Woods & Bloom flowers. Image by Anita Elliston Photography
Flowers are one of those checklist items on the wedding list that grooms leave to the brides, right? Wrong. It’s 2019 gang! You should be taking an interest in all aspects of your wedding! Ok, to be fair, I didn’t exactly lead the charge on the flowers at my own wedding, but I like to think that I offered my opinion.
And when it came to the groomsmen’s flowers I was definitely across the details. So, I started thinking: how can I make life easier for grooms who want to be more involved? The answer: go to the source! I spoke to three florists to get an insight into what’s happening in the world of groom flowers.
What should grooms think about when choosing flowers?
Linda Clark, owner of Brunswick Flower Hub – “a place where you can always find something a little bit different and special” in Victoria, has been a florist for more than a decade and says the practice of grooms wearing flowers dates back to medieval times, when flowers were worn close to the heart to “ward off evil spirits”. These days though, it’s more about creating a theme across the bridal party. “The flowers should complement the bride and bridesmaid’s bouquets,” she says. “The colour of the grooms flowers can be different to the groomsmen but still using the same flowers.”
Miriam Smith, director of Miriam Avery – “multi award-winning floral designer and experienced wedding & event planner” in Western Australia, adds that in addition to matching their partners, grooms can add a personal touch too. “It can reflect the groom’s personality as much as keeping in theme with the rest of the wedding flowers. It doesn’t need to be huge, it can be small yet masculine. “We have created some very cool buttonholes over the years with LEGO men, or more natural materials like honky nuts.
“I’ve even been given a mini femur bone from a surgeon to incorporate into his buttonhole. We’ve also added things like feathers and swatches of material. Funky ribbons are also a cool way to add a bit of pizazz or personality relevant to the groom. Anything goes really!”
Cat Shipton, Owner and Head Designer at Woods & Bloom – “A boutique wedding and event florist studio” located in Maleny Queensland – says flowers do “enhance” the overall look but there are other options. “Fabric or floral pocket squares are chosen as an alternative feature rather than a boutonnière.
“Variance in subscribing to boutonnière is very dependent on personal taste. The textures and colours need to balance across the wedding party. Sometimes if they’re having a pocket square and tie or bow tie, I advise against a buttonhole. Each couple is building a look unique to who they are. If the suit is very sleek and tailored, sometimes I feel a boutonnière isn’t needed and can detract rather than enhance.”
Having said that, Cat also notes: “I suggest flowers if I think it will enhance their total look. To some men, the sentimentality of wearing a boutonnière over your heart that matches your partners flowers plays into the chivalric code which has appeal to romantics and traditionalists alike. However, it’s best for the blooms to echo their partners.”
The same principle applies for same-sex marriages, Cat says. “For two grooms, I’d tweak the content a little to be individual to each groom. Often two grooms will choose complementary suits. Likewise, buttonholes don’t need to be the same, but it helps if their styles mesh. There needs to be good flow and connectivity from big floral decor down to smaller pieces like a boutonnière.”
Woods & Bloom Flowers. Image by Dearest Daria Photography
Are more grooms getting involved in wedding flowers?
Linda says it’s “rare” that the groom and groomsmen do not want flower buttonholes. But when it comes to men getting more involved in the process, it seems we’ve still got a long way to go. “Having been a florist for nearly 13 years, I have only had one groom who wanted input on the flowers in his buttonhole. “He acknowledged that he was probably going to be more fussy than the bride.” Miriam says “nearly every wedding” she’s involved in requires flowers for the groom and groomsmen.
“I think it has been pretty much the same in the 10 years that I have been creating flowers for weddings.
“It’s probably the only time in their life they will wear a flower. I think it gives them that ‘James Bond’ moment which every man should have at least once in their life.” Cat says there has been a “slight dip” in the number of grooms wanting flowers, but with an emphasis on the word ‘slight’.
“For years no one really questioned if they [flowers] were needed, it was an accepted thing for all significant males in a wedding party to have a buttonhole,” she says. “Now, some fathers aren’t keen, or the couple are two brides and prefer slightly different bouquets, so a buttonhole isn’t always required – though it still can be. It totally depends on the couple. Brides still may pick button holes for their dads though.”
Woods & Bloom flowers. Image by Aaron Shump Photography
What’s hot in flowers?
With all that advice now firmly under your belt, there’s one thing missing: what flower should you choose? I got the lowdown on what’s popular to give you a helping hand.
Miriam: “A rose or a carnation is always a good choice of flower as they are not too big or small.
“They usually withstand the heat a bit better as well. A bud flower is also a good choice especially if you are trying to match in with the bride and she has opted for big flowers like peonies or Hydrangeas.
Cat: “The majority have textured foliage, berries, and grasses, with minimal blooms. I often bind the buttonholes with plant dyed silk ribbon because it’s a little subtle luxe touch for country or city grooms.
“Indie grooms often like simple leather or narrow velvet ribbon in a tan or brown to echo their belt and shoes. Cat’s top three tips:
- Dried Botanical – texture bomb with velvet ribbon
- Rose & Olive leaf – texturally works as a soft combo but I also like the symbolism of a rose for romance, with olive for peace
- Consider texture to contrast at anytime, but especially if you’re wearing tweed or velvet.
Linda: “Roses, orchids, or small native flowers ie leucadendrons or paper daisies are popular.”
Ms Zebra Says: It would mean so much to the bride, for a groom to take a vested interest in their decision making – especially when flowers are being ‘worn’ by both parties! Go on grooms, get involved!!!
About the author Mr Houndstooth: I am a happily married man. I enjoy a fine whisky, a new suit and swashbuckling around town with my beautiful bride. Looking back on my wedding day always makes me smile, even though it began to rain just as I said ‘I do’.