Wedding days go by so fast, and although you can look back via photos and videos, it can be special to have something a bit more tangible to relive your big day. Your flowers are something that, most likely, you helped your florist imagine and they brought life to such a special event. Well, what happened to those flowers once the wedding day is over? Tossed? Dried in your closet only to sit there for years? For me it was the latter. I desperately wanted to press my flowers into a display but I had no idea how hard it would be. After my attempt at pressing them failed, I was let down and allowed the rest of my bouquet to sit in my closet. Until I connected with Nikki Gray of Endless Florals.
Nikki is a flower preservationist extraordinaire and can give new life to your precious blooms. She graciously reimagined my dried bouquet into a wildflower-like display; it was exactly what I was looking for! A new life for my most favorite flowers. P.S. My flowers came from Strelitzia Flower Company!
Wedding photo by Valley Images Photography. Want to see more? Click here!
I spoke with Nikki about her business and process, and even her own recent wedding! (I mean, come on, I HAD to!)
Emily Peter-Corey: How did you get involved in floral preservation?
Nikki Gray: My sister got married years ago and had her flowers preserved by a woman running a small operation out of her garage. After my sister met her, she just knew she had to tell me about this amazing artsy business. I have always wanted to run my own company and I have always been interested in art. I have been a tattoo apprentice, marketing manager, singer/songwriter etc. Landing on floral preservation was something I wouldn’t have imagined I would fall into. I love every minute of it. It’s such a great fit for me as an artist and entrepreneur.
EPC: What kind of products for preservation do you offer?
NG: I specialize in shadow boxes and 3D bubble glass arrangements. I also offer a variety of resin designs that are becoming quite popular. I also can do glass domes and pressed designs. I want to be able to offer my clients many options, so they get a special piece that’s just right for them.
EPC: Do you just do wedding bouquets?
NG: No, I can do any kind of arrangement. Memorial flowers are something I do on a regular basis. I have also done birthday flowers, anniversary bouquets and mothers day arrangements.
EPC: Do you have a favorite or memorable project?
NG: One of my most memorable projects was preserving a huge funeral wreath for a client whose grandfather had passed away. He wanted the funeral arrangement replicated exactly as it was at the funeral. We included a photo of them in the middle. I know it meant so much to the client and I was so appreciative that I could be a part of keeping his memory alive.
EPC: When should brides contact you?
NG: Before the wedding would be preferable, however most of my brides contact me within days of their event. As long as I get the flowers within three days, I can give them the best results. Even if it’s past that time, we can still work on them.
EPC: Can you explain a little about this specific project and my bouquet?
NG: A lot of brides find when it’s too late to preserve their flowers. They have hung them up too dry or attempted to press them. I always tell them that it’s not too late to make their flowers into a beautiful art piece to be cherished in their home.
Emily’s flowers were gorgeous! Some were pressed and others were just hung dry. She had such a wide variety of blooms and buds. The tricky thing with already dried flowers is that they need a little petal manipulation. This is done carefully as the flowers by now are crispy to the touch.
Emily had a great idea to arrange her flowers as a garden row instead of a traditional bouquet. This was a great choice, because it accented the variety of flowers she had in her arrangement while creating a whimsical feel. A dark rustic frame and deep background made her blushy pinks and rich greens pop!
It’s amazing when I get fresh flowers to work with, however it’s never too late to work with dried bouquets.
EPC: What’s your favorite flower?
NG: I love peonies, something about how big and fluffy they are. They come in the most beautiful colors and are just so delicate. They smell unbelievable.
EPC: What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
NG: Dancing the night away on our plexiglass dance floor installed over the pool with glowing colored lights shining up. It was the coolest thing.
EPC: If you can change anything about your wedding, what would you change?
I would have been involved in helping setting up the tables and the look of the reception, however my fiancé didn’t want to see me until I walked down the aisle, so I just sat in the bridal suite all day drinking mimosas and eating goodies.
EPC: What advice would you give to couples planning their wedding right now?
NG: Make it about family. We had a small intimate family wedding with about 30 guests and it was great. Everyone had time to chat and it felt like a family reunion. Don’t stress out about inviting everyone you know. You won’t remember most of the day anyway, so make each invite count.
EPC: Will you preserve your own flowers? How?
Oh, yes! I’ve been planning to do it. I am putting some in a shadow box, some in a glass dome and pressing the rest. I am also making pieces for my family members like an ornament and paperweight.
Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine Associate Editor, Emily Peter-Corey.
Emily’s wedding photo by Valley Images Photography. Project photos by Emily Peter-Corey. All other photos by Nikki Gray.
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