Naomi: If you're looking for everything you need to know about having dried flowers at your wedding, then you have found the right place. You have also found the right woman, because we are lucky enough to be joined by Mary from Recommended florists Mary Elizabeth Flowers today answering all your dried flowers frequently asked questions. Mary is a traditionally trained florist who fell in love with the muted colours and natural relaxed vibe of dried flowers and has since been creating beautiful dried flower bouquets, buttonholes and display flowers for couples all over the UK.
Without further ado, here is Mary...
The muted colours and naturally rough edges of dried flowers give them that dishevelled-cool personality that some lucky people can pull off.
WHY USE DRIED FLOWERS FOR MY WEDDING?
There are so many reasons to use dried flowers for a wedding – both aesthetic and practical.
Firstly, they last for years with just a small amount of care which means they can be effortlessly kept as a keepsake – a dried flower bouquet, flower crown or buttonhole can be saved, cherished and even handed down just like a wedding dress or a veil.
In a similar vein, dried flower accessories can become lasting gifts for the people involved in the wedding – your groomsmen can keep and re-wear a dried flower buttonhole and your bridesmaids can keep their bouquets in a vase as interior decoration.
Furthermore, they are re-useable (which also makes them eco-friendly and versatile), they are lightweight, and they don’t wilt in the heat so they’re true party stalwarts in a warm marquee or on a steamy dance floor - You won’t have any end-of-night photographs featuring droopy buttonholes!
And last but not least, the most topical virtue of all - they are uncertainty resistant. If any changes happen to your wedding, you don’t necessarily need to make big changes to the flowers – dried flower wedding bouquets, accessories and decorations don’t rely so heavily on seasonality as fresh flowers, they can be made far in advance, and they can be patiently stored until needed.
ARE DRIED FLOWERS THE RIGHT AESTHETIC FOR MY WEDDING?
If you’re planning a wedding with an easy-going country theme, the laid-back character and subtle beauty of dried flowers could be just the thing to bring it all together. If you're aiming for a relaxed, boho style, finishing your outfit with a dried flower crown can achieve that for you almost single-handedly.
The muted colours and naturally rough edges of dried flowers give them that disheveled-cool personality that some lucky people can pull off. They’re perfect if you want to set a relaxed tone for your day.
ARE DRIED FLOWERS A GOOD OPTION FOR A DESTINATION WEDDING?
Dried flowers have plenty of practical virtues which make them a great option for destination weddings. If you’re jetting off for a ceremony on the beach, your flowers can fly with you, as long as they are carefully boxed up. Almost weightless, they can be packed safely in a suitcase without adding weight to your luggage, they will survive even the longest journey and will revel in the heat once your reach your destination. So you can add your floral finishing touches without the uncertainty of local florists you may not have met or the worry of wilting blooms under the glare of the sun.
HOW SHOULD I TRANSPORT DRIED FLOWERS TO MY WEDDING VENUE SO THEY DON’T GET DAMAGED?
The most important thing to avoid is your dried flowers being crushed, so packaging them in a strong box which won’t be squashed is vital. Within their box, tissue paper can help cushion them so they don’t move around too much and shatter.
The advantages to transporting dried flowers rather than fresh, is that they don’t need to be in water, you don’t have to worry about keeping them cool and you can pack them up well in advance, saving yourself some time and stress on departure.
HOW LONG DO DRIED FLOWERS LAST?
Dried flowers last for years with just a small amount of care. Preserved flower garlands were even found intact in some Ancient Egyptian tombs – Now, it’s not likely they would have been wedding-ready, but it goes to show the potential of their longevity! As such, dried flower wedding accessories and decorations can be kept as lasting keepsakes of your wedding day. They can also be used and worn again and again for other events, including for your own future anniversary celebrations.
In the same way mothers pass down veils, dresses and rings to their daughters and sons, wedding accessories made from dried flowers can be saved to be worn by future generations. You can create new family heirlooms by keeping and passing them down to children to treasure and wear for the important occasions of their own lives.
