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  • Writer's pictureSydney Schatz

How To: Enjoy and Preserve Your Wedding Florals

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

You have just spent a pretty penny on some beautiful flowers for your magical day, but what are you supposed to do with them after the music is over? In April of last year, I did an in-depth interview with Emily from McBride Floral Design (you can read that HERE) and you guys loved it so much I asked her to answer a few more questions – this time about how to thoroughly enjoy and preserve your wedding florals after the festivities have commenced.

What is the best way to help make the flowers last longer if couples want to bring them home and use as centerpieces on their dining room table?

For bouquets, after you get home, dump out the old water and put fresh, clean water in the vase. Cut about 1/2 inch off the bottom of the stems and place back in the vase. This clean cut will help the flowers absorb the fresh water quicker. You can also unwrap the ribbon from around the stems, this way it isn't soaking up that precious water. If you are taking home a centerpiece that isn't in a glass vase, just add water daily to whatever base the flowers are in, as there is a foam water base in there, so it holds a lot of water but also soaks up a ton.

Sometimes there are a lot of centerpieces, so what do you tell couples who don’t want to take them ALL home, but also don’t just want to throw them all away?

I always suggest offering them to your guests at the end of the night, they love taking home a pretty centerpiece to enjoy. I personally give my clients the option of buying the vases in full if they want to be able to give them away after the wedding, but only for however many they give away that day. Then they can simply return the others to me. Not all florists offer that option, but it never hurts to ask! However, if you want to go that route, make sure to check that the total cost includes purchasing the vase, not just the rental price. This way you are not surprised if you get an additional charge at the end of the event.

If you are hoping to donate the florals, churches are a wonderful place to do this. They love having fresh florals for Sunday service. Nursing homes also always appreciate the gesture. The residents love to have a little cheer brought into the area!

Keep in mind, whether you want to give the arrangements away or donate them, if you are renting the vases from your vendor or florist, that process can make things more difficult. If the arrangements are in vases, I suggest taking them out and giving away or donating the loose bundles of flowers. If they are in a foam base this process is a lot more complicated because you need another container to be able put them in for transport. I typically don’t suggest trying to keep those arrangements because taking them apart can get very messy – wet foam is not easy to work with.

What are the different ways to preserve a wedding bouquet?

There are many ways to preserve your bridal bouquet. The easiest DIY way is to dry it and place it in a shadow box. To do this you need to make sure to dry it upside down BEFORE the flowers start to die. (Say that again for the people in the back, Emily) Make sure to dry your bouquet upside down BEFORE the flowers start to die. This is the best way to keep the color of the flowers in-tact. I recommend not going past 5 days after your wedding before doing this. You will then need to give it a couple weeks to dry out completely. In the meantime, go to any craft store and find a deep shadow box to fit it in. Sometimes the bouquet may still be too full to fit so from here, you could always trim off some of the back to help thin it out. You can also take apart the bouquet and individually dry the stems. In a shadow box you can make them look almost like a field of flowers. This is a great option if you want to make multiple frames with your bouquet. If you are super crafty you could also take apart the bouquet and flatten individual stems. Once they are dried, buy an all-glass frame (front and back) and remake your own version of the bouquet. This is a very beautiful and individualized look!

However, I always recommend having your florist or a professional do these options as it can get pretty time consuming and difficult – especially since some flowers are more delicate than others. Pricing for these options of course depends on the individual professionals, but generally you can expect the cost for a piece to be anywhere from $75 to $250. We have a couple of amazing floral preservationists in the local CdA & Spokane area who offer dried arrangements and resin - Rebecca with The Petite Pansy & Erin with Flowers and More by Erin. Resin can generally increase the overall cost of pieces from anywhere between $300-$800+ as this is a more difficult and intricate process.

Ifong Chen Photography at Wild Rabbits Farm

I hope this helps get your wheels turning and kick starts that crafty side of your brain! Huge thank you to Emily McBride for once again taking the time to answer all my questions. Do you have any other questions that I didn’t ask? Let me know by commenting below! And be sure to check out her social media pages for examples of her amazing work. Instagram. Facebook.

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