Do You Let Other People Place Flowers On Your Cake?

Decorating By JCE62108 Updated 28 May 2009 , 3:16am by umgrzfn

JCE62108 Posted 26 May 2009 , 10:32pm
post #1 of 24

Do you place your own flowers or do you trust someone else to do it (a florist usually)?

Maybe Im over-reacting a little to this situation, but recently I made a wedding cake for a customer. Her event planner had been the one arranging everything. I never even talked to the bride at all. The planner told me that she would be placing fresh flowers on the cake upon delivery. I asked her if she needed me to provide her with anything to rest the flowers on, etc. She said no, she would just cut the stems and stick them directly in the cake.

I freaked.

I told her I would not do the cake for this customer if she insisted on placing the flowers that way. I just cant stand the thought of plant juices, stems, leaves, etc leaking in my cake! Even if they are not poison, they could leave a horrible taste in the cake or cause a weird reaction in someone.

Ive never heard of placing flowers on a cake this way. Do you guys ever do this? I was always taught that no part of any plant matter should ever touch the cake.

Did I over react in this situation? I felt kind of bad afterwards because she said, well I have ALWAYS done it this way and never had a problem. So I thought maybe I was wrong.....then I thought...what the heck is she doing placing flowers on a cake to begin with. She isnt even a florist OR a decorator. I thought about just placing flowers myself next time. What do you think? Is that a decorators job? Or is that strickly for a florist to do?

How do you handle fresh flowers on your cakes?

23 replies
Sweet_Cakes Posted 26 May 2009 , 10:44pm
post #2 of 24

Maybe silk...but NEVER fresh flowers should be stuck in a cake. Part of the plusses of working in a grocery store and having someone train me in what the health department looks for, is knowing stuff like this. If it isn't edible, it doesn't belong on a cake unless you buy it from a place that sells cake approved decorations...ie: Wilton, Catalog Sales.

As far as letting someone put flowers on themselves: it's your artwork, would you feel comfortable if someone decided they wanted to put the finishing touches on a painting that you just made? Probably not.

Hope that helps!

indydebi Posted 26 May 2009 , 10:45pm
post #3 of 24

I place the flowers on my cakes. It's part of my Terms of Agreement. I have let a florist do the florals twice ... while I stood there and watched .... but never a planner, a DJ, a caterer, or any other non-cake or non-florist person. At least a florist may have SOME experience doing it, but as shown by your story, there's some ditz, who THINKS she knows all about weddings, who is about ready to plunge a floral stem directly into a cake. icon_mad.gif

costumeczar Posted 26 May 2009 , 10:46pm
post #4 of 24

Florists don't think about the food safety aspect of cakes, most people don't...I tell brides that they can use fresh flowers ONLY if I put them on the cake. That prevents three things from happening:1. Stems being stuck into the cake 2. Flowers that the bride didn't tell you about being put on the cake (wrong color, etc) and 3. Flowers being put on in a different arrangement than what she contracted for.

Here's a good one for you...I delivered a cake once and the florist was lurking around waiting for me to be done so she could do the flowers on the cake. Our conversation went like this:

Me: Do you want me to do the flowers? You don't need to wait around if you have to go.

Florist: No, I'll wait until you're done and just stick them into the cake.

Me: Uh, you can't do that, but I can give you some icing to use to stick them onto the cake.

Florist: I can't? Well, I'll just do them anyway.

Me thinking>>>I'd better stay around and watch this one.

I stuck around and watched her nervously put the flowers on, and she was having trouble. I asked her several times if she wanted icing to use for glue, but she kept saying that she was okay. She finally said: "I don't usually do wedding flowers. I usually do the funerals, they just sent me here today because I was the only one available. I've never done a cake before." icon_eek.gif I was glad I stuck around! That was also the beginning of my "nobody but me puts the flowers on the cake" policy! icon_razz.gif

rvercher23 Posted 26 May 2009 , 10:46pm
post #5 of 24

I always put flowers on the cakes, but one time the flowers were not there when I set the cake up, so the catering director assured me that they would put the fowers on the way I described, just on the top and no where else......This is what happened.............NEVER AGAIN
LL

__Jamie__ Posted 26 May 2009 , 10:57pm
post #6 of 24

Oh hell no! Only if it were the person who paid for said cake...otherwise, get yer grubby mitts off the cake! No way...look at the shining example above...wow!

Carlymoon Posted 27 May 2009 , 12:17am
post #7 of 24

when using fresh flowers what are some of the different options for securing them to the cake? I found the wilton flower picks but it was $6.99 for 6, so I'd like to explore some other options. Let me know, thanks!

costumeczar Posted 27 May 2009 , 1:04am
post #8 of 24

I just put a big blob (the technical term) of icing on the cake and stick flowers onto that.

indydebi Posted 27 May 2009 , 2:12am
post #9 of 24

What costumeczar said .... I cut the stems off as close to the head as possible and use BC to glue them in place. When placing flowers on top of the top tier, for example, I'll put a BIG mound of icing and place flowers in and around that. It also adds some height and depth to the florals.

