Are you planning your wedding and looking for wedding cake ideas? Today I’m going to share 5 key points you really want to know about before picking a popular type of wedding cake style: A cake decorated with fresh flowers. Whether you’re thinking of using vibrant organic edible flowers or simply fresh flowers (which will need to be removed from your cake before serving), I hope the list of tips below is useful:
Design ideas for a wedding cake with fresh flowers
The choice of flowers and the way you position them on your cake will give it a very different look. (TOP TIP: for more design ideas have a look at the cake gallery page).You know what style of wedding you want to have. Make sure that a design incorporating flowers (or foliage) whether fresh whole flowers or petals, works for you. For example, using clusters of classic roses with foliage and a top bouquet will give you an elegant and understated look (like on the cake below). Pick organic fresh flowers in vibrant reads, yellows and blues for a fun and relaxed look. Or, finsh your cake with crowns of David Austin roses and English garden cottage flowers, or subtle and dainty trailing jasmine, for a romantic and Chic look, especially if you opt for all your flowers to be in similar tones. Or how about this idea? For a real party feel cake, you could ask your wedding cake maker to use fresh organic flower petals or herbs. You’ll get a gorgeous confetti effect!
Whichever style you are picturing in your head, make sure you are on the same wave length as your wedding cake maker. One great way to check this is to ask them to provide you with a sketch of the finished design. It might be a simple pen drawing, all the way to a hand painted sketches like the ones I create at Pudding Fairy, but either way, it will put your mind at peace that the cake you’re wishing for is the cake that you’ll have on your wedding day.
Availability and seasonality
With fresh flowers, especially organic edible ones, you’ve got to be prepared to be a little flexible on your final mix of flowers. In particular if you are getting married at the very start or end of the growing season for the fresh flowers you would like. Specialist flower growers like Sheila at The Sussex Flower Farm or Jan Billington at Maddocks Farm Organics in Devon work very hard to supply beautitul blooms. However, sometimes the weather decides otherwise. Talk about a B plan with your wedding cake maker if there’s a chance your flowers might not be exactly available as the mix you picture.
Do also remember that specialist fresh flower farms tend to be able to grow limited quantities of stock. This is one of the reasons why you might want to book your cake maker well in advance, so they can reserve the stock for you.
*** WOULD YOU LIKE A HANDY MINI GUIDE ON USING FRESH FLOWERS ON CAKES? DOWNLOAD IT HERE ***
How long will fresh flowers last on your wedding cake?
Fresh flowers are perishable by nature. Even when they are well prepared (tapped and wired if needed; transported in chilled insulated boxes for organic ones….) they can loose some of their “va va voom” if they are left in a warm room for hours. Some blooms are more prone to wilting than others. Most should fare perfectly well for a day – I have actually tested some of Jan’s organic flowers by leaving them, without any cover or cling film, in my fridge, and they remained perfect for 2 whole days. However, if you are having a marquee or teepee wedding, or if it happens to be a really hot day, you might have to compromise and have your cake wither brought out later, or whisked away to a cooler spot for a few hours after it was placed on show when you arrive at your reception. This also means that your caterer or venue needs space to accomodate the cake, in a chiller or a cool room away from direct sunlight. I have always found the right solution for all the wedding cakes I have created for couples in the past. The most important part here is team work and good communication. And if you have a great team of suppliers, you shouldn’t even have to concern yourself with any of those details. It’s just useful to know about it in case you want to ask your cake maker about this aspect.
Which flowers are safe to use on a wedding cake?
A really important point. For a start, many flowers are toxic- either the flowers themselves, or the leaves or the stems. Your cake maker and your florist should be ablr to advise you on this point. To be safe (and to keep the blooms looking fresher for longer), flowers are normally tapped and sometimes wired too (anemones for examples have a rather floppy stem that needs support to stay upright for hours on a cake). If your flowers are added to your cake individually, your cake maker will probably use either food safe flower pick (little hollow cones you can insert in your cake, placing the flowers inside it) or effectively glue them to your cake with extra buttercream. This excess buttercream and your flowers will be removed from your cake before cutting and serving.
With organic ones however, the flowers can not only be added directly to the surface of the cake safely…they can also be placed with the cake and eaten if your guests fancy so. If you are going with a flower petal /confetti design style, you don’t have to worry about peeling off the petals. Many taste delicious too! You could also match your cake recipe to the edible flowers you are using – Lavender goes deliciously well with an orange and almond gluten free cake. Rose petals are wonderful with pistachio and raspberry cakes. Read more about flowers that are safe to eat here.
An alternative to help your flowers keep for longer is to crystallise them. It’s very effective with large petals like roses, and also with colourful flowers like primroses.
Are cakes with fresh flowers cheaper?
It depends, and here’s why:
- A couple of clusters of fresh flowers and a top bouquet will be cheaper than opting for sugarpaste flowers, as those can take hours to make. It’s also likely that your florist can supply and prepare your flowers for your cake.
- Organic flowers are more expensive because of the care they take to grow, and also shipping costs (they need to travel in chilled insulated boxes to stay fresh). Maddocks Farm offers sets of 5 boxes (enough to decorate a 3 tier cake) for around £55 + shipping costs (prices correct March 2018).
- Opting for a fresh flower finish might mean your cake maker spends more time on-site on the day to finish your cake. This could be reflected in your set up and delivery charge, depending whether it’s worked out in your cake overall price or costed separately. There are more tips about how much your wedding cake is going to cost HERE.
Do you have any questions or concern about using fresh flowers on your cake? Share them in a comment to get more advice and ideas