Almost every bride holds a beautiful wedding bouquet as she walks down the aisle, made from specially selected flowers that complement her dress. This bouquet should not be tossed in the garbage can after it begins to dry out, but preserved appropriately since it makes a beautiful art piece that could last decades. This bridal memento, once preserved, will make an accent piece that will attract everyone's attention and bring back fond memories of the day you made your vows.
Decide whether you want to preserve the bouquet yourself or will give it to a professional to do it for you. Keep in mind the last-minute rush involved and your honeymoon preparations if you want to do it yourself. A wedding bouquet can only be treated one to four days after the wedding, so make your decision well in advance and make the necessary preparations accordingly.
Select one of the three methods by which a wedding bouquet can be professionally preserved to look as realistic as possible. You can do this yourself provided you have the time, as these methods take at least eight weeks to complete. In the 'freeze-drying' method, the flowers are sprayed with a starch to preserve their colors and then baked in a freeze dryer. In the 'pressing' method, flowers from a bouquet are separated and taken apart, pressed using a flower press, reassembled and framed. In the 'silica gel' method, the flowers are immersed in a silica solution and dried. Your florist will be able to suggest the best preservation method suited for your bouquet.
Performing the task yourself can be cheaper, albeit time-consuming. A simple method is to dry the flowers to preserve them. Take a snapshot of your bouquet so you can refer to it later, and begin to separate the flowers from the bouquet.
Place each flower between clean white pages in heavy books. Avoid paper with ink that may stain white or lightly colored flowers. Set the books aside and place other heavy books on them. Allow the flowers to remain in the books for four to six weeks, or longer if the blooms are large in size.
Check the flowers once the required time has passed. If they feel dry with no remains of moisture, remove them from the books and place them in front of you on a worktable, along with the snapshot you had taken earlier.
Apply glue to the back of each flower and arrange it on a mounting board. Press it gently so it adheres to the surface, but remember that applying too much pressure may cause them to break. Use the snapshot as reference so the arrangement on the board closely resembles your wedding bouquet.
Allow the board to dry thoroughly for four to six hours before placing it in a picture frame to hang for a beautiful floral display.