Wedding Etiquette - how to wear a buttonhole or corsage

November 24, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

This topic is probably the most widely misunderstood or confused from all the weddings that I’ve covered. From my experience, a lot of couples and their bridal parties often are not aware of the traditional wedding etiquette in wearing a buttonhole (for groomsmen) or a corsage (typically for the mothers of bride and groom).

What I have learned is that, traditionally:

  • men should wear their buttonhole with a pin on the outside of the lapel on the left chest, just above the heart. Push the pin through the lapel, back out and through/pierce the stem to fix the buttonhole in place, and then finally back through the lapel, so the sharp point is safely tucked behind the lapel.
  • do not make the mistake of pushing the stem through the actual button hole of the jacket at near neck height!
  • corsages for the ladies are traditionally worn differently, and are typically for the mother of the bride and mother of the groom (and grandmothers). If you have a chest-worn corsage, use a pin and affix to the chest on the right side, and upside down - stem upwards, flower pointing downwards.

Of course there are always variations to these traditions. For example, if men have military medals, these go on the left chest and the buttonhole would then be worn on the right; I've also been to a lot of weddings where the corsage was worn by the ladies the "right way up" - as long as everyone matches, I guess it doesn't matter too much!

At the end of the day though, it's your wedding, and you should do as you please - treat this as a general guide.

Becky & PhilBecky & PhilThree Rivers Golf and Country Club, Essex


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