Winter wedding bouquets can feature seasonal elements like pinecones, holly, and evergreen boughs and there are plenty of flowers readily available in the season to choose from. Just remember that some winter flowers preserve better than others. Here is our list of winter flowers to eliminate and to consider when choosing your winter bouquet flowers.

Winter Flowers That Don’t Preserve Well

Alstroemeria – These are very hearty in general and last for days with proper watering. It’s flower meanings include devotion, mutual support, and withstanding the daily trials of life.

Substitutions - For similar color options, use mini (spray) roses, sweet william, freesia or nerine lilies. All of these garner great results in the preservation process.

Bouvardia – These are a bridal favorite because they are relatively inexpensive and have the floral meaning of enthusiasm. They are available year-round which makes them an easy choice for a winter bouquet. However, they don’t tend to preserve well. We have had some success with bouvardia, but we wouldn’t want a bride to count on this flower being in her final display.

Substitutions - For a similar delicate style, use baby breath or lily of the valley instead. These flowers preserve well.

Gerbera Daisies – Daisies are less pricey, come in a slew of colors, and are available in all seasons which is why they tend to show up in a lot of bridal bouquets. However, these flowers tend to lose their petals during the freeze-drying process and aren’t a good choice for preservation.

Substitutions – For a similar price point, try carnations which come in every imaginable color. For something larger, try the peony.

Chrysanthemums – They signify optimism and long life and are relatively inexpensive which make them a go-to for bridal bouquets. They come in white and yellow as well as deeper shades of green, orange, russet, red, and burgundy that are perfect for winter bouquets. However, love them as you may, they simply don’t preserve well. Ditto for the button, pompom and spider mums.

Substitutions – Gardenias come in white and smell heavenly, and tulips come in a wide swath of colors. Keep in mind both types of flowers collect a lot of water which may affect preservation results. But in general, both preserve well.

Sweet Peas – Available November through June, sweet peas come in white, cream, apricot, pale pink, dark pink, red, lavender and purple. They look great in winter bouquets but ix-nay the idea. They don’t preserve well at all, so put your floral dollars into a flower that will stand the test of time.

Substitutions - Calla lilies are available year-round and are at their peak in winter to late spring. They preserve well and come in ivory, yellow, orange, light pink, dark pink, red, dark burgundy colors. Also if you are looking for different colors varieties you may ask your florist to spray paint them. Paint does not have any affect on their preservation.

Winter Flowers That Do Preserve Well

Now that you have the bad news, the good news is there are plenty of flowers that freeze dry beautifully and are available in winter. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Roses – These are always breathtaking in bouquets and preserve especially well. Their meaning varies by their color, but most often signify love and honor.
  • Orchids – Any of this tropical flower family, including the cattleya, dendrobium, japhette, cymbidium and oncidium do well in freeze drying
  • Calla Lilies – They come in ivory, yellow, orange, light pink, dark pink, red, and dark burgundy and signify ardor and magnificent beauty.
  • Queen Anne’s Lace – Generally used for filler stems to round out a bouquet; these look great when freeze dried.
  • Succulents - Succulent bouquets are a hot wedding trend right now. This plant can come in a variety of unique shapes, textures, and fun colors. And the best news is that even though they store a lot of water, they preserve very well.
  • Berries - come winter, whether you live in a winter wonderland or a warmer climate, rich varieties of berries bring interesting texture and add a splash of color to everything from a bridal bouquet to table centerpieces.

With a little forethought when choosing the flowers in your winter wedding bouquet, you can ensure that your bouquet will preserve well and bring you a lifetime of happiness.