It’s the ultimate wedding keepsake. Your bridal bouquet took considerable thought to choose, and it fits in beautifully with your decor and surroundings. It may seem like a small detail in the grand scheme of nuptial planning, but your flowers contribute so much to the end result. They stand out against your dress, and they add a little pop of color to your photographs. Given the role that it played, you may want to consider preserving your bouquet to commemorate your special day. Here’s how to go about it so that your flowers last a lifetime.
Treat Them Right
No matter what method of preservation you choose, it’s important to care for your flowers in the aftermath of the wedding. Unless your bouquet was completely fresh on your wedding day, the flowers may be already at least a day or so old. That’s not too long, fortunately, but it does mean that you need to act quickly to keep them as fresh as possible. Remove the wrap holding it all together and nurture them just as you would any other flower arrangement. Replace the water daily so that the blooms remain vital. Keep in mind that any wear and tear on the flowers will also minimize their life expectancy a little bit. If you’re planning to toss the bouquet, you may want to consider substituting a different one during your reception so that you can properly preserve the original.
Dry Them Out
Of course, there’s also some pleasure in handling this task on your own—and there are several creative ways to preserve your wedding bouquet. The easiest is to let it dry out. The key is patience. Flowers won’t dry overnight, and you need to keep them suspended upside down for quite a while — weeks or months — before they’re ready. Once the flowers are completely dry, you can place them in a box of your choosing. Many opt for shadow boxes, which allow you to display the flowers in creative ways and display them as artwork.
Press Them Down
If you just want to keep one or two blossoms instead of the entire arrangement, you can try the age-old pressing method. Begin by snipping off your preferred flowers, then press them between the middle pages of a heavy book. It should be considerably large — think encyclopedias and dictionaries — so that it can properly push down on the petals and flatten them. For greater effect, place something heavy on top of the book. Allow about a week for the moisture to dissipate and the flowers to take on a wafer-like consistency. Remember that at this stage it’s quite delicate, so handle it carefully.
Find a Professional
If you’d rather skip going the DIY route and simply leave the preservation process to the professionals, you’re in luck: some companies specialize specifically in this fine art form. Your florist may even be able to help or guide you to someone who is experienced and trustworthy. Try to prioritize this as early as possible. For example, you could schedule an appointment with a preservationist for the day after the wedding so that they can immediately get to work. This will give you some peace of mind knowing that your flowers are in the best hands, and you’ll be thrilled to hang on to this precious memento of one of the most unforgettable days of your life.