Do It Yourself Bridal Bouquet

Do It Yourself Bridal Flowers

You meticulously planned every bit of its detail, so why not protect your prized floral possession?


Make sure your flowers never lose their beauty with this guide to bouquet up-keep and preservation.

What It Is

You dry your bridal bouquet — by yourself or via a professional service — and hang onto it as a meaningful keepsake.

Why Do It

A preserved bouquet can be both a memento and decorative piece for the home.

How It Works

There are three methods: silica gel (quick-drying mode via immersion in a sand-like, silicon substance); pressing (press select blooms from the bouquet and flatten via a flower press and framed); and freeze-drying (pros spray the blooms with a starch to set the colors and then “bake” the bouquet in a freeze-dryer). All modes allow for beautiful presentation in frames, glass domes, etc. But freeze-drying is the only method that allows for “open arrangements” (they don’t have protective covering), and yields the most true-to-life results in terms of flower shapes and colors.


$50-$300, depending on choice of preservation and presentation. Examples: A freeze-dried shadow box presentation might be $150, a dome presentation (preserved via silica gel) can cost around $300, while a partial bouquet pressed and framed against silk might price at $65-$200.


For best results, the bouquet should be dropped off at the preserving establishment as soon after the wedding as possible. Translation: the day after the wedding or the Monday following a Saturday reception. Many professional services will be unable to provide service if the blooms have been too badly dried out, bruised, or otherwise damaged. If you’re simply dropping off your bouquet at a local service, transport it in a Styrofoam cooler, with gel packs on the bottom. Loosely cover the packs with tissue paper or wax paper (so that the bouquet doesn’t touch them directly) and then place the bouquet on top. Then, pack tissue paper around the bouquet to prevent it from moving and bumping.


Think about preserving just a few select blooms instead of the full bouquet. This will cut down on the cost of preservation. Also, it’s important for preservationists to receive the bouquet in prime condition. So get a tossing bouquet, and, at the reception, leave your actual bouquet in a safe place where it won’t get bruised or crushed (maybe have a bridesmaid handle this) as a precaution. Sometimes brides will immediately have the caterer store the blooms in the refrigerator, or, if it’s a hand-tied bouquet, stick the stems in water.

Shelf Life

Receiving the finished, fully preserved product will take 8-12 weeks with freeze-drying; 6-8 weeks with silica gel; 6-8 weeks with pressing. Formally preserved flowers can last indefinitely, maybe even up to 100 years. If humidity is avoided, along with direct sunlight and bright halogen lamps, brides can expect their bouquets to last a lifetime.