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Wedding Bouquet Preservation: 9 Cool Ways to Keep Your Wedding Flowers

If you don't want your flowers to end up in the bin, you can choose to preserve them - here's nine simple wedding bouquet preservation ideas

Wooden wedding flower press surrounded by bright blooms

It’s a truly sad moment the day your wedding flowers wilt, turn brown and fade away. Those beautiful reminders of your big day will be destined for the compost heap and all that’s left are your photos. Unless, that is, you choose to preserve your wedding flowers.

Laura McGrath, from wedding flower preservation service Nogard Creations, explains that "preserving your wedding flowers is a fabulous way to keep the memories of your special day. After spending so much time and thought choosing your bouquet as well as the financial cost, it seems such a shame to just throw them away after a week!" 

There are lots of options for how to preserve your wedding flowers, some of which will keep them looking as fresh as the day you first saw them! "By preserving your bouquet into an ornament, jewellery or keepsake you can continue to enjoy the beauty of your wedding flowers for years to come," says Laura.

The key thing to remember with all these options is the sooner the better. If you wait more than a couple of days, you risk your flowers wilting or bruising.

Any couples who are immediately heading off on honeymoon should plan ahead of time what they’re doing – can you entrust a member of your family or a friend with either sending off the blooms to be dried or doing one of these methods below? If not, consider asking your florist to make you up an identical bouquet when you return so you can preserve that.

Read on for the best wedding flower preservation methods, from preserving your wedding flowers in resin to drying and framing them.

How To Prep For Your Wedding Bouquet Preservation

For high quality results, we recommend thinking ahead when it comes to preserving your wedding flowers. Here are some steps to consider before and during your wedding day to keep your wedding flowers looking their best prior to preservation. 

  • Request that your wedding florist uses no spray preservatives on your bouquet as they can cause browning when pressed 
  • Keep your wedding flowers out of direct sunlight and change the water frequently until you can fully preserve them
  • Skip the wedding tradition of a bouquet toss or swap it for a 'dummy' bouquet instead to prevent your blooms getting damaged and broken
  • Do your research before you choose your supplier. "As with any craft there are some artists using cheaper and lower quality materials, it is always worth asking the artist what brand of resin the artist uses to check the quality of the brand. Check the reviews for your chosen preservation artist carefully on multiple platforms," recommends Laura
  • Planning to preserve your flowers yourself? Laura suggests you practice a lot beforehand. "Some of the first pieces we made were terrible and the last thing you would want is to lose irreplaceable flowers."

Nine Ways To Preserve Your Wedding Flowers

Want to keep your wedding flowers, but not sure what to do with them? Here are some really creative and unique wedding bouquet preservation ideas.  

1. Turn Them Into Resin Art

Preserved wedding flowers paperweight

Nogard Creations will turn your bouquet and flowers into amazing floral art designs. Specialising in 3D flower preservation, your blooms are dried to keep their colour and shape, before being turned into a variety of creations by their team. As 100% of the moisture is removed, your flowers will stay looking perfect forever.

They can accept bouquets as long as your flowers haven't started to mould, but the fresher the better. Your flowers will then join their waiting list and be stored safely until they are ready to preserve them. 

Turning your flowers into something special normally takes 16-20 weeks from start to finish and then you’re left with a stunning, unique keepsake that is shipped back to you. We love this idea for a first wedding anniversary gift too - as it ties into the paper theme so nicely. 

Expert Take: Why not try Nogard Creations' keyrings, getting both one each for you and your spouse. It will make a lovely keepsake, and you'll have part of your wedding bouquet with you every day.

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2. Dry and Frame Your Flowers At Home With Silica Gel

It’s possible to dry out your wedding bouquet flowers at home with silica gel if you can’t afford to get it done professionally. Silica gel (you may know them as those little sachets you get in a new handbag) remove moisture from your flowers, preserving their shape and colour. You won’t get as good colour retention as if they were done professionally and it isn’t advisable on light coloured-flowers but it does work and it’s very easy!

Step By Step: You can pick up silica gel in most craft stores or online, and using it on your bouquet is really simple.

1. Fully cover your flowers with the gel, making sure you get it among the petals too without compromising the shape

2. Leave in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for 1-7 days

3. Then you're left with beautiful dried flowers that you can place in a frame

Hitched have an easy to follow guide on exactly how to preserve your wedding flowers at home with silica gel. We chose to display them in a shadow box frame, but we’ve got lots of ideas on how to show off your dried flowers to the best of their beauty! 

