i always insist on having hte florist deal with putting fresh flowers on the cake. i'm just not comfortable doing it, but after this past weekend maybe i'll change my policy! both my weddings had fresh flowers and the florists (different ones) both just stuck the flower stems straight into the cake!! i was under hte impression that the stems had to be wrapped, but is this normal? i was shocked when i saw that!
I always insist that *I* decorate my wedding cake. I'm not a florist but a florist is not a cake decorator. Most florists are more than happy to let me take care of it. And it's the old story of if they screw it up, everyone thinks it's my fault. If I'm gonna hang for it, it better be for something I did and not what someone else did.
I've only done a couple cakes with real flowers so far and after reading extensively on this subject here at Cake Central, I wrap the stems with plastic wrap. You could also use those plastic picks or even straws to insert the stems into, then insert that into the cake.
The most recent one was a wedding cake where I had told the bride that I was the only one to touch the cake, including adding flowers to it. The florist shows up and as I'm still setting it up and piping borders, she sat her premade floral topper on the top tier and was just about to start poking flowers in the cake! I literally grabbed the topper right back off the cake, told her she can't just sit it there as I wasn't even done yet, let alone that fact that I had no idea where her topper had been and I certainly wasn't going to allow it to be set on the cake without putting something under in( wax paper in this case). She told me she was going to help and I told her she was NOT! The bucket of long stem roses was beside her and as I took some to cut and start wrapping the stems she told me that was not necessary at all, that her flowers are fresh and non toxic and it was perfectly ok to stick them directly into the cake.
Sadly, I am not very quick with snappy comebacks but I told her that I would be wrapping every stem and she would not be helping! The fire coming from my eyeballs at that point must have made an impression because she backed off. However, some other woman came along and started pushing the gazillions of rose petals the bride wanted on the cake table right up next to the cake, so high that the bottom tier was three quarters covered and the design could barely be seen. She insisted the bride wanted them "flush" up to the cake. I thought fine, but not covering the whole tier! Sheesh! As fast as the woman would push the petals up to the cake, I'd be pushing them back. I was so angry!
Anyway, a friend made a great point that I hadn't thought of. Even if the flowers are non toxic ( as they should be for any cake) they have been or are sitting in a bucket of water to help keep them fresh, right? So would you like that nasty water on/in your cake? I think not! Sorry I didn't think of saying that to the florist at the time!
Sorry that got so long but maybe that will help you decide whether or not to wrap/cover the flower stems.
P.S. We share the same birthday!
Really good point about the flowers standing in yukky water!!! Ugh - turns my stomach thinking about it...
TOTALLY GROSS!!!!! I insist I do the flowers if they want fresh, but not everyone knows how to arrange. I would talk directly to the florist and discuss with them the method they will use to place the flowers. BE FIRM ANS DIRECT - it's your cake. Make it very clear they are NOT to poke stems directly into your cake. They can tape them completely with floral tape and insert into a straw, then poke into the cake.
That stem thing...OMG....so gross! Not only are they putting massive amounts of nasty bacteria into your cake, just think of the chemicals that the flowers are sprayed with! Sugar flowers don't have chemicals
Hi! I am both a decorator and have a background in floral arranging.
Here's a quote from the makers of the compound used by florists:
Q: Is Floralife Fresh Flower Food toxic?
A: Floralife Fresh Flower Food has been certified non-toxic, but is not intended for ingestion by humans and/or animals. Follow all label directions and keep out of reach of children. (emphasis added)
Not to mention the pesticides used on almost all florist-grade flowers. Also, KimAZ mentioned, the florist is working on a counter with powdered oasis, wires, tape, etc. Not a santized food-prep area (not to say florists are dirty, they just work in a totally different environment).
I love fresh flowers on a cake, but I do treat the issue seriously. Most professional florists are well aware of this issue. I think any time someone wants to put flowers on a cake, we need to educate the bride/clients about the requirements for food safety. I'm sorry this happened to you...I think sometimes the magazine photos look so good, non-pros assume the flowers are in direct contact!
"Anyway, a friend made a great point that I hadn't thought of. Even if the flowers are non toxic ( as they should be for any cake) they have been or are sitting in a bucket of water to help keep them fresh, right? So would you like that nasty water on/in your cake? I think not! Sorry I didn't think of saying that to the florist at the time! "
going one step further on from that great thought... If this ever happens to anyone whilst setting up a cake, maybe take a drinking cup or glass and scoop up some of that flower bucket water(let them watch you do it). Then offer it to the offender for them to drink - if they refuse your point is made even more pointedly!! (Is that just the meany in me speaking?)