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Friday, September 25, 2015

How To Preserve Your Wedding Bouquet

(Photography by: Anna K)

Since we talked about how we can think the cost of wedding flowers to be outrageous in our last informational post, we found it fitting to talk about how to preserve your wedding bouquet in this one. As a bride, you can think about how you put in so much time and money to make your wedding bouquet come to life, but then sadly enough the week after your wedding, that same bouquet dies. It can be so impractical to hold onto our bouquets, but yet we cringe when we have to toss it into the garbage. It is just too pretty to throw away, so we are going to give you some practical tips on how to preserve that gorgeous wedding bouquet!

Tip 1: Hang Dry
We like to think that this would be the easiest option for you! You can simply tie some string or a rubber band around the stems of the bouquet and hang it upside down in a dark, dry place. The reason we hang them upside down is because that is how they will keep most of their natural shape. If you stand it up in a vase, the flowers natural response will be to wilt downward. This drying process could take a few weeks to a month. Also, the reason we recommend a dark room is because your flowers will last longer if they are out of direct sunlight. Once your bouquet is fully dry, the blooms will be stiff and the stems will snap off easily. It will be fragile, so we recommend coating it with a protective spray as a final step. Some spray recommendations are: dried flower spray, craft spray or even a firm hold hairspray.

Tip 2: Pressing
This option might be the easiest & most cost effective way to dry your wedding bouquet. If your bouquet was made up of peonies, hydrangea, or ranunculus, you might not be able to save these as quickly as they will be some of the first flowers to die. However, this pressing requires flattening only a few blooms. Simply take apart the bouquet and press each stem that you would like to keep in between two tight surfaces such as the middle of a book. You might want to fold a paper towel around it just to keep the book dry and the 
color in tact to the petals/foliage. This process can take two to three months if you do it on your own. Once the stems are dry, a sweet and sentimental thing to do that we love is to get the flowers framed. This is a beautiful keepsake on your wall.

Tip 3: Silica Gel Dry
While you may think this is a gel by its name, it is actually not! It is more like a granular substance that can be found at most craft stores. In this process you will take apart your wedding bouquet and place the flowers in an airtight container. Again, you will want to store this container in a darker room, avoiding direct sunlight. Once you have all the flowers you would like in this container you are going to bury them in the silica gel (more like sand). Silica Gel works by drawing all the moisture out of the flowers while preserving their color and shape. Over time, you will notice that the silica gel will change colors and that is because of the moisture it is absorbing from the flowers. This will let you know that your flowers are almost done. We would recommend leaving them in for another day or two until the flowers are stiff and dry to the touch. If you notice that they are still soft, you will need to recover them again in silica gel and leave them for a few more days. This process usually takes a couple of weeks to a month.

Tip 4: Freeze Dry
This might be the most expensive way to preserve your bouquet, but it is definitely the one that leaves it most intact to what it looked like on your wedding day being in a three dimensional shape. This requires your bouquets to be sent to a professional. They will spray the flowers with starch to keep their original color and then slowly dehydrate the bouquet in a cold, vacuum-sealed machine. This process usually takes two to three months. Once the process is finished, the bouquet is sealed in a glass container to keep its shape and beauty. This is an absolute gorgeous keepsake.

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