EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and expert advice about flower preservation

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your South Wales Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yoursouthwales.wedding

Blooming marvellous

Blooming marvellous

Q I'd like to have my flowers preserved after my wedding; are there any blooms I should avoid?
A Emma Cross says: First of all, congratulations on finding and securing your florist for your big day. If you're having your bouquet preserved, it's worth mentioning this to your florist. Depending on the style you're going for, some florists will use wires through the stems of the flowers to create and maintain certain arrangements. Wires can shorten the life of your bouquet, and by the time your preservation artist receives it, some of the flowers may be wilted. The same goes for glue, this is usually only used in cascading handheld bouquets to keep the longer stems in place, but some of these stems don't quite reach the wet oasis and are glued in place instead. If this is the case, some flowers aren't staying hydrated and again will wilt much quicker.

In terms of flower choice, succulents don't preserve well as they hold too much moisture. If you're keen on having succulents within your bouquet, most preservation artists will replace them in your final piece with artificial ones.

If you're going for an all-white look, discuss texture and various flower choices with your florist. It's very hard to design a preservation piece with only one colour and flower choice, so consider adding pampas or foliage to give your preservation piece more depth and interest.

When it comes to white/ ivory or lighter flowers, expect a change in colour during the drying process. Light colours can dry with a yellow hue, but some artists offer colour correction if this happens. White or light flowers are also more likely to show bruising and transparent spots when placed in resin; this is perfectly normal and can vary from flower to flower.

Colourful bouquets retain their colour well, and darker hues can go deeper in colour, for example, red flowers will dry more burgundy. It's always best to discuss drying methods with your preservation artist and to read their T&Cs or FAQs, so you know what to expect from their service.

Chrysanthemums are delicate and, more often than not, will lose most of their petals once dried. Your preservation artist can rebuild them where possible.

Peonies lose their petals, and they don't have a very long life once cut. If you have peonies in your bouquet, ensure they get to your preservation artist straight after your special day. Peonies come in various sizes, so if you're having large peonies in your bouquet, mention this to your artist so they can discuss what preservation options are suitable.

Lilies and orchids hold a lot of moisture and will likely change colour during the drying process.

Dahlias, if received early enough, dry very well. If they arrive starting to wilt, they will likely lose petals during the process. Dahlias can also change colour quite a bit, for example, pinks can turn purple.

Remember, the condition that your flowers arrive in will play a huge part in how they are preserved and what the end result will look like.

Emma Cross, Encapsulated Memories

Grand designs

Grand designs

Q I want to preserve my big-day flowers; how could I display them around the house?
A Emma Cross says: There are many different ways to display your preservation pieces around your home. Let's chat frames first; a lot of bride and grooms have displayed their flowers amongst their wedding photos on a wall within their homes. Pictured is Mr and Mrs Hayward's wedding wall, displaying their flowers preserved in a frame amongst their wedding photos. Whether you opt for a bouquet frame or a date frame, they would both look great as part of a keepsake display.

When it comes to resin, the best way to display a block would be next to a photo, ornament or a vase of fresh flowers. Some couples like to place theirs on a side table next to a lamp so it's always in the spotlight.

There are also functional resin options, such as coasters, ring holders and clocks, these can be displayed beautifully around your home and used daily.

Emma Cross, Encapsulated Memories

Made with love

Made with love

Q I want to preserve my wedding flowers and give them to my bridesmaids as gifts. Do you have any suggestions of how I do this?
A Emma Cross says: Get in touch with your supplier as far in advance as possible to secure your date. A week or so before your wedding, your preservation artist will be in touch to discuss what designs you would like. You'll then receive information on the postage and packaging of your flowers. This is likely to be the last thing on your mind after your wedding, so nominating someone from your bridal party or a family member to oversee the postage of your flowers will take the pressure off, after all, you're likely going to be super excited about heading off on your honeymoon.

Some brides provide bridesmaids' bags as gifts the night before their wedding, so why not pop a little note in there to say a thank you gift is being handmade for them with the flowers after the wedding? Once your blooms have been posted, let your preservation artist do the rest.

Emma Cross, Encapsulated Memories

Treasured memories

Treasured memories

Q I'm thinking of having my flowers preserved after the wedding. How does the process work?
A Kate Pugh says: Start by contacting your supplier to secure your date. You will be contacted before the wedding to arrange how you will get your bouquet to them. For example, I ask couples to either post their blooms using my guide or bring them down to my studio.

I then ask couples what they would like made from the bouquet. I offer a wide range of products, including coasters, earrings, letters, frames and much more. Once that's decided, the flowers will go into a drying process which takes about two-three weeks. Once this is done, the flowers are ready to go into the design stage. They will then be coated in resin, sanded before a top coat is applied, and then the order is complete and ready to be given to the happy couple.

Kate Pugh, Out of the Box

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