After the big day has come and gone but before the flowers in your wedding bouquet fade, you must preserve them if you want to keep them forever. Using silica gel, you can individually preserve the flowers and then reassemble the bouquet once the flowers are dried. A close-up photograph of the wedding bouquet can help you when it is time to reassemble the bouquet. Preserving a wedding bouquet can be especially important if you grew the flowers yourself in your own flower garden.
Disassemble the wedding bouquet. Use the pruning shears to clip the blossoms from all of the stems. Leave one to two inches of stem beneath the blossoms. Set the blossoms aside and discard the stems. Save the bouquet holder for when it is time to reconstruct the bouquet.
Sort the blossoms by variety, placing all of the rose blossoms together, all of the lily blossoms together and so on.
Place approximately one inch of silica gel into the containers. Set each blossom onto the gel in the containers, spacing them so that they are not touching each other. Place blossoms of the same flower variety together in plastic containers because they will dry at the same rate.
Add more silica gel around the flower blossoms until the flowers are completely under the silica gel. Add the silica gel slowly so that the shapes of the flowers do not change under the silica gel.
Seal the containers and label them with each flower variety. Place the plastic containers in a cool, dry location. Leave the flowers undisturbed for three days and then check the progress of the drying. If the flowers feel completely dry when you touch them lightly with your finger, they are dry. If you still feel moisture in the blossoms, reseal the containers and leave the flowers to dry for two or three more days. The entire drying process may take up to one week.
Remove the flowers from the silica gel when they are dry and place them on a flat work surface. Attach lengths of florist wire to each blossom by twisting the wire around the short stems on the blossoms.
Consult the photograph so you can see the exact placement of each flower. Place each flower back into the bouquet holder or place each flower back together in a gathered bouquet according to how the flowers were in the original bouquet.
Spray the finished bridal bouquet with hair spray to finish preserving the flowers.