From flower crowns to corsages, fresh blooms are one of the best ways to bring your wedding day style to fruition. When it comes to bouquets, not much has changed in terms of shapes and styles to consider, but there’s one trend that is making a comeback in only the chicest of ways: cascading bouquets. Wildly popular in the 1980s thanks to the royals (we’re looking at you, Princess Diana) the traditionally dramatic design has returned, in ways both subtle and straightforward.
What Is a Cascading Bouquet?
A cascading bouquet is an arrangement of flowers that literally cascades from the bride's hands, creating a natural, trailing effect.
“When done well, [a cascading bouquet] creates a visual line that draws attention to the person holding it,” says wedding planner and floral designer Shean Strong. “While recent brides may see this as a dated design, a cascading bouquet is a way to offer something eye-catching for those who want to add drama to their wedding day look.”
Meet the Expert
With a beautiful color palette, a modern-day cascade moves the design trend-forward, while still keeping it iconic. But where do you begin when attempting to make a decades-old design trend elevated and sophisticated for the modern era? Cascades of weddings past often brings to mind a typical color palette of white and green, and very (very) long cascades. An updated take on the trend could be a more petite cascade that serves to highlight the full bridal look.
Ultimately, your flowers should reflect your style, first and foremost. “I say the rules don’t matter when it comes to what you want for your wedding, so long as everything is done intentionally and purposefully,” encourages Strong. “Your refined, glam, boho, or romantic wedding can have a cascade, so long as your floral designer is giving you what you want while anchoring it to the aesthetics of the day.”
“For a traditionally inspired bouquet, you’re going to see a cascade that includes lilies, roses, stephanotis, and trailing greenery,” says Strong. “To update a cascade to be more of-the-moment for today, but still feel relevant in the future, it’s important to have a cascade predominantly of flowers that will fall effortlessly: think orchids, fritillaria, clematis, hellebore, blooming jasmine, or berries on the vine.”
From romantic to modern, here are 20 cascading bouquet ideas that will definitely turn heads on your trip down the aisle.
Are orchids the ultimate showstopper? We can’t say for sure, but they are undoubtedly one of the best blooms for making a statement. Create the tip of the cascade with an orchid of any shade and you’ll definitely make an impact, especially for a tropical wedding.
Work with a Color Gradient
“This gradient cascade bouquet consists of many textural flowers to create a luxe and timeless feel,” says Strong. “I played with ranunculus and checkered fritillaria to give movement at its highest point and chose to put the most saturated shades of the ombre closest to her figure, which intentionally pulls the viewer's gaze towards the bride.”
Phalaenopsis orchids and jasmine vine give length, while garden roses, lilac, tulips, and double petal hellebore create the body.
Take a Cue from the Royals
Typically known for generous cascades, the royals are serving up major inspiration when it comes to bridal bouquets. This bouquet, composed of ivory roses and spray roses, white freesia, Italian Ruscus, white orchid blossoms, and variegated ivy, features tight clusters of gorgeous blooms—a royal staple—with greenery and ivy woven throughout.
“Move away from the traditional gigantic and white cascade, so large and white almost to the point it blends in with the dress, and opt to use preserved flowers,” Strong suggests. We’re major fans of keeping a memento from the big day (besides the marriage license, of course), which means a bridal bouquet that lasts well beyond “I Do” is a big win. A mixture of silk and dried florals, like pampas grass, brings texture and dimension to the cascade.
Choose Vibrant Colors
We’ll admit: sometimes more is more. “Color is expressive and invokes a celebratory feeling,” says Strong. Pack a floral punch with bold color, like this fuchsia bouquet boasting a cascade of orchids with roses in cream, blush, red, and pink.
Go for Green
We’ve long loved letting greenery have its moment when it comes to bouquets. Lush greenery like smilax creates the perfect cascade to accent a modern design of calla lilies, tulips, scabiosa, gardenia, and stephanotis.
Want to pull off a modern, minimalist bridal style? “Consider a more simple cascade that trails slightly, and still gives you that big, dramatic feeling,” advises Strong. Get inspired by this architectural cascading bouquet with white calla lilies and crisp grass for a structured look.
Stick with Neutrals
If you’re considering a more subtle tone, you can never go wrong with the simplicity of neutrals. A bouquet of blush and white roses, dahlias, and cascading orchids was definitely the star of this classic, coastal wedding.
We’re big fans of all-white wedding decor, especially when it comes to flowers. The combination of textures within the same color scheme, even with a little greenery thrown in, keeps things interesting.