What goes around, comes around. makes no exception for wedding styles.
Twenty years ago, bridal bouquets cascaded. Long, full cascades. A cascading bouquet is usually created in a holder that contains foam to keep flowers fresh. Flowers are arranged to trail out of the front of the bouquet towards the floor.
Enter Martha Stewart. During the 1990’s she revolutionized wedding style. Fussy cascading bouquets were replaced by hand tied designs, flowers arranged in an upright style with stems bound together to form a handle. Martha’s magazines and other similar publications educated the bride on flower types, “in season” flowers and styles. They were wonderful resources for pictures of bouquets to reference during the planning process. As the Web became more accessible and sites more prolific , couple had access to a plethora of pictures, culminating in the universe we have today that includes Pinterest.
Through these avenues couples have become very knowledgeable and flower-savvy. This has given them the confidence to choose styles and colors that are all the rage or, sometimes, out of the box.
While most brides still want hand-tied designs, they are now often looser, with a gardeny look. Large flowers like peonies and garden roses lend themselves to romantic, voluptuous bouquets. Smaller and spiky flowers lend themselves to a wildflower look that is appropriate for vintage weddings.
Some brides are going back to a cascade; some long and flowing; some with mild cascades. Modern cascades tend to be lighter than their pre-millennium counterparts. Cascades are usually created with flowers or foliage, but can also be made with other elements, such as feathers or ribbons.
A compromise between hand tied and cascade is what I call a “forward facing” design. This design maximizes the impact of the flowers. This style is made in a holder and the handle is not evident. It is similar to bouquets from the 80’s and early 90’s, but without the cascade.
Cascading and forward facing bouquets are more time consuming to produce and therefore more expensive. Because of this, I suggest to my couples that they reserve this style for the bride and have coordinating hand tied styles for the bridesmaids.