How to Pin a Boutonniere

Wedding Tips

In my years as a wedding photographer, one thing still comes up nearly every time I’m photographing the groomsmen’s “getting ready” photos. Almost every time I am asked the same question by the mom/dad/best man of the groom — how do I pin a boutonniere?

As unassuming as they seem, those little flower pins just seem to cause so much fumbling on a wedding day. And while I’m definitely no expert (be sure to confirm with your florist how best to pin your custom boutonniere arrangement), I did a little research and mixed it with the experiences I’ve had watching and helping with the task — all to help my future brides/grooms know just what they’re doing on the wedding day!

How to pin a boutonnière:

  1. Position the boutonniere on the LEFT side lapel (his left, your right if you’re facing the groom/groomsman), using the lapel button hole as a guide. Place it just below the widest part of the lapel, hiding the lapel button hole with the bloom of the flower.
  2. Hold the boutonniere firmly with your index finger, and your thumb placed on the back of the lapel to keep it steady.
  3. Take the pin in your other hand and carefully flip the lapel away from the groom/groomsman so you can see the underside.
  4. Poke the pin through the underside of the lapel, then firmly down into the thickest part of the flower’s stem. This ensures the flower will stay firmly upright the entire wedding day, and not droop.
  5. Poke the pin back out through the wrapped stem, and back into the lapel. The pin should both start and end on the underside of the fabric.

Seems simple enough, but especially for anyone who has never worn a boutonniere, it can take a little time and adjustment to get the flower just right. Make sure the flower is held sturdy to survive the whole day and all the hugs from family and guests, and place it straight and in the right position on the lapel.

More frequently asked questions about boutonnieres:

Can you wear a boutonniere with a pocket square?

Yes, you can! The left is still the correct side for both.

how to pin a boutonniere on suspenders

What if there is no lapel button hole?

This is usually the case for satin lapels on tuxedos. Estimate your placement just 2-3 inches below the collar bone.

Can you wear a boutonniere with suspenders?

See photo for my answer — absolutely, yes! Looks just as sharp as putting a vest or jacket on your groomsmen.

Can you wear a boutonniere on a dress shirt? (no vest, jacket, or suspenders to pin on)

Still yes. Just be EXTRA careful not to prick anybody’s skin.

Are you a visual learner? Check out this video I found on how to pin a boutonniere!

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