In the life of every mother, there are moments that take your breath away.
Now there is a way to preserve those precious memories to last a lifetime. I am not talking about the photographs, but the flowers that were there at the wedding, rehearsal dinner, bat mitzvah, wedding shower, or even a loving funeral.
Mary Beth Lopresti’s home-based business, All Seasons Floral Preservation located in Sterling, is taking off like a rocket because she has captured the ability to take fresh flowers, delicately dry them to preserve their color intensity and texture, and re-present them in a framed arrangement. “It was like my wedding bouquet was right there on the wall, framed along with my photos of that special day,” said one bride.
Mary Beth explained the extremely slow, methodical process. “We have adapted the technique that is as old as time by adding the use of acid-free tissue to protect the petals from the phone book ink and placing the book in a sealed bin of desiccant to speed up the drying process. For many flowers we also use a microwave press that dries the flower petals in about a minute. It is slow-going since every flower has to be taken apart and each petal is put into the press in a single layer.”
This can also be done with the berries that were around the orange or cherry blossoms, or even the delicate tiny buds on the baby’s breath bouquet. It is an amazing technique. Just cruising her website at www.allseasonspressed.com gets your excitement building as to the possibilities.
Started seven years ago, it is Mary Beth’s sister Teresa who first had the botanical preservation idea, and the education, and Mary Beth joined in with her marketing skills. “We have really refined this art over the years, and it all starts with very fresh flowers, so we really prefer if the bride can get them to us within 12 to 20 hours after they are used, and above all, keep them in water in a cool location.” Countless bouquets are dropped off at Mary Beth’s house, at all hours of the day or night.
“It got up this morning at 6:30 a.m. and the father of a bride has dropped off his daughter’s bouquet sometime in the wee hours of the morning. Within the next hour, there were other bouquets arriving. It is amazing around here,” said Mary Beth. Each is gently and carefully photographed before the preservation begins, so they can be expertly and accurately re-created with the dried petals.
“My sister Teresa is the real artist here; she takes each single pressed flower petal and re-assembles it so it looks just like the fresh flower when it is done.” Add to that a subtle mat background, and a really good frame, and a keepsake is born.
It is common to see women cry when they pick up their finished, framed bouquet. I cried when I picked up my dried flowers from my son's wedding rehearsal dinner. It means a lot of to preserve not only the memory of the moment, but the flowers that were a part of the joyous occasion.