IF I WANT TO KEEP MY FLOWERS AFTER MY WEDDING, HOW SHOULD I LOOK AFTER THEM?
While fresh flowers need to be kept cool and in regularly freshened water throughout their fleetingly beautiful lives, dried flowers are incredibly low maintenance. Dried flowers are the Phoebe to fresh flowers’ Monica.
All a dried-flower asks of you are three things – don’t let them get wet, don’t keep them in direct sunlight (unless you don’t mind them losing their colour), and don’t be unduly rough with them (they’re laid-back but they’re not invincible) – and they will continue to serve you for years.
If it’s a wardrobe accessory that you’re keeping to re-wear or pass on, like a flower crown or buttonhole, my advice is to store it in a cardboard box somewhere dry and not too hot, where it won’t get crushed or damp. This will help preserve its colour and keep it from becoming too brittle.
For a bouquet, wreath, garland or arrangement of dried flowers that you want to display, I would recommend placing it indoors, somewhere it won’t need to be moved too much or get knocked, out of reach of children or pets who might try to take a nibble and out of bright, direct sunlight.
If necessary, you can dust your dried flowers using a hair dryer on a cool, low speed setting.
CAN YOU MIX DRIED FLOWERS WITH FRESH FLOWERS FOR A WEDDING?
Absolutely! Combining fresh and dried flowers gives you the best of both worlds. The country feel of a wild, meadow style bouquet can be enhanced by inclusion of a few dried flowers. And a scattering of dried bunny tails can bring a beautiful boho twist to an otherwise traditional bouquet of fresh blooms.
Another great example of mixing dried and fresh flowers for your wedding is the use of pampas grass to fill big spaces and create drama – for example at the base of a floral arch or lining the aisle – while using fresh blooms for the smaller details. (Think Mandy Moore walking down a pink pampas pathway, carrying her bouquet which comprised purely fresh stems.) The form and volume of pampas lends itself to structural tasks so well it’s hard to resist, even if your preference on the whole is for fresh flowers.
WILL DYED PRESERVED FLOWERS STAIN MY DRESS?
Some dried and preserved flowers are enhanced with dyes to strengthen their colour. For the most part, the dyes are fixed and wouldn’t cause any problems. However, it is definitely worth checking this with your florist when deciding on your choice of flowers.
If you are creating your own dried wedding flowers, you could simply do a test by wrapping a couple of the dyed flowers you want to use in a scrap piece of white cloth (an old napkin for instance) and checking that the colour doesn’t run. Just to be sure, you could also dampen the cloth to make extra sure the dyes won’t run on the big day.
ARE DRIED FLOWERS AN ECO-FRIENDLY OPTION?
One thing heavily in favour of dried flowers as opposed to fresh when it comes to sustainability, is their longevity. These aren’t here today-gone tomorrow wedding flowers to be thrown away after one day. They can be reused and repurposed. A bridesmaid’s bouquet can be saved as a keepsake, a garland of dried flowers decorating the ceiling or a long table at your wedding can be hung over your fireplace at home, a dried flower buttonhole can be saved and re-worn for other formal events. The fact that dried flowers are not single-use gives them great eco-points as well as giving you value for money and some lasting keepsakes from your wedding to incorporate into your wardrobe and home decoration.
I find so much pleasure in dried flowers. It feels like they give a lasting connection to a moment in nature.
Dried flowers capture those fleeting moments, while nature continues on through its cycles, adding something unique of their own in the drying process. They seem to possess a calm, serenity, as if aware of their own longevity and that they have no need to rush or try too hard to impress.
Naomi: Who knew you could dust your dried flowers with a hairdryer? Not me! Some invaluable advice from Mary. If you're looking for even more inspiration on what you would like your dried flowers to look like have a look at the dried flower bouquet from this elopement inspiration. And of course, once you've gathered up all of your ideas, get in touch with Mary Elizabeth Flowers or research our other Recommended Florists to bring your dream to reality.