Wedding Planning Tips :: Picking Quality Flowers :: Pinning on the Boutonniere

While photographing weddings of all sizes and styles, I have noticed that, at the large majority of weddings, men (and women) have no idea how to pin on a boutonniere. This usually results in a ceremonial pinning of the boutonniere by a mother, father, sister or bride, and then a pause in the photo action for me to help re-pin that same flower so that the needle head isn't showing, it's more secure, or the needle point isn't in danger of nicking the someone later during intimate poses or dancing. So, I thought a quick tutorial here wouldn't hurt!

A Boutonniere Pinning How To: 

  • The goal is to have the flower be secure but to not see the pin that holds it there.
  • First, you want to make sure you position the flower in the correct direction (I know that seems obvious). Now place the boutonniere on the left side (right if you're facing him) on the widest (or just below the widest) section of the lapel.
  • Next, take the pin and bring it through the back of the lapel toward the front (angling it downward and to the left as your facing him), through a solid portion of the boutonniere stem, and back through the lapel again. So that the needle head (that rounded end) and point are both behind the lapel and are not showing.
  • It should be nice and secure with the one needle, though some flowers come with two and a second can be used to really hold it in place. 
  • Now just take a step back to make sure the whole thing looks correct and secure and you're done!

If some visuals would help wikiHow's five steps on pinning the boutonniere is an easy place to see this in action.


Unfortunately at a couple of weddings, I have also encountered poorly constructed boutonnieres. The photo above was taken at one such wedding. The roses fell off three of the boutonnieres (luckily there were extras hanging about) but when the last one snapped there was no replacement available and the above photo was the groomsman's fix. Using a few extra pins from the destroyed flowers, this groomsman got the rose to stay for the length of the ceremony.. though it clearly wasn't the prettiest option. 

From what I've seen, there is a definite variety in quality available in wedding flowers, and not everyone can assemble one of these things to last. I've seen boutonnieres make it through breakdancing at the end of the night, so it is possible. The best advice I can give when you're searching for any of your wedding vendors is to ask those you trust for referrals. I will gladly give my couples (or anyone who asks really) the names of Florists, DJs, Lighting Experts, Cake Artists, Makeup Artists, Planners, and other professionals that I have experience with and who I know do wonderful work. So ask a trusted vendor or a recently married friend who has already been through this process, because it's such a shame to spend all that time and money planning these details just to have the flowers  falling apart before you even hit the aisle.