With the priceless memories, the hard work into the carefully chosen flowers, the budgeting, and their fleeting beauty, every couple wonders if and how it may be possible to preserve their bridal bouquet.
Can you preserve your bridal bouquet as a keepsake for your special day?
Yes, you can preserve bridal bouquets, and there are several ways that you can do it.
However, before you rush and jump on any random method, you should find the easiest and most practical method for you to implement both in your home and with your desired bouquet.
Preparation for Preservation
Concerning how important it is and the cost of doing it professionally, bouquet preservation is a special and worthy investment. To have the best, therefore, skip the bouquet tossing or switch the real flowers with a secondary bouquet to protect them from possible harm.
Professional preservation can be costly, but luckily, there are simpler ways to do it by yourself.
The fact that they have traveled to the wedding venue means that they may have been harvested hours, days, or even weeks before, depending on their origin. Therefore, you need to act fast to get them to your professional florist or wrap them up to maintain their form if you are going to do it yourself.
When separating the bouquet, watch out for any strings and pins that the bridal florist might have used to patch things together. Once you have the bouquet separated, place the flowers in a vase with fresh water at room temperature until you can dry them.
Lastly, when preparing to dry your bridal bouquet, the task is best left to the bridesmaids as long as you get assurance of quality delivery. It can be stressful for the couple to focus on things at hand like a honeymoon as well as preserving the bridal bouquet.
8 Ways to Dry a Bridal Bouquet
What methods can you use to dry your bridal bouquet? There are professional methods as well as those you can do yourself at home. Depends on which one you prefer. Read on for a detailed look.
1. Use Silica Gel
Silica gel is the stuff found in those little sachets in brand new purses and shoe boxes. It’s a kind of porous sand that absorbs moisture from and dries flowers in approximately one day to a week.
It can be a little difficult to implement on your flowers, but it’s worth it because your flowers will look almost identical to their original form once you’re done.
The colors of the flowers are perfectly preserved too. Fair warning, this method is only advisable for flowers that can handle some pressure like ranunculus, peonies, and roses.
Although the flowers might shrink just a little bit, because of the lost moisture, preservation by silica gel is the most efficient and preferred method.
Silica gel can be found at an affordable price in most craft stores. Before you try it on the main bouquet, however, it is good to try it out with a test flower first.
Once confident with the method, find an airtight container and fill the base with silica gel to a level that will allow your flowers to nestle. Once nestled in, pour the silica gel into the petals and around them, taking care not to damage them, till the whole container is full of the gel and the petals are entirely covered.
Tightly seal the container with a compatible lid to avoid any moisture from leaking in.
Let the flowers stay in the gel for about a week. After this, your flowers will be dry and ready for display.
Remember to gently dust off any remaining silica gel sand in the petals and spray them with a protective sealant spray or hairspray before showcasing them.
2. Press the Flowers
Whether you have a quick pressing method or are using the book method, flower pressing is a tried, tested, and verified method of flower preservation. This method works best with just a few chosen flowers.
Make sure you are happy with their position before drying them because you won’t be able to move them after they’re dried.
In case you don’t have a flower pressing kit, you can choose a heavy book like an encyclopedia or a dictionary. You can still add on more weight with more books or with a vase if you are not satisfied with the single book.
Once identified, place the flowers in between two blank sheets of paper or wax paper before placing them in the relative center of the book.
The wax paper or blank paper sheets will help you lift the flowers easily once dried and also protects them from the ink writing in the book.
Once done, press-dried flowers are best kept in frames. Just remember to handle them carefully, even use tweezers if you must, because the flowers are very fragile once dried.
If you doubt yourself and are afraid that you might not pull this off on your own, remember you only have one shot at doing this, and so you might want to find a professional pressed flower artist whose style you love and relate with.
They will be happy to work with you on understanding the vision you have for your preserved memory.
3. Dip the Flowers in Wax
This might not be a permanent method but it significantly extends the flower’s life to over six months. It also maintains the original form and colors of the flowers so well that you won’t be able to tell the difference with fresh flowers just by looking at it.
To use this method, melt paraffin wax in boiling water then reduce the heat to slightly cool the mixture while maintaining the warm wax.
Next up, gently dip your best flowers in the mix and pull them out immediately, then hang them upside down in the open to dry and enjoy your fresh flower look for the next couple of months.
4. Hang Flowers Upside-Down to Dry
This is the easiest way to dry your bridal flowers. You can choose to hang-dry the whole bouquet, but it is best to separate it and dry individual flowers to have the best-dried form possible.
Once the flowers to dry are identified, hang them upside-down in a dry, dark, and temperate room for about two weeks, leaving them undisturbed.
Once done, the dried flowers are best showcased in vases or in decorative glass boxes that will give protection from bugs, dust, and moisture.
5. Paint the Flowers
Even with all of the available preservation methods, your flowers will never look exactly the same after your wedding day.
Painting the flowers, while not a way to preserve the flowers themselves, serves as a constant reminder of both the original form of the flowers and the glory they held on your special day.
You can find and commission an artist that can communicate your vision of the beauty of your bouquet with any style of artwork imaginable. It’s all up to your specific taste.
6. Make a Resin Paperweight
Using a resin paperweight is considered one of the most elegant ways to dry and preserve bridal bouquets.
To use this method, get a mold in your desired shape from a craft store and some clear resin. After filling the mold halfway with the clear resin, carefully arrange the flower petals in the design you want, then fill the mold to the top with resin and let it dry.
Then, simply take the mold off to reveal the inner beautiful decoration that leaves your bouquet as fresh as it was during the wedding day.
Since this method needs a little expertise to pull off, the task is best left to a professional who knows how to make a clear, unique, and bubble-free resin.
7. Hire a Flower Preservation Specialist
Once the flowers are in a flower preservation specialist’s possession, there are endless possibilities with what can be done to dry and preserve your bridal bouquet.
All you have to do is give them clear instructions and specifications of how you want your dried flowers to look, and how best they can be customized and decorated.
Depending on the process to undergo, the process can either be short or lengthy, but does it really matter? It can take as long as it takes, provided the best quality is delivered to you.
8. Freeze-Dry the Bouquet
Although this method is very expensive, your bouquet will look very similar to the way it was on your wedding day. However, not everyone can do this, and it is best left to the professionals.
Before the actual freeze-drying, the bouquet is first sprayed with starch then put in a freeze-dryer to slowly remove moisture in the flower. Depending on the flowers being dried, freeze-drying can take up to 12 weeks.
A bridal bouquet is a dear thing to hold on to for the longest time possible.
With the techniques provided in this article, I hope you find the best method to dry and preserve your bridal bouquet. Have fun drying your flowers!!