Fresh Flowers Questions

Business By tootie0809 Updated 26 May 2009 , 11:40pm by __Jamie__

tootie0809 Posted 25 Apr 2009 , 2:20pm
post #1 of 33

I am doing a wedding cake. The bride wants tiers of fresh hydrangeas between the cake tiers. I will be working with her florist, who is providing the fresh hydrangeas. I have a couple questions, as I've never done a cake with flower tiers in between the cake tiers.

1. I'm assuming I would bring the cakes unassembled to the venue and set up the cakes with the florist doing the layers in between and we assemble together as we go? Or do I assemble the entire cake and then let her arrange the flowers?

2. For those who have worked with a florist who provides the fresh flowers, does the florist or does the baker provide the styrofoam tiers for the flowers? I'm not sure what to expect.

3. For the supports, I'm going to order SPS and I assume I order the longer legs to allow for the floral tiers. I've never used SPS before, so I'm not sure how to construct the cake with the legs and plates and the floral styrofoam. Has anyone used SPS before with floral tiers?

Sorry for all the questions. This is my first wedding cake, and of course it would be for something I've never done before. Thanks for any help! icon_smile.gif

32 replies
ladyonzlake Posted 25 Apr 2009 , 2:38pm
post #2 of 33

I would call the florist to see what supplies she is bringing. I would think the florist would bring the flora foam and drip trays (it should be the foam that you soak to keep the flowers fresh).

You can either use the separtor legs or build directly on top of each floral foam.

To build on the foam you will place dowels in the cake under the floral foam, then a cake board, the drip tray and foam (decorated with the flowers), and then you place the next tier (cake should be on a separator plate)on top of the foam.

terrylee Posted 25 Apr 2009 , 2:52pm
post #3 of 33

Hi tootie0809 - I love hydrangeas....

I would assemble on site...I assume that you want a band of flowers between layers. I would do the flowers myself. This cake is your creation, I have seen where the florist puts the flowers in the wrong place, wrong way, to skimpy....etc. If at all, do them yourself.
You provide the foam core, about an inch or so smaller than the top layer, you supply everything but the flowers. Use the oasis foam, (water holding foam) cover with foil and put in or on something watertight. You don't want it to take the chance of water dripping to the cake.

I haven't used a SPS before, I just use the Wilton cake plate and dowels, but you should have at least an 1 1/2" space between layers. or to the height you want. Place the covered foam between the layers and insert your flowers.

I hope this helps..

tootie0809 Posted 25 Apr 2009 , 4:04pm
post #4 of 33

Thanks Jacqui and terrylee! This information is very, very helpful.

I would have prefered to do the flowers myself, but the bride wants her florist to do them. But I am trying to arrange a time when both the florist and myself are there at the same time, so that I assemble the cake and she arranges the flowers. I want to take pictures afterwards, so obviously I want to see the finished product. Hopefully it will run smoothly. I'm a little nervous, but who isn't with their first wedding cake, right? Thank you so much!

terrylee Posted 25 Apr 2009 , 4:42pm
post #5 of 33

Good luck tootie0809 We are all nervous even when it's not our first cake. You will do fine and post pictures.

CCCTina Posted 26 Apr 2009 , 1:17am
post #6 of 33

Having never done real flowers on a cake before, do you have to prevent the flowers from completely touching the cake? Hydrangeas are poisonous, yet I have seen so many cakes with them. See link: http://www.blankees.com/house/plants/hydrangea.htm
Don't mean to scare anyone, but for you baking experts out there, what do you do in these cases? Is it even a concern as long as they aren't being eaten?

costumeczar Posted 26 Apr 2009 , 3:26am
post #7 of 33

I won't use real hydrangeas on cakes becasue they wilt so fast, and they're poisonous, as mentioned before. Not everything you see in magazines is a good idea.

If you're going to have the oasis foam in a dish for the stems to stick into it should be okay as a water source, but you should put some waxed paper between the flowers and the cake. That kind of setup is a big pain in the butt, and you should insist that you do the flowers, not the florist. I personally would use hidden push-through pillars, put a dish in the center of them with the oasis, then put the flowers in. The plates on the upper cakes shouldn't sit on the oasis itself, but on the pillars.

tootie0809 Posted 26 Apr 2009 , 2:35pm
post #8 of 33

Oh boy! This whole hydrangea situation is kinda stressing me out now. I don't want to allow anything potentially dangerous on the cake, but she's really got her heart set on hydrangeas and really wants her florist to do them. I don't know if she's aware of the toxicity of hydrangeas. I need to let her know that.

