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What Is a Pocket Square Boutonnière?

by Staff

For years, one floral detail has been the go-to wedding accessory for male wedding party members: the boutonnière. Now, floral pocket squares, otherwise known as pocket square boutonnières, have arrived on the scene to shake things up, and it’s a welcome change for couples who are looking to make an even bigger splash with their big-day blooms.

According to Amanda Theodoropoulos, co-owner of Princeton, New Jersey-based floral studio Twisted Willow Flowers, the floral pocket squares are here to stay. In fact, she’s already seen a slight increase in couples asking for these creative accents, and she anticipates that popularity will continue to rise over the next few years. “Couples seem to be open to the idea if they’re not fond of the traditional boutonnière,” she explains, adding that some engaged duos associate the classic lapel detail with a high school prom.

Looking to reimagine this floral detail for your own wedding? Here’s everything you need to know about pocket square flowers, including how to decide if they’re right for your celebration, the best blooms to use, and who should actually wear one.

Meet the Expert

Amanda Theodoropoulos is the co-owner of Princeton, New Jersey-based floral design studio Twisted Willow Flowers.

What Is a Pocket Square Boutonnière?

A pocket square boutonnière, otherwise known as a floral pocket square or a pocket boutonnière, is a petite arrangement of flowers that pokes out from the external breast pocket of a groom’s suit or tuxedo jacket. Unlike a traditional boutonnière, which is extremely small in size and pinned to the groom’s lapel, these arrangements tend to be built on a piece of heavy cardstock or other sturdy material and placed directly into the jacket’s outer pocket. Because they’re not limited to just the size of the jacket’s lapel, floral pocket squares tend to be comprised of more blooms and are larger, fuller, and more statement-making than their traditional counterparts.

Which Flowers Work Best in a Pocket Square Boutonnière?

Much like you would for a standard boutonnière, Theodoropoulos suggests choosing flowers that are known to hold up even when outside of water for a prolonged period of time. Similarly, you’ll also want a mix of blooms with flatter profiles, as this will ensure the final arrangement doesn’t stick out too far. Prioritizing lighter flowers is another good idea; since these floral pocket squares are larger than traditional boutonnières, it’s easy for them to become quite heavy, which may be uncomfortable for some grooms.

While just about any flower will work in a pocket square boutonnière, some of Theodoropoulos’s favorites include ranunculus, zinnias, delphinium florets, hardy foliages, and hellebore. If a larger scale flower—like a hydrangea or peony—is a must-have for you, talk to your florist about ways to incorporate just one into this mix to make a statement without weighing you down.

What Type of Wedding Is a Pocket Square Boutonnière Best For?

As with most wedding-related trends, a flower pocket square can be adapted to work for just about any celebration style. With that being said, they do tend to lend themselves to more modern celebrations. “Overall [wedding] aesthetic plays a big role, as well as the groom’s selected attire. Floral pocket squares tend to have a more relaxed, playful feel,” Theodoropoulos says. She adds that the groom who tends to be more invested in his attire will be more likely to gravitate towards this design.

If you’re hosting a very classic, formal wedding, does that mean a pocket square boutonnière is out of the question? Absolutely not. Discuss your preferences with your florist and work together to find a way to bridge the gap between your more contemporary floral preferences and your more traditional wedding design; the types of flowers used in the arrangement, as well and the colors and overall design, will ensure the floral accent feels in keeping with the rest of the celebration’s style.

Does Every Male Wedding Party Member Need a Floral Pocket Square?

In general, every male wedding party member—including the groom, groomsmen, the fathers of the bride and groom, any ring bearers, ushers, and ceremony readers—is given a boutonnière to wear throughout the ceremony and reception. Does this mean they should be given a floral pocket square if the groom is wearing one? Ultimately, it’s up to the couple. Pocket square boutonnières tend to a bit more expensive than a traditional lapel arrangement, so if you’re looking to save money on personal flowers, making this special style exclusive to just the groom is a perfectly acceptable idea. Everyone else can rock standard boutonnières in complementary styles and colors.

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