Your Complete Guide to Dried Flower Bouquets

If you’re considering a dried floral bouquet for your wedding, here's everything you should keep in mind.

By Anni Irish

Your Complete Guide to Dried Flower Bouquets
Photo by Amelia Soper Photography

The First Look ✨

  • Dried flowers are having a moment, and no matter what kind of wedding theme you’re after, these florals will translate.
  • Dried floral bouquets can last for over a year, depending on the kind of flower and drying technique used.
  • These arrangements can be made by a professional, but are also good DIY projects.

When it comes to wedding bouquet floral arrangements, there are a lot of choices. People have very specific things in mind, and often the time of year you’re getting married serves as a larger inspiration for the kinds of flowers that are available. When it comes to fall and winter weddings especially, or even spring and summer, one kind of floral is making a big comeback: dried flowers. They can look great during any season, and they add a delicate, elegant, and whimsical effect to any wedding bouquet or arrangement.

Dried flowers definitely have fresh flowers beat in terms of how long they last. And they can even have a second life long after your wedding day. Whether you want to try and put together your own bouquet, or purchase them through a florist, there are a lot of ways to go about it. If you’re considering a dried floral bouquet for your wedding, there are several things to keep in mind. Everything from where to buy dried flowers, how to put them together, how to care for them, what the cost is, what to look for, how to get the kind of aesthetic you want, and more. It’s all covered in this guide.

Where to Buy Dried Flowers

When it comes to buying dried flowers, there’s a lot to look for. First, you want to consider if you want to buy them yourself or if you want to enlist the help of a florist. Nowadays most florists do sell dried flowers, however some handle more dried flower bouquets than others. As a result, doing some research about florists in your area who specialize in this kind of bouquet can be really helpful. Following your favorite florists on social media, as well as keeping track of dried bouquets you love can help give you some wedding inspo.

Shopping online is also an option, and there are a variety of websites that make dried bouquets. West Elm has a great selection of dried florals and plants that can give you exactly what you want. Some other dried online floral vendors include Afloral, Urbanstems, and even Etsy. Another thing to consider is buying dried florals from a flower farm. Flower farms offer a wide range of florals and are guaranteed to have specialty flowers you might not find otherwise. Your local farmer’s market is also a great place to look for florals. Here you can connect with a flower farmer, get advice, see their selection in person, and create the exact kind of bouquet you are after.

What Kind of Aesthetic Are You Looking For?

One thing to consider when you’re in the process of designing your dried floral arrangement is the kind of aesthetic you’re going for. A lot of factors go into the look you’re after, including the overall wedding theme, the colors of your bridal party, the time of year, what kinds of specific flowers you want, and more. All of these things will play a role in what kind of floral arrangements and bouquets you want. Once you’re able to nail down the look you want, this can make picking out the kinds of florals a lot easier.

What to Look for in Dried Flowers/What Kind of Flowers Dry Best

Although you can dry any kind of flower, the truth is some look better than others. So what kinds of flowers dry best? And what should you look for when you are trying to dry them?

The hunt for the perfect dried flowers can consist of a lot of things. Generally a good rule of thumb is to look for flowers with tight petal patterns. These kinds of flowers stand the test of time and look fantastic when dried. Flowers that have heartier and tight petals are less likely to lose leaves and petals, which is exactly what you want when you’re on the lookout for what to try.

Some dried flower standards that are guaranteed to always look great are baby's breath, pampas grass, eucalyptus, dried palms, and lavender bunches. Other low moisture flowers, such as hydrangea, celosia, chrysanthemum, rosebuds, gomphrena, statice and sunflowers, also work great. These kinds of flowers can help give your bouquet something a little extra, no matter what look you’re going for.

Almost any flower can be dried, but some will hold up better over time due to their shape and structure. Flowers that are more delicate with a lot of petals can be dried, but they require more patience and care when going through the process.

