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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#tyingtheknotaro

In the midst of the whirlwind that was planning the wedding, I never actually blogged about the wedding. But we finally got our edited album back from our fabulous photographers (M2 Photography) and it captured the day perfectly.

They always say not everything will go according to plan, expect some disasters, yada yada. But honestly I can’t say that anything was a sizable mishap. The biggest catastrophe was that the bakers couldn’t use the cake stand that I purchased because it wouldn’t support the cake. Do you know how many people would have said “nice cake stand!” at the end of the night at our wedding? Zero. Zero people would have noticed that I searched endlessly for the perfect cake stand. So when my maid of honor came to the bridal suite needing to break the news to me, I laughed and said, “screw it!” and took a sip of champagne (as one does when their cake stand plans don’t work out).

Our last-weekend-in-September wedding ended up being quite chilly, topping out at 62 degrees. But I’d take 62 over 82 any day! It was truly a beautiful day up until about 4:30, right before the ceremony. It turned a little gloomy and VERY windy. Again, we rolled with the punches. My veil and the wind had a glorious love affair and created, hands down, the most memorable moment of the day and night when a giant gust took my veil and wrapped it around Cory as my aunt was doing the second reading. Everyone was laughing so hard that no one tried to help for a few seconds and he was helplessly trapped in cocoon of tulle and lace.

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Overall, it was true what they all say: best day ever. Seeing all of your friends and family condensed into one space was truly amazing. Especially considering they joined us from about a dozen different states. Would I change anything? Probably not. Not even my flimsy cake stand.

Here are some of my favorite photos of the day: