From invitations to flowers, make sure you plan ahead.
From top left: Snowflake invitation by Fulton Paper in NOrth Wilmington. Green fabric envelope with ivory card by Encore Studios from Make My Day Event Planning and More in Milford. A tri-fold bronze invitation from Fulton Paper. Thank you card from Fulton Paper. Card by Snow and Grahm from Sanity in Hockessin. Invitation with champagne envelope by Encore Studios from Make My Day. Oak-inspired invitation by Checkerboards from Make My Day. Bronze and brown invitation from Fulton Paper.
by April Helmer
A good deal of your wedding budget goes into items that will be gone at the end of the night-the music, the food, the linens. But not everything needs to wilt at midnight, especially not the flowers.
With some old traditions and some of today's technology, your orchids might not have to be tossed for years, says Cathy Schultz, owner of Bethany Florist in Bethany Beach.
"There's an old fashioned way to do it," Schultz says. "You remove the flowers, hang them upside down and let them dry. This works to use the flowers in a shadow box."
Hardy flowers like roses and hydrangeas can be preserved at home, but for more delicate buds like tulips and orchids, go to the professionals. They can freeze dry, seal and display your bouquet.
But be careful of the method you choose. Though freeze-dried buds sound cool, it might not be enough, especially with Delaware's weather.
"We have a high humidity," Schultz says. "The flowers will suck the moisture out of the air. That's why it's better to preserve and seal the flowers."
When you do preserve the bouquet, you can have it done in a couple of ways. Either the entire bouquet is dried intact, or the flowers can be separated, then arranged in a shadow box.
But don't expect the buds to last forever. Even sending them away for professional attention won't keep them forever. Preserved flowers, like their fresh counterparts, are susceptible to time and insects.
But in the end, if a bride still wants to dry a rose bouquet, Schultz has a simple recipe.
"You can take a single rose and microwave it at 10-second intervals, wrapped in a paper towel. That is used to absorb the moisture. But watch so it doesn't cook," Schultz says. Again, this method isn't foolproof, either. "It stinks up the whole house."