Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Put a Flower on It

Cary Grant could pull off anything,
particularly a well-styled boutonniere. 

For those of you dear readers who do not know, this week is Comcast’s “Watch-A-Thon” week, meaning that it is the week when every special cable show is available on demand. Yesterday, my husband and I decided to watch “Portlandia,” which always makes us laugh.

One “Portlandia” episode jokes about the city’s proclivity for putting birds on everything. After my laughter subsided from Fred Armisen putting a bird sticker on literally every object in sight (putting a bird on a bird is just funny!), I was reminded of a time in my wedding planning when my mother and florist encouraged me to put a flower on every element in my wedding.

Yep, everything. Now, let me explain: I’m just not that into flowers. Oh, I like them alright, but they’re not my favorite and I’d rather spend money elsewhere, such as on monogrammed napkins (or just about any other monogrammed thing).

The biggest issue we ran into during this floral meeting was their desire to put a flower on my then-fianc√©, now-husband. I readily admitted that he needed a boutonniere; I wasn’t particularly against that. But what I was against was what the florist recommended that boutonniere be made of: baby’s breath, several small roses and a larger rose.

My husband is 6’2’’, but even I knew that such an intricate boutonniere would be overkill on his frame. My opinion was – and still is – that boutonnieres should be simple.

Unless a bride has other tastes and really wants to adorn her intended with an intricate floral arrangement on his jacket, HJ usually agrees that when it comes to boutonnieres, simpler is better. Here’s why:

Men aren’t that into flowers: although we hate to generalize, flowers are typically not on a guy’s radar. Usually, a groom or groomsman could care less about what he’s handed to wear on his lapel. Because of this, spending a ton of money on a boutonniere is likely wasteful.

Men don’t take care of flowers: brides and bridesmaids carefully carry their bouquets down the aisle and make sure that they’re laid delicately on the table (or wherever) during the reception. Men aren’t this cautious. In fact, it’s quite likely that all boutonnieres in a wedding will be destroyed by mid-reception. It’s just too easy to put down a jacket in such a way that causes the flower to be crushed or to have someone sit on or borrow a man’s jacket, giving little care for the flower that adorns it.

Boutonnieres aren’t the focus of a wedding: how many times have you heard how beautiful a groom’s boutonniere was? Probably not many, and the same goes for all other boutonnieres in a wedding. When it comes to flowers, boutonnieres are the very last thing most guests focus on – perhaps because they too know that the men in the wedding party could care less about flowers.

When designing a boutonniere, HJ has a few recommendations:

Consider size: a 6’2’’ man will dwarf a petite flower. If you insist on using a small flower, use several to create a design that won’t be lost against a suit or tux jacket.

Let the groom stand out: using a different color or leaf in a groom’s boutonniere allows him to stand out. This is essential for pictures, in which it can sometimes be difficult to tell the groom and groomsmen apart. A distinct boutonniere is a great way to allow a groom to be easily identifiable without much effort.

Worry about a flower’s hardiness, but only to some extent: the flowers used in any boutonniere only need to last through pictures. Survival past that point is a bonus. Therefore, choose a flower that won’t immediately collapse, melt or fall apart, but don’t concern yourself with choosing one that will last until the end of time.

Happy “Watch-A-Thon” week! Tonight, we’re going to start “Homeland,” which I doubt will contain any floral references.