Brides spend hundreds of dollars on their bridal bouquets, which is why they often want to know how to preserve this sentimental keepsake. There are several methods of preserving your bouquet:
The easiest, most affordable way to preserve your bouquet is to air dry it. You will want to choose an area that is dry, like an attic, or closet, rather than a damp area like the basement or a garage. You will want to attach some sort of wire, twine or ribbon to the handle of the bouquet in order to suspend it upside down to dry. I have found that suspending your flowers above a radiator (for you New Yorkers out there) has worked superbly because the heat encourages the moisture to come out of the flowers. The drying process should take about one to two weeks, depending on the dryness of the environment.
Another popular method is silica gel. This is an agent that can be found at most garden centers, craft shops or nurseries. The silica gel should be used in an airtight container; otherwise, it will absorb the moisture from the air, not from the flowers. This is a good method to use if drying roses, dahlias, zinnia, delphinium, and geranium. This method does not seem to be super-efficient, because if the bouquet is in an area where it is exposed to moisture, it will absorb it and wilt.
The most professional way to preserve your bouquet is to have it freeze-dried. This is only done by a professional. The bouquet is sprayed with a starch in order to lock in the color and is “baked” in a freeze drier. This seems to be the very best way to preserve the bouquet in it’s truest form. Formally preserved bouquets can last a lifetime! You’ll want to avoid direct sunlight and bright halogen lamps.
Costs range from free (if you dry it) to about $300 (if you get a dome, or a shadow box presentation after silica gel or freeze-drying it).