We’re Seeing Hanging Amaranthus at Every Cool-Girl Wedding—Here’s How to Use This Flower in Yours – Brides

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You might not know hanging amaranthus by name, but there’s a good chance you’ve seen it on social media. It’s become the go-to flower for cool-girl brides and, these days, it feels like it’s in every influencer wedding that hits Instagram. At Brides, we’ve seen the slender, drooping spikes with circular tufts of blooms—it first became popular during the Victorian era and goes by a mix of monikers, including love-lies-bleeding, tassel flower pendant amaranth, velvet flower, and foxtail amaranth—crop up in a myriad of our Real Wedding features and on some of our favorite wedding florists’ feeds, which is when we knew we’d identified a pattern. 

Judy Molina, a wedding floral designer and the owner of Enchanted Garden Floral Design, says she isn’t surprised that this unique botanical, which is technically an ancient grain like quinoa or buckwheat and is typically utilized to add a cascade effect to big-day centerpieces, is making waves. “I think with all trends, everything eventually makes a comeback in a fresh, new way,” she says. “Texture and dimension are very trendy right now, and amaranthus really lends itself to be used in many ways, from ultra-traditional to very avant-garde.”

Meet the Expert

  • Judy Molina is the owner of and lead floral designer at Enchanted Garden Floral Design, a boutique design firm specializing in floral concepts and installations for weddings. She is based in California and has been in the industry for over 12 years.
  • Erice McNeff is the founder of Everbloom, a team of florists who design weddings all over the country.
  • Maxine Owens is the owner of Max Owens Design, a floral design studio based in Dallas, Texas; she specializes in destination events.

That’s part of hanging amaranthus’ charm: It works across a mix of event styles (though, our experts agree modern is best!) and, thanks to its many varieties and shades, color palettes, too. “Green is most common, since it’s neutral and goes with many color palettes, but red is also prevalent,” says Molina. “When in season, it is also available in a coral or rust.” Ahead, Molina and two other leading wedding floral designers share everything you need to know about the flower you’re about to see everywhere, including their favorite ways to use it, whether or not it’s an affordable addition to your flowerscape, and their best tips for handling the bloom.

Why Hanging Amaranthus Is Trending at Weddings

Erice McNeff, the owner of the event floral studio Everbloom, says hanging amaranthus is trending at weddings because the flower speaks to one predominant design movement. “I think hanging amaranthus lends itself well to modern and minimalist styles, which are having a moment in wedding décor right now,” she explains. There’s another reason for its sudden popularity: It’s a decidedly quirky, funky flower—and since so many events have been moving towards next-level fun and playful details, hanging amaranthus fits right in. “It has a great texture and fun movement,” agrees Maxine Owens, the founder of her eponymous floral design firm, which specializes in destination events. “It also creates a very unique look.”

The flower is also available in an incredible amount of colorways, from burgundy and bronze to chartreuse and pink. Hanging amaranthus is regularly dried or bleached, which results in a white hue—but Owens doesn’t recommend opting for this approach, however intriguing. “It’s important to note that this process is not always sustainable, as the chemicals used prevent compostability,” she says. “They can also have a strong, sour smell, so be careful!”

Hanging Amaranthus’ Seasonality and Wedding Availability

According to McNeff, hanging amaranthus is in season between late spring and fall, which means it’s most readily available to couples tying the knot between April and October. With that said, it’s technically “one of those flowers you can pretty much get year round,” she says; and while that’s particularly true for red and green varieties, per Molina, Owens notes that it might be challenging to find others during the winter. That makes sense, given the fact that it’s technically not a flower, but a pseudo-grain and is harvested accordingly. Many varieties in the Amaranth family, says McNeff, “have a lot of health benefits and cook similarly to quinoa—and the leaves are edible, too.” 

Photo by Jeremy Chou

Is Hanging Amaranthus an Expensive Wedding Flower?

