What Happens to the Flowers After the Wedding?

While I am not the biggest fan of flowers, I decided that since we are spending money on them for the wedding, I would like to do something with them after the night is over.

Originally Mama Elephant wanted to send them to our church, but since it will be Easter Sunday, we already know that the sanctuary will be filled with lilies. There are now talks of reusing some of the centerpieces at our send-off brunch the morning after the wedding. I told mom if she could keep from guests taking them home, they’re all hers!

I’m really only interested in saving my bouquet, but how?

Option 1: Preservation – Air Dry

A popular, easy and cheap way to preserve the bouquet would be to hang it upside down and let it air dry. I used this method on my bouquet from MOH Navy’s wedding, then placed it in a vase to decorate our dinning room table.



I have heard that these dried flowers (in particular roses and peonies) may attract little moths, so you may want to bag up the bouquet and place it in the freezer for a week.

Option 2: Preservation – Freeze Dried

According to this site, The process for freeze dried flowers is the state-of-the-art and most effective method for flower preservation today. It is an innovative vacuum process that takes approximately four weeks depending on the flower. Freeze dried flowers go through a process in which water is removed as vapor directly from ice, without passing through the liquid state.”

Freeze drying the bouquet would be the best method if I wanted to keep the bouquet in a shadow box after the wedding.





Option 3: Flowers Into Art

I originally saw this idea in an issue of Brides magazine, where companies like Flowers into Paintings will preserve your wedding bouquet and turn it into art. This is a pricey option, but how awesome and sentimental would that art piece be in your house? They use canvas wraps as the base for the art and we all know how much I have grown to love canvas wraps!




Are there any other ideas out there? Will you be saving your bridal bouquet?


Mrs. Elephant

Dallas, TX
Wedding Date:
April 2011
Wedding Priorities (and Cake)

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  1. Member
    MasqueradeMom 445 posts, Helper bee @ 8:59 am

    I’ve done these memory candles as gifts before with invitations, etc. and they are always well received. They are a small shop our favorite vacation spot and who can’t use a candle?

  2. Member
    vtbride2010 152 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:00 am

    I am having a ‘generational dance’ (I think that is what it is called.) where ALL couples get on the dance floor and they slowly ask couples who have been together for shorter periods of time to leave the dance floor – ending up with one couple who has been together the longest on the dance floor. The DJ will then ask them for advice for the new couple (us). After that I am going to present them with my bouquet. A way of honoring them and honoring a lasting marriage!

    I have also been to a wedding where the bride wanted to honor her mother in some way and had the DJ call her mother onto the dance floor and presented her with the bouquet.

    If you want to keep it yourself – then that art work is TO DIE FOR! What an awesome idea!

    I was recently presented a bouquet from a bride – her explanation was that I was the next to be married….

  3. Member
    Minutiae 2416 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:33 am

    I love option three! My plan right now is to give the flowers away, or throw them on the compost pile to help new flowers grow. I might have to drop a hint about the artwork and my bridal bouquet now… :)

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Betsy, Guest @ 9:34 am

    In past weddings, we have donated the flowers to local nursing homes to brighten up the residents day! It’s a fun way to share the beauty of your wedding to others!

  5. trailmix Member
    trailmix 6663 posts, Bee Keeper @ 9:38 am

    Funny story about my bouquet: I accidentally left it at the reception but a friend’s husband spotted it, grabbed it for me and then promptly passed out once they got back to our bed and breakfast, bouquet IN HAND! We have pictures of him sound asleep, all snuggled up with my bouquet…So funny but thanks to him, I have mine and it’s hanging upside down., drying at my parents’ house!

  6. Member
    FutureMrsZapper 356 posts, Helper bee @ 9:40 am

    I wish I would have thought more about this ahead of time. My mom ended up air drying my flowers. Roses work well but if they are white they dry yellowish and look like wrinkled parchment. My orchids tried and looked like tobacco leaves so we had to throw them out. I found and artist on our honeymoon who we can comission to do a painting of them, which is looking more promising.

    I also wish I had arranged to have someone bring our centerpieces (minus the vase that the florist owns) to a local hospital/nursing home too. Planning ahead is great because these are tough last minute items to pull off 😉

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Emily, Guest @ 9:44 am

    I hung mine upside-down in the closet, which I guess is air-drying them? It worked really well, and I have them displayed in a vase in our living room.

    But, I think it’s important that you have the full stem of the flower, that they are not just poked into floral foam or something. I tried to the same thing to a pretty bouquet I held as a bridesmaid in a friends wedding, and all the flowers fell out while they were hanging.

