The tradition of the wedding buttonhole originates from Ancient Greece and made its way to England during Medieval times. Knights would wear their Lady’s colours upon their chest as a gesture of commitment and everlasting love. The small bunch of flowers are always worn by the male members of the wedding party. They are positioned close to the heart to ward off any evil spirits that may turn the Groom’s heart against his Bride.
With this romantic tradition still around today, and with many couples providing buttonholes not only for the civil ceremony but also for an Indian ceremony it’s important to get the basics right. There’s always one thing that our grooms and groomsmen seem to struggle with; and that’s how to fasten these florals correctly. So, after years of practice, here are some simple tricks of the trade that you can follow to make sure you do not ruin your buttonhole (and suit) while trying to pin it onto your lapel.
Remember, the buttonhole should always be positioned on the left lapel, just sitting above the heart and centred horizontally. The flower arrangement should rest comfortably just on or below the widest part of the lapel ensuring the stem is parallel to its edge. Custom made suits and tailored jackets will often have what looks like a buttonhole in the left lapel. If your chosen outfit has this, you should feed the steam of the flower through and you’re good to go.
If you do not have a buttonhole insert on your outfit, which will be the case if you are wearing an Indian outfit, there are a number of ways to secure the buttonhole with the most popular being with a round headed pearl pin. Follow these four simple steps and you can’t go wrong:
1. To begin with, hold the arrangement upright and making sure the flowers are pointing towards yourself
2. Lay it flat on the left lapel just above your heart
3. Once the buttonhole is held in place turn the lapel over to expose the back. With your right hand, insert the pin (usually provided by the florist with the buttonholes) through the fabric and the flower’s stem just below its head
4. Finish treading the pin back through the lapel at a slight downward angle. Once fastened ensure the buttonhole is securely attached.
It can be tricky to pin your own buttonhole so if you have no one around to help, attach the arrangement as per the instructions above before you wear your jacket. If you find the buttonhole is on the heavy side, insert a second pin to make sure it stays in place.