As with most wedding flowers, hanging amaranthus’ price varies depending on “time of year and the length of the hanging bloom,” shares Owens. “Sometimes it can be relatively inexpensive, but at other times of the year, it can be pricey—and, typically, the longer the stem, the higher the price.” The type of flower matters, too, notes Molina: “The common amaranthus is affordable and is best used for smaller installations, but the longer and larger varieties will have premium prices,” she says. According to McNeff, when hanging amaranthus is in season, you can expect to pay about $1 per stem wholesale, which is “on the affordable side.”

The Best Ways to Use Hanging Amaranthus at Your Wedding

Owens is thrilled that hanging amaranthus is back on the wedding scene. “It creates a beautiful drape and can show interesting movement in arrangements and installations,” she says. Ahead, she, Molina, and McNeff share their go-to ways to use this cool-girl bloom on your big day.

Ceiling Installations

“Personally, I love seeing hanging amaranthus used in hanging ceiling installations,” shares Owens, noting that the flowers create contrast next to blooms with more robust shapes. McNeff agrees, adding that a ceiling moment is arguably one of the biggest, high-scale ways to use this trending wedding flower—and recommends using a lot of them at once for maximum impact. “I think it’s very pretty when used in mass quantities,” she says.

Low Centerpieces

We’ve mostly seen hanging amaranthus on the tabletop—and our experts agree that this is one of the best places for this flowers. “It’s really pretty when it spills out of an arrangement and gently rests onto the table, giving a nice still life feel,” shares Owens. Molina suggests utilizing hanging amaranthus in low-to-the-table centerpieces only; anything taller, and you run the risk of a dated look. “To keep a fresh and modern floral style for your wedding, I would stay away from using it in tall centerpieces unless your style is a bit more on the artsy, avant-garde side,” she says. Another fresh tip for using hanging amaranthus on your tablecapes? Use it in secondary or supporting centerpieces all on its own “in a single-bloom type of arrangement,” suggests McNeff. “This creates a modern, living art type of look.” 

Cascading Bouquets

If you’re hoping to carry a cascading wedding bouquet on your big day, you’ll want to consider asking your florist to include hanging amaranthus. “I’ve also seen it used in bouquets, specifically the cascading style,” affirms McNeff. “The length of it really helps create that waterfall.” You don’t have to go for the cascading look, though, to incorporate this flower in your bouquet—Owens actually prefers this flower when it is kept shorter in handheld arrangements (you can also choose upright amaranthus varieties, instead of hanging types, for more structure).

Backdrops and Supporting Arrangements

If you like the idea of hanging amaranthus, but have a more classic, garden-inspired vision for your big-day tablescapes, consider using it in your wedding’s “supporting” arrangements, instead. Molina likes using this flower in bar arrangements (a massive swag of hanging amaranthus makes a major statement, but won’t be in your guests’ sight lines all evening long). That’s why it’s equally appropriate in backdrops (for your photo booth, perhaps?) or draped along your seating chart

Photo by Courtney Simpson

What to Know Before Using Hanging Amaranthus at Your Wedding

Ready to add this bloom to your wedding’s floral palette? Our experts say to consider these tips and must-know details before you share your preferences with your big-day floral designer.

  • It can exacerbate allergies: When handled, hanging amaranthus can make your eyes a little itchy, Molina says. “As much as I love it in bouquets, I would stay away from it if you are sensitive to pollen,” she notes.
  • It doesn’t like the heat: Like many wedding flowers, hanging amaranthus does not perform well in the heat—so summer brides, take note. “It does not like extreme temperatures, so take care when using it outside,” says Owens, adding that bouquets with hanging amaranthus might be particularly susceptible, since the flowers will be out of water for the majority of the day. According to McNeff, this flower performs best when it has a constant water source, which is why centerpieces (or other installations that allow for all-day hydration) are the best place for this variety. “Even though it is a hanging flower, it’s pretty noticeable when it goes limp,” she adds.
  • It looks best at modern weddings: While hanging amaranthus is versatile, all our experts agree that these sprigs are best suited for more contemporary celebrations. “I definitely prefer it used in events with a more modern approach, as it can lean on the old-fashioned side when used in traditional, garden-style weddings,” Molina says. McNeff agrees: “I love it for the right wedding! It’s not a flower I would use across the board. I think it is best for the couple who is looking for a little funk and something unique.”

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