How to Keep Wedding Flowers Fresh


Silk wedding flowers have their advantages, but nothing can equal the natural beauty and romance of live wedding flowers. A priority when using live flowers is maintaining their perfect condition for the ceremony and reception. For brides preparing their own flowers, or for those marrying outdoors during hot weather, this can be a challenge. Proper preparation and care will help keep live flowers perky throughout your special day.

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh flowers
  • Buckets or vases
  • Cool water
  • Flower food or sugar
  • Sharp knife or scissors


  • Fill buckets or vases with cool water to hold fresh flowers until they are arranged. Add flower food, which can be purchased from florists or garden centers, according to package directions. Add 1 tsp. of sugar to water if flower food is not available.

  • Remove bottom leaves from each flower stem, so no leaves will be under the water line when flowers are arranged. Also remove outer petals left on to protect roses during shipping.

  • Re-cut each flower stem about an inch above the original cut with a sharp knife or scissors. Cut diagonally while holding the stem under running water.

  • Keep fresh flowers in a cool, dark place. Do not keep flowers near fruits or vegetables, which emit ethylene gas and speed flower deterioration.


  • Mist arrangements, bouquets and boutonnieres with cool water to keep them hydrated and fresh.

  • Place flowers in a church or other wedding venue as close to service time as possible. Keep arrangements out of drafts and direct sunlight. Warmth will cause blossoms to open further.

  • Prepare vases filled with cool water to hold bouquets with exposed flower stems. When bouquets are needed for pictures or the ceremony, remove them from water and dry off the stems. Make fresh cuts on the stems, if possible, and return to the water when not in use.

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  • Photo Credit wedding flowers image by Marianna Poloskei from
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