Guest Post: Buttonholes and Corsages

Happy Friday, my friends – bet you’re all just as pleased as I am to see the weekend arrive! But first we have some prettiness to share (and pop back in a couple of hours for this week’s Love List too). The lovely Coral and Chantell from Green Goddess Flower Studio in Cape Town are here today to share some advice about buttonholes and corsages – little details which can easily be overlooked by a busy bride but which I know that as a wedding blogger I always notice! It always seems such a shame to be when a bride has an absolutely spectacular and original bouquet, and then the groom and all his boys are sporting a lonely rose or a droopy carnation. Take the opportunity to dandy him up a bit with something a bit special. Over to you, ladies!


Buttonholes and corsages are often relegated in importance when selecting bridal flowers. Grooms, the best-man and/or groomsmen and fathers might still sport them but many mums consider them old fashioned and only grannies get excited about wearing them.

Corsages and buttonholes are a good way to tie in the theme of a wedding and draw the Bridal party together and on the day everyone feels special wearing a wedding flower. It is also a lovely way to honour special people attending your wedding in a simple but noteworthy gesture.

TOP: renuncula bud, freesia bud, button chrysanthemum, vine ringlet, mounted on flax leaf; BOTTOM: mini rose and silver brunia berries, backed with ric-rac trimming and indigenous silver leaf

A buttonhole or boutonnierre as they are popularly known at the moment, is usually a small floral accent given to the male members of the wedding party or other special or honoured guests. A corsage is given to the female members and is usually a little more feminine in makeup, which could include bridesmaids, depending on their outfits and confidence. Some bridesmaids still prefer a bouquet as it gives them something to do with their hands when walking down the aisle.

Some couples give these special flowers to just the wedding party. Other couples include parents, grandparents, godparents, siblings, master of ceremonies, marriage official, guests doing readings or singing at the ceremony or other people who have some special significance to the couple and are attending the special day. There are certainly no longer any hard and fast rules about who does or doesn’t get these flowers nowadays. It really is a personal choice of the couple.

Picture left - LEFT: mini rose with velvet ribbon; RIGHT: coloured wire with rose petals and crystals; Picture right - clockwise from top left - 1: lily bud with silver leaf & bear grass; 2: flax leaf with ivy and flower buds; 3: gerbera centre (stripped of petals) with equisetum and a rose bud; 4: cut out aspidistra leaf with mini rose petals

Buttonholes and corsages can be both elegant and sophisticated. Gone are the clusters of spray carnations and baby’s breath, huge and hanging off the shoulder like a flower arrangement in their own right. Today corsages and buttonholes can be attached with magnets rather than pins allowing the use of a variety of materials with less damage to fabric. They can be glued rather than wired creating a product with a lot less bulk and more creative compositions. Wrist corsages are also hugely popular, especially for bridesmaids or younger attendants, and also for mothers, who have outfits that don’t lend themselves to a shoulder corsage.

There is a huge selection of interesting foliage to add a twist to these floral accents. Flax, equisetum grass, beargrass, kolkol and the buds of roses, ranunculas and lilies rather than the blooms all add texture and interest. Exotic blooms like orchids, tulips, calla lilies and frangipani are popular but do check their seasonal availability. They can be set on a square or rectangular foliage background or can be shaped into a miniature cone or wreath. A tiny glamelia looks very elegant and can be matched to a similar bouquet or hairpiece.

LEFT: Mini-gerbera with rose petal and pin cushion fronds and coloured pins; RIGHT: mini-gerbera with button chrysanthemum and penny gum foliage adding new petal layers and coloured pin

Also consider making your groom’s buttonhole different to the rest of the wedding party, to let him stand out from the rest. Another important consideration may be to order him two buttonholes, if you are doing couple photographs together before the actual ceremony. Delicate blooms can get crushed during the fun of the photo session and will look terrible if already wilted as he stands at the top of the aisle waiting for you. So have a fresh one on standby for that all important time when you say your ‘I do’s.

Yours in flowers,
Chantell & Coral, Green Goddess Flower Studio

SBB ♥ Green Goddess flower studio, a featured member of our Directory

Comments are closed.