Forever flowers.

Generally speaking, flowers go with weddings like cheese goes with … well, everything. Whether you use real flowers, silk flowers (like Mrs. Wizard), paper flowers (like Mrs. Panda and Mrs. Orchard), wooden flowers (à la Mrs. Toadstool), or your venue has flowers everywhere (hi, Miss Parisian!), flowers are just one of those things that make people think “wedding”.

Stallion and I didn’t put much thought into our floral options. We assumed that real flowers were just the way things were done, and we didn’t do much research into the alternatives. This wasn’t necessarily a smart idea. And don’t get me wrong – I’m sure our flowers will be beautiful – but one of the advantages of flower alternatives is that after the wedding, you’re left with a nice keepsake, whereas with traditional flowers, you’re left with very expensive compost material. And after spending all that money, throwing my flowers away is really going to sting.

Unless, that is, I take some measures to preserve my flowers.

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I want my flowers to last FOR-EV-ER. (via Tumblr)

Without further ado, here are some options I considered for my bouquet that do not involve throwing it in the garbage can.

  • Drying it – If you’ve never dried flowers before, it’s easy as pie. While Reader’s Digest offers several ways to dry your bouquet, the easiest (and only method I’ve ever attempted) is air drying: hang your bouquet upside down in a dark, cool place and leave it alone for a week or two.

wedding+roses(via Petit Elefant)

  • Pressing it –  Okay, so this is kind of cheating, since pressing is another variant of drying flowers, but the end result is a little different. You don’t need a fancy flower press; a heavy book and some clean sheets of paper will do the trick. From there, you can do just about anything with them. I personally think they look gorgeous framed.

framing-pressed-flowers

(via This Fashion is Mine)

  • Making a Christmas ornament – Mrs. Campfire’s tutorial is deceptively simple: dry your bouquet, then drop the petals into a glass ornament. It couldn’t be any easier, but the results are gorgeous. Mrs. C, you are a genius.

finished1

(via Mrs. Campfire)

  • Freeze-drying it – Yeah, okay, lazy Miss Filly is advocating yet another non-D.I.Y. option. But seriously, if you really want your flowers to look as close as possible to how they did on your wedding day, having your flowers professionally freeze-dried is your best bet. The downside of this, of course, is that this can get extremely expensive – I’ve seen options that cost well over $600. Not many florists offer this option, so you may have to ship your bouquet, which is another headache/expense.

antiquedsilverpinkandlilacresized_003

(via Precious Petals)

While I was intrigued by freeze-drying, a lot of the arrangements I saw online were a little much for my taste. I like the idea of displaying some wedding keepsakes in my home … but I don’t want my home to be an ode to my wedding day, you know? We already have our guestbook going on display after the wedding (more to come on that!), and one of my best friends gifted me a gorgeous canvas print of our names and wedding date. How many wedding-related display items does a girl really need?

Fortunately for me, in my extensive Google research, I came across Papertini, a wonderfully talented Philadelphia-based florist who also does floral preservation art. The fact that she is based in Philadelphia means I won’t have to ship my bouquet (BM B graciously offered to drop it off for me), her pricing is incredibly reasonable, and the best part? She doesn’t just preserve your bouquet and frame it; she uses all the details from your wedding, like your dress, venue, and invitations, as inspiration to transform your bouquet into something completely unique. Check this out!

Fotor0329131752

(Before: top left, after: bottom left/right, via Papertini)

I was sold. Sure, it was an added expense for our budget (and in my last post, I was whining that I didn’t want to splurge on wedding programs) but this gorgeous keepsake will be well worth every penny. Plus, it doesn’t scream “WEDDING!”, so my fears of my home turning into a wedding museum are assuaged for the time being. I am so excited to see what Papertini comes up with for my flowers!

What did you/will you be doing with your bouquet after the wedding?

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