A Groom’s Complete Guide to Flowers

We’ve all heard people say things like, “wedding days are all about the brides,” but I think that discredits the gentlemen out there who are just as keen on their wedding day being one of the most important of their lives.

You don’t need to be in a flowing white gown to show off your personal style and steal the show! After all, you end the day just as committed and married as your partner is so, why not go all in with style.

groom in light jacket and black cowboy hat
groom in grey suit holding a bouquet of white flowers

Let’s Talk Wardrobe

Before we talk about personal flower options, let’s spend a moment on wardrobe. Your clothing (typically a suit or tux) is the foundation of your ensemble. Why not choose something that really fits your personality and build from there? Don’t be afraid to spoil yourself a bit! Choose an outfit that makes you feel good and fits incredibly well. Your wedding is the perfect time to order yourself a custom-tailored suit. If you’ve never had one before you’ll be surprised just how comfy it is and just how well it fits and feels.

Your wedding day is likely one of the only times you’ll have professional photos of yourself and if you’re not 100% comfortable with what you’re wearing (especially if it’s rented and doesn’t fit right) that discomfort is going to show in the photos. And who wants to be uncomfortable when they’re the center of attention during a marathon event?! So be sure to choose something that you’re going to love and possibly even re-wear in the future.

groom hugging groomsman before woodsy wedding
groom and groomsmen in navy suits
groom in brown vest holding ring bearer in cowboy hat

All About Boutonnières

Once you’ve decided on a fantastic foundation for your look, the next step is to accessorize. There are countless options from fancy socks to dapper shoes and custom cuff links to color-coordinated pocket squares, but I believe that natural, floral elements you choose can add even more originality and style to your look.

Let’s first talk about personal flower options: anything that is worn on your body, attached to your attire or carried. By far, the most well-known personal flower element for grooms is a boutonnière. This is a flower or grouping of florals and textures pinned to the left lapel or upper left side of your chest. It’s a tradition stemming from the medieval era when ladies pinned a flower matching their attired to a knight they favored before he rode off into battle. Grooms and groomsmen wear matching or complementary boutonnières to demonstrate their connection to their intended and the wedding party.

groom in navy suit and red tie with white boutonniere
groom wearing maroon velvet jacket with boutonniere of feathers and greenery

When it comes to boutonnières, there are tons of options so I’d like to offer some guidance and suggestions. In many ways, your attire can help dictate your boutonnière. If you’re wearing a tux (the most formal option) I would recommend a very elegant and chic boutonnière, often a large focal flower with some greenery. If you have a button-down shirt with suspenders, you’ll want a more minimal, dainty boutonnière since the suspenders will need to support its weight.

If you’re wearing a suit jacket, you can go with something larger and more fun and unique: anything from a single large rose to an elaborate cluster of flowers and textures from the day. You can even throw in interesting elements like feathers, a bullet casing, a wine cork, or go with an herbal-based boutonnière (sage, basil, thyme ect.) or even succulents. For all of these boutonnière options, you can choose to go with all greens or neutrals or incorporate as much color as you would like.

Note: For men who are wearing a more causal shirt (a button-down with no jacket or suspenders) you can pin something super lightweight like a small, textural cluster, but understand that this is not ideal and may create folds and weird creases in your shirt. In this case, I often recommend skipping a boutonnière.

groom wearing a boutonniere in a wine cork
groom in a black suit with a boutonniere of eucalyptus and pink rose
groom in a blue suit with a boutonniere
groom in a blue suit with a succulent boutonniere

Finishing Touches

Another important aspect of boutonnières that you can customize is the fabric they are wrapped in. Some popular options include a natural wire bind for something simple, rustic or understated, or the fancier, formal feel of double face satin, velvet, or silk. You can match the ribbon to your clothing or the wedding party flowers or have it stand out and make a statement. Another very neutral option that looks great on a dark tux is black floral tape so the stems blend into the jacket and the flowers appear to float.

white lisianthus boutonniere with white silk ribbon
groom in a light grey suit with vest with a magenta rose boutonniere
red rose boutonniere in ribbon spool

Quick Boutonnière Reference

  • Single Flower (formal, tall, round): Often a single garden rose or tall collection of lily of the valley, these boutonnières shine when wrapped in black velvet or silk as a touchstone of formal elegance.

  • Collection/Cluster (garden style): This option is a bit less formal and features a collection of small flowers or textures from the day along with more personal elements, often wrapped in a natural wire bind.

groom wearing a light grey vest with a boutonniere
light purple flower and eucalyptus boutonniere
groom in dark grey suit with boutonniere

Thinking Outside the Box

If you’d like to step outside of the traditional, pin on boutonnières, let’s talk about some more creative options that you can choose to really lean into your personality and originality. If you want to make a statement, you can switch out a conventional boutonnière for a pocket boutonnière or floral pocket square growing out of your jacket pocket.

You can also choose to do a floral bow tie or super-fun full-length floral tie. If you’re wearing a hat, consider adding a cool floral pop with features and texture to your brim or just one gorgeous bloom to tie it all together.

groom with a pocket boutonniere of flowers
groom wearing a black hat with floral pop on the brim

Now that we’ve talked through some of the possibilities, let me say this: if something more whimsical suites you GO FOR IT. Tell me your vision and we can bring it to life! You can choose to go with a decorative head piece, a bouquet or a fantastic floral boa – I’d love to create anything you can dream up.

groom in pink jacket holding spring pastel bouquet
man holding a floral shoulder art piece
groom with a snake head boutonniere

Ceremony Florals

If you’d like to showcase florals on your wedding day but aren’t keen on wearing any elaborate personal flowers, a great way to incorporate blooms or textures is on a wedding arch as the backdrop of your ceremony. I have a collection of several steel structures on hand to rent: a set of 3 triangles, a large circle, and a square that can be built into a full chuppah. These can be left unadorned for a super minimalistic, masculine vibe, but the majority of couples choose to add anything from a pop of florals on one side to a complete covering of the arch in lush romantic blooms or rustic greenery, textures, grasses, feathers or dried elements.

full circle wedding arch with greenery and pampas grass
trio of steel triangle arches with purple flowers at a mountain wedding ceremony
pink and green floral arrangement on steel circle arch at wedding ceremony in the mountains

No matter which design or level of detail you’re interested in, there is always a perfect way for you to incorporate your style into your wedding day through flowers and personal attire that speak to your personality. Splurge on yourself, enjoy this process and don’t be afraid to have some fun with it!

Featuring photography from: Melodic View Photography, Dylan Crossley Photo, Miss Miller’s Photography, Shea McGrath Photography, Bookend Photography, Photography by Jewels, Daryl Love Photography, Hillside Studios, For the West and Wild Photo, Sarah Goff Photography, Caitlin Hamilton Photography, Ashley Tiedgen Photography, PHOCO and Jimena Peck.