Want To Preserve Your Wedding Bouquet? – Have It Done Professionally Or Do It Yourself?
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One of the questions that brides occasionally ask me is if there is a way they can preserve their wedding bouquet. My answer is yes, but it really boils down to how you want to display your bouquet.
Using a shadow box or a domed picture frame are the best ways to attractively display your preserved wedding bouquet
Hiring A Floral Preservation Service
Preserving and displaying your bouquet as shown in the above photo is not a DIY project because the most realistic results are obtained by freeze-drying the flowers. The process requires commercial freeze-drying equipment to do it right.
If you want your bouquet to last a lifetime, I strongly advise hiring someone who specializes in commercial floral preservation to do the entire job.
It will take a little time and cost you some money, but the results will be worth it.
If you decide to go this route, be sure to book a company to work with well before your wedding. It’s best to find one nearby (if you can) for them to receive your bouquet promptly. One to four days after the wedding is best to ensure you achieve optimum results.
The Pros and Cons of Using a Floral Preservation Service
- Floral preservation professionals will know and use the best agents for preserving the particular types of flowers in your bouquet.
- Freeze drying the flowers will maintain the most realistic look. These practices are best left in the care of professionals with the right equipment.
- They can handle your project from start to finish, as well as offering you a variety of keepsake options, including frames and shadowboxes, domes and glass encasements, and all types of flower petal jewelry.
- Be prepared to spend several hundred dollars for your wedding bouquet preservation.
- For the best results, you will have to ship the flowers as soon as possible.
- Some flowers cannot be freeze-dried, or if they can, additional costs and time may apply.
If you’ve decided to preserve your flowers yourself, here are the best ways to do it.
Two DIY Methods To Preserve Your Wedding Bouquet
Using silica gel or pressing are the two most popular preservation methods. They are the easiest and least expensive DIY ways to get the job done.
Before you work with the flowers from your actual wedding bouquet, I would suggest testing both methods.
Each method will give you good results. Determining which one to use depends upon how you want to display your keepsake blooms.
- Remove the base of the stems to about one inch below the flower.
- Fill the container you will use to dry the flowers one-quarter of the way filled with the silica gel.
- Place the flowers on top of the gel/sand with the blooms facing up.
- Pour silica gel/sand over the blooms until the petals are covered.
- Keep in a well-ventilated area for five days.
- Check the blooms for drying. If they are not quite dry, sift more silica gel on the petals, and let them sit another day or two.
The Silica Gel Method
If you want to keep the flowers from your bouquet primarily intact, then this is the best method to choose.
And yes, there will be some initial expense for supplies, but it will be minimal. Actually, because silica gel is reusable, the more flowers you dry, the more the cost diminishes over time.
Here are the basic steps you’ll need to take.
Here’s a short video clip that will walk you through the basics of preserving flowers using silica gel.
If you want to speed up the process, simply place your container into the microwave for one minute. Be sure to add more silica gel on top of the blooms (about another inch) to help prevent the flower petals from bubbling. Allow the silica gel to cool for at least 30 minutes before removing the flowers.
If you want to reassemble the bouquet, you’ll have to recreate the flower stems using floral wire and tape, as shown in the video.
- Paper to absorb moisture like nonbleached blotting paper or parchment paper, some scrap cardboard, glue, and tweezers. You will also need a couple of heavy books, or a flower press.
- Separate the leaves and flowers.
- Starting with a piece of cardboard, lay a sheet of blotting paper on top of it.
- Place your flowers on the blotting paper. Add another piece of blotting paper on top of the flowers, followed by another piece of cardboard to create your first layer.
Note: For best results, avoid using any paper with texture or embossing (like paper towels) that may leave an imprint on the flowers.
Parchment paper and coffee filters could be substituted for blotting paper.
- Repeat for as many layers as needed.
- Place the entire packet into your flower press.
If you’re looking for an easier way to preserve and display the flowers from your bouquet, pressing them would be a great choice. Get started by gathering your materials. There are a couple of ways of pressing flowers. For both, you’ll need:
Using A Flower Press
- Place your layers on a flat surface. Then place a heavy book or two on top of your flower package.
- Or, if you are only pressing a few flowers, you can place them between the pages of a book, lined with blotting or parchment paper.
Leave them there for two to four weeks with either pressing method, depending on the flower type. Some flowers have higher water content and will take more time.
Remove the papers and see your finished results. Once dry, they are ready for framing or placing in a scrapbook.
This video clip will show you the basics of using a flower press.
I found these tips about how to preserve and reuse the flowers from your wedding bouquet were very informative and the steps were laid out well. Growing up, my girls really enjoyed pressing flowers and using them in some of their school projects. It’s a simple activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
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I’m the owner of Greenfield Flower Shop in Milwaukee, with more than 40 years of experience in the floral, wedding, and event business.