How to Preserve Your Wedding Bouquet

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It's possible that you'd like to continue enjoying your flowers after your wedding, but you don't know how to keep your bridal bouquet fresh. Learn how to preserve your flowers so you can use them as a perpetual reminder of your wedding.

 

A wedding bouquet is what?

A bride traditionally carries a floral bouquet on her wedding day, also referred to as a bridal bouquet. The bridal bouquet and other wedding flowers, such as boutonnieres, corsages, bridesmaid bouquets, and centrepieces, can be ordered from a florist, or you can make your own using flowers from the store, your garden, or even wildflowers.

 

Why Are Wedding Bouquets Preserved?

You may want to keep your wedding bouquet as a keepsake to remember your special day, or as a work of art to display in your home instead of fresh flowers. You could also start a tradition of passing down your wedding flower bouquet to your children and future generations. Alternatively, you can save your floral arrangement to give to your spouse on your wedding anniversary.

 

How to Preserve a Wedding Bouquet

There are several options for wedding bouquet preservation. Prepare your flower arrangement ahead of time by asking your wedding florist not to spray preservatives on your bouquet, keeping it out of direct sunlight, and using a different floral arrangement for the bouquet toss. To preserve your flowers, choose one of the following methods:

1. Air-dry: Air-dry your flowers by tying a piece of string or twine around the stems and hanging them upside down in a dry temperate location after removing any browned flowers or leaves. Depending on the temperature and humidity, the drying process can take anywhere from two weeks to a month. Although dried flowers may shrink slightly and fade over time, dried wedding bouquets retain their original shape.

2. Commission a painting of your wedding bouquet: While commissioning a painting of your wedding bouquet will not preserve the actual flowers, it will provide you with a visual remembrance and a framed piece of wedding décor that will last a lifetime. You can use acrylics, watercolors, or any other technique you like, and then paint it yourself or hire a professional to do it for you.

3. Freeze-dry: While professional freeze-drying is more expensive than home drying, freeze-dried flowers retain their original colors and resist fading. Your wedding florist may offer freeze-drying preservation options, or you can find a freeze-drying floral preservation company. The entire procedure takes about three months.

4. Preserve in resin: You can preserve your bouquet in epoxy resin, which can be purchased at a craft store, and turn it into a paperweight or decorative piece by using a square, heart, or half-sphere mold. Allow your flowers to airdry before filling your mold halfway with epoxy resin and arranging your flowers as desired in the fluid. Fill the mold to the brim with resin, then set it aside for at least 24 hours before removing your floral keepsake.

5. Preserve in wax: Preserving your flowers in wax will keep your bouquet looking as fresh as the day you married. Melt paraffin wax in a saucepan, then gently dip your flowers in it before hanging them upside down to dry. If you want to keep your wedding bouquet for a longer period of time, avoid using wax preservation.

6. Press your flowers: To press your flowers, spread the entire bouquet or individual flowers on wax or parchment paper. Place the flowers in a flower press or inside the pages of a heavy book, then pile heavy items on top of the flowers until they flatten. Allow two weeks for your flowers to dry before framing them in a picture frame or shadowbox.

7. Soak in silica gel: Use the drying properties of silica gel (a type of sand that absorbs moisture) to keep your flowers in the same condition as they were on your wedding day. Purchase silica gel from your local craft store, then create a base of the gel in an airtight container, place your flowers in the gel, and pour additional silica gel around the flowers to the top of the container. Allow seven days for the flowers to dry before spraying with hairspray or sealant spray.

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