Preserving Your Heir-blooms

Just because the wedding is over doesn’t mean there isn’t work to be done! You’ve got your “Thank you” notes to write, tuxedos to return, and some other time-sensitive issues to address. Like, what to do with all those flowers? Read on:

A Valley bride asks: “Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but to me heirloom items are very important. Preserving my flowers will bring back wonderful memories — some that I can share with my children. Still, I’m not sure what to do with the flowers I want to keep; how can I make sure they’ll be in the best possible condition when I give them to the florist?”

Dear bride: Heirlooms are important, so I’ll defer to a flower professional for your answer. Lynn Mehl, owner of Good Old Days Florist, has been in business since 1977. A full-service shop, flower preservation is just one of many services that she offers. “Surprisingly, fresh flowers start to deteriorate when the blooms are perfectly open,” Mehl says. “Freeze-drying preserves whatever stage the flower is in, whether bud or wide open.” She explains that although some flowers can be “rehydrated,” generally speaking, the flowers are preserved in the same condition when they’re brought into the store. In other words, the sooner you bring them in, the better — preferably within three days after the event. In a worst-case scenario, flowers that were “forgotten” or damaged can be replaced by new blooms and, of course, an entire bouquet can be re-created.

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Mehl advises that you keep your flowers in a foam block soaked in water (leave centerpieces in their original containers). Lightly mist the blooms with tepid water; using a plastic bag, loosely cover them and then use a twist tie to maintain the moisture level.

“Until you bring the flowers in for preservation, put them in the center of your refrigerator, away from any interior walls,” says Mehl. “This way, the flowers will remain cool and not freeze.” If you don’t have an available fridge, any cool, dark place below 50 degrees (but above freezing) will do. Good Old Days Florist also offers pick up from the event itself.

Mehl is a true eco-florist; she proudly reports that her preservation method is the least toxic (except for air-drying). Although enhancement chemicals exist solely for the purpose of preservation, they often aren’t the best for the earth. Mehl and her team “forgo these enhancements and compensate for the energy used by purchasing carbon offsets from” So, Good Old Days of Florist not only preserves your flowers, but also preserves the environment!

To submit your own question to the Wedding Guru, email Judy at

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