Like a photo album, corsage or bridal bouquet, a boutonniere is often an organic reminder of a special day or event that you want to keep for as long as possible. Because the boutonniere is made from flowers that quickly decay and fall apart, it's important to correctly preserve the item so it's around for years to come. Follow these steps to preserve a boutonniere.
Make a duplicate. Even though it's possible to preserve and keep the boutonniere that you used in your event, to minimize the risk that the flower gets lost or destroyed, you should have two boutonnieres made before the event. Keep one of the floral arrangements as a backup in case the first one goes missing or gets damaged.
Keep the boutonniere cool. Prior to the preservation process you should keep the boutonniere in cool conditions in a plastic container. The main boutonniere should be used in your ceremony and event and then quickly set aside for preservation. You need to ask your florist at what temperature to keep the boutonniere and make sure that no one freezes the flower under any circumstance.
Spray the flower with silica. Place the boutonniere upright in a tall air-tight container such as Tupperware. Use a silica preservative spray by covering the bottom of the container with a few inches of spray. Then spray the rest of the flower with the silica so that all parts are gently covered by the silica.
Let the boutonniere dry. Place the container and the silica-covered flower in a cool, dry place for about five to seven days. Keep an eye on the boutonniere over the drying period but be patient. After the five to seven day drying period check to see if the flower is completely dry. At this stage you can choose to add another light layer of silica or you can take the flower out of the container.