Thanks for all your help everyone! I'm going to email her today with the concerns of wilting and toxicity and see what she says. I'll update when I hear back from her.

terrylee Posted 26 Apr 2009 , 5:13pm
post #9 of 33

I didn't have a problem with wilting.... but if you are feeling a crunch about the toxicity , you can get silk hydrangea, there are some beautiful ones out there. You might pay a little more for nice ones but it would be worth it and ease your concerns.

CakeForte Posted 26 Apr 2009 , 9:47pm
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tootie0809

Thanks Jacqui and terrylee! This information is very, very helpful.

I would have preferred to do the flowers myself, but the bride wants her florist to do them. But I am trying to arrange a time when both the florist and myself are there at the same time, so that I assemble the cake and she arranges the flowers. I want to take pictures afterward, so obviously I want to see the finished product. Hopefully it will run smoothly. I'm a little nervous, but who isn't with their first wedding cake, right? Thank you so much!





This is what I say to those that want to have the florists. "It's better for me to put the flowers on the cake because that is one less person touching the cake. If they accidentally mess up the cake....there is no way for me to fix it because I have gone on to the next wedding delivery. If I place the flowers for you, I can finish there and make any necessary touch ups, and no one else will need to touch the cake."

It's something along those lines. They must provide the flowers ready to place....but it has worked out and I dont have to wait around or try to coordinate schedules w/ someone else.

Monkess Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 1:49pm
post #11 of 33

I agree, it is a PITA to deal and coordinate with the florist. And sometimes you dont agree on the same things. Also there is that odd chance the florist may damage the cake and then you are left to fix it or leave a damaged cake behind.
Good luck with your 1st wedding cake, it still gives me flutters when I remember mine!

Cakechick123 Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 4:44pm
post #12 of 33

hydrangeas are poisenous and I would never risk using them on a cake. Why dont you rather get silk ones if you feel that gumpaste ones might not be a possibility. This is what a website says about them

Symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pains, diarrhea, labored breathing, lethargy and coma. Sensitive individuals may develop contact dermatitis from handling the plants.[/quote]

jlynnw Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 5:05pm
post #13 of 33

Some states prevent your from handling the flowers. You have to be liscened (sp) for it. I would never allow poison on my cakes even if there are flowers. If she wants this anyway and you have pointed this out to her, let the florist put the flowers on the cake. Have the cake set up and someone sign for it BEFORE the florist touches the cake. If the cake is damaged or someone becomes ill make sure you will not be to blame. Put that in your contract/agreement. Free cake, still have it in writing that you will not be held responsible for the flowers and that you have told the bride of the potential hazards. Chances are that it will work out fine, but do you want the worries. CYA

tootie0809 Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 6:42pm
post #14 of 33

Yeah, I'm pretty uncomfortable with the fresh hydrangeas on the cake. I offered to do gumpaste hydrangeas, but she wants fresh. I did email her letting her know they are not food safe flowers and that she needs to let her florist know this so they can discuss it. I guess if she's absolutely adamant about the flowers, I will have her sign a liability waiver stating that I had informed her beforehand that they are potentially dangerous. Ugh, for my first wedding cake this whole hydrangea thing has turned out to be a pain in the rear and I'm giving her such a good deal on this cake I'm now wondering if this is even going to be worth my time.

jlynnw Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 7:13pm
post #15 of 33

Just do what you are comfortable with. Take a deep breath and keep the bride as well informed as possible. Make sure to CYA and then post a pic and let us know how it all turned out.

__Jamie__ Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 7:26pm
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I won't use real hydrangeas on cakes becasue they wilt so fast, and they're poisonous, as mentioned before. Not everything you see in magazines is a good idea.




Ditto...I have a cake this weekend with hydrangeas. Bride fund a silk one, looks dang near real! I'm happy with, and am usually disgusted with fake flowers....but a good silk hydrangea, looks awesome!

__Jamie__ Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 7:30pm
post #17 of 33

Tootie, if I were you, I would flat our REFUSE to do her cake entirely if she insists on using flowers going on a cake that YOU make, that has the potential for so much trouble. No matter what, if someone gets sick, no one is going to blame the florist, they will blame you, and there goes your reputation down the drain thru no fault of your own.

CCCTina Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 8:07pm
post #18 of 33

Thanks to this thread, I have printed myself a list of safe and unsafe flowers. I hope to be able to head off an issue like this at the time of inquiry/booking when I get to the point of making wedding cakes. Good luck with your cake OP and post picks with whatever flowers you use.

