. If you need to freshen them up day of, use a spray bottle to spray cool water on the stem and gently dry on a tissue before placing on your suit or tuxedo.
  • Can a boutonniere be worn along with a pocket square? Yes. Although many couples choose one or the other, there is no reason a boutonniere and a pocket square can’t complement one another.

Photography by JJ Ignotz Photography. Boutonnieres by Flowers For Dreams, Chicago

How do you put a pin on a boutonniere?

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.

Who pins the boutonniere on the groom?

Fathers and Stepfathers of the Couple Fathers of the bride and groom, as well as stepfathers, should all be given boutonnieres to wear. Make sure that your wedding photographer and videographer are present when you present your father with his boutonniere, and help him fasten it to his lapel.

How do you pin a suspender boutonniere?

How To Properly Pin A Boutonniere

  1. Line up the boutonniere with the button whole on the lapel, flip the lapel, and push the pin down through the head of the flower.
  2. Push the pin back out through the lapel.
  3. If you have an especially heavy boutonniere, you may want to repeat the process slightly lower to give it some extra sturdiness.

Where do you pin a corsage?

How to Pin a Corsage or Boutonniere

  1. Step 1: Hold the flower arrangement by its stem.
  2. Step 2: Place the corsage or boutonniere at a slight angle on your date’s lapel, approximately 4 inches in from the tip of the left shoulder.
  3. Step 3: Make sure that the flower is evenly placed on the lapel before attempting to pin it.

What is a boutonniere pin used for?

A boutonniere is a group of flowers and/or greenery worn in a lapel buttonhole or pinned to a lapel. It is typically worn on special events like formal dances or weddings.

What side does a man wear a boutonniere?

#1: It’s All About the Placement. The key to wearing a boutonniere is proper placement. Boutonnieres are always placed on the left lapel of your jacket.

What is the flower on a guy’s tux called?

A boutonnière (French: [butɔnjɛʁ]) or Buttonhole is a floral decoration, typically a single flower or bud, worn on the lapel of a tuxedo or suit jacket.

What color should the groom’s boutonniere be?

A boutonniere is a floral accessory worn on the lapel of a tux or suit jacket for special occasions such as weddings. Start with the color: White, green, and yellow are all popular shades.

Does the groom have to wear a boutonniere?

Who wears a boutonniere? All the important male figures in a wedding should wear a boutonniere to distinguish them from the rest of the guests. The groom and groomsmen should carry one as well as fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, readers, ushers and the ring bearer.

Do you wear a pocket square with 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.

How do you pin a flower to a suit?

Insert the lapel flower pin through your lapel buttonhole, through the back side of the lapel by puncturing your suit fabric. I think this is the best option as it keeps the lapel flower firmly in place, while slightly tampering with the back of the suit lapel, which is out of sight.

Which hand does a wrist corsage go on?

What wrist does a corsage go on? If you’d rather wear your corsage on your wrist, then it is traditionally tied to the left wrist. However, in recent years wrist corsages tend to be worn on the lady’s non-dominant wrist.

What side do you pin a corsage on a woman?

It is customary to place the corsage on the left side of your date’s dress or on her left wrist. However, the placement of corsages and boutonnieres have changed along with fashion. Originally, corsages were pinned to the bodice of a dress, but later moved from a centered position to a shoulder strap.

How to pin on a boutonniere

From the groom and his groomsmen to the father of the bride, these petite floral arrangements are a special way to honor the significant men of your wedding day. One common issue that arises involves these important men needing assistance with pinning their boutonnieres. Although it may seem complicated, pinning a boutonniere is quite easy. With these 3 easy steps, you’ll have the knowledge to successfully pin a boutonniere in less than 60 seconds.

Step 1: Place The Boutonniere On The Left Lapel

The boutonniere should be placed on top of the lapel and on the left side. If you’re pinning the boutonniere on some else then it should be placed to the right of the tie. The boutonniere is typically placed lower than the tie, but above the pocket square.

Step 2: Fold The Lapel Over the Boutonniere

After you’ve correctly positioned the boutonniere, form a taco shape by folding the material over the flower and that should allow you to see the back of the lapel.

Step 3: Slide The Needle Downward Into The Back Of the Lapel

Insert the needle at a downward angle making sure it runs through both sides of the lapel. Be sure to stick the needle through the thickest part of the boutonniere, the flower stem. It’s important to insert the needle at a downward angle to ensure that the boutonniere stays in place throughout the event.

After you’ve pinned the boutonniere, check and see that the needle is not visible from the front and the boutonniere is secure. You could also work with two pins for more stability.

About Lin & Jirsa

Creative. Clean. Different. We are a group of creatives in Orange County with a passion for storytelling. Founded in 2007, our studio has been recognized as the best wedding photographers in Los Angeles and Orange County by various publications, websites, and groups. We’d love to show you our studio in Orange County, California and walk you through our albums, canvases and other print photography products. We can also provide more information on our Wedding Videography and introduce you to our team!

As industry leaders, we also hold in person and online workshops for both aspiring and established wedding photographers. If you’re interested in attending our workshops, be sure to click here for more info.


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ForBrides, Weddings

February 5, 2018

Top 3 Tips For Pinning Boutonnieres

Fargo, ND – Wedding Tips

Welcome to the first in my new series of wedding tips blog posts! Once a month will be all about weddings and any advice I can share. These tips and advice will be everything from planning a wedding, to area vendors, to getting ready, to the day-of. This week, we are talking about wedding boutonnieres.

A boutonniere is the small flower or floral arrangement that is typically pinned to the guys’ jackets on a wedding day. This flower may seem like such a simple thing when you are planning your wedding. However, when overlooked, these little flowers can derail the schedule and cause problems for everyone. More often than not, I see people struggling with wedding boutonnieres on the wedding day and resorting to asking Google (or the photographer) for help.

Boutonnieres are such a small detail in the whole wedding day picture. But we can’t forget that these tiny flowers will be in every picture that contains your groom or a groomsmen. Here are some tips to help stop these flowers from taking over your schedule!

How to pin on a boutonniere

1. Assign Someone to Pin the Flowers

This tip may seem like an easy one, however, many people overlook it when planning a wedding. Someone needs to be assigned the job of pinning the boutonnieres on your wedding day. If you just have the flowers delivered to where the guys are getting ready, the flowers will be forgotten. Without a designated flower pinner, no one is there to make sure the groomsmen all have their flowers pinned. Having an assigned flower pinner not only reminds the groomsmen that they need their flowers, but also makes sure they are photo ready. Assigning a flower pinner keeps things running smoothly at the start of the day, giving you one less thing to worry about.

2. Add Flower Pinning to the Wedding Day Schedule

Once you have a person (or two) assigned to flower pinning, make sure they have a set time to have the flowers pinned. This is where the boutonnieres can take over the schedule. For example, let’s say the bridal party photos start at 2pm. If the flower pinner arrives at 1:50pm, there will not be enough time to pin the flowers before leaving for photos. Depending on the size of the bridal party, and how many people are pinning, it can take 15-20 minutes to get all the flowers on the jackets.

To be safe, once the guys are dressed, the flowers should be pinned on. If the flowers are pinned too early, the guys can always hang their jackets over chairs to protect the pinned flowers. That way, when it is time for photos, the guys just have to put their jackets back on and the flowers are ready to go!

3. How to Pin Wedding Boutonnieres

Alright, so now you have a person assigned to pin flowers and you have flower pinning in the schedule, but does anyone know how to pin a boutonniere? This is the biggest issue I see on wedding days. No one in the room knows how to pin a flower and everyone is searching online for answers. Make sure the flower pinner takes a few minutes before the wedding to learn how to pin a boutonniere. Actually practicing beforehand is a plus!

Here are the answers to the most asked questions I encounter on a wedding day:

Which side does the flower go on? Wedding boutonnieres should be on the man’s left lapel. (Your right, when facing him)

How far down does the flower go? The flower should be just below the man’s shoulder. However, you can adjust based on how it looks on the jacket.

How do I get the flower to stay? I start behind the lapel, at the top of the flower. Push the pin down, through the lapel and into the flower stem. The pin should go through the flower stem, and back through the lapel. You should see the top and bottom of the pin. Add a second pin if it is not fully secured.

And that’s it! Repeat with each guy until everyone has their wedding boutonnieres pinned. If you follow these three tips, the guys will all be picture ready in no time at all!

Still confused? Here is a great link with a video and how-to photos as well!

