Many brides look forward to their wedding day for years. Flowers play an important role in the overall appearance of a wedding and reception, and the average bride spends $100 to $150 on her bouquet alone. If you are going to be spending a lot of money on your floral arrangements, you might want to consider preserving the flowers so that you can have them for years to come.

Here are two simple ways you can preserve your wedding flowers in the future.

1. Dry the flowers in your bouquet.

Dried flowers last much longer than fresh flowers, and they have a number of uses when it comes to decorating your new marital home. If you want to preserve your bridal bouquet, then drying could be a great option.

If you want to maintain the vibrant colors that attracted you to the flowers in your bouquet, then drying them in silica gel is your best bet. Silica gel can be purchased from your local craft store, and provides a simple way to preserve your flowers.

Just bury your blossoms in a large container filled with silica gel, and allow the flowers to sit for a few days to a week. Remove the flowers, and use them to decorate your new home.

2. Turn your flowers into votive holders.

Transforming your flowers into votive holders can be a simple and elegant way to preserve the blooms from your wedding. Although many people use faux flowers when working with plaster, the living blooms from your wedding will work just as well.

Start by mixing the plaster according to the manufacturer's directions in a large container. Once the plaster is mixed, trim the stems of your flowers and cut away enough of the center of the bloom to hold a votive candle. Holding the flower by the shortened stem piece, dip the bloom into the plaster. Be sure to turn the flower in order to coat all the layers. Remove the flower from the plaster and give it a brisk shake to remove excess product.

Repeat the process until you are satisfied with the result, then trim the remaining stem piece away and lay the flowers on a flat surface to dry. Once the plaster has hardened, add a votive candle and enjoy your newly preserved wedding flowers.

Finding simple ways to preserve your wedding flowers allows you to enjoy your investment well into the future.