Your wedding day is undoubtedly one of the most special days of your life, and there are so many elements around what you wear and look like on the day.
From your dress to your hair, makeup, and your wedding bouquet, we focus so much on what we want to look like on the day that we don’t really think about what comes next. Because once the day is over and you have your photos and video back, you never really have the opportunity to wear those clothes or carry those flowers that made you feel so special again. And with the changes in fashion, your children are also unlikely to want to wear them!
But one thing you can preserve and pass down is your wedding bouquet. And we’re not talking handing down some dried flowers that have lost all of their colour but capturing that vibrancy in the days after your wedding to create something truly unique.
We chatted with Rachel, co-founder of Australian-based Rachél José Jewellery, about how they preserve your wedding bouquet into pendants and earrings, and why you should think about what you want to do with your flowers before the actual wedding day.
Elise’s original bouquet by Soil Flowers. Image by Jave Lee Photography
How much of your bouquet you need to save
This one is going to be dependent on how you’re preserving your flowers, but if you are looking at something jewellery-based you’ll only need to give a partial part of your bouquet to work with. flower or foliage to work with.
“Because jewellery is much more condensed, we don’t need to have your entire bouquet but just one or two pieces or each flower or foliage,” says Rachel.
“So you don’t need to worry as much about whether part of your bouquet is drying out or losing colour after a day or two, you can just grab the flowers that are still looking their best.”
Sending a small amount of your bouquet also means that you can still enjoy it at home, donate them, give them to a family member, or even preserve the rest of your bouquet in another way!
When to preserve your bouquet
“Whatever you want to do with your flowers, we recommend planning the preservation of your bouquet one to two months out from your wedding date,” says Rachel.
“That way you’ve got it all planned beforehand, without having to leave it too close to the big day.”
How you’re having your bouquet preserved will also depend on what you need to do with it after the day. If you’re shipping it to someone to put into a design, the chances are you’ll have to organise this before your wedding day as well.
“We let you choose your design, and then send a preservation kit out to you before the wedding,” Rachel says.
The kit includes a postal tube for the flowers, paid-post return satchel, and an extra information sheet about the process. The benefit of having the kit before your wedding is that you can take your bouquet home, and once you’re ready (or in my case have finished displaying it on the mantle!) you can put your selection of flowers into the tube to send back.
The tube also works to protect your flowers and keep them fresh before they arrive with the team ready to be set into jewellery.
How long is too long to wait?
If you are like me, and very nearly forgot to preserve your wedding bouquet, then how long after the wedding day is too late?
“Ideally a couple will post their flowers the day after their wedding,” Rachel says. “This keeps the flowers fresh and holding onto the best possible colours for preservation. But, with everything going on we know this isn’t always possible!”
“We’ve tested the time frame and recommend sending the flowers out within 1-2 weeks of your big day. The colours of your bouquet will fade naturally as they age, so the sooner you can send them through the more colour we have to work with.”
Alternatively, Rachel says they can also work with flowers that have been dried previously from couples who weren’t sure what they wanted to do with their bouquet at the time.
The sooner you get your flowers to the team the sooner you’ll get them back as well. While different companies will have different timeframes depending on their preservation process, Rachel says that she aims to get her jewellery back to couples within three weeks.
The finished earring and pendant set for Elise by Rachél José
Why preserve your bouquet?
Personally, I chose to have my bouquet preserved into jewellery because I wanted something that I could wear every day that will still remind me of our big day (other than the wedding ring of course!) I also love how unique the earrings and pendant have come out and have already received a lot of compliments on them. Plus, as someone who doesn’t have many nice pieces of jewellery I would call my own, I feel like it’s something I can hand down to my children when the time comes.
For me, I wanted the colours of my bouquet preserved more than the flowers themselves, so I went for a more colour-based option in an oval design. There are some other stunning designs where the flowers are replicated inside the necklace though, and it is incredible how the team at Rachél José gets those intricacies right.
But if earrings and necklaces aren’t your thing, then don’t worry.
“We’ve been working on some other prototypes, including rings and cufflinks, for couples to have more of a range when it comes to saving their bouquet,” Rachel says.
“You have these gorgeous flowers on your wedding day. Why not show them off time and time again?”