But two days later, I was cleaning up the wedding leftovers (tons of wedding leftovers!), and I saw this beautiful display in our living room:
The flowers were so lovely! A combination of blush roses, ivory roses, peonies, hydrangea, baby's breath and one cascade of orchids in the bride's bouquet.
Such beauty, and such a short lifespan. Already by Monday morning the peonies were about done.
Years ago my mother hung my bouquet from the rafter in our garage to dry it. It was lovely...and fragile. One bump from a curious dog and that bouquet was in pieces. Lots of dry, crumbly, rose petal pieces.
But then I gathered up the pieces and put them in a mason jar. I still have that jar, and love what it represents.
I wanted to do something similar for my daughter, but she married a cat-loving man. I knew that if I tried to dry the bouquet, it would suffer the same fate as mine had thirty-four years ago.
So then I thought - why not just skip a step and put it into the jar?
The first thing to do was to dry the flowers. Instead of the hot garage, I used our dehydrator. If you don't have a dehydrator, you can use an oven set to very low heat - 110° is the recommended maximum. If you leave your oven door ajar and set the temp as low as you can, you'll be okay.
I started with the rose buds. I knew they would take longer to dry, so I set them on the bottom tray. They took about 36 hours.
Then I cut branchlets off of the hydrangeas...
...and the baby's breath.
Each of these trays only took about six hours to dry.
Then I piled petals into the other trays.
I mixed the rose and peony petals together, and let them dry. They took between 8 and 10 hours. Then I'd pour them into a big bowl and fill the trays again.
We had a LOT of flowers to work with!
Instead of the mason jar I had used for my own wedding flowers, I went to Hobby Lobby and bought three sealable jars. Two small ones for the groom's mother and myself, and a large one for the happy couple.
Some of those "chalkboard" vinyl labels worked great!
So, how have you preserved memories of a special day?
Jan Drexler loves her family, her home, cooking and just about anything made by hand. But she loves her Lord most of all.
Stop by Jan's website to learn more about her books: www.JanDrexler.com.