pinning boutonniere
Alfresco Floral Design

A boutonniere is technically a floral-adorned pin that is affixed to a suit jacket’s left lapel. These small bunches of flowers are usually reserved for VIPs, but as you plan for your big day, you might find yourself asking: Who wears a boutonniere at a wedding? We’ve compiled a list of the most-likely candidates to receive boutonnieres, but we recommend discussing this with your florist to ensure you honor the right people—and don’t blow your budget (boutonnieres can be time-consuming to make and pricey, so choose wisely!).

Wondering who wears a boutonniere at a wedding? Here’s your go-to list.

Groom

When thinking about who wears a boutonniere at a wedding, the groom or grooms should be at the top of the list. The groom’s boutonniere may be different and perhaps more elaborate or intricate than the other boutonniere-wearers’ arrangements so that he can truly stand out from the crowd. While floral boutonnieres are most common for a groom, we’ve also seen more creative boutonnieres featuring Legos, golf tees, action figures, feathers, guitar picks, pinwheels, and more. This is a great way for a groom to show off his personality and interests.

It also should be noted that, traditionally, the groom pays for the men’s boutonnieres. However, if the bride’s family is paying for the florist’s services, they may choose to pay for all flower arrangements, including boutonnieres.

Groomsmen and Bridesmen

The groomsmen and best man have important roles to play on the wedding day. A boutonniere is not only a colorful accessory, it’s also a lovely way for the groom to thank his best guys. The groomsmen’s boutonnieres should complement the wedding’s color scheme as well as the groomsmen’s attire, so be sure to give your florist an accurate count so that no one is left out. The best man may receive a boutonniere than different from the rest of the groomsmen to identify his extra-special job.

If your wedding party includes bridesmen (men who are on the bride’s side), they too should receive boutonnieres, perhaps featuring different colors or flowers than the groomsman’s boutonnieres. Groomswomen or groomsmaids may wear pin-on or wrist corsages, or carry their own bouquets.

Another important note: Be aware that pinning a boutonniere to a lapel can be tricky, so it might be worth asking your wedding party members to practice this task beforehand to minimize panic on the big day.

bride and grandfather
Spokane Club

Fathers and Stepfathers of the Couple

If you’re planning out who wears a boutonniere to your wedding, don’t forget about dear ol’ Dad! 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. Even the most serious of dads will get emotional during this special moment—and it’s sure to be a sweet photo op!

Grandfathers of the Couple

For those fortunate enough to have a grandfather or grandfathers attending their wedding, be sure to gift ‘em a boutonniere to show how grateful you are for their presence. Try to make the time to give your grandpa his boutonniere in person—he’s sure to be delighted by this special accessory.

Ring Bearer

Your littlest attendant shouldn’t be forgotten among those who will receive a boutonniere to wear on the big day. Ring bearers’ boutonniere should be scaled-down versions of the groom’s or groomsmen’s boutonnieres so he’ll fit right in with the rest of the wedding party.

Ushers

While ushers aren’t technically part of the wedding party, they still have an essential role to play. Boutonnieres are not only pretty to look at, they’ll also identify your ushers as point people for guests with seating questions or special needs. If possible, your ushers’ boutonnieres should vary (even slightly) from those your groomsmen are sporting.

Officiant

Your wedding officiant may also wear a boutonniere. If your officiant is not a religious official and will be wearing secular attire like a suit, he should be given a boutonniere. However, certain religious officiants wearing traditional dress may not wish to wear a boutonniere, so you might ask for his preference.

Other Immediate Family Members and VIPs

Who else wears a boutonniere to a wedding? Really, boutonnieres may be worn by anyone who you and your future spouse feel deserve a little extra love. This can include ceremony readers, other immediate family members who may not be in the wedding party, and more. Work with your florist to determine proper wedding boutonniere etiquette for your specific event and budget.