With proper care, wedding flowers can be preserved for years. Certain flowers dry better than others do. These include roses, carnations, orchids and most lilies. Some brides base their floral selections on this factor. Reds and dark colors usually dry darker than their original color, while whites, pinks and other light-colored blossoms are more likely to retain their luster. However, most flowers can be safely preserved if properly handled.
If you are thinking about bridal bouquet preservation, let your florist know. He or she can then be careful with any necessary wiring so petals aren’t damaged. Get your bouquet to a preservationist as soon after the wedding as possible. If there’s a delay, keep the bouquet cool, but don’t refrigerate it or spray it with water.
The most popular methods for preserving wedding flowers are with air drying, pressing and freeze-drying.
Air-drying allows moisture to be slowly drawn out so the flower isn’t damaged, but there is a risk of colors fading. The bouquet is hung upside down in a dry, stable environment. After two weeks or so, depending on the size of the bouquet and the kinds of blossoms, the bouquet will be fully dry.
The pressing process begins with photos taken of the bouquet or wedding flowers. Its petals and leaves then are removed and placed between silicone sheets to dry. Next, they’re put in wooden flower presses for three or four weeks. Once fully pressed and dried, the bouquet is reconstructed using the photographs. The result is a flattened version of your bouquet you can frame or put in a shadow box with other wedding mementos.
Another bridal bouquet preservation technique is to freeze-dried and seal your flowers with a sealant to stop its petals from rehydrating. The process usually takes between seven days to two weeks. Because their cell walls are completely frozen, the flowers won’t lose size, shape or color. The result is a bouquet that looks almost as fresh as on your wedding day.
Browse our gallery of wedding flowers and bouquets.
Once preserved, your bouquet can be placed in a shadow box or beneath a glass dome to protect it from water, dust and mishaps. Keep it out of high humidity and sunlight. Properly contained, your preserved bouquet can be a long-term keepsake.