Flowers are without a doubt one of the most beautiful visual elements of a wedding. They bring colour, life, aroma and elegance to the day, and they transform what could otherwise be dull into something magical. They bring significance and emotion to a wedding, and create conversations.

The only problem is that fresh flowers don’t tend to be long-lasting.

When you consider the importance your flowers play in your special day, it seems a shame to simply let them wither and die. But what can you do with your flowers?

1. Order a throwing bouquet

To avoid a posse of women (who have more than likely had a few too many champagnes too many) from tearing at your beautiful flowers as part of the traditional bouquet toss, consider ordering a “mock bouquet”. This bouquet can be a smaller version of the one you’ve been carrying all day, yet won’t be so meaningful. You might even consider a “breakaway bouquet”, which have been gaining popularity. Breakaway bouquets look like a solid bouquet, but once they’re thrown separate into smaller bouquets or individual flowers. This ensures every girl gets a little piece of your happiness.

Another trend that’s gaining popularity is the “bouquet dance”, in which all married couples are asked to take to the floor in a slow dance. After a minute, the DJ or MC asks all the couples who have been married less than five years to exit the floor. Next to go are the couples who have been married less than 10 years, 15 years, and so on. Finally you should be left with the longest married couple on the dance floor, who you can present with your bridal bouquet.

2. Have them preserved

Drying your bouquet and so it lasts for years is one of the most common ways people turn their flowers into a wedding keepsake. A simple way to do this is to take some of the flowers and press them before placing them in a frame. All you need is some cardboard, newspaper and tissues, which you layer the flowers between. Place a couple of heavy books on top, then store the stack in a cool dark cupboard for a few weeks. Pressed flowers make a great addition to your wedding album!

Alternatively, you could have your entire bouquet professionally preserved using either silica gel or freeze drying techniques. The bouquet can then be sealed inside a glass container like a shadow box to be hung on the wall, or inside a glass dome.

3. Hang them

If you can’t afford to have your bouquet preserved professionally, consider hanging it upside down in a cool, dark place (such as a cupboard or wardrobe). After a few weeks, when your bouquet is completely dry, give it a generous spray with hairspray to set it in place. The flowers will shrink slightly and their colours will fade, but it means you can keep your bouquet for several years following your wedding. It’s the next best thing to having your flowers preserved by a professional, and works especially well on larger flowers like hydrangeas and roses.

4. Make potpourri

If you’re not worried about your bouquet keeping its shape, beautifully scented potpourri can make an excellent wedding keepsake. You might even have enough petals to make a couple of pots, which you can then give to your mum and mother-in-law as gifts.

Start by removing all of the petals and place them in a bowl. Leave them to dry in a cool dark cupboard for a few weeks. Once dry, fill a pretty container (or three) with your dried petals, and add a drop or two of a flower-scented oil that reminds you of your special day.

5. Use them as part of your beauty regime

Dried flowers often carry calming properties that can ease inflammation and improve complexion. Plus, the texture of dried flowers acts as a natural exfoliate to get rid of dead or damaged skin cells, while simultaneously encouraging the replenishment of new skin cells, healing of scars, and providing natural cleansing. Who knew, right?

Having dried your wedding flower petals in a shoebox for a few weeks, start getting creative with some beauty recipes. Soothe dry skin and achy joints by adding petals to your bath water, or make a rose petal scrub using coconut oil, sugar, and your favourite essential oil.   

6. Get crafty

It’s amazing how many  different crafts you can do using your wedding flowers, from rose beaded necklaces and bracelets to pressed flower candles. You could even use your wedding flowers to create your own unique wedding thank you cards, or host a lip balm making party with your bridesmaids and make this deliciously scented and ultra moisturising coconut rose lip balm.

7. Make a floral perfume

Making your own floral perfume is a relatively simple process, and you can use this concoction to remind yourself of your special day (as if you’re going to forget it!). Spray it on yourself or your linens, and be instantly transported back to the day you said “I do”. Check out this very easy recipe for a lovely, light, natural rose perfume.

You don’t have to settle with treasuring your wedding flowers only in photos. Get creative and hold onto the magic of your bridal bouquet forever - or at the very least, more than just one day!