The flowers at your wedding, especially your bouquet, are one of the highest impact items that make up your decor. You wish their beauty could last a lifetime. But, preserving them at their peak isn’t always the easiest task. Your flowers begin dying throughout the day between the extreme temperatures and lack of water from being held most of the day. However, we’ve got the tips you need to keep them looking fresh all day plus the various ways you can preserve them after the big day.
Tips for Keeping Fresh
- Keep in a cool, shaded place | Once cut, direct sunlight and high temps can cause flowers to wilt. Before pictures and your ceremony and pictures, store your bouquets in a cool, shaded place. If you’re reception will take place outdoors, it’s also encouraged that you wait till the last minute to place centerpieces on the table if possible.
- Water, Water, Water | It may seem obvious but keep those flowers in water for as long as you can. Carry vases with you during pictures to put your flowers in when you aren’t taking pictures. And, most importantly, be sure to place them in water as soon as you get to the reception.
There are a number of methods for preserving your flowers without the assistance of a professional. Each option is inexpensive if not free, but can take weeks from start to finish with no guarantee of the outcome. If you’re up for a fun, post wedding DIY, give one of these methods a try.
- Hang Dry | Hanging your flowers to dry is the easiest way to dry your bouquet as a whole. Although, keep in mind this process does take the longest. To dry, tie a rubber band around the stems of your flowers (if they aren’t already bound together in a secure way). Loop a string through the rubber band, tying at the top creating a loop. Hang upside down in a dark, dry area with good circulation, like a closet. With this method, it is key that the flowers are not hanging in sunlight.
- Silica Gel | This method is recommended for drying single stems or small bouquets. Although, I’m sure with a large enough bowl, you could achieve the same outcome on your large bouquet. This method also works best with sturdy flowers like roses. Silica Gel can be purchased at your local craft store. Once purchased, bury your flowers in the product till they are completely covered. Leave flowers in gel for several days – a week. Gently uncover and display.
- Microwave | Yes, you can preserve flowers in the microwave. However, unless you have the world’s largest microwave, this method works for single stems only. Place a flower in a bowl, cover with about 4 cups of cat litter, and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Once litter is cool, remove flower and brush off excess.
- Pressed | Like the microwave, pressing your flowers only works for single stems. However, if you are considering framing your preserved blooms or using in some other craft project, this process is recommended. To press, get a large, heavy book, such as an encyclopedia, open, lay a piece of wax or parchment paper on each page, placing a flower in between. Repeat until you have all the blooms you want to press inside the book. Close and do not disturb for 7-10 days.
When it comes to having your flowers professional preserved, your options for style are endless. They can even make your bouquet look exactly as it did on wedding day, replacing dead flowers when they arrive and essentially freeze drying the rest. The cost of professional preservation can be quite expensive. However, the results are unmatched.
- Keepsake Florals | Keepsake Florals is the most well known flower preservation company. To get started, just pay your deposit and mail them your bouquet immediately after your wedding. They then begin the dehydration and preservation process, which you can read more about on their website. From start to finish, the process can months but, the outcome is worth the wait!
- Forever Flowers | Similarly to Keepsake Florals, Forever Flowers preserves your bouquet and other wedding flowers in an artful way of your choosing. Options can include shadow boxes with other wedding items, recreation of your bouquet, and more.
- Kristin Murphy Art | Admittedly, I am partial to Kristin Murphy Art and her custom bridal bouquet paintings. I have one of my own bouquet and we’ve featured her before, as you can see here. Her custom paintings come in a variety of sizes and all you have to do is send her a few pictures of your bouquet and she takes care of the rest. The turn around time and cost is better than the above two listed companies. Additionally, I love that I can display it anywhere without it loudly screaming “This is from my wedding!”.