How to Dry a Wedding Bouquet

Preserve your wedding flowers for a unique memento

By Cynthia Myers

dried wedding bouquet
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The bridal bouquet is a special memento of the wedding day. Rather than discarding the bouquet or allowing it to wither and fade, you can preserve the flowers to enjoy for years to come. Dry the flowers by hanging them in a dark closet for several weeks, or immerse the blossoms in silica, a drying agent that resembles sand. You may use a combination of both methods, hanging sturdier blossoms like roses and using silica for more delicate flowers, such as orange blossoms.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Although non-toxic with ordinary use, silica should only be used in a well ventilated area.
  • A professional method involves using a freeze-dryer, which allows you to display the bouquet without a container.
  • To keep a bouquet in top shape before preserving, get a duplicate bouquet for tossing.
Flower Preservation Technique

Step 1:

Choose your bouquet flowers with their future preservation in mind. All colors will mute somewhat with drying; blue, pink and orange flowers fade the least. Roses, baby's breath and hydrangeas dry well. Tulips, peonies and day lilies do not dry well.

Step 2:

After the wedding, disassemble your bouquet carefully. Set aside any ribbons, lace or other non-floral material.

Step 3:

To air dry, group like flowers and bind their stems with a rubber band. Hang upside-down in a dark, dry space, such as a closet. They will dry in one to four weeks.

Step 4:

To dry with silica, cut stems from flowers. Spread a layer of silica in the bottom of a plastic container. Arrange blossoms in the container, leaving space between each blossom. Lay greenery flat. Sprinkle silica over flowers to cover completely. Place lid on container and set aside. The flowers will dry in one to three weeks

Step 5:

Regardless of whether you've used the air-drying or silica technique, once the flowers are dry you can carefully reassemble the bouquet. For silica-dried blossoms, you'll need to replace the stems with wire. Spray with a light coat of hairspray to finish.

Step 6:

To display your preservation effort, as well as keep it protected, get a display case for your dried bouquet. You can purchase standard acrylic or glass cases that are specifically designed to hold dried flowers.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • Take a few close-up photos of your bouquet before disassembling, to help you put it back together.
  • Ask your florist for a hand-tied bouquet -- these are much easier to take apart.
  • Keep your preserved bouquet out of direct sunlight to prevent fading.
  • If you are concerned about drying your bouquet and have the budget to have it done professionally, freeze-drying is a professional technique that yields the best results. The average bouquet preservation cost, including the display is in the $400 to $600 range.
  • Keep your preserved bouquet out of direct sunlight to prevent fading.

About the Author

Cynthia James is a regular contributor to DexKnows.

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Planning Reminder:

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Plan bouquet preservation

Don't want to toss that beautiful (and pricey) bouquet when you're done for the day? Then prepare for some bouquet preservation. You can go the DIY route or tap a professional. But line up everything in advance to make sure you preserve your bouquet while it's in full bloom.

View your wedding checklist!


Wedding Glossary


A bouquet that is usually smaller than the more formal bouquet the bride carries down the aisle, specifically for throwing to single female guests during the customary bouquet toss.

View the Full Weddings Glossary
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