Wedding planning comes with a whole list of boxes to check off, and amongst those to-dos is the consideration for florals. From lush centerpieces to altar adornments and bridal bouquets, the list of wedding floral options can seem a bit overwhelming. However, if you’re crafty or obsessed with DIY, there are a few items you may be able to tackle on your own, including the boutonniere.
A boutonniere, traditionally displayed on the lapel of a jacket, is a great way to make your floral design entirely cohesive. You may opt to have just one person wear a boutonniere, or you may choose to make plenty so all of the men involved in the wedding can don them, from the groom and groomsmen to any male family members, along with your ring bearer.
Think going the DIY route for boutonnieres is the best option for you? Read as floral designer Erice McNeff shares how to make a boutonniere in just a few steps and flex your creativity.
Meet the Expert
Erice McNeff is a floral designer and the owner of Everbloom Floral Design, a floral design company based in Southern California.
Benefits of a DIY Boutonniere
While something so dainty as a boutonniere may not seem like it would rack up much cost on yourfloral budget, it certainly is possible. If you’re hoping to save where you can, making your own could save you close to $20 per boutonniere. And that definitely adds up if you’re decking out all of the groomsmen and plenty of family members. Plus, it’s simple enough to pull off this floral design piece, and then you’ll have extra money to put toward something else for celebrating the big day!
Flowers to Consider for Your Boutonniere
First thing’s first, you’ll want to choose the perfect bloom for your boutonniere. According to McNeff, choosing a hearty flower is best. "I tend to stay away from larger blooms and work with flowers that have a smaller, dainty face," she says. You also want to make sure you're working with blooms that can hold up without a water source.
The choice of flowers will certainly depend on the rest of your floral design, but some stunning options include spray roses, ranunculus, anthurium, and pansies. Using dried florals with a splash of greenery is a great, hearty choice as well.
When to Make a Boutonniere
The last thing you want to do is go to all the trouble of making your own boutonniere, only to have it wilt by the wedding. "The closer you can get to the wedding ceremony, the better," advises McNeff. If you can make the boutonniere the morning of the ceremony, that will be your best bet for a fresh look. However, if that’s not possible, you can still pull it off the night before.
If there will be a gap of time before the ceremony, especially overnight, leave the stems exposed and gently set your boutonniere in a shallow cup of water. McNeff says it’s best to avoid the fridge entirely. "I'd advise leaving them somewhere cool and dry if you need to make it the night before," she notes. "If there's produce in your fridge, the gases emitted can actually wilt your blooms and do more harm than good."
Materials for Making Your Own Boutonniere
Of course, once you’ve selected your blooms you’re well on your way. However, you’ll need to consider a few additional materials to pull off your floral project. Here is a complete list of the materials you'll need:
- Statement bloom and smaller florals
- Floral stem cutter or floral snips
- Floral tape
- Ribbon, if desired
According to McNeff, floral tape is a must-have. "The traditional way of making a boutonniere is to wrap the entire exposed stem in floral tape," she says. "This tape is specially designed to help seal the stem of the flower and prevent it from wilting because you're working without a wire source."
If you don’t want the look of floral tape all around the stems, you can choose to omit some of it. Wrapping the middle of the bunch with floral tape to hold it together, and then adding a ribbon to cover it up, is another beautiful option.
How to Make a Boutonniere
Step 1: Look at Inspiration
You may already know exactly what design you want for your boutonniere, but if not, it’ll take a bit of research. Check out Instagram and Pinterest for floral color palettes that match yours. Find inspiration for your own boutonniere by looking at the designs others have used in real weddings. You may choose to match your boutonniere design to other florals being displayed at your wedding, or you may decide it’s better to choose something less matchy-matchy, yet still complementary.
Step 2: Choose Your Blooms
Gather the blooms you’d like to incorporate. McNeff suggests one to two small flowers, along with three to four small pieces of greenery or dried floral options.
Step 3: Cut and Clean Your Stems
Use a stem cutter to cut your florals to your desired length. A stem length of two or three inches to work with is ideal. You can always go back and trim once the boutonniere is put together! According to McNeff, the final stem length should be an inch or less. Be sure the stems are clean as well, removing any leaves.
Step 4: Create Your Arrangement
Once your stems are ready, arrange your boutonniere, starting with the flower first. Add the greenery or dried flowers behind and then consider adding one additional piece for layering in the front.
Remember, don’t stress while you're creating your arrangement. If you don't like your initial design, you can easily keep rearranging the floral pieces of your boutonniere until you find the perfect fit.
Step 5: Wrap and Trim
Once your arrangement is put together, wrap the boutonniere in floral tape, wrapping all of the stems tightly. Neatly trim the stems to the one-inch mark, and then wrap a ribbon over the tape if desired.
Step 6: Store Until the Ceremony
If you’ve made your boutonniere the morning of the ceremony, keep it cool and dry until it’s time to affix it to a lapel. If you need to make it the night before, be sure to avoid the fridge, but find a cool place to keep it fresh. If you can, leave your boutonniere in a shallow cup of water overnight.