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Do Wedding Guests Wear Buttonholes? [What You Need To Know]

Have a wedding coming up? Not sure if you need to wear a buttonhole? Does it differ for guests? I understand. It can get a little confusing. But not to worry. Today, we’ll be breaking down exactly who should be wearing this traditional flower accessory.

So, do wedding guests wear buttonholes? Traditionally, wedding guests do not wear buttonholes. These are usually worn exclusively by the male members of the bridal party, including the groomsmen, the best man, and fathers of the bride and groom. Buttonholes are often seen as a means of differentiating the male bridal party from the regular guests.

We are talking traditionally here.

Of course times have changed.

And there are no definitive rules for everyone and every wedding.

There are certainly some weddings where all the male guests do wear buttonholes.

Sometimes, its even at the request of the bride and groom.

That being said, if you are invited to a wedding as a guest, its generally best to check with the bride and groom first.

Especially if you are intending on wearing one!

Who Wears Buttonholes At Weddings?

Buttonholes are only traditionally worn by the groom and his closest men in his bridal party. That is the groomsmen, ushers, and closest male family members (such as his father and the father of the bride).

If the ceremony is to have ring bearers, then sometimes they wear them too.

Generally, buttonholes are there to recognize and separate the groom’s entourage from all of the other male guests.

That being said, there are two things to consider here:

  1. The groom often wears a different buttonhole to everyone else.
  2. Guests can wear a buttonhole if agreed with the bride and groom ahead of time, or it has been publically announced that they can.

Are Buttonholes Necessary?

Buttonholes are not considered necessary in today’s day and age – if the bride and groom decide not to have them. Besides, we do not have disease and odors to contend with like in previous centuries when they were first originally worn.

However, they certainly do round off the outfit.

And as we have already mentioned, they can set certain males apart.

Whether or not buttonholes are worn at all is something that is going to come down to personal preferences.

They do not need to be worn, but they are considered nice to have.

What Color Should Buttonholes Be?

Buttonholes should either match the style and color scheme of the wedding and bride’s bouquet or drastically contrast it. This will tie it in and ensure it does not look out of place. Either option works and works well.

When it comes to the selection of color, you can consider the boldest flower in the bride’s bouquet, or even opt for something more neutral if you want them to be more subtle.

How To Wear A Buttonhole

Buttonholes should be worn on the outside of the suit of the left lapel. They should not sit inside the buttonhole but on the outside. Secured by a pin that is fixed from the back of the lapel.

You should not be able to see the pin at any time.


Buttonholes, otherwise known as boutonnieres, are a great differentiator.

So much so that is is generally best that the wedding guests do not wear them.

If you are a guest to an upcoming wedding, it is generally advised to steer clear – unless you have been told or heard otherwise.

Even in this instance its probably best to contact the bride and/or groom and check first.

You do not want to be that guy.

You may even find out what buttonhole to wear, or how to tie it into the wedding theme, if you are told you can wear one.

Win-win, either way.