Cakechick123 Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 8:32pm
post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Tootie, if I were you, I would flat our REFUSE to do her cake entirely if she insists on using flowers going on a cake that YOU make, that has the potential for so much trouble. No matter what, if someone gets sick, no one is going to blame the florist, they will blame you, and there goes your reputation down the drain thru no fault of your own.




I agree 100%

I feel that Im the professional and will advise the bride to the best of my ability, if she doesnt want to take my expert advise then I dont want her as a customer. Its your reputation thats on the line, like Jamie says no-one is going to blame the florist!

tootie0809 Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 8:37pm
post #20 of 33

Thanks guys! I'm leaning this way too, basically telling her that if she insists on them, she'll have to find another baker. I thought the exact thing too that here I'm just getting my business up and running soon and the last thing I'd need is to start this off with someone getting sick over some stupid hydrangeas. I still haven't heard from her. I'll definitely update on what she decides and obviously what I decide. Thanks for all the support and info! This has been a great learning experience for me. Next time, I'll be more prepared with the topic of fresh flowers! icon_smile.gif

tootie0809 Posted 20 May 2009 , 6:31pm
post #21 of 33

Okay so I just wanted to give an update. I did the cake last weekend. Yeah, my first wedding cake completed!!! icon_smile.gif I delivered and set it up all by myself, using SPS for the 1st time. Love that system!

After advising the bride several times about the flowers and talking to the florist, they still wanted the fresh hydrangeas and I told made her aware she'd be doing this at her own risk. Long story short, I we went ahead wtih the flowers. I placed a barrier between the cake and the flowers as much as I could. Since I wasn't the one who even touched or placed the flowers, I felt fine with letting her do what she wanted as far as that goes.

The cake was a huge success. I got tons of great reviews. My sister is the sister of the bride's neighbor, so I got to hear from her what all the guests had to say. They said it tasted better than many of the big-name bakeries here in my city. That made me feel very good. Everyone loved the design and final product, and I am happy with it. I do think the flowers were very pretty on the cake, even though that whole issue stressed me out.

I attached a pic of it set up at the venue. Very happy to have had it go well. I totally stressed myself out over it, but that's not unusual for me. I'm working on relaxing and not being too freaked out over this. Just wanted to give everyone the update on this situation and thank you all for all the help you gave me!
LL

__Jamie__ Posted 20 May 2009 , 6:33pm
post #22 of 33

Beautiful!! Sideways...but beautiful!! Great Job!

__Jamie__ Posted 20 May 2009 , 6:33pm
post #23 of 33

Ah....now it's not sideways..ok, nevermind!!

tootie0809 Posted 20 May 2009 , 6:33pm
post #24 of 33

Sorry, I fixed the view! icon_smile.gif Thanks! icon_smile.gif

Solecito Posted 20 May 2009 , 8:14pm
post #25 of 33

very nice!

mysonshines Posted 23 May 2009 , 4:28am
post #26 of 33

Beautiful cake! You did a lovely job. I did my first wedding cake last weekend. I was stressed about the fresh flowers, too - and about died when the venue brought me a bucket of loose flowers in water! They were supposed to have been arranged and ready to plop on cake. It turned out fine in the end, I just played until it looked right. I love the doors in the backdrop for your wedding cake- were the flowers in the wreaths real though? icon_smile.gif

pinkpiggie78 Posted 26 May 2009 , 6:01pm
post #27 of 33

Where can I find a comprehensive list of toxic/non-toxic flowers? I tried locating one on here without much success. I have a tasting coming up where the bride is getting orchids and roses and I have been trying to figure out if they are "safe" or not. Is the toxicity of flowers something the bride should be asking the florist? Obviously they should know a lot more about flowers than I do. I have yet to do a wedding cake with fresh flowers...

__Jamie__ Posted 26 May 2009 , 6:03pm
post #28 of 33

Just google "toxic flowers" or something to that effect. I have many times, and I know I get directed to a list within the first two or three links. icon_smile.gif

pinkpiggie78 Posted 26 May 2009 , 6:08pm
post #29 of 33

I did do that Jamie, but all the sites I looked at I couldn't even find anything about orchids, let alone the specific ones she is using. Are certain species of orchids safe while others are not?

__Jamie__ Posted 26 May 2009 , 6:11pm
post #30 of 33

Found on google using these words: "orchids safe on a cake?" icon_smile.gif

First and second links

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-6375916.html

http://www.cakeconnection.com/freshflower.htm

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