Before selecting your drying method, consider your budget and your expectations of how you would like your bouquet to look like after the flowers are dried. As with anything nice, you will usually get what you pay for.
Air drying is the least expensive as you simply allow your flowers to dry up naturally. Air dried flowers will shrink considerably in size; they will lose their original shape and in some instances will turn very dark or black. Many people trying to air dry have noticed mold or rotted flowers a few days after the wedding. While roses can be air dried, lilies and orchids cannot be air dried. Many people have asked if they can hang flowers upside down using hairspray if that will work? The answer is not to our experience. Hairspray does not provide a thick enough coating to prevent flower shedding. Hanging the flowers upside down does nothing to aid drying but may help flowers from wilting downward with gravity, instead they will wilt upwards. It is important to keep air circulation around the flowers as they dry to try and prevent molding of the flowers. There is nothing wrong with having air-dried flowers. They're your sentimental flowers and can be custom framed along with your photo to make a beautiful decorative piece for your walls.
Flower pressing is an art form dating back to ancient times. Many old books may have flowers pressed and preserved between their pages from years ago. There are flower pressing companies that will create beautiful framed art using flower presses. Framed pressed flowers are flat and allow the use of flat picture frames and other types of flat displays for decorating in your home. If you do not like the look of three dimensional flowers, then you should consider this drying method. Because of labor and materials prices for framed pressed flowers can be as much as that of silica dried or freeze-dried.
Silica drying can produce good results with some flowers but not all flower varieties, sizes and shapes of flowers can be maintained well in silica sand. For good results one should have experience using silica before attempting to preserve a wedding bouquet. First, check to see if your flower types are known to dry well in silica before selecting this drying method. You will need enough silica sand to bury each flower separately from your bouquet. Flower petals may detach with the weight of sand on the blooms. Silica can also be a hazardous substance. One should carefully read warning labels and follow directions when handling silica and avoid breathing its dust. The cost of purchasing enough silica sand to dry a large wedding bouquet may approach the cost of just selecting a professional service to dry your flowers.