What Is a Pocket Square Boutonniere?

Pocket boutonnieres, a.k.a. pocket square boutonnieres or floral pocket squares, are showing up at some of the most stylish wedding parties. We turn to the experts to find out more about them.

Pocket boutonnieres, sometimes called pocket square boutonnieres or floral pocket squares, are popping out of breast pockets in some of the most stylish wedding parties. Combining the dapper look of a vibrant pocket square with fresh flowers, this pocket full of posies stands out more than a traditional boutonniere.

White and silver floral pocket square
This elegant pocket square by Callie Evans of Still Magnolia Floral Design combines bay leaf, dusty miller, and a white Majolica spray rose with blue thistle and seeded eucalyptus pods. Photo courtesy of Still Magnolia Floral Design

The Buzz on Pocket Boutonnieres

The current popularity of pocket boutonnieres is a well-deserved revival. They trended briefly a few years ago, and there’s even a video from 2010 showing how to make a floral pocket square. If Instagram had been as big then or if TikTok had been around at the time, we would probably have seen many more of them before now.

These slightly bigger and sometimes bolder florals for a jacket pocket are creating a buzz. A quick scan of Instagram comments captures responses ranging from “No one at the wedding had ever seen such a cool floral creation” and “My husband loved how it just slid into his breast pocket” to “Move over boutonniere, here comes the floral pocket square!”

TikTok followers seem to agree. Orange County, California, floral designer Alex Telson of Alex Telson Designs has videos of her floral pocket square designs posted on TikTok with nearly two million views.

We talked to Alex about her experience with pocket square boutonnieres. “They are my passion,” she says. “You can be more creative with the pocket square. They are open to a wider variety of flowers. You can play them up with materials that are lush and textured, go bigger with materials that hang from the pocket, or design something smaller and more demure. They allow me to think outside the box and make something that is easier for everyone.”

Green pocket square boutonniere
Alex Telson combined sword fern, bells of Ireland, green mums, and dianthus with a cascade of hanging amaranthus for this verdant pocket square. Photo by Emily B Photo
Red pocket square boutonniere
This pocket square designed by Alex Telson of Alex Telson Designs brings the drama. Red spray roses, crimson ranunculus, velvety cockscomb, and hanging amaranthus create a study in red and texture. Photo by Tara Deaton

See Alex’s step-by-step instructions for making the red pocket boutonniere on TikTok.

Not Your Basic Boutonniere

In addition to allowing for more creativity, pocket boutonnieres eliminate the pin—also known as the nemesis of traditional boutonnieres. “Many people don’t know how to pin a boutonniere. I see them falling over all the time,” says Lisa Gloff, floral designer and owner of The Rosy Posy Design & Event Studio in Manassas, Virginia. “We try to educate as much as possible, but there is only so much you can do.”

Lisa is a big fan of the pocket  square boutonniere, noting that they not only look great but are practical. “Wedding planners love them!” she says. “It is so much easier to slip it into a breast pocket than navigate pinning a boutonniere. ”

Inspired by the challenges that traditional boutonnieres pose, Lisa designed a floral mechanic specifically for the pocket boutonniere. “I decided to make it after getting photos back from the photographers where the boutonniere had been squished in a ‘bro hug.’ At first we made two boutonnieres for the groom, so he would have a nice one for the ceremony and photos,” Lisa says. The mechanic is currently in development with patent pending. Follow Lisa on Instagram @therosyposy for updates on its development (and of course, more florals).

Red orchid pocket square boutonniere
This striking pocket square from The Rosy Posy includes a red Vanda orchid blossom and spray roses. A scabiosa pod and berries add to the textures. Photo by @kir2ben
Blue and white delphinium and scabiosa pocket square
Pale blue delphinium blossoms with scabiosa on a background of dusty miller, green leaves, and berries on this pocket boutonniere designed by Lisa Gloff of The Rosy Posy. Photo by @kir2ben

How to Make a Pocket Boutonniere

There are many variations to making a floral pocket square, but the fundamentals are the same.

Start with card stock or cardboard cut to fit in a breast pocket (approximately 3″ by 5″). The pocket boutonniere will be top heavy, so you want a card that is long and rigid enough to stand up in the pocket.

Some designers cover the card with greenery such as an aspidistra or ti leaf or with floral ribbon, but others do not. Alex recommends covering the card with vinyl fabric because it is smooth and slips easily into the pocket.

Next, simply use floral adhesive to attach greenery and flowers to the top of the card in your desired arrangement. As with any arrangement, you’ll want a mix of materials for your color story and to create varied textures.

Alex has a video about how long floral pocket squares last and how far ahead they can be made. She put it to the test and made an ombré pocket square, boxed it, put it in the refrigerator, and two days later the flowers were still fresh. She says, “It really depends on how you treat [the flowers] prior to working with them, as well as putting them in a hydration chamber.” In her experience, floral pocket boutonnieres last longer than traditional boutonnieres.

Pale cream rose pocket square
This pocket square from Crossed Key Designs in Andover, New Jersey, blends majolica spray roses, echinops, acacia greenery, wax flowers, eucalyptus parvifola, and seeded eucalyptus for "modern textural goodness." We agree. Photo by Longbrook Photography
Yellow pocket square boutonniere
For this golden-hued pocket square boutonniere, Ergo in St. Paul, Minnesota, placed ranunculus, dubium, and pennycress on a background of preserved ruscus and a yellow carnation. Photo courtesy of Amanda Nippoldt Photography @amandanippoldtphoto

Is a Pocket Boutonniere for You?

According to Lisa, “It is purely the groom’s choice. Personally I love them, but I love flowers. LOL! Pocket boutonnieres are not for everyone, and I get that. A lot of the grooms who come to the floral consultation either love it or hate it, and some don’t even want a flower at all!” We’re sure that our readers don’t fall into the latter category, and, like us, love that these pocket posies offer yet another way to enjoy flowers on a special occasion.

By Jason Burnett

The floral-design pros in this article: