Christine S. Zipps

When your mother married, preserving her bouquet professionally probably wasn't an option. However, when you consider how turning your bridal bouquet into a lasting keepsake for your lifetime and, if properly cared for, into a family heirloom for generations to come, this might climb the ladder in your Wedding Planning List!

If you are curious as to how this works, it's important to know that there are two main methods used by professional preservationists - freeze drying and desiccants (usually by silica gel). There is a difference in how these techniques will affect a flower's color, crispness and form. When you interview preservationists, it is highly recommended that you ask to see actual samples of their work for there is definitely a difference and you'll want to judge which you prefer for the look you're hoping to achieve.

Also, since some flowers do preserve better than others, a professional preservationist should be consulted prior to meeting with your florist to advise you on this. For example, if you are planning to include white roses in your bouquet, the "Bianca" or "Vendela" variety will preserve more purely throughout the bloom than other varieties that may tend to turn a little brown in the center. Also, if you're wanting a very large and showy rose in red, "Rouge Bissier" is most impressive, measuring some 4" from top to bottom of the flower and opening with many petals to a diameter of around 3-4" and they preserve beautifully in silica gel, maintaining the red color exactly, not dropping any petals and remain totally crisp and "fresh" looking. Many red flowers will turn darker when preserved. Stargazer lilies will turn more of a soft lavender which lends a more "antique" quality - different from the bright fuschia of the inner petal markings. Also, be careful of the stamens in lilies - their pollen pods should be removed immediately upon opening to avoid staining the flower and more importantly, that lovely dress! If you're planning on preserving your flowers with a preservationist using the silica gel method, it's important to instruct them not to apply an anti-desiccant spray on them as that will adversely affect the quality of the preservation. An option we've been suggesting to brides who are wanting to turn their bouquets into a keepsake is to have the flowers preserved ahead of time - they will look fresh when preserved properly and you'll be half the way there to creating that final design which should be a cost savings for you.

Since wedding floral preservation is a relatively new concept in the industry, it's often an after thought, resulting in a mad dash to find someone who will do it, making a hasty decision on your selection of a preservationist and usually paying more for having your bouquet preserved when it's passed its peak of freshness, affecting the quality of the keepsake. Also, some preservationists offer incentives for you to reserve your date with them in advance of your wedding date.

Cristine Suggests;


1. What preservation method do you use? Are you willing to give me a demonstration of your technique?

2. How many I see actual samples of your work and get pricing information?

3. What type of and how many keepsake design styles do you offer? If I don' t find what I have in mind, can you do a custom design for me and will there be any additional cost for this?

4. For your shadowbox type designs, do you offer my choice of background materials?

5. Do you have any references I may call?

6. Do you require a deposit? If so, how much and will it be applied to my keepsake design fee?

7. Can you help me with a destination wedding?

8. If I call you after my wedding to preserve my bouquet, can you accommodate that? If so, do you charge extra for treating flowers that are beyond their peak (brown petals, wilted, etc.?)

9. What type of compensation would you make for flowers that may turn out not to look totally fresh? Do you substitute with other flowers you have on hand and if so, would you let me know you plan to do this (I may want all my original flowers despite their appearance for sentimental reasons.). Is there an extra charge for this?

10 If I'm not happy with how my flowers look after you dry them, what happens?

11. Do you offer free pick up service to get my bouquet from my reception?

12. Are you willing to consult with me for free before I meet with my florist to pick my flowers?

Suggestions on shopping for a quality preservationist - Call The Perfect Wedding Guide, ask your friends, florist, bridal consultant, or other wedding professionals, magazines and publications.

Christine welcomes your questions or comments and is happy to send you on-line information regarding her services for comparison purposes - simply e-mail or call her for a prompt response!

Christine welcomes your questions or comments and is happy to send you FREE on-line photos & information regarding her services for comparison purposes - simply e-mail or call for a prompt response! CZ Creations serves the Denver metro area and national marketplace.

Copyright 2001
Christine S. Zipps
CZ Creations - Wedding Floral Preservation

Copyrights © 2003 All Rights Reserved Nily Glaser, A-wedding Day and Gan Publishing