It always a sad day when flowers start to die, and there’s no bunch you want to live forever more than your bridal bouquet – you spent hours picking the perfect flowers for it, after all.
The good news is, there are lots of way to preserve your wedding flowers, meaning that your bridal bouquet can be one more way to remember the happiest day of your life.
The first thing to think about is whether you want to do the traditional bouquet toss.
If yes, it’s worth having two bridal bouquets. One that you toss for all your friends to tussle over, and one that you keep pristine, ready to preserve. The one that your throw might get a little dishevelled and thus be more difficult to dry or preserve, which is where your second bouquet comes in.
How to Dry your Wedding Flowers
One of the most traditional ways to preserve your wedding flowers is drying them, it’s a great option if you want to keep your bouquet in its original shape – brides with globe shaped bouquets, we’re looking at you!
“When we talk to brides we often find that pressing their bouquet or flower crown to preserve as a keepsake is often more important than saving their dress,” says Bloom & Wild’s Lead Florist Caroline Grimble. “The flowers they chose, when dried, last forever to then be passed down.”
Drying your wedding flowers is one of the easiest ways to preserve your wedding flowers.
Flowers dry best if they are dried slowly in the dark, preserving as much of their colour and perfume as possible.
Make sure your bouquet is tied tightly together, then hang it upside down somewhere dry (i.e. in the airing cupboard, or over the radiator) for a few weeks so that they dry thoroughly.
If your heart is set on drying your bouquet, you need to keep this in mind when choosing your wedding flowers.
Which Flowers Dry Best?
Certain flowers don’t dry as well as others, so you’ll need to choose your wedding flowers wisely if you want to dry them.
“A universal tip for brides who want to preserve their bridal bouquet is that it’s best to choose hard-stemmed flowers instead of soft-stemmed flowers,” says Michal Kowalski, Master Florist at florist Blooming Haus.
“Typically, soft-stemmed flowers bloom in the spring. As they are fresh, the stems are soft and by default do not dry very well. Hard-stemmed flowers are more rigid and dry much better. “
“Secondly, by looking at the colour of a bloom, you can get a good indication of how well they dry. Pastel-coloured flowers are typically soft-stemmed, meaning that they are difficult to dry as the colour often changes to a brown shade. Instead, rich-coloured flowers are perfect so reach for red, violet, purple or deep blue hydrangeas, zinnias, rudbeckias, cornflowers and delphiniums if you want to preserve your bouquet. It’s also worth looking at and opting for flowers that originally come from dry climates – for example, South African Proteas – as these will preserve better.”
What to do with Dried Wedding Flowers
If you’re not bothered about keeping your bouquet in its original shape, a nice idea is to fill mini silk bags with the dried petals and flower heads from your bouquet – just be sure the flowers are fully dried.
Add essential oils to the bag to keep them sweetly scented, and pop them in your wardrobe or airing cupboard.
Making mini keepsakes like this is a lowkey way to preserve your flowers, but no less lovely, and much better if you’re short on space and don’t have room to keep your full bouquet.
How to Press Your Wedding Flowers
If you’re not fussed about keeping your wedding flowers in their original shape, pressing flowers from your bouquet is a nice idea, and relatively simple.
Spread your flowers onto parchment paper then lay them inside a heavy book (if you or your husband are Game of Thrones fans, those novels will finally come in handy!), add another layer of parchment paper on top of the flowers to stop the ink from the book transferring.
Close the book, then weigh it down with other heavy items on top, and leave it for seven to 10 days. No peeking!
What to do with Pressed Wedding Flowers
Once your flowers are pressed there’s a myriad of things you can do with them.
A cute idea is to frame them, but even lovelier would be to frame your wedding stationery with the dried flowers all around them. This works just as well with your wedding photos, but we think it makes a lovely interesting way to display the stationery you spent such a long time choosing.
You could also add your pressed wedding flowers to your wedding photo album, scattering the petals throughout the pages for a reminder of the day.
Flower Preservation Globe
If you want to keep your wedding bouquet as perfect and pristine as it was the day you got married, a preservation globe is a lovely idea.
The globes make for lovely paperweights, or as a talking point in your living room.
Check out The Flower Preservation Workshop to find out how to get your wedding bouquet turned into a gorgeous globe.
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Send your flowers off as soon as possible after the wedding so they can be preserved when they’re still looking their absolute best.
If you’re going on your honeymoon straight away, this is a job to delegate to one of your bridal party.
How to Preserve Your Wedding Bouquet in Silica Gel
We’ve always found those little bags of silica gel in our new handbags and never quite known what they’re for. When it comes to handbags, we’re still in the dark, but silica gel is a clever way to preserve your wedding flowers.
Form a base of silica gel in an airtight container and place your bouquet in it, then pour the silica gel around the petals, making sure the shape of the flower isn’t compromised. It works by drawing the moisture from the flowers, keeping them perfect in tact.
You can buy silica gel in craft shops and online; this is probably the easiest way to preserve your wedding flowers.
How to Preserve Wedding Flowers with Wax
If you want to preserve your wedding flowers in wax, we recommend doing a few practice runs first in order to nail the method.
The process involves melting paraffin wax in a saucepan, before dipping your flowers in, and pulling out immediately, before hanging upside down to dry.
Ways to Make Your Wedding Flowers Last Longer
If you want a permanent memory of your wedding flowers and you’re not averse to a little bit of body art, a tattoo of your wedding flowers is a lovely way to remember your day – it’s exactly what Olivia Buckland did, following her wedding to Alex Bowen.
If you’re not feeling brave enough for a tattoo, and you’re not a particularly crafty person, we’d like to point you in the direction of Ethereal Blooms.
The brand is disrupting the environmentally unsustainable flower industry by bringing you the finest real flowers that are expertly bio-preserved to create bespoke floral arrangements that last up to a year at a time.
The bouquets are made of 100% natural, handpicked flowers that can stay alive and fresh for up to a year at a time, with no maintenance required, whilst still maintaining their freshness, beauty and scent.
Ethereal Blooms is even able to create a replica of your bridal bouquet after the big day, to help the memory live on – especially handy if your flowers got damaged in the bouquet toss, or you didn’t realise how much you wanted to hold onto it until it was too late!
If you haven’t chosen your wedding flowers yet, take a look at our edit of beautiful bridal bouquets, from classic to alternative.