But what's the best way to do it? We interviewed Shawn from Foster-Wright Floral Design (our go-to expert for all things flora and fauna related) and here's what she had to say about the different methods.
I assumed that drying was the best way to preserve wedding flowers, but when I asked Shawn the best way to dry a bouquet, she, surprisingly, said that it's actually the worst way to save one. She said that in order to save your bouquet temporarily, you can hang it upside down and then display the dried flowers in a vase, but many flowers will discolor in the drying process, or will eventually discolor over time. Lots of flowers will lose their petals, and soon will get covered in dust, they are impossible to clean without destroying, and will just crumble away. If you are looking for a permanent save for your flowers, this isn't the solution for you.
However, if you would like a short-term way to keep your bouquet, check out this post on how to silica-dry your wedding flowers.
Shawn recommended pressing flowers rather than drying them. You can do this by taking the flower, sandwiching it between two sheets of paper (parchment paper works best), and putting it between the pages of a big heavy book. Weight the book down with other books, or something heavy, and wait 7-10 days. Make sure the flower is dry and papery.
Shawn cautioned that thick, bulky flowers will not press well (sunflowers, roses) but you can dry the petals. The best candidates for pressing are smaller, more delicate flowers, and she suggested selecting a few of the most special flowers to commemorate the bouquet.
What I like about this method is that you can create pretty, simple arrangements with these clear glass frames, and you have an awesome art piece for your wall that commemorates your bouquet in a modern and attractive way.
You will want to press your flowers as soon as possible after the wedding, before they start to wilt. If the flowers look a little peaked, you can recut the ends of the stems and place them in water before pressing them, to revive them. (is this true, Shawn?)
Shawn also told me that one method of "preserving" your bouquet is to just get lots and lots of pretty pictures of it, at it's finest hour- during the wedding! Your bouquet will be at peak performance, so ask your photographer to get lots of shots, and you can forevermore browse through your wedding album, or even frame a big print of the bouquet for the wall.
I had never heard of this, but Shawn said that there are actually companies that will get your bouquet, freeze dry it, take it apart, petal by petal and leaf by leaf, repaint it, and then put it in a shadow box or other display for you. Wow! They do a good job, but it's expensive. Like, hundreds of dollars expensive.
With succulents being such a popular bouquet addition, you have the option of replanting them, and having a live bouquet keepsake for your windowsill! Succulents are super hardy and last a long time without water and soil, so they should hold up well during your wedding festivities, and then be ready to replant (even days) after the wedding.
If you have a succulent bouquet, simply pull the succulents out of it, and place them on top of the soil. Don't water until the roots start to grow, and then only water occasionally, when the soil has dried out completely. The plant will root itself in the soil, so you don't need to bury it. You can also follow these same directions for individual leaves that may have fallen off of the plant and have lots of baby succulents!
What do you think? Have you decided on a method for preserving your wedding flowers? If you try one of the above methods for preserving your wedding bouquet, comment and let us know how it turned out. We would even love to see pics of the final project!