While the phrase “cascade bouquet” may call to mind the sprawling, voluminous bouquet Princess Diana carried at her wedding in 1981, this type of bouquet has recently been reborn – thanks to organic wedding trends, cascade bouquets are back.
What constitutes a cascade bouquet?
The name is pretty self-explanatory – the flowers in a cascade bouquet flow downwards, away from the bride. Traditionally, this type of bouquet is fairly heavy, although they actually tend to be slimmer than one might expect. Because bigger bouquets are much more difficult to manage, florists like Ian Prosser – whose client list includes Queen Elizabeth, Tom Cruise, and Katie Holmes – recommend using a holder rather than hand-tying the flowers.
“Hand-tying would make the stems very hard to hold, and much heavier,” says Prosser, whose company Botanica International Design & Décor Studio operates out of Tampa and Orlando. Using tropical flowers also tends to add extra weight, thanks to their thick stems, but Prosser says there are some orchids that are still suitable.
Traditional cascades fall to just above the knee, while European cascades are longer, reaching to the mid-shin or even to the gown’s hemline.
Which flowers are typically used in cascades?
“Nowadays, we see a lot of that organic feeling, a lot of things on the vine that give you that gorgeous flowing,” Prosser says. He tends to use flowers like stephanotis, ivy, and jasmine to give the bouquets the lovely length; some of his other favorite blooms to use in cascades are roses, tulips, ranunculus, phalaenopsis orchids, and dendrobium orchids.
What is the right way to hold a cascade bouquet?
Unlike regular bouquets, cascades should be held in front of the navel; arms should be relaxed and rest against the hipbones.
“If the holder is done correctly, it’s very comfortable to hold,” Prosser says.
Why are brides attracted to this type of bouquet?
“We’ve had hand-tied, tight bouquets; over the last few years, design styles have become looser. Girls are looking to have something different, and it’s a bit unique – that’s a big part of the attraction,” Prosser says. “In this look that’s very organic, leafy, and relaxed, the cascade works beautifully.”