How to pin on a boutonniere

Alecs Kay Photography – Wedding Tips

Need to cross a few more things off of your to-do list? Check out my other wedding tips!

Because the last thing you need is anyone getting pricked.

We all encounter boutonnieres at least a few times in our lives, whether at prom, weddings, or other events, so it’s probably best to feel equipped if someone passes you one and says, “Can you pin this for me?”

The history of the boutonniere is an unclear one. Some say the trend started during early English civil wars, since men on both sides dressed and spoke similarly, and they wore different flowers to distinguish which side they were on. Others believe that on her wedding day in 1840, Queen Victoria presented Prince Albert with a small bouquet of flowers. Apparently, Albert cut a hole in his own jacket and inserted the stems through. However, he wasn’t donning any flowers in their famous wedding portrait, so that may just be a fable. Still others believe that the first instance of a man wearing flowers on a coat was in a painting of Captain William Wade of Bath, England, from 1771.

Regardless where, when, or why the boutonniere originated, we’re happy it did. Boutonnieres help take the Southern guys’ ensembles to the next level, and are a way to express individual style. The only challenge with them is the actual process of putting them on. Here are some tips for avoiding any bloodshed from a boutonniere-pinning experience.

Know where it goes.

The boutonniere should always be placed on the left lapel, parallel to the edge outer seam, and right in the middle of the two seams.

Formerly, jackets had a buttonhole on the left lapel solely to drop flower stems in. (Butonniere is actually French for “buttonhole.”) Some jackets don’t have those left-lapel buttonholes anymore, but be sure to align the boutonniere in the center of the lapel under the notch in the lapel.

Stick it to him.

Put the pin through the back of the lapel, going away from the man’s chest. Some people pin straight down the stem, others diagonally through it.

Regardless which direction the pin faces, be sure you put it through the thickest part of the stem. This will ensure stability so that your flower doesn’t fall over or wobble on the pin. If you pin too low on the stem, the weight of the flower will cause it to fall to the side, which will look way too sloppy in photographs.

Additional pins can be added for extra security and stability, especially if your boutonniere is large or top-heavy. Whether you pinned diagonally or vertically, put the second pin below the first, going in the same direction — always away from the man’s chest.

After the pin is successfully through the boutonniere stem, be sure to bring it back through the lapel fabric so that the tip of the pin is behind the lapel — and all the way behind. Be sure the pin doesn’t peek out from the side of the lapel, where it could poke someone receiving a hug or even a dance partner. All that to say: Both ends of the pin should be behind the fabric of the lapel so that only the boutonniere is seen on the front.

WATCH: Easy Summer Boutonniere

With these tips and careful execution, you should feel confident answering “Yes!” the next time someone asks if you can pin on their boutonniere. You might even have groomsmen and prom-goers lined up for your precise skills.

Introduction: How to Make a Boutonniere

As common in American culture, men wear boutonnieres at formal occasions, such as proms, weddings, and banquets. Purchasing boutonnieres from a florist can be rather expensive especially compared with the difficulty of creating one. Not only does creating your own boutonniere save money, but you can also vary the materials and material arrangements of your boutonniere(s) to best match your desired style.

Equipment & Materials:
A. Wire cutters
B. Scissors
C. Green floral tape
D. 24 gauge green floral wire
E. Pearl pin
F. Greenery (leatherleaf, salal, or fern, etc)
G. Focal flower (mum, rose, or daisy, etc)
H. Filler flower (wax flower, baby’s breath, or berries, etc)
I. Ruler (optional)

[NOTE: refer to diagram above, if needed, to see corresponding letters and materials throughout process]

Use caution when handling the wire cutters and scissors to avoid injury. Also, be careful to not poke your finger with the pearl pin when attaching the boutonniere to clothing.

Step 1:

Cut focal flower (G.) so that you have about an inch of stem.

Step 2:

Cut the filler flower (H.) so you have about an inch of stem.

Step 3:

Cut just one leaf section off the main stem of greenery (F.). Then cut the greenery so you have about an inch of stem. This piece will be used as the backing, or framework of the boutonniere.

