How to preserve your wedding bouquet – professionally

Written by    Last updated: November 19, 2013

After you’re married, what happens to your wedding bouquet? Do you give it to a bridesmaid or just accept that it will have to be thrown away? Wouldn’t it be better to keep your bouquet as a reminder of the happy day? Confetti looks at the modern trend of bouquet preservation and discovers your options and the costs involved.

original pressed flower bouquet art 2D

Turn your wedding bouquet into a work of art: Flower Seascape by Susan Fowler

In part one, we discovered DIY options for those wishing to preserve their wedding flowers or bouquet. But for those wishing for a higher standard of bouquet preservation your best bet is to contact a professional.

There are different specialised areas of flower preservation. Some specialists preserve 3d bouquets by air drying, freeze drying, dripping in wax or the use of silica gel crystals. Other specialise in 2d flower pressing to a standard seldom achieved at home. What makes everyone unique is their individual styles, techniques and approach; but the aim is always the same: creating lasting reminders and heirlooms for the bride and groom and their families.

Finished work is intended to last for many years so it’s important before booking that couples view the work/style of the preservationist in question. Couples should remember that there are no guarantees that flowers will retain their original colours. Flowers are after all a thing of nature that can still react to their environment long after they’ve dried.

Modern methods for pressing flowers, such as microwaving, exist alongside traditional methods such as pressing flowers between absorbent paper and waiting for the moisture to dry out. From experience different methods can work differently for some flowers. Microwaving can make the flowers brittle. Thicker flowers with a high moisture content such as Gerberas or delicate flowers such as Sweet Peas can be a challenge but the end result is worth the hours taken to dry it.

Professionally preserved wedding bouquets orange and white

Professionally preserved wedding bouquets

There are some myths that exist around flower preservation. Some think that to preserve a flower it has to be encased or dried with chemicals or have something added to it to “keep it” for longer. Not necessarily so. Preservation also applies to the care of the flower once it has dried to prolong the condition it is in. The Fine Art Framers Guild set advice, standards and guidelines for framing to conservation standards, amongst other things. See if your professional follows their guidelines.

For a bride thinking of having her wedding flowers pressed, the best advice is to research the different flower preservation companies. Look at the galleries of preserved work. How bespoke are they? Are they part of a larger company or local artisans. Will they offer a personalised and tailor-made service? Remember to book in advance. Use a dummy bouquet to throw to your bridesmaids or failing that just explain you want to preserve it. And ask your preservation expert for advice on how soon after the ceremony they need the flowers. If they’ve already started to wilt and rot it will make preservation more challenging. Whichever option you decide, a wonderful 2D work of art you put on the wall or a 3D bouquet in an acrylic display cube, your preserved bouquet will be a gorgeous reminder of the special day. Once you’re sure to cherish always.

Susan Fowler of Susan Fowler Bouquet Preservation has a lifelong passion for preserving flowers. She offers a unique and bespoke service to her clients, transforming their flowers into individual works of art.

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