Delicate Designs: Wedding Floral Preservation

Today, we are featuring our guest blogger for the month of December! Ashley Church of Delicate Designs is here to educate brides (and grooms) on preserving their wedding day flowers. If you have already started planning (or even if you haven't yet), then you may have realized that florals can take up quite a bit of the budget. So why not preserve them and have them to enjoy for years to come? Read below to learn a little bit about Ashley, how she started her business, and some things to keep in mind if you are considering wedding floral preservation!

Flowers: Coleman Brothers Flowers

Hello! I'm Ashley, Owner and Floral Preservationist for Delicate Designs, a custom floral preservation business located in Richmond, VA. Sometimes I still can't believe it when I hear it. I started my business 2 years ago when my son was born but have been preserving flowers for about 5 years now. I took a leap 2 years ago and quit my day job and followed my heart. I started Delicate Designs full-time so I could also be a stay at home mom too. I've worked harder than I ever have in my life these past 2 years but at the end of the day it's worth it. I couldn't imagine my life any other way. I am a big believer in do what you love and enjoy every moment of your life now because you only have one. And guys, life is just too short.

Onto A little bit about my roots, I am originally from Poquoson, VA- most people have no idea where that is nor can they pronounce it. It's a small town east of Richmond near the bay, and thats pretty much it. I moved to RVA in 2001 to attend VCU where I received my BFA in Photography and fell in love with my husband and Richmond and never left. I love the city and everything about it but I really am still a small town girl at heart. I like things simple and I'm very sentimental. I love collecting found treasures from places I travel and saving them or making something out of them. Usually it's at the beach and it's sea glass or whatever else I can find. And gardening. I can't get enough of my garden. I guess my love for flowers and gardening and all sentimental things pointed me directly to being a floral preservationist. 

How adorable is Ashley's family?

My interest in preserving flowers really started when I got married in 2008 and wanted to save my wedding bouquet. I have always had a love for flowers and I didn't want my bouquet to die and then be forced to throw it away or in a shoebox underneath my bed just to collect dust. So then began the creation of Delicate Designs. I started preserving every flower I could get my hands on just to see what it would do and began falling in love with flowers and preserving them. My method of preservation is Silica Gel. The Silicia takes the moisture out of the flower while still preserving its shape and similar color. It's a delicate, tedious process and I love it. Delicate Designs started when I was getting contacted for my friends' preservation needs and I realized, I really do love doing this and wish I could make it my job. I can't even explain to you how much I enjoy creating these keepsakes for people. When I open a box of preserved flowers it's like opening a christmas present every single time. It's so exciting to see how they turn out because each one is just so different. And then on top of that I get to take these beautiful flowers and create them into a piece of art and give them to someone knowing how much it means to them. I mean come on. It doesn't get much better than that! I have learned a lot about myself over the years and it's taken me awhile to figure out that I find my own happiness and self worth in doing for and helping others. It just feels good to make someone else feel good.

Okay, so enough about Ashley ☻. I would like to share a few helpful tips with you if you are considering preserving your wedding bouquet (or any of your wedding flowers)! 

1. WHITE FLOWERS. I know that WHITE flowers can be a popular choice because they are very traditional for a wedding bouquet. But in reality they just don't preserve that well. They turn a bit yellow instead of white and it's a yellow that's just not that pleasing. Consider using other colors in your bouquet or only using white as filler flowers.

2. HAVE A BOUQUET CARETAKER. Delegate someone ahead of time to be in charge of your bouquet during the wedding so it doesn't get set down somewhere and become damaged. This person should have a vase with water ready to go for your bouquet to rest in during the reception. You may also want to designate this person to be the one to take your bouquet home with them after the wedding. Have them cut the bottom of the stems off an inch or so and then put them back in the vase with water and bring them to me the next day so you don't have to worry about it.

3. LET'S TALK GREENERY. Dusty Miller is my absolute favorite and is so pretty preserved in an arrangement. But if you don't want Dusty Miller then just make sure you have some hearty green leaves in your bouquet; it adds so much more to your arrangement. Eucalyptus, succulents, and sage are among the popular choices right now.

4. HAVE A SEPARATE TOSS BOUQUET. Do not throw your wedding bouquet, have a separate toss bouquet for your reception. If you throw your actual bouquet, it can become damaged and is then harder to preserve. 

5. PRESERVE EVERYTHING YOU CAN. You can bring me more than just your wedding bouquet. Bring me the groom's boutonniere, the mother of the bride's corsage, the centerpieces, the bridesmaids' bouquets, and anything else floral you can think of! You can always decide later whether or not you want to use them, but it's good to have extras just in case. I also offer ornaments and smaller sized boxes if you want to give them as gifts.

I hope you will consider floral preservation so you can cherish and enjoy your wedding flowers for years to come! Please check out my website Delicate Designs and follow me on Instagram and Facebook @DelicateDesignsAshley if you would like to see more examples of my work.

Thank you and Be Well!

Thank you, Ashley! For more information on floral preservation, please contact Ashley! Interested in learning more about Maggie's Misc? Engaged and need some planning help! Visit the link below to schedule a complimentary consultation!

Thanks for stopping by! Happy planning!

~Maggie ♥