  8. scissors Member
    scissors 7343 posts, Busy Beekeeper @ 9:59 am

    We donated ours to the church, gave them to vendors, and sent them to hospice. If you have a nursing home/hospice to send them to, it’s really appreciated. :)

    We kept a few billy buttons from his bout and my bouquet, and those preserved well just sitting in my parents’ laundry room. :p

  9. Member
    iswimibikeirun 1012 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:01 am

    I actually took my flowers to florage (your second option). I had sent a friend’s flowers there years ago and she had her bouquet taken apart and framed in a shadow box with her invitation and photos of the wedding party. I just had my bouqet recreated at an angle with the wrap in a square shadow box frame.

    They’ll arrange them however you want and even re-did mine to get it exactly how I wanted.

  10. Member
    iswimibikeirun 1012 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:03 am

    Oh, as for the altar arrangments, we took them to the reception and then back to the church. Surprisingly, the old ladies didn’t try to snatch all the flowers at the reception (although I had the arrangments put in disposable containers just so they could). Our Best Man ended up with tons of them and he shared them with his mom.

  11. waffle Member
    waffle 1161 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:15 am

    The third option is so cool! My plan is to dry my bouquet, take it apart and put it in one of my memory jars.

  12. Member
    SadieBee 3360 posts, Sugar bee @ 10:49 am

    Wow, the flowers into art option looks so special! I would love to have something like that hanging in our home as a memento.

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    BM Matty, Guest @ 10:58 am

    I love the shadow box!!! ALthough I am sure that one costs the most. Number 3 is great too!

  14. locket Member
    locket 2821 posts, Sugar bee @ 11:11 am

    Seeing as my bouquet will never wilt…I didn’t do anything to it….though Mr. L wants to purchase a display box to put it in.

  15. Member
    Violachap 677 posts, Busy bee @ 11:38 am

    I really wish I had thought of this sooner…. I told my mom to put my bouquet in the fridge so it would keep at least till we got back from the honeymoon. She just left it out in a vase in the meantime to dry, and now it’s just a crumpled mess. I think I’m just going to toss it… I wish I’d done the shadowbox idea! At least I have beautiful pictures of it :-)

  16. Member
    violarulz 142 posts, Blushing bee @ 1:29 pm

    I air dried my bouquet (hanging it upside down overnight by sandwiching it with cabinet doors in the wet bar of our suite) and composted the flowers before returning the vases the next day. I’d hoped to be able to give back the curly willow branches too, but my little Honda was too small to transport them and they ended up in the compost bin too.

  17. msgiraffe Member
    msgiraffe 4248 posts, Honey bee @ 2:12 pm

    Yeah, E! I’ve got big plans on preserving mine using Glycerin. It sounds weird but it’s totally legit! I’ll get the post up sooner rather than later so you can see. It’s like air drying. . . but better!

  18. Member
    Bride_Colleen 633 posts, Busy bee @ 5:58 pm

    I ended up just tossing mine. It was too big and would have been too messy. We did dry out DH’s bout, though. I also have my dried bridesmaid bouquet from the year before cause it is smaller and cute.

  19. Member
    fromcharleston 651 posts, Busy bee @ 6:28 pm

    If you want to let people bring them home, give your florist the heads up so she can use or bring plastic containers for people to bring them home in. Or you could buy the containers from her so she won’t need them back.

  20. elephant Member
    elephant 6339 posts, Bee Keeper @ 6:35 pm

    @fromcharleston: Good point! I’m not sure that I want people to take them home, but I also don’t want our planner (who is doing our flowers) to lose any of her vases. I’ll have to talk to her about the plastics just in case.

  21. Member
    jordynrose 6351 posts, Bee Keeper @ 7:49 pm

    We gave our centerpieces away to guests and I just hung my bouquet to dry. I wish I could have done the flower painting thing, but I didn’t have the spare money.

  22. Member
    bunnylovesbear 2248 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:25 pm

    I remember stumbling across a website online where you can mail your bouquet, and they will turn the flower petals into beads and create custom jewelry for you. I may look into that…

    Otherwise, I’ll just plan to dry my bouquet myself, and put it in a display vase at our house.

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    Erica, Guest @ 5:03 am

    Wow thank you for the Flowers into Art tip! Until now I thought that preserving the flowers in any other way looked a bit ugly or tacky, but that option is wonderful! Will definitely keep it into consideration!

  24. Member
    missDNA 231 posts, Helper bee @ 7:30 pm

    I saw the flowers into artwork in Brides as well. I showed it to my fiance (after I looked up the price, which isn’t that bad) and he said he liked it. I don’t think I would go the drying route myself, because the flowers can get moldy, dusty and attract bugs. I also don’t know what I would do with the shadow box. I really want an art piece :)

  25. Guest Icon Guest
    Silk Wedding Ceremony Flowers Ideas, Guest @ 3:57 pm

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  27. Guest Icon Guest
    mama E, Guest @ 6:30 pm

    Flowers did someone say flowers. Thanks E for sharing at least one table scapes with MaMa E I so love flowers and will use them at your get away brunch on Easter!

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