Florists use artisan dried flowers and usually look for flowers that are almost fully bloomed with some buds that are just about to open. One big thing to avoid is using flowers that are over their full bloom for your dried bouquet. These flowers will wilt and their petals will fall. Try also using flowers with long, straight stems that will make it easier to tie them together.

How Do You Dry Flowers?

One of the biggest misconceptions about dried flowers is that they are dead or wilted. That is simply not true. They have been preserved to maintain their beauty by removing all the moisture from them. Once you’ve picked out the exact flowers you want to dry, you want to make sure that you remove all the excess foliage and leaves from the stems. This can get in the way and you want to make this as easy as possible. You also want to avoid touching the petals as much as possible.

From there you want to make sure the stems are all about the same size to make sure the bouquet is an even length. Once you have removed all the excess foliage, thorns, and greenery away and checked the length of your bouquet, now you are ready to arrange it into small bunches.

Gather the flowers together in smaller bunches, because longer bunches will take longer to dry. Each kind of flower dries at a different length of time, so be sure to arrange them based on floral types and this also has to do with the amount of moisture in it.

There are a few ways to dry flowers, but one of the easiest is to simply bunch them with twine, string, ribbon, or even rubber bands and let them air dry upside-down. You can hang them around the house in an area where they won't be disturbed. Remember to space them out, so each flower has enough room to dry properly.

Other ways to dry flowers involve using silica gel, which you can apply directly to the flowers. How to use this depends on the kind of gel you use. Using the microwave is another option—and is probably the fastest. Using a cup of water with each flower may help absorb the radiation and prevent the flowers from over-drying, too.

Once the flowers are dry, you can get creative and arrange them into exactly what you want. This is where your imagination can really run wild to put together the arrangements you’ve been dreaming of!

How Long Will Dried Flowers Last?

There are a lot of advantages to dried flowers. One major one is that they don't have to be watered. They also generally have a longer shelf life—dried flowers can last a very long time.

On average, florists say one year is the standard, but they can last longer. It’s important to note that their color will fade over time. However, if you purchased dried flowers, they will also last much longer. If they are dried and dyed, which is sometimes a professional trick of the trade, they can last up to two years.

As you’re looking for dried florals, be sure to keep in mind if they are dyed or natural. This is in stark contrast to fresh flowers, which last only about 10 days. Because of their longevity, dried flowers make great wedding day keepsakes. They also make great decorations for other events, giving you the chance to use them more than once and even on different occasions.

How Do You Take Care of Your Dried Floral Bouquet?

Though dried flowers do require less care than live ones, you do have to provide some maintenance to keep them looking their best. A big thing: keep them out of direct sunlight and humidity. Sun will fade the color of the bouquet, and the idea is to make them last as long as possible. Humidity can also affect them, so try to keep them away from both in an effort to make the flowers last longer.

Dried flowers are also extremely delicate, so you do want to handle them with extra care. It is also a good idea to place them somewhere safe to ensure they won't get bumped or knocked over. Using a protective spray will also make them last longer. When you spray them, be sure to do this outside.

Additionally, you may have to occasionally clean your dried flowers, but do so carefully. They may sometimes accumulate dust, so will have to be brushed off with a dry cloth. You can even use your hairdryer on low to keep them looking fresh.

By handling them with care, cleaning the dust off as needed, and using a protective spray, your dried flowers will look beautiful for a long time to come.

How Much Do Dried Floral Bouquets Cost?

The cost of dried floral bouquets can vary significantly. If you are making the bouquets and arrangements yourself, the cost really depends on the kinds of flowers you’re purchasing. And if you are enlisting the help of a florist, this will also play a role in the cost, too.

On average, you can expect to spend anywhere between $35 to $1,000-plus, depending on how many bouquets and arrangements, the kinds of flowers you want, the aesthetic, etc.

There are advantages to both doing it yourself and also hiring a professional. If you do it on your own, you also have to consider the amount of time it will take to get all the flowers, how long it will take to dry, as well as the time commitment associated with assembling them all. Hiring a florist can really simplify the process.

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