It has been a while since my last blog. I find that blogging has made it to last position on my “to do” list. I need quiet time to write and in my house, that only happens once every 6 months…maybe. It has been quite the beginning to 2016, not what I would have expected. My dear friend, Tamara, had tragedy hit her family, suddenly loosing her husband, Joe. This made me really think about what I was doing with my life. Am I using my God given gifts or am I just randomly floating through life wishing that I was focusing on my passion. I don’t believe that life happens by accident, everything we do, see, feel is for a reason. I got up one morning, rehearsing my usual day, finally getting to sit at my computer with my steaming hot mocha and looking at a post on Facebook of a wedding with the last picture being of the bride’s bouquet in a box frame, preserved. My heart jumped and I knew this is something I wanted to do. Brides have asked me over the years about preserving bouquets and the opportunities around this area is limited for that service. When I began my career as a floral designer it was during the time of permanent swags and wreaths having a popular place in home décor. I would go to people’s homes to take measurements and discuss all of the options available including freeze dried flowers. I feel like I have been preparing and developing my floral designing skills over the past 20 years for the art of preserved floral keepsakes.
What is freeze drying? “The basic principle of freeze drying is the removal of water from a flower as water vapor, and the collection of this water vapor in a condenser. With the flower solidly frozen (-40F) during the process and then the temperature must be raised gradually to about +70 F, shrinkage is eliminated or minimized, and near perfect preservation will result. Often the only requirements for long-term storage of freeze dried materials, is the prevention or re-entry of moisture into them. The first requirement is to have the flower completely frozen throughout).” (pg.29 DeLong) “Freeze Drying works by a process known as sublimation, which removes moisture by taking it directly from a frozen state to a vapor state. The liquid state is bypassed so the flowers composition is retained. A low condenser temperature is critical to trap the vapors into ice particles, effectively removing from the system. Creating a vacuum effectively reduces the resistance to the flow of vapors migrating from the specimen chamber to the condensation chamber.” (pg.32, DeLong) “Freeze drying has become a widely used method of near perfect flower preservation. The moisture in the flowers is removed without affecting the physical characteristics of shape, color, and overall appearance. After drying, the flowers usually are post-treated with non toxic chemicals which make them durable, elastic, and water resistant. The fresh look and extended longevity provide the consumer with a very good value.” (pg.31, Delong).
What does the intake process look like? Scheduling a consultation with the bride, a few months before the wedding to discuss whether the bride will deliver the flowers to me or will it be a pick up and understand that I would need the bouquet within 24 hours of the ceremony for the best results. At this time the bride would start to look at framing possibilities, sizing and thinking about any memorabilia that she would want to include. A deposit (the deposit is put towards the finished products cost) is required to save the date and another meeting will be scheduled for a month after the wedding to decide all of the framing and designing details. From that point, it usually takes anywhere from 4-6 months to complete. Once completed the bride can either pick it up or I can have it shipped to you as well.
How much does it cost to preserve and design a wedding bouquet into a shadow box? This is a difficult question to answer because every bride will have a custom order, specific and unique to reflect their wedding day. I will take a deposit of $100.00 which will go towards the cost of the client’s custom order. Depending on the size and style of the frame chosen and the amount of memorabilia the bride wants in her custom design, will determine the price of the finished product. I understand what it is like getting married and staying within your wedding budget is critical, therefore I will also offer a monthly payment plan so that this opportunity to cherish your beautiful wedding bouquet through time, will not pass you by. One of my specialties is working with brides and their wedding budgets.
Call, email, text or Facebook me to set up your free consultation to discuss preserving your bridal flowers. Your custom design will forever reflect the memories of your wedding day.