Don’t toss that bouquet!

If you’re anything like me, you’re A. a hoarder and B. always looking for a chic way of preserving memories. I knew even before the wedding that I wanted to preserve my bouquet, so I started doing some research early. There were plenty of places that would do it for you in a variety of beautiful ways, but that often came at a premium price. And, honestly, I always think I can handle doing things myself (kinda like that time I decided to do ALL of my own wedding calligraphy – came out great, but man was that a doozy of a project).

I also knew I wanted to display my wedding invitation and I figured there had to be a more creative way than just a simple frame. So, I figured I would kill two birds with one stone and put the bouquet and invitation together in their own little piece of artwork.

I started just before the honeymoon by learning that silica gel preserves flowers much better than hanging them to dry. I went to Michael’s and grabbed the silica along with a very affordable (read: cheap) shadowbox. Before we left for Riviera Maya, I carefully dismantled my bouquet and separated out each flower. I laid them all in a medium-sized shallow tupperware-type storage bin and dumped the silica on top. I probably could have used more but they only had one box at Michael’s, unfortunately. I tried to cover the flowers and silica as closely as I could with a plastic bag to make more of an airtight seal, and then I popped the lid on. Then I left it for the next week while we were on our trip. When I got back I was happy to discover my neatly-dried flowers, which seemed to have less yellowing, brighter color, and less breakage than the hang-dried alternative.

To assemble the shadowbox display, I took the back off and arranged all the flowers on top until I got a good visual mix. I also incorporated the champagne ribbon from my bouquet as well, winding it through the florals. I glued everything down at certain points just to make sure it didn’t shift. Then I topped it with out invitation right in the center.

I think it turned out exactly the way I wanted! And after posting on Instagram, a bunch of friends reached out to see if I could do this for them or for their friends after their weddings – which I’m always happy to do! I’ll just need a whole lot more silica gel 🙂 Did I mention it’s reusable though? Another perk!

Here’s the end result, which now hangs at the bottom of our stairs:

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