If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what to do with your dried wedding bouquet, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with the idea of parting with such a sentimental piece of their special day.
If you have a dried wedding bouquet and are unsure what to do with it, there are various creative ways to preserve and display it. From pressing the flowers to making a resin paperweight or even having it painted, each method offers a unique way to cherish this sentimental keepsake for years to come.
Read on to discover a range of innovative and meaningful ways to turn your dried wedding bouquet into a lasting treasure that captures the essence of your special day.
Why Preserve Your Wedding Bouquet?
Wedding bouquets are more than just a collection of beautiful flowers; they carry emotional weight and significance. For many, the bouquet symbolizes the joy and love experienced on one of the most important days of their lives. Preserving your wedding bouquet serves as a lasting keepsake or heirloom, allowing you to relive those precious moments whenever you glance at it.
Moreover, a preserved bouquet can become a piece of floral art that enhances your home décor. It’s a tangible piece of your wedding day that you can hold onto, unlike the fleeting moments that pass by so quickly. Whether you choose to press, freeze-dry, or use glycerin for preservation, each method offers its own unique way to freeze that beauty in time.
Press the Flowers
One of the most traditional methods for preserving your wedding bouquet is to press the flowers. This technique has been around for centuries and is still popular due to its simplicity and effectiveness. To begin, you’ll need to select the flowers you wish to press from your bouquet. Make sure to choose the ones that are still vibrant and colorful.
Steps to Press Flowers:
- Lay out the flowers on clean wax paper: This ensures they lift easily after pressing.
- Place the wax paper inside a heavy book: Textbooks or phone books work well for this.
- Weigh it down: Use additional books or a heavy object to ensure the flowers are pressed evenly.
- Leave to dry: Allow seven to 10 days for the flowers to dry completely.
Once the flowers are dry, you can arrange them in frames, scrapbooks, or even create bookmarks. The options are limitless.
Pros and Cons
- Pros: Pressing flowers is cost-effective and easy to do at home. It also allows for a lot of creativity in how you display the pressed flowers.
- Cons: The colors may fade over time, and the flowers will be flat, losing their three-dimensional beauty.
Start the pressing process when the petals are still vibrant to capture their natural beauty. Waiting too long can result in wilted and discolored flowers, which won’t preserve well.
By pressing your flowers, you not only create a sentimental keepsake but also have the freedom to turn them into various forms of floral art, making this method a versatile choice for many.
Hang the Flowers Upside Down to Dry
Another straightforward yet effective method to preserve your wedding bouquet is air-drying the flowers by hanging them upside down. This technique maintains the three-dimensional form of the blooms, unlike pressing, which flattens them.
Steps to Air-Dry Flowers:
- Unwrap the bouquet: Remove any tape or ties that hold the bouquet together.
- Hang the stems individually: This ensures each flower dries in the best form possible.
- Choose a dry, temperate area: A hallway closet or a room with low humidity is ideal.
- Let them dry: The process takes at least a week, sometimes longer if the area is cool.
Once the flowers are dry, you can arrange them in a vase or even create a wreath. If you’ve kept the ribbon from your bouquet, it can be incorporated into your wreath for an extra touch of sentiment.
Pros and Cons
- Pros: Air-drying is simple and doesn’t require any special materials. The flowers retain their 3D shape.
- Cons: The colors may fade, and the stems become brittle and fragile over time.
Handle the dried flowers with care as the stems become brittle and can easily break.
Air-drying offers a natural and straightforward way to preserve your bouquet, making it a popular choice for those who prefer a less hands-on approach.
Submerge Them in Silica Gel
If you’re looking for a method that keeps your flowers looking as close to their original state as possible, silica gel is an excellent option. Contrary to its name, silica gel is actually a porous sand that works to absorb water from the flowers, effectively drying them.
Steps to Use Silica Gel:
- Prepare an airtight container: Lay a base of silica gel at the bottom.
- Place your blooms: Nestle the flowers into the sand, ensuring they don’t overlap.
- Cover with silica gel: Gently pour more silica gel around and over the petals.
- Seal the container: Make sure it’s airtight to prevent moisture from entering.
After about a week, carefully remove the flowers. They will look almost as vibrant as they did on your wedding day.
Pros and Cons
- Pros: Silica gel preserves the color and shape of the flowers exceptionally well.
- Cons: The material can be a bit pricey, and you’ll need an airtight container large enough for your bouquet.
After removing the flowers from the silica gel, spray them with an artist-fixative spray to set the color and shape.
Using silica gel for preservation allows you to maintain the vibrant colors and intricate forms of your wedding flowers, making them a stunning keepsake for years to come.
Make a Resin Paperweight
For those who want to encapsulate the beauty of their wedding bouquet in a unique way, creating a resin paperweight is an excellent choice. This method involves using clear epoxy resin to preserve your flowers in decorative shapes, such as spheres or cubes.
Steps to Make a Resin Paperweight:
- Purchase a mold: Choose a shape that you like from a local craft store.
- Prepare the epoxy resin: Mix it according to the package instructions.
