The wedding bouquet is an important part of a bridal wedding look. Whether you went big with lots of different types of blooms or just had a single type of flower like hydrangeas or roses for your bouquet, it’s more than a little depressing to just watch them wilt on your dresser after your wedding day.
Luckily, there are many ways to preserve your flowers so you can enjoy looking at them every single day. Let’s take a look at the best ways to preserve them, both DIY and professional options.
Keep Your Wedding Flowers Looking Fresh
First things first: if you want to preserve all of the color in your flowers then you’ll need to put them in fresh water as soon as you can. Depending on when your florist made your bouquet, you have a relatively small window to preserve the flowers just as they are, so it’s important to act fast!
Remove anything on the bouquet that’s not a fresh flower, and place the stems in a vase. Be sure to change the water out every day before you start the preservation process.
Decide What Kind of Preservation You Would Like
Before you preserve your flowers, think about what kind of time and money you want to spend on your bouquet preservation. If you want your flowers to look almost exactly like they did when you were walking down the aisle, that is going to take more time and money—especially if you are hiring a professional to preserve your flowers. If you’re okay with just letting them dry out naturally, this is definitely going to be the cheaper and less time intensive option.
Here are the most common types of preservation:
Pressing: Pressing flowers is an easy way to retain a bouquet’s color and create an interesting piece of art for your home. Take a few flowers from your bouquet and stick them between two pieces of parchment paper. When placing the flowers in the parchment paper, be sure to space them as far apart as you can so that the moisture from one flower doesn’t bleed into another flower and distort the color.
Once you have your flowers arranged, place the parchment paper and flowers in the middle of a very heavy book (like a dictionary or a phone book, if you happen to still have one of those lying around). Add a couple of other heavy books on top to weigh it down. After two or three weeks, you should have completely dry flowers to display.
The only downside to pressing flowers (in comparison to other types of preservation) is that you typically can’t press the entire bouquet together as it works best with just a few flowers at a time.
Silica Gel: Remember those tiny little gel packets that are in just about every package that you open? Those gel packets are used to keep moisture out of packages, and it turns out they’re super useful for the preservation of flowers!
If you didn’t happen to save a bunch of the silica gel packets that came in the box for your TV or computer, then you can buy some at your local hardware or craft store. Essentially, in order to preserve your flowers using silica gel, you’ll need to fill an airtight container with the gel and then, using a dry paintbrush, brush the gel onto the flower. (It may be helpful to grind the silica gel into a powder form.) In about a week your flowers should be completely dry, at which point they can be preserved using a fixative spray.
Air Drying: This is by far the easiest option for preserving your flowers. All you need to do is to hang your bouquet upside down until it’s completely dried out. The most important thing to remember here is to be patient: drying your flowers out naturally could take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month.
The only downside to drying your flowers out naturally is that the color won’t be completely preserved. However, if that doesn’t matter to you, then this might be your best option.
How to Display Them
Your options to display your preserved bouquet are as limitless as your imagination. Many brides decide to display their flowers in a shadow box that hangs on the wall, but you could also get creative and place them in a paperweight or under a cloche (which looks very Beauty and the Beast).
However you decide to display them, make sure it’s in a spot that is visible—so you can look at them and remember your beautiful wedding day.
Have Them Preserved Professionally
If it’s important to you that your flowers look just as pristine as they did on your wedding day, then there are plenty of professionals out there who would be willing to preserve them for you. Ask your florist if this is a service she provides for her flowers, or get a few quotes from florists around town who might be willing to do the job for you.
There are also national companies, such as Keepsake Floral, that you can send your flowers to in the mail and who will work with you on a custom design.
Keep in mind that these services can be costly and most likely need to be planned in advance of your wedding so that your flowers can stay as fresh as possible.