Dried flowers can be a lovely hand-me-down and reminder of your wedding day. You can take a few paths toward preservation including drying, pressing and using the petals to form part of a potpourri. These can be a great way to relive a glimpse of your wedding day by day.
You can press your wedding bouquet to preserve it. Pressed flowers can be a framed and displayed as a work of art. The best flowers for pressing tend to be low in water content. Colours tend to fade slightly in drying, so often lighter bouquets such as roses and native flowers can be great for pressing. You can try doing this at home by placing your bouquet in a container filled with silica gels (the drying bead you often find in shoe boxes and other clothing, as well as in some food packs). Once the flowers are relatively dry, place them between greaseproof paper and press them between 2-3 phone books or other heavy items.
One of the traditional ways to preserve flower bouquets is the upside down hanging technique, where you hang your flowers upside down by the stem in a warm and drying environment (to prevent mold). Try and keep the flowers out of sunlight to prevent unnecessary fading of the flower colours. Flowers with lighter and more delicate petals such as chrysanthemums can often show petal drop when dried. This technique is best suited to flowers such as roses or lavender with have more robust blooms. Younger buds are also better for preserving than matured, open flowers.
If you have more open blooms, preserving the petals as potpourri can be a great option. With this technique you remove the petals from your bouquet and discard the stems. You can either drying in warm place over a period of time, at a very low temperature (around 80 degrees C) in the over for 6 hours or in the microwave for 2 minutes at a time in a container filled with silica beads. You can spray with food dye to recolour the petals if they fade after drying, or sprinkle with essential oils to add extra scent if you'd like a stronger smell.
If you are wondering how best to preserve your wedding bouquet, it's worth discussing this with your florist while planning the bouquet. They can help advise you on some flowers that will preserve well and look great on the day with your overall aesthetic.