You can make a cascading bouquet using common wedding flowers. The instructions below are for a rose cascade, but the techniques are the same even if you change what type of flowers you use.
Step 1. Secure BELLE® Bouquet Holder in Vase
I begin by using a BELLE® Holder (Grande - 3-5/8" D). Although these wedding holders come in three different sizes, I always use the largest. There is more OASIS foam in the head and provides more water to the flower heads.
There is also a choice of
slanted handle or straight handle. Always use a slanted handle for a cascading
design and a straight handle for a round bouquet.
UPDATE: Since this page was written, Smithers-Oasis has come out with a new (and improved!) bouquet holder. The SuperWet Bouquet Holder has a wick built right into the handle. You can do your bouquet a couple days in advance and simply pop it into a vase of water and keep cool!
Live flowers draw a lot of water and that means you have to keep re-wetting the foam in the Belle Bouquet holder. The convenience for DIY brides is one less worry as her wedding day approaches!
Step 2. Use professional flower food in the water.
Soak your wedding holder in a bucket containing water and professional flower food.
Flower are a living product and need both water and nutrients to keep them at their peak freshness.
Please don't skip this important step. If you want to design like a professional florist, don't take shortcuts.The freshness of your wedding bouquets depends on it.
Step 3. Place in weighted vase.
Place the bouquet holder in a narrow necked container that has been weighted on the bottom. You can use pennies, marbles or gravel in the bottom of this vase. It's important to make it heavy because a bouquet with wet OASIS and flowers can become very heavy and topple forward.
If your holder isn't held firmly in the vase, wedge a piece of dry foam into the neck of the vase and push the handle down into the foam.
Step 4. Frame outside greenery
Once you have secured your bouquet in a vase, frame the outer edge of your bouquet with greenery. (Fig. 1)
Your greenery will determine how large your bouquet will eventually be - so don't go overboard with real long pieces of greenery unless you want a huge bouquet.
The heads of the flowers will extend beyond the greenery tips by about a half a head.
Step 5. Fill in rest of bouquet with greenery.
Continue greening in your bouquet. (Fig. 2) This particular bouquet
is greened with myrtle - but you can use other greenery such as leather
leaf fern, etc.
Don't overfill with greenery. Common
mistakes when learning how to make a cascading bouquet is the desire to
"fill in every spot". You need to have plenty of bare foam for your
flower stems. Filling in the open areas will come after you have placed
your flowers in the Oasis foam.
Keep looking at your
bouquet from all sides. Your greenery should take on a nice dome shape
when view from the side. Since you want lines and dimension, don't make
When you are finished placing the greenery, spray the greens with a Leaf Shine. This gives it a nice glossy finish. Without it, the greens will may develop a dull, white residue type look.
Step 6. Insert focal flowers in center.
Insert two focal flowers in the center. One can be placed slightly above the other as pictured. (Fig. 3)
Beginning designers learn it is important to not to keep pulling stems in and out of the foam. One insertion only is best. Otherwise it can begin to degrade your foam.
Step 7. Add more roses around the edge.
Begin to add more roses around the outside edge of your bouquet. Make the heads of the roses extend just a little farther than the tips of the greens.
These flowers will begin to define how large your bouquet will be.
(See Fig 4).
Step 8. Start filling in other roses
Your bouquet is beginning to take a nice shape now. Finish up placing all your roses around the edge. Space them fairly evenly - but this doesn't have to be perfect. (See Fig. 5)
Step 8. Roses heads should face outward from every angle.
One of the most basic steps in learning how to make a cascading bouquet is not to face all the heads of the flowers forward.
The front roses should face straight out. The next circle of roses from the center will start tilting slightly outward. The last roses on the edge will be seen with their heads straight out to the sides.
(See Fig. 6)
Step 9. Add texture in your flower arranging
Since this bouquet is all roses, you can add textures in flower arranging by using different sizes of the same flower. Instead of all standard roses, I complimented this bouquet by using spray roses in the same color.
(See Fig. 7)
This bouquet became more interesting with the addition of spray roses. Cut the different stems apart and then tuck them in the spaces between the standard roses. (See Fig. 8)
Step 10. Floralock and Finishing Touch
Floralock is something I always use with cascades. It helps keep the flowers tight into a bouquet by squirting it in around the flower stems after the design is completely finished.
Spray all the roses with a clear flower finishing spray, such as Finishing Touch. This is an important step, because flower sealant keeps moisture locked into the flower heads and helps prevent wilting.
Step 11. Keep cool, remist with sealant and water foam each day
Please keep your bouquet in a cool place and mist frequently with Finishing Touch. Hold your bouquet over a bucket and re-water a couple times a day if you are not using a self-watering bouquet holder.
This will ensure that your roses look fresh on your trip
down the aisle! Note - if you use a new "Superwet Bouquet Holder" you can skip the re-watering!
I hope you have enjoyed this free Flower arranging lesson on "How to Make a Cascading Bouquet".
Want to know how professional florists make wedding centerpieces? Directions for making an easy Hurricane Wedding centerpiece can be found at Wedding Center Piece.
Changing your secondary flowers can give a different look to your cascade and introduce a different color palette.