Often we get asked by our brides how to preserve their bouquet after the wedding. We completely understand why they’d want to do this; flowers play such a special role in the wedding, often lovingly chosen by the bride and groom and with some sentimental or nostalgic value, and if preserved well they can be turned into a really special reminder of the wedding day to be displayed somewhere at home.
Image Source: @botanical_tales Instagram
There are many different ways to preserve a bridal bouquet so that it looks a lot like like its original form. If you do a quick google you’ll find you can dip them in wax, use silica gel, send them to a preserved flower specialist for freeze drying and framing, or even press the petals with an iron. At Floreat we try to keep things as simple and environmentally friendly as possible, so we’ve chosen a couple of ways you can do this without worrying too much about having to pre-plan or buy extra materials in the lead up to your wedding.
- Air-dry your bouquet
The process of preserving your bridal bouquet by air drying is super simple if you want to keep it in its original 3D shape.
Image Source: @botanical_tales Instagram
- Undo the bouquet and take the leaves off of the stem of the flower - this lets it dry out faster and the speed of drying is important to retain colour and scent.
- Tie the flowers into small bundles of three or four using a rubber band or string. Separating the heads means any moist flowers won't go mouldy.
- Hang them upside down in a dark, dry, well-ventilated area. Keep them out of sunlight. The dark will help to preserve their colour as much as possible.
- After a week or two, reassemble the stems yourself or ask your florist to reassemble the bouquet for you.
Some people like to display the dried bouquet in a glass box (to keep it from getting dusty) or it’s nice to store it somewhere with your dress and other wedding memento’s for reliving the day down the track.
- Press Your Wedding Flowers
Image Source: hitched.co.uk Pinterest
Pressing flowers is a great option if you want to keep your bouquet but not in its original form. With pressed flowers you can keep them flat in a hung frame or a boxed glass display (perfect for keeping it from gathering dust), kept inside a locket necklace, glued into a wedding guestbook or even onto thank you cards for a super thoughtful and personal thank you.
A great way to do this is with a flower press (we sell these here and explain the pressing process here), which normally comes with sheets of parchment paper. All you need to do is place the flowers in between the paper sheets, slot it inside the flower press and tighten the screws. After about a week or two you’ll have beautifully preserved flowers and petals for recreating something beautiful.
Image Source: @pressedbouquetshop Instagram
- Commission an artist to draw or paint them
While having your bouquet recreated by an artist is not preserving it in the literal sense, it’s still such a meaningful way to keep the flowers around. Floreat have worked with and admire so many incredible artists that would do an incredible job of this (Esther Clark, Amy Wright, to name a few), and there are many artists specialising in this that are easily found online.
Image source: natalieparkerartist.com
So there you have it. Whichever way you decide to do it, don’t forget to put your bouquet back in water after the wedding so that it stays fresh until you’re ready to preserve it, or task your bridesmaid/florist with this while you honeymoon. Preserving works best when the petals are still vibrant and unbruised and so if you wait too long they might wilt and discolour.
If your wedding day is coming up and you already know that you want to preserve the bouquet, it’s a good idea to speak with your florist about choosing flowers that are best dried and preserved and also thinking about having an extra, small “throw away” bouquet to toss at the end so that yours doesn’t get damaged.
Cover Image by Anna Turner Weddings, Bouquet by Floreat