ghd Heat Protect
Are you supposed to just chuck the bridal bouquet in the green bin after the wedding? I can’t bring myself to do that. So I’m testing two ways to preserve the flowers.
«Your wedding is the best day of your life.» How I always hated that ancient phrase. And then I found myself standing on the shore of Lake Constance with my newlywed husband. Before us sat 30 guests with watery eyes. Next to us, a little family of ducks paddled by and I thought, «Crap, the sentence really is true!»
In the meantime, the wedding high has (almost) faded away. But every time I pass the dining table, my heart leaps. There, bundled in my bridal bouquet, are the memories of our big day, created by my dear friend, a talented florist who I was maid of honour for.
The bouquet is made of:
Every day I stick my nose in and replay our wedding in my mind’s eye. That was until today, when I was shocked to see the roses and the eucalyptus have started to droop.
Is today the day where I have to carry my bridal bouquet to the green bin grave? I refuse! There must be a way to save the flowers. After some research, I’m relieved to learn that bridal bouquets can be preserved. You can do the following:
Okay... I don’t have any of that at home. Isn’t there a simpler solution? Yes, there is! I test the following preservation options:
Dried flowers have always been my kind of thing. Originally, I wanted them in my bridal bouquet. Will this wish now come true? Even though I read that the flowers should be as fresh as possible, I’m going to give it a go.
I carefully take the bridal bouquet out of the water and dab the stems with a cloth. I remove the stems that aren’t that fresh anymore.
Since I don't want the bouquet to rot later, I want to dry it thoroughly in the oven. Caution: many bridal bouquets contain flammable materials. I comb through the bouquet. Nothing. I lie the individual flowers on the baking paper. Off to the oven! I read on a website that 100 degrees is supposed to be optimal to dry the flowers. Another one says 40 degrees. I choose the golden mean and set it to 70 degrees.
The oven glass fogs up slightly. Is that moisture? I open the oven a bit and let it escape. After 30 minutes, I pull the tray out of the oven and let the slightly shrivelled flowers cool.
To make sure the bouquet doesn’t end up brittle and to make the colours last longer, I spray the flowers with a little hairspray (clear varnish also works). Then I tie them together and leave a long piece of the cord at the end (about 50 centimetres).
Next, I head to the basement. There, I hang the flowers upside down on the slatted shed. Other cool, dry and dark places are suitable, too.
ghd Heat Protect
Edding Clear lacquer spray
Colourless gloss, 0.20 l
Windhager Jute string
2000 cm, 7 cm
I don’t completely trust the option with the bridal bouquet in the cellar. What if the flowers weren’t fresh enough? So I decide to test the pressing option too.
To get rid of the moisture, I decide to use an iron. To do this, I put the flowers on the ironing board and cover them with a newspaper. Then I hold the iron over them for about 15 seconds at the lowest setting.
After just five seconds, it begins to fizzle. Perfect. The liquid is escaping.
Opitec Flower press large
Folia Blotting paper
120 g/m², 10 x
Philips EasySpeed steam iron
2000 W, 100 g/min
Now I just have to wait. In a month’s time, I can pull out the pressed flowers from under the guitar amp – and in two months, the bouquet from the cellar. Will that be the second-best day of my life? Or am I giving the mould the best time of its life? I’ll keep you updated.
Have you dried or pressed flowers before? Share your stories and tips in the comments!
A city kid who’s returned from the countryside to live the urban life – only to turn her attic flat into a beach house dotted with aloes and lighthouses. She’s an animal lover interested in psychology. Her harmless appearance comes with a dark sense of humour and a criminal taste in books. Someday, she’d like to be able to shoot an arrow like Mulan.