There are endless ways to incorporate flowers into your wedding day, but what do you do with your precious petals when all is said and done? Here, Jacinta Walsh explores the ways in which couples can preserve their wedding flowers.
Image Credit: ATEIA Photography & Video
Flowers have the ability to breathe life into your wedding day. These custom creations give you the chance to express your personalities as individuals, as well as reference your relationship as a couple in a fun and creative way. Flowers are important in setting the atmosphere of the day, and offer countless ways in which to do so. In saying that, it can be difficult to know what to do with all of the bouquets, arrangements and flower crowns after the wedding, without letting them go to waste.
There’s nothing worse than having to throw away something that is sentimental to you, or something that you’ve probably spent a great deal of money on, because – let’s face it – flowers aren’t cheap. While you can give away most as wedding favours to close family and friends, there are ways to hold on to the best of the bunch.
Pressed To Impress
Pressing flowers is a quick and easy way to preserve your wedding blooms. The most popular method involves pressing flowers between the pages of a book. If this appeals to you, consider using a book that is significant to your relationship, however keep in mind that the book will absorb any excess moisture and cause the pages to crinkle, so it’s better to use a replica.
A faster method involves the use of an iron. Begin by placing your flowers in between two sheets of paper. It’s best to use plain, fragrance-free paper; avoid options like paper towel and opt instead for printer paper, thin cardboard or baking paper. Ensure there is no water in the iron before setting it to a low temperature. Press the flowers for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat this step until the desired result is achieved.
Display your pressed flowers in a glass frame for a botanical-inspired print, or pair with one of your invitations to remind you of your wedding day.
In The Air
Air-drying your flowers is a breeze! Simply follow these steps to create a rustic arrangement. Begin
by gathering your chosen flowers in a bunch and secure with an elastic band. Fasten a piece of string to the elastic band before hanging upside down in a well-ventilated space that is out of direct sunlight, such as a linen cupboard. This process could take anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks, depending on the climate.
An even simpler method involves a vase – and that’s it! Place your stems in a large vase with a couple of inches of water at the bottom and leave your flowers to dry over time. This technique works best with flowers that hold their shape when moisture is removed, as well as those that prefer a dry climate, such as Australian natives or gypsophila.
As the process develops, your flowers will shrink and darken in colour before taking on a vintage quality. To style, tie a ribbon around the stems and hang from a hook on the wall. Alternatively, crumble the petals to create your own wedding-themed potpourri.
Set And Forget
If you’d like to get crafty with your buds, give these fun and affordable creations a whirl. Wax is quite versatile and can be used in several ways to preserve your flowers. While it may only be a short-term solution, dipping your flowers in wax will keep your flowers in pristine condition for up to six months.
To start this process, slowly submerge each flower into a container of melted wax. As you remove it, turn the stem to allow excess wax to drip back into the cup before either standing in a vase or hanging upside down to dry.
Alternatively, line a glass or silicone cup with your selected flowers before pouring melted wax with added scent or colour, if desired, into the mould. Place a wick in the centre and allow the wax to solidify in a cool dark place. Keep the wick in place by tying it around a pencil, which you can then balance on top of the glass or cup. Once the candle has solidified, pop it out of the silicone mould for a freestanding candle.
For a more long-term solution, resin is also a great way to preserve your flowers. For best results, use flowers that have tight petals such as roses, gardenias and tulips. Smaller petals and native leaves will look great when used to create jewellery or paperweights for a modern keepsake.
Frozen In Time
Freeze-drying involves lowering the flower’s temperature to below zero before a high-pressure vacuum extracts its moisture in the form of vapour. This process must be undertaken by a professional as technical equipment is used. It can take up to a few months and comes at a price, but is well worth it in the long run if you’re after natural-looking flowers that look as good as they did on your wedding day.
The Art Of Artificial
A perfect way to preserve flowers is to not have them at all! Well, real flowers that is. Paper flowers are a great alternative as they will not only keep forever, but can be made from paper that has sentimental value. Think about including pages from a book that you both love, or paper that has your vows written on it.
In keeping with the faux theme, artificial flowers are also becoming more popular due to their cost-effective and durable nature. Some are so good that you can’t even tell the difference!
Gold-dipped roses are designed with the intention to preserve the flower in something that is equally as precious. This is an expensive option that must be conducted by a professional, and as such many people choose to preserve only one or two roses. However, the end result is something beautiful that will last a lifetime.
Flowers represent new life, and what better way to acknowledge this than by commemorating your marriage with these simple preservation techniques, which will serve as a reminder of the day you began to put down roots together.