Bridal bouquets are beautiful, iconic, and integral parts of many wedding ceremonies — but, after the ceremony is done, many bouquets are discarded, given away, or dried in ways that don’t preserve their original beauty. Enter Anna Schellenberg, whose Sooke. B.C.-based business, Still Posy, deconstructs, presses, and arranges your bridal blossoms in a handcrafted wooden frame, to be displayed.
Schellenberg, who says the idea to start Still Posy came to her during a prayer, spends many hours crafting each unique, striking arrangement. We spoke with Schellenberg about her process, partnerships with local artisans, and how to choose the best blooms for a pressed bridal bouquet.
Tell me about the process of preparing a pressed floral arrangement for a bride.
When wedding couples are starting to plan every aspect of their wedding, the afterlife of their wedding flowers often gets overlooked, and I don’t blame them! We have these traditions established to either “toss” your wedding bouquet to the single ladies at the reception, never to be seen again, or to hang them upside down afterwards to dry out, leaving you with a wrinkled, and distorted version of your once-lush bouquet. I want to offer people a way to keep their flowers in the most minimal and beautiful way possible: In a frame, on their wall, for all to see.
The process starts when I receive the wedding couple’s bouquet. They can either ship it to me (within Canada) or drop it off in Sooke, B.C. From there I deconstruct the bouquet and press the flowers using a traditional wooden flower press. I check on the flowers and “repress” them every 24 hours for one to two weeks, then leave them to rest until they are fully dried.
After they are all pressed and ready to be used I pick the best pieces and display them in either a handmade wood frame or on handmade paper. I’ve developed my own style of how I display them, but if the couple wants to incorporate their wedding invitation or pieces from the bride’s dress I can certainly do that!
Once the frame is finished I can ship it to them, or they can pick it up here in Sooke.
Your website lists some florals you won’t work with — can you tell me a bit more about why those blooms are no-gos?
I press all my flowers in a traditional wooden flower press (no microwaving flowers here!). Not all flowers are suitable for this traditional pressing method. Orchids, for example, are super thick, dense flowers. They’d mold if I tried to press them naturally. I always recommend that the wedding couple shares information about which flowers will dry well and which won’t that I provide on my website with their florist during the planning stages of their bouquet.
I see that you press bouquets from across Canada! How often do you get bouquets from far away? What’s the farthest?
If we put our trust in overnight shipping then technically I can accept bouquets from across Canada! I send my clients in-depth shipping instructions should they wish to go this route, and ask that they ship them the day after their wedding. I do, however, prefer to work locally and most of my work does come from Vancouver Island — specifically from Bespoke Blossoms (a local florist), who has been gracious enough to tell their clients about me! It feels incredibly heartwarming knowing that the florists in my own community support my work — I suppose they want their own flowers to live a second life, too!
Tell me a bit about your partnerships (with your frame-maker, for instance). How did those come about?
Initially, I was making my own frames by hand. I was soldering metal ones and cutting my own glass. When COVID hit it became incredibly hard to source the materials I needed to make these frames so I switched over to wood frames! My husband and I drew up the prototype and measurements, and we met with our family friend Al Ogilvy. Al now makes all our beechwood frames by hand. It is incredibly important to me that every aspect of my product is sourced locally, and made by hand, which is why I also source our glass from a family owned glass store in town. I also accompany each frame with a thank you note that is printed on paper that was made by hand in Canada, by Papier June. My clients can feel good knowing that they’re not only supporting a professional flower presser when they get their bouquet framed, but also a local carpenter, glass artisan, and paper maker.