Expert Take: Buy a few hanging frames and position your flowers throughout several. It will make for stunning wall art, and is a unique, modern way to display your preserved wedding flowers.

3. Frame Them With A Flower Preservation Specialist

Preserved wedding flowers in a white wooden frame

Professional companies like Precious Petals will collect your bouquet from anywhere in the UK, preserve them using special drying techniques and frame them in a beautiful 3D representation of your bouquet. It’s a wonderful way to display them that keeps the colour and shape so you can look at them every day and be reminded of your wedding.

Precious Petals, who have preserved wedding flowers for the likes of Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Harry and Izzy Judd, use bespoke frames with conservation glass so they’ll always look as good as the day you receive them. They can also dry them flat and frame them if you’d prefer that!

The process takes around 18-20 weeks and can be used on everything from buttonholes to bridesmaid corsages too. They can incorporate a photo into the frame and more to make the perfect wedding keepsake of your day with your wedding bouquet.

Expert Take: Keep flowers from the corsages and/or buttonholes that you give out to your wedding party too - a smaller arrangement looks just as special preserved this way and they make for really lovely gifts.

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4. Hang Them Upside Down To Air Dry

This is the traditional way to dry your wedding flowers. It’s incredibly simple.

Step By Step: The steps for hanging your bouquet upside down to air dry is perhaps one of the easiest ways to preserve your wedding flowers.

1. Tie the stems tightly together and hang them upside down for a few weeks in a dry, warm place like in an airing cupboard or over a radiator

2. But, if you'd prefer to keep as much shape with your wedding bouquet as possible, then hang them to dry individually

3. Once your bouquet is fully dry, after at least a week or so, they'll look gorgeous in a vase or hanging on a wall in your home

Another great option if you want to keep the flower's original shape and dry the whole bouquet instead of a few flowers, drying them in the dark will preserve their colour and scent as much as possible, but the downside to this method is that your blooms are likely to become muted or darker in colour.

Expert Take: Use your dried flowers to create a wreath that you can hang indoors.

5. Press Your Wedding Flowers

wooden flower press

Pressing your flowers is an easy process to preserve your wedding flowers, and is a great trick to learn.

Step By Step: If you want to keep them in their original 3D shape, this isn’t the process for you – but if you’re happy to have them flat and create a framed display from them, it’s ideal.

1. Place your flowers between two sheets of parchment paper and place them inside a heavy book (avoid using one that's special to you in case the pages get damp!) or flower press

2. Weigh the book down further with vases or more books and leave for at least 7-10 days

3.Remember to place parchment on top of the flowers as well as underneath or you’ll end up with ink all over your bouquet

4. When you're done, undo your press or lift your book gently. Make sure that your flowers are completely dry from moisture so that they will stay looking pretty

If you're looking to use a press, then you can buy gorgeous wedding flower press kits from Etsy, and Not On The High Street.

After they’re dried, there’s plenty of things you can do with the flowers. Framing them is one option, as is gluing them into your wedding guestbook, showing off your pressed flowers into the back of a clear phone case, or even turning them into petal paper. If you aren’t a fan of displaying them, mix the petals with Epsom salts and a dash of essential oils to create a luxurious bath salts mix.

The gorgeous pinewood wedding flower press pictured above is engraved with a beautiful floral design, and would make for a lovely wedding gift idea and make the process of pressing your wedding flowers so quick and easy.

Expert Take: You could also press your bridesmaids' bouquets, and frame them. This would make such a fantastic, heartfelt gift. It's preferable to use a flower press instead of a book to avoid damaging your book in any way.

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6. Dip Your Wedding Flowers In Wax

This process won’t keep your flowers preserved forever like the other methods, but it will extend their life by up to six months. The process is tricky so it’s worth practising a few times before you go wild with any sentimental flowers. The flowers will of course feel waxy, so you will be able to tell them apart from fresh, but this method keeps the colour and shape of your flowers quite well.

Step By Step: Make sure you have all the tools you need, such as a big boiling pot and parchment paper, before you get started.

1. Melt down paraffin wax in a saucepan and leave it to cool slightly - check the temperature before you submerge the flowers to avoid burning yourself.

2. Dip your flower heads in one-by-one until they’re completely covered

3. Immediately pull out of the wax and leave to dry hanging down

Expert Take: Place your flowers in the centre of a table, or attach them gently with a bit of glue to some string. They will look beautiful as a garland.

7. Get A Coaster Or Dish For Your Rings

wedding flower coaster

Viva La Flora can turn your wedding flowers into gorgeous coasters that are perfect for placing your wedding and engagement rings on when heading to the gym, washing the dishes, or painting. Your flowers are dried and then set in moulds in clear resin. The drying process can slightly change the colour of the flowers but the benefit of the resin letters are that your flowers will be shown off to full effect and you’ll get a cool piece of décor for your home.

Once you send your beloved flowers to Viva La Flora, they will take the time to carefully trim and dry them so they are ready to be made into one of their beautiful designs. The resin will then be poured into the mould with your blooms and any other embellishments, such as gold flakes, glitter, gems, and ribbon.

Expert Take: Get a few coasters and place one by your sink, and another on your beside table. That way, whenever you need to take your rings off, you'll know where they are.

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8. Custom Wedding Flower Painting 

custom wedding bouquet painting watercolour

Whether you and your partner grab a paintbrush and get in touch with your artistic side, or you outsource the job to a professional wedding bouquet artist, having a permanent reminder of your gorgeous blooms in the form of art may not be preserving the actual flowers but it is still a lovely idea. 

From acrylic to watercolour and line drawings, find an option that will suit your style and hang it in your home as a constant reminder. 

Simply send some photos of your wedding bouquet to Katie Hipwell Design and they will hand paint an elegant watercolour painting of it, like the one pictured above. You will receive a photo of the piece before shipping and your initials and wedding date can be added at the bottom if you wish.

Expert Take: Gift this to your other half on your first anniversary or Christmas as a married couple. It's a lovely keepsake, and will remind them of your beautiful wedding flowers.

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9. Spell Your Names Out In Resin

custom resin wedding bouquet flower name

Another lovely resin idea, a name creation from Suspended Petals is a fantastic way to honour your new surname, or, use your first names, if wanting to preserve your wedding bouquet flowers.

The team at Suspended Petals will discuss all of the details with you before your wedding, so that when the big day comes and goes, all you have to do is ship your flowers to them, and they will take care of the rest.

If you're ordering your name in letters, you may want to make the most of your bouquet and get a couple of other items, too. You can choose from Suspended Petals' geometric shapes, photo frames and even clocks.

Expert Take: This is actually a really unique wedding gift idea, if you already know what flowers the couple are using at their wedding.

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How Do You Preserve Fresh Flowers Permanently?

The best tip for preserving fresh flowers permanently is by keeping them away from direct sunlight as that can fade their colour quickly. Decide on a preservation method that will be the most practical for you as a couple and the one you will get the most out of. A piece of art or an object in your home, whether that be in the form of resin or a painting, can be displayed forever and will allow you to hold onto them as a floral keepsake.

How To Preserve A Wedding Bouquet?

Preserving a wedding bouquet is a meaningful way to cherish the memories tied to it. "Air-drying is one method that can be easily done at home although this doesn’t tend to hold the shape of the flowers and the colours do fade," says Laura. "Drying in silica gel is a popular method which will hold shape and the colour of the flowers this method takes time and patience as flowers take 8-12 weeks to fully dry.

"For optimal results you could consider freeze drying, this technique is very fast and removes moisture while maintaining the bouquet’s structure and color, preserving its beauty effectively, freeze drying takes up to 7 days to complete. Pressing flowers is a timeless technique and is used as a method of preparing flowers for creating keepsakes such as coasters, jewellery dishes or bookmarks."

How Do You Preserve An Already Dried Wedding Bouquet?

If you opted for a dried wedding bouquet, there are tonnes of ideas on how to preserve them.

Try displaying the flowers in a flat glass frame and hanging in your bedroom or living room, or pop small, delicate flowers into the heart of a locket. You could also consider gluing your flowers in a shadow box frame around your wedding invitation or photo, or incorporating your dried petals into bath salts so you remember your big day every time you go for a soak.

How Do I Keep My Flowers Fresh for the Wedding?

To keep your flowers fresh for the wedding day store them in a cool, dark place and cut their stems diagonally before submerging them into water. This will stop them from wilting! 

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