How to wear your buttonhole

It’s wedding season again.  The question is – do you know which side to wear your buttonhole?

Tradition dictates that the male members of your wedding party wear buttonholes.  In accordance with ancient Greek tradition this would originally have included fragrant herbs to ward off evil spirits, to prevent the groom falling out of love with his bride!

Debrett’s advise that the groom’s buttonhole should match the bride’s bouquet and be worn on the left hand side, with the flower head pointing up towards the shoulder.  If you’re a stickler for tradition you might want to bear in mind that the bestman’s, usher’s and father’s should reflect the bridesmaid’s flowers.

Your buttonhole should be placed over the buttonhole in the lapel of the groom’s jacket – rather than being put through the hole, where it won’t sit properly.  It needs to be pinned in place with a corsage pin either from the back of the lapel – where it can’t be seen, or from the front, for decorative effect.


Things aren’t quite so clear for the ladies of the wedding party.  My research suggests that a corsage (a buttonhole with multiple flowers) should be worn to the right, with the stem pointing up to the shoulder.  The suggestion here is that the weight of the flowers sits better along the line of the bosom.  I’m not sure about this for two reasons.  First, if the corsage has been correctly made it should be balanced and sit flat whether its placed upright, or not. Secondly, the Queen always wears her brooches on the left.  Much as we wear our wedding rings on our left hand ring finger, I like the fact our buttonholes and corsages are also placed above our hearts.


I’d love to hear how you’re planning to get your wedding party to wear their buttonholes and corsages.  Whatever your preference, I suggest you co-ordinate the look for the whole wedding party.  It’ll give a more pleasing feel to your wedding photographs. And, make sure they’re pinned securely and at roughly the same distance from the shoulder, to give a neat look.

If thinking about the etiquette of buttonholes is a step too far for you this week – why not treat yourself to a bunch of flowers on their natural stems instead?

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Until next time, happy flowers!









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