Step 4:

Wire the focal flower (G.)
a. if using daisy/mum- cut a 6” piece of wire (cut at slant to create sharp point), pierce wire through the base of the daisy, pushing up through the stem carefully. The wire should come up through the center of the flower. Gently create a small hook at the top of wire and then carefully and slowly pull down until hook somewhat disappears in the center of the daisy.

b. if using carnation/rose- cut a 5-6” piece of wire (cut at slant to create sharp point), pierce wire through the base, or calyx, of the flower gently as to not break the head of the flower. Bend wire down on both sides.

Step 5:

Unroll about 6-7” of tape. Stretch floral tape (C.) slightly to activate tacky quality.

Step 6:

Adhere floral tape to the base of focal flower (G.) stem to cover wire. Twist the tape downward towards your body until the wire is completely wrapped, rolling it between your thumb and index/middle fingers. Pinch off excess tape at the end.

Step 7:

Cut a 5-6” piece of wire (D.); bend wire in half (should look like a hairpin); hook the wire to the lowest “branch” on the greenery. Tape greenery using the same technique as with the focal flower (remember to stretch slightly until sticky).

Step 8:

Place focal flower (G.) in front of greenery (F.). Greenery should “frame” flower.

Step 9:

Place filler flower (H.) to the side of flower.

Step 10:

Cut and stretch tape (as done previously). Start at the base of the bundle of stems (wrap a couple of times at base) and then continue down, tightly wrapping stems with floral tape until stems and wire are completely wrapped.

Step 11:

Cut any remaining wire or tape at the end. You will want the finished product to have about a 2” stem.

Step 12:

Use pearl pin to attach to lapel. A simple way to pin the boutonniere is to poke the pin through the back of the lapel, pierce through the flower stem, and then tuck the pin back into the fabric. This will make it so that the ball end and pointy end of the pin and tucked behind lapel, but not touching the body of the person. Make sure the flower fixture is securely set in place. Readjust if needed.

Now that you have learned the basics of the boutonniere, feel free to experiment. Use your creativity to try different variations that fit your style and needs. The possibilities are endless.

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Wedding Planning 101 – How To Pin on a Boutonniere

OK, I’ll admit it. We’ve got boys on the brain this week at Junebug! We are so excited about our newest Fashion Report, The Groom – six sharp looks for the modern man, and just love sharing ideas about getting the guys all dressed up! Today I thought I’d address a common question that comes up during wedding season: how do you properly pin on those sweet little boutonnieres that your florist just delivered?

How to pin on a boutonniere
wedding boutonnieres – photos by (left) Adam Nyholt and (right) Holland Photo Arts

First, a little bit of history. The tradition began when men would place a single bloom through the buttonhole of their suit lapel to add a touch of color and style. There was a small loop at the back of the lapel to hold the stem in place. Across the pond, they still call a flower worn on a lapel a “buttonhole”, while we’ve adopted the French term “boutonniere”. Whatever you call them, lapel flowers are now usually a tiny cluster of stems that is pinned on. Usually only worn for formal occasions such as weddings, funerals, or proms today, they were often a daily part of getting dressed for men in earlier times!

How to pin on a boutonniere
wedding boutonnieres – photos by (top) Tracey Buyce, (bottom) Yvette Roman, and (left) Harwell Photography

Today, a man’s boutonniere should still be placed on his left lapel, the same side that the handkerchief pocket is on. (And yes! Men can wear a pocket square AND 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. Repeat with a second pin, also from the back of the lapel, making an X-shape with the two pins. This second pin is important because it prevents the boutonniere from flopping over as the day wears on. Ta-da! He’s all set to wow with a fun accessory!

wedding boutonnieres – photos by (top) Allyson Magda and (bottom) La Vie Photography

Today’s boutonnieres offer your guy the chance to make a personal statement. From formal white calla lilies or orchids, modern ranunculus and grasses in wild colors, to unusual materials such as buttons, ribbons, antique trinkets or mementos, they offer men a chance to show their love for a certain look, interest, or memory. I’ve even seen them out of wine corks, scrabble pieces, computer parts, and remnants of vintage baseballs!

orange boutonnieres – photos by (top) Jillian Mitchell and (bottom) Kenny Nakai

How to pin on a boutonniere
wedding boutonnieres – photos by (top) Stephanie Cristalli and (bottom) Chris + Lynn

Be sure to check out all of the gorgeous boutonnieres, and head-to-toe fashion ideas for men, in our new Fashion Report, The Groom – six sharp looks for the modern man!