A groom usually wears a buttonhole for his wedding, whether it is a small registry office occasion or a grander celebration held in prestigious surroundings, such as a stately home or castle wedding venue. Boutonnieres or buttonholes, as they have become more commonly known, originated as far back as the 16th century and it is believed they first came about, when a gentleman would present his lady-love with a bouquet of flowers as a means of proposal, if the lady took a single flower from the bouquet and presented it to the gentleman to wear, then it would be an acceptance of his proposal.
In 1771, Thomas Gainsborough painted a portrait of Captain William Wade of Bath, wearing flowers in his top buttonhole, although the lapel on suits of today, did not appear until later when the riding coat was occasionally worn with the top quarters undone, which looked comparable to a lapel. In 1838, famous French novelist , Barbery d'Aurevilly proclaimed himself 'Knight of the Order of Springtime' and is quoted as saying, "I sacrifice a rose each evening to my buttonhole"
In this day and age it is rare for men to wear a buttonhole flower daily and these are usually reserved for special occasions such as weddings, banquets, horse races, and other important events. The choice of buttonhole flower characteristically is made by selecting one of the flowers included in the bride's bouquet, but the groom should be aware of flower size and opt for a smaller bloom to avoid an appearance of over-loading the suit.
Buttonholes can look particularly attractive when arranged with a blossom, a bud, and a small leaf together. Common flowers for the groom to have include, Cornflowers, Roses, Carnations, Lily of the Valley, Azaleas, Daisies, or Orchids, but any suitable sized flower can be used and it is the personal preference of the Bride and Groom.
Buttonholes for the Best Man and Groomsmen are normally made to match the bridesmaid's bouquets.
A buttonhole is also traditionally worn by the Father of the Bride, Father of the Groom, Grandfathers, and it is also a nice gesture for Brothers, Uncles, Pageboys and Ushers to be given buttonholes to wear. The buttonhole is always worn on the left lapel and is usually secured by pinning from the back of the lapel, unless the suit has a boutonniere loop incorporated on the underside of the lapel.
Bridal Bouquets come in several different sizes and shapes, from a simple posy to the long and slender 'arm' bouquet. The colours, flowers and arrangements are numerous and the bride can specify any colours, flower combinations and shape to her florist for the ideal bouquet for her perfect day. The tradition of bouquets has its' origin in ancient times, when women would carry aromatic bunches of garlic, herbs and spices to ward off evil spirits.
When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, the herbs and spices were replaced with freshly cut flowers and the tradition has continued to the present day. Brides select their flowers to compliment their bridal gown, match their Bridesmaids dresses, and for their own unique style and taste. Some bouquet shapes compliment the bridal gown better than others, for example, a Posy bouquet is a traditional shape, giving a simple elegant look which compliments all types of wedding dress; a Cascade bouquet is a posy with a large trail of flowers and foliage, this type of bouquet particularly suits wedding dresses with long trails and veils; a Tear-Drop bouquet is a shape between the posy and cascade bouquet giving a feminine and soft look, which is suitable for all types of wedding dress; the Arm bouquet, is a long slender bouquet that is designed to be carried over one arm and gives an elegant look which is extremely complimentary for tight fitting and mermaid style wedding dresses.
Some brides may prefer not to have cut flowers as a bouquet and may opt for something more modern and adventurous. Other options for bouquets include, paper roses, antique lace and crushed tulle, feathers, a fusion of fabric flowers and diamante brooches, seashells, dried or silk flowers, or a design from one of the many innovative new artists who work and design with metals, glass, etc; there are many different types, styles and shapes of bridal bouquets, and each bride needs have a look at the variations before deciding on the perfect arrangement for their wedding theme.
Selecting the flowers to match the colour scheme can prove to be problematic, as not all colours are available in the floral range, but a good florist will be able to advise and match your requirements as closely as possible.
Some flowers in colour ranges include:
White – Roses, Lilies, Orchids, Carnations, Freesias and Lily of the Valley:
Pink – Amaryllis, Carnation, Freesia, Genista, Hydrangea, Lily, Peony, Rose, and Zinnia:
Cream - Anthurium, Banksia, Carnation, Eremurus, Gerbera, Lisianthus, and Rose:
Yellow – Mimosa, Daffodil, Sunflower, Rose, Orchid, Gladioli and Tulip:
Orange - Eremurus, Freesia, Gerbera, Marigold, Poppy and Zinnia:
Red - Anthurium, Banksia, Bouvardia, Carnation, Dahlia, Freesia, Gerbera, Gladiolus, Peony, Poppy, Protea, Ranunculus, and Rose:
Purple - Aster, Calistephus, Campanula, Carnation, Cattleya orchid, Cosmos, Dephinium, Freesia, Gladiolus, Iris, and Lavender:
Blue - Allium, Anemone, Campanula,Cornflower, Delphinium, Globe thistle, Eryngium, Gentiana, Hyacinth, Hydrangea, Iris, Lavender, Muscari, and Nigella:
Green - Alchemilla, Amarathus, Anthurium, Calla lily, Carnation, Chrysanthemum, Cymbidium orchid, Hydrangea, Lisianthus, Moluccella, Rose, Sedum, Tulip, and Viburmum:
Black - Calla lily and tulip, there are also some varieties of very deep purple flowers which give the appearance of being black.