I'm doing a wedding cake with fresh flowers (tulips and callas). However, the bride and groom are getting the flowers from a wholesaler who will not do any type of arranging. I've never put together fresh flowers for a topper before. Do you basically handle them just like you do gumpaste flowers (wire them together with wire and floral tape)?
How soon should you arrange them before putting them on the cake (I guess I'm asking how long they'll last after you put them together)?
Any help is deeply appreciated!
Hey - I was just looking through the forums & saw you didn't get a reply on this. How did it work out? This has happened to me a few times, and mine are NEVER as good as the Florists (go figure, the Florist always says she can't decorate cake!) =)
Hi. I've not arranged fresh flowers, but I'd use those clear plastic saucers to make the arrangement, then place it on top. This way you don't have to worry about the flowers touching the cake.
Hi! A few suggestions for working with fresh flowers:
1) Trim the stems at an angle when you get them from the wholsaler, and then immerse the ends in warm water (wth floral treatment added). This keeps them conditioned. See the web link for special treatment for tulips.
2) Soak some oasis (water absorbing foam) until is is heavy (fully soaked). Tape it to the plastic separator plates mentioned above by Beachcakes with waterproof tape. Of course, never have fresh flowers touch what is to be eaten.
3) For cake toppers, since they are a small, delicate arrangement, you probably won't have to tape and wire much, unless they are using very small flowers (like violets). Roses push in quite easily. Some baby's breath or other "filler" can hide stems.
4) It's good to have a little bit extra as replacements for that rose that's a bit wilted etc.
Some flowers require special conditioning: http://www.thegardener.btinternet.co.uk/conditioning.html
As you note, the "look" is like gumpaste -- central focus, filler, and greenery (or other design).
You might want to befriend a local florist (bring a cake along!) or buy a few unarranged flowers for yourself and ask how you might arrange them -- they are usually happy to help out cake people, knowing we work with brides a lot (and can send them their way too).
Hope this helps!
Thanks so much for the info. I hadn't even thought about the flowers touching the cake! And from what I understand, Callas are potentially toxic. Do the plastic saucers come in different sizes or do you trim them down?
The lilies are toxic and should not be put anywhere that someone might be eating!
The saucers do come in different sizes, although for toppers, I cut down a water bottle (or other food-safe plastic), wash it well, and trim it to about 1/2" high. Wilton sells the "crystal look bowls" but they tend to be better for larger arrangements (plus, I'd rather recycle). I usually size everything up well ahead of time, and use my cake pans to "practice" the set-up. You could also buy a few silk lillies and tulips just to play around with them if you'd like practice and want to see how they look on the cake. With the fresh flowers, of course, the less handling the better.
If the wedding is in really hot humid weather (but I'm guessing not because of the tulips), put the flowers in a foil-lined cake box with some dampened paper towels in the bottom (a humidity chamber) and put it in your refrigerator for several hours before transport to keep everything fresh.
It sounds like a lovely cake!