- Fill the mold halfway: Pour the mixed resin into the mold.
- Arrange the flowers: Delicately place your chosen blooms into the resin.
- Top it off: Fill the mold to the top with more resin and let it dry.
Once the resin has hardened, you’ll have a beautiful and lasting piece of floral art that captures the essence of your wedding day.
Pros and Cons
- Pros: The resin paperweight is a unique and lasting keepsake. It also allows for a lot of creativity in design.
- Cons: Working with epoxy resin can be tricky and may require some practice. The materials can also be somewhat expensive.
If you’re not comfortable working with resin, consider sending your dried flowers to an artist who specializes in this form of preservation.
Dip the Flowers in Wax
Another method to consider is wax dipping, which can extend the life of your flowers for up to six months. This technique involves dipping the blooms in melted paraffin wax.
Steps to Wax-Dip Flowers:
- Melt the paraffin wax: Use a saucepan to melt the wax until it’s smooth.
- Prepare the flowers: Choose the best blooms that are free from stains or wilting.
- Dip the flowers: Gently submerge each flower into the melted wax.
- Hang them to dry: Once dipped, hang the flowers upside down to dry.
While not a permanent solution, wax-dipped flowers maintain their original color and form, making them a beautiful keepsake for a limited time.
Pros and Cons
- Pros: Wax dipping is relatively easy and quick. It also maintains the color and shape of the flowers.
- Cons: This is a temporary method, and the wax can become brittle over time.
After the flowers are dry, consider displaying them in a shadow box or a decorative vase to enhance their beauty.
Wax dipping offers a short-term yet beautiful way to preserve your wedding bouquet, making it a suitable option for those who want a quick and straightforward method.
Preserve Them with Glycerin
If you’re looking for a method that keeps your flowers soft and supple, glycerin is an excellent choice. Unlike other methods that remove moisture from the flowers, glycerin replaces the water in the plant cells with itself, keeping the petals soft.
Steps to Preserve Flowers with Glycerin:
- Prepare a glycerin solution: Mix one part glycerin with two parts warm water.
- Trim the stems: Cut the stems at a 45-degree angle.
- Submerge the stems: Place the stems in the glycerin solution.
- Wait: Allow two to six weeks for the glycerin to completely replace the water in the flowers.
Once the process is complete, your flowers will remain soft and vibrant, making them a unique keepsake.
Pros and Cons
- Pros: Glycerin-preserved flowers remain soft and almost fresh to the touch. They also retain their color well.
- Cons: The process takes a long time, and glycerin can be expensive.
For a more colorful result, you can add food coloring to the glycerin solution, which the flowers will absorb.
Freeze-Dry the Flowers
Freeze-drying is another method that maintains the original shape and color of your flowers. This technique involves freezing the flowers and then placing them in a vacuum chamber to remove moisture.
Steps to Freeze-Dry Flowers:
- Consult a professional: This method usually requires specialized equipment.
- Prepare the flowers: Remove any damaged petals or leaves.
- Freeze the flowers: They are first frozen at extremely low temperatures.
- Place in a vacuum chamber: The frozen flowers are then placed in a vacuum chamber where the moisture is removed.
The result is a perfectly preserved bouquet that looks almost as good as it did on your wedding day.
Pros and Cons
- Pros: Freeze-drying maintains the color and shape of the flowers exceptionally well.
- Cons: The process can be expensive and usually requires professional assistance.
If you’re considering freeze-drying, start the process as soon as possible after the wedding to get the best results.
Freeze-drying offers the most lifelike preservation of your wedding bouquet but comes at a higher cost, making it a good option for those willing to invest in a long-lasting keepsake.
Paint Them or Hire an Artist
If you’re looking for a truly unique way to preserve the memory of your wedding bouquet, consider having it painted. This method allows you to turn your bouquet into a piece of floral art that can be displayed in your home for years to come.
Steps to Commission an Artwork:
- Choose an artist: Research and select an artist whose style you admire.
- Discuss the project: Share your vision and any specific details you want included.
- Provide reference photos: High-quality images of your bouquet will help the artist capture its essence.
- Review and finalize: Once the artwork is complete, review it to ensure it meets your expectations.
Pros and Cons
- Pros: A painting is a unique and lasting keepsake that can be passed down as an heirloom.
- Cons: Commissioning an artist can be expensive and time-consuming.
If you’re artistically inclined, you can also try painting the bouquet yourself, adding a personal touch to the preservation process.
In summary, your dried wedding bouquet doesn’t have to gather dust or be thrown away. There are multiple methods to preserve it, each offering its own set of benefits. Whether you choose to press the flowers, encapsulate them in resin, or even commission a painting, you can transform this sentimental item into a cherished keepsake that continues to bring joy long after your wedding day.
Hey there, I’m Jennifer M. Lowes, but my friends call me Jenn. Born and raised in sunny California. By day, I’m a freelance makeup artist transforming everyday people into their best selves. By night, I’m here on this blog, sharing my favorite nail designs, makeup tips, hair styling techniques, and much more.