Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Groom's Boutonniere Choices

The following is an excerpt from my book What's Your Bridal Style?, which I wrote with Casey Cooper of Botanicals, Inc. in Chicago....

First of all let it be said: You are not required to wear a boutonnière. But, wearing a boutonnière-- a small embellishment of fresh flowers or greenery-- allows you, as the groom, the opportunity for additional self expression. So, if you choose to wear one, it will be the final touch on the clothing ensemble you’ve so carefully assembled. One other advantage of a boutonnière is that it will distinguish you from your guests and your waiters if you have a formal, black tie wedding.

Here are some suggestions for matching your boutonniere style to your overall wedding wardrobe style:
Black Tie/Formal
Structured blossoms with distinctive shapes: miniature calla lilies, spray roses, stephanotis, freesia, and orchid blossoms. The clean shapes of these flowers stand out nicely against a formal jacket.
Textural items such as herbs & berries: lavender, rosemary, hypericum, tufts of hydrangea, spray roses. A combination of materials works well for this wedding wardrobe style.
Something local, indigenous, abundant, or traditional to the area: a hibiscus bloom picked right before the ceremony and tucked into a white linen jacket (St. Barthes); an orchid lei (Hawaii); a marigold garland (India)

Take advantage of fresh materials only available during the season of your wedding:

Spring: Lily of the Valley, muscari, individually wired hyacinth blossoms
Summer: nerrine lilies, agapanthus blossoms
Fall: viburnum berries, oak leaves, rosehips
Winter: white pine tips, snowberry, holly

The most popular boutonnière for the groom is to wear a flower that appears in the bridal bouquet. For example, if your bride is carrying a gathering of exquisite ivory miniature calla lilies, you might wear a single ivory miniature calla lily. If she is carrying a gorgeous collection of exotic Mokara orchid sprays in shades of amber, red, and tangerine, a petite trio of amber Mokara orchid blossoms would look smashing on your jacket. A loosely bound bridal bouquet of wild flowers, herbs and berries might lead you to select a few berries backed with a sprig of rosemary for your boutonnière.

Some of the more unusual boutonnières in recent weddings have included acorns and oak leaves, a miniature pine cone paired with a sprig of fragrant white pine, and chocolate fiddlehead fern curls neatly tucked into the lapel.

A groom’s boutonnière can and should be slightly different than the rest of the wedding party and family boutonnières. Use this section to check off the spotlight style points that sound good to you:

_____Color Sometimes the bride and groom carry and wear white and ivory flowers, while the rest of the bridal party carry and wear more colorful flowers, or vice versa.
_____Size The groom typically wears a slightly larger boutonnière than the groomsmen and male family members.
_____Complexity A boutonnière designed with a few different blossoms as opposed to a single bloom for the rest of the wedding party.
_____Detail A simple stem treatment such as a ribbon treatment finished with a tailored knot, an Asian inspired snake grass sleeve to hide the stem, or an organic twist of banyan root.

Your bride will be selecting the flowers she is going to carry; you’ll be selecting the flowers you’re going to wear. There needs to be a visual blend and balance of style. There will be an influx of likes and dislikes, aesthetic influences, history, possibly ancestry, possibly practical issues such as allergies…