Q&A: What is the best way to preserve your bouquet? - Flowers & Decor - Wedding Planning

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What Is the Best Way to Preserve a Bouquet?

A

There are various ways to preserve your bouquet. Whether you do it yourself or take it to a professional, it is important to begin the process as soon as possible.

Silica Gel
Silica gel is a granulated substance with cobalt blue crystals which you can find at your local craft store. It hastens the drying process by pulling moisture out of the flowers, resulting in spectacular dried blooms. Apply the gel to flower heads, place a thin layer of blooms between paper towels, and microwave for one to three minutes. Let your blooms cool for 30 minutes, or according to package instructions. When the drying process is complete, use a small, soft brush to gently brush away any remaining gel from petals.

To use silica gel without a microwave, select a container for your blossoms, such as an ordinary egg carton, to support the shape of individual blooms and buds. Pour a thin layer into the bottom of each cup, pop a bloom in each, and cover with more silica. Be careful not to pour the gel directly onto the petals; instead gently spoon it around the buds, filling air pockets and open space. If you use an egg carton, keep it airtight by carefully wrapping it in a plastic bag. Drying time is usually three to seven days.

Air Dry
To air dry your flowers, remove all lower leaves from their stems. Bundle the flowers in small bunches, securing them tightly with rubber bands. Make sure the blooms do not touch each other. Hang the bundles upside down in a dark, dry room or closet. Air drying times vary with humidity, but your flowers should dry within five to ten days.

Pressing
A professional will take the bouquet apart, press the petals, and then rearrange them in a frame. Your pressed bouquet can be mounted on a piece of your wedding gown, bridesmaid dress, invitation stock, or any other background you choose.

Freeze Dry
Freeze drying, another professional method, has the most realistic results. Flowers are dried in a special chamber at extremely low temperatures. The blooms are flash frozen and then put back into the original arrangement. Typically, freeze-dried arrangements must be kept in a bubble frame or under a glass dome. To get the best results, contact your preservationist beforehand to determine how you will deliver your flowers. Pack your bouquet in a cooler, but don't let the bouquet actually touch the ice. Prices vary, but expect to pay anywhere from $70 to $150 for a professional job.

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