How to Preserve Wedding Flowers

two women holding their wedding bouquet

After all the time and energy that went into choosing and designing flower arrangements and bouquets for their wedding, it’s no surprise that many couples want to preserve some of them. Most choose to save their wedding bouquet, but any arrangement can be preserved including reception centerpieces, boutonnières, and bouquets. Here’s a guide to preserving your wedding flowers so they can continue to hold a special place in your memories long after the last dance.

A Guide to Preserving Your Wedding Flowers

Flowers add a touch of beauty and romance to any wedding. Flowers have different symbols attached to them and special meaning for the couple, which is often why they are so sentimental. Unfortunately, flowers don’t last very long, which is why many couples decide to preserve the special ones from their wedding. Luckily with a little planning and some tried and true do-it-yourself techniques, there are a number of ways to preserve your flowers. 

  • Air Drying: A simple and natural method that involves tying the flower stems together loosely and hanging them upside down in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated area. 
  • Silica Gel: This desiccant absorbs moisture, preserving the flower’s shape and color. All you have to do is arrange the flowers face-up in an airtight container filled with silica gel. 
  • Flower Pressing: Place individual flowers between absorbent sheets of paper (like blotting paper or parchment paper) and weigh them down with heavy books which flattens and dries the flowers.
  • Glycerin Solution: This technique works well for thicker stemmed flowers and foliage. Mix one part glycerin with two parts water to create a solution and submerge the flower stems allowing them to sit for several weeks. The glycerin replaces the water in the stems, keeping them supple and flexible.
  • Potpourri: Dry your flowers using any of the methods mentioned above. Once dry, combine them with essential oils, dried fruits, or cinnamon sticks to create a fragrant potpourri for a touch of wedding bliss in your home.

One of the most commonly saved wedding floral arrangements is the wedding bouquet. If you’re planning to save this bouquet, we recommend skipping the bouquet toss or swapping it for a different one so your bouquet doesn’t get damaged. Depending on the type of flowers used, your bouquet can start to wilt anywhere from a few days to mere hours after your wedding, so it’s important to identify the flowers you want to save beforehand and then have a plan to pull them to safety so they can then be preserved. 

Unless you plan to dry the entire arrangement as-is, you’ll need to separate the flowers from your bouquet to keep them as fresh as possible. Remove the ribbon and anything else wrapped around the stems, and once the bouquet is apart, snip the ends of the stems and place the flowers in fresh, room-temperature water. Keep the flowers out of direct sunlight and change the water daily until you can fully preserve them.

Creative Ideas for Leftover Wedding Flowers

Your wedding day blooms with love, laughter, and stunning flowers, but after the ceremony, what becomes of these beautiful arrangements? If you’ve chosen to preserve your flowers, there are tons of creative things you can do with them to help commemorate this special day from creating wreaths and potpourri to making ornaments, framed art and keepsake jewelry. 

If you’re not interested in saving your flowers and arrangements, there are a number of things you can do to give your leftover wedding flowers a second life. 

  • Donate to a Cause: Hospitals, nursing homes and senior living facilities often appreciate floral arrangements to brighten the day of patients and residents.
  • Gift to the Wedding Party: Show your appreciation to your bridesmaids, groomsmen, or other special participants by gifting them a beautiful bouquet or centerpiece.
  • Beautify Your Home: Repurpose centerpieces into smaller arrangements for your home, adding a touch of wedding bliss to different rooms.
  • Host a Flower Bar: Organize a fun activity for friends or neighbors by letting them create their own bouquets from your leftover blooms. It’s a lovely way to share the beauty of your wedding flowers and spend time with loved ones.
  • Donate to a Local Charity Auction: Partner with a local charity and donate a unique floral arrangement created from your leftover blooms. 

By following these tips and choosing the right technique, you can transform your beautiful wedding blooms into lasting keepsakes that will bring back cherished memories for years to come or pass them along to brighten someone else’s day. 

Are you looking for a wedding venue in Hershey, PA? Historic Acres includes beautifully manicured landscaping and natural greenery that will stand out in photos and serve as a perfect backdrop for your special day no matter the season. Give us a call at 717-298-6340 or contact us to learn more.