I'm doing a wedding cake for a friend in October. They want fresh flowers on the top and a few down the sides of the cake. My questions is: Who actually places the flowers on the cake? The cake decorator or the florist?
You can have the florist there if you need help, but I'd make sure you're present at least. I'm gonna say it....florists LOVE sticking flowers with unwrapped stems right into the cake because it's quick and simple without added work for them....but it isn't very tasty for the poor person getting that piece. You should be there to make sure nothing toxic, sprayed with chemicals, etc goes into or onto your cake without protection.
The second reason you should be there is to make sure that any damage done (finger in the buttercream, dent in your fondant, etc.) is repaired or at least concealed. The couple shouldn't see their cake and have these imperfections be noticeable. You are the only one there with a piping bag and a palette knife to at least fix little things, right?
The last reason you want to be there is to have a bunch of photos of the cake completely finished. If you don't wait for that, you'll have a portfolio of beautiful bare cakes. Brides and grooms want to see the grand finale, not just the stacked cake.
I work at at banquet facility and the waitresses put the flowers on the cake. If you want to make sure the cake looks the way you want I would stick around and put them in yourself.
I agree with the pp, I would definitely want to be the one putting the flowers on. The first thing the couple will notice will be the flowers and what if the florist just slaps them on willy nilly. Do you want your name on that? Not to mention the fact that I am a bit of a control freak and want it my way or it's the highway!!
I do use fresh flowers at times on my cakes. I always place the flowers on the cake myself. I have a vision of how the cake is going to look. And without being the one to put the flowers on the cake I can't be sure the cake will be what the couple requested. I would never allow someone else to place the flowers on the cake. The couple has worked with me on the design and I know first hand what they are expecting. It would be hard for someone else to understand that kind of information. Plus I have a touch of OCD and the thought of someone else touching my cake after all the hard work I had put into it would push me over the edge .....I think I need to working on some control issues....
I most definitely am the person putting the flowers on the cake. It really isn't that hard to do and I wouldn't want to trust someone else doing it because if something goes wrong you will be the one they blame.
I met a florist at a wedding I was doing who was a total d*ck. He was supposed to prepare the flowers ahead of time so all I had to do was put them on the cake when I was finished setting it up, but he never did. I tried for weeks before the wedding to contact him and arrange everything and he never returned my calls.
On the day of the reception, I get there and set up the cake and I ask him, without ever having met him before, if he had the flowers ready for the cake and he told me, "I'll do it. Just go ahead and go." So I was like, "Well, if the flowers are ready to place on the cake, show me where they are and I'll do it. You look pretty busy with everything else, so I'll help you out and just do it myself."
"No. I'll do it. You do your job, and let me do mine."
So instead of punching him in the face, I asked him, "Do you have flower spikes?"
"Psh! Flower spikes!? It's covered in fondant, right? I'll just put them on top of the fondant!"
"Like Hell you will, buddy! You can't put raw flowers on top of the cake! You'll contaminate it!!"
"Fine!! You do it then! I don't have time for your attitude."
So I resist the urge to stuff him into the votive he's working on, grab the flowers he indicated, then went to work putting them on the cake.
As I was leaving, I heard him hiss at his assistant, "As soon as that guy is gone, go fix the flowers the right way!"
So I left and shot the Bride an email regarding her d*ck of a florist and told her that if the cake is ruined, it's because he "fixed" it after I left!
I hate fresh flowers!!!
Thanks for all of your advice. You're all right. I want to be able to take pics of the finished product, I want to make sure nobody is just sticking flower stems inside the cake and I want to make sure it looks like the bride requested.
She plans on having a bunch of flowers on the top. How do you put them together and then on the top of the cake?
If you talk to a florist ahead of time or go to the craft store you can get a small foam block with a plastic bottom that you can arrange the flowers in and then just "Place" on top of the cake. I have done this many times and it works well with out contaminating the cake.
You can also use a cake plate with a ball of buttercream or royal on it and stick the flowers in that.