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Savor your special memories of your wedding day through wedding bouquet preservation!
There are several common flower drying methods to use. Select the method that is right for you. The common methods are:
Before selecting your drying method, consider your budget and your expectations of how you would like your bouquet to look like after the flowers are dried. As with anything nice, you will usually get what you pay for.
Air drying is the least expensive as you simply allow your flowers to dry up naturally. Air dried flowers will shrink considerably in size; they will lose their original shape and in some instances will turn very dark or black. Many people trying to air dry have noticed mold or rotted flowers a few days after the wedding. While roses can be air dried, lilies and orchids cannot be air dried. Many people have asked if they can hang flowers upside down using hairspray if that will work? The answer is not to our experience. Hairspray does not provide a thick enough coating to prevent flower shedding. Hanging the flowers upside down does nothing to aid drying but may help flowers from wilting downward with gravity, instead they will wilt upwards. It is important to keep air circulation around the flowers as they dry to try and prevent molding of the flowers. There is nothing wrong with having air-dried flowers. They're your sentimental flowers and can be custom framed along with your photo to make a beautiful decorative piece for your walls.
Flower pressing is an art form dating back to ancient times. Many old books may have flowers pressed and preserved between their pages from years ago. There are flower pressing companies that will create beautiful framed art using flower presses. Framed pressed flowers are flat and allow the use of flat picture frames and other types of flat displays for decorating in your home. If you do not like the look of three dimensional flowers, then you should consider this drying method. Because of labor and materials prices for framed pressed flowers can be as much as that of silica dried or freeze-dried.
Silica drying can produce good results with some flowers but not all flower varieties, sizes and shapes of flowers can be maintained well in silica sand. For good results one should have experience using silica before attempting to preserve a wedding bouquet. First, check to see if your flower types are known to dry well in silica before selecting this drying method. You will need enough silica sand to bury each flower separately from your bouquet. Flower petals may detach with the weight of sand on the blooms. Silica can also be a hazardous substance. One should carefully read warning labels and follow directions when handling silica and avoid breathing its dust. The cost of purchasing enough silica sand to dry a large wedding bouquet may approach the cost of just selecting a professional service to dry your flowers.
Freeze-drying is the latest technology for wedding bouquet preservation. Orchids, lilies, and all varieties of flowers can be freeze-dried with near perfect, life like results. Your flowers will keep most of their size, shape, and color throughout the drying process and look amazingly alive when dried. Unfortunately you cannot do this at home without having an expensive vacuum freeze drying machine. Professional freeze drying of your wedding bouquet will cost more than the other drying methods, but if you would like to save your wedding day blooms using the best drying method, then have your bouquet freeze dried. The fee to freeze dry a wedding bouquet may not be much more than if you purchase enough silica sand to attempt the drying yourself.
Lastly, the preservation of flowers is not only “the drying method”. Preservation begins with the drying method used but preservation is really the methods and materials used to prolong and keep your flowers for years to come once they are dried.
The better the drying method, the better preservation encapsulation your flowers should have. For instance, if you air dry flowers they will never be totally dry, the flowers will have whatever humidity amount in them that the room air has in it. Similarly with pressed or silica dried flowers, they will not have all moisture removed when their drying process is complete. The room humidity level, whatever it is, will remain in the flowers. When using these methods, your flowers will be dried at room temperature in regular room air that has humidity. Flowers with humidity will not last their longest. Freeze-dried flowers are dried in a vacuum chamber while frozen and are one hundred percent without moisture when dry. Vacuum freeze drying is the only method that can do this.
From Brian Donaldson Co-Owner of New Hampshire based Mountain View Freeze Dry.
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