Loucinda Posted 27 May 2009 , 1:44pm
post #10 of 24

I have a rule that I read once that I go by for my cakes.......there are only 2 people allowed to touch my cakes, ME and the person who PAID for it.

JCE62108 Posted 27 May 2009 , 4:09pm
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

What costumeczar said .... I cut the stems off as close to the head as possible and use BC to glue them in place. When placing flowers on top of the top tier, for example, I'll put a BIG mound of icing and place flowers in and around that. It also adds some height and depth to the florals.




Ok...but this is still plant matter being insterted directly into an edible portion of the cake. How do you know a customer wont be eating a blob of the icing that the plants were stuck in? If I was there serving the cake I think Id be ok with it, but if someone else is serving it they may not know to scoop that icing off and discard it.

costumeczar Posted 27 May 2009 , 4:16pm
post #12 of 24

True, that's why I discourage fresh flowers in the first place. Some people really insist on them, so I'll use the icing blob technique. It's still safer than sticking stems into the cake, it minimizes the contact.

I just don't like putting fresh flowers on cakes at all, after thinking about how they're handled in transit and after talking to florists about the kinds of fertilizers that are allowed in South America, where most flowers are grown these days. icon_confused.gif

Misdawn Posted 27 May 2009 , 4:17pm
post #13 of 24

My rule is this:
All artificial flowers will be placed by me on my cakes.
All natural flowers will be placed by me or under my supervision, no exceptions. No natural flowers will be placed into or on the cake without proper preparation by me, no exceptions.

This is actually written into my contract. It's not just a food safety issue for me, although that is the most important issue. A beautiful cake can quickly be ruined by some idiot jamming flowers into it. If guests are going to know it's my cake, they are going to see a beautiful cake, not a beautiful cake that was trashed by the florist.

Kitagrl Posted 27 May 2009 , 4:24pm
post #14 of 24

I do the blob of icing thing too ( or royal icing on fondant). I also check and make sure any flowers to be used are either edible or at least non toxic.

I always say to have the flowers waiting for me at the table...no way I'm gonna spend hours on a cake only to have someone else place flowers, either in a way that looks bad, or possibly even mess up my cake by tearing or denting fondant/icing or even knocking the whole thing over.

LeanneW Posted 27 May 2009 , 4:35pm
post #15 of 24

Hmmm,

I definitely prefer that the florist do it, after all they are professional arrangers. But true they don't deal with the health dept.

I have delivered cakes before when I have coordinated with the florist and arranged to be at the venue at the same time so they can place the topper so I can get photos and the florist comes over with a bucket of flowers, not an arrangement.

I voiced my opinion that she should not stick the stems into the cake and that had I known I would have brought some foam or picks. But at the end of the day it's not my cake.

I know it's hard but we have to realize that it's not our cake and the best you can do is share your professional advice and then let it go. The customer owns the cake now.

You have an obligation to provide service which includes your experience and knowledge that flowers shouldn't be placed into a cake but once it's delivered they can do whatever they please with it.

Short of ringing the bride on her cell phone what can you do?

Maybe we should all put straws and picks or foam in our delivery kits in case we encounter these "lazy" florists.

My most recent encounter with a florist was awesome. Very professional and not a single stem inserted into the cake.

On the flip side the florist was telling me how she hates when the cake makers take it upon themselves to place the flowers. So FYI they feel the same way we do. They are the florist and we have no business placing flowers. She said she goes to so much effort to make all the bouquets, center pieces, arrangements, etc. coordinate and orders specials stems from around the world that she about dies when a cake shows up with the wrong shade of roses or whatever.

I think the lesson leaned here is COMMUNICATION is key! I always talk to the florist in advance if fresh flowers will be involved. Let them know in advance you are concerned and you'll get a more cooperative florist.

sadsmile Posted 27 May 2009 , 4:37pm
post #16 of 24

LOL this is what can happen even in places higher up...
LL

tonedna Posted 27 May 2009 , 4:45pm
post #17 of 24

If the brides wants a florist to place them , I wont fight about it. It's her day and her choice..
Edna icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 27 May 2009 , 6:15pm
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by leannewinslow

I definitely prefer that the florist do it, after all they are professional arrangers.



Here's my problem with that, and I believe someone already gave an example of this earlier .....

When a florist is doing a flower arrangement, they will jam a flower into the styrofoam in the container ... if that doesn't look right, well, heck just pull it out and JAM it in somewhere else.

Do that on a cake, and you've got a lot of holes in the cake that just can't be hidden very well!

I wont' do their centerpieces if they wont' decorate my cak'es. I find that most florists are RELIEVED to hear that they dont' have to put flowers on the cake.

Plus someone mentioned the types of flowers. Imagine my shock and terror when I received a photo of one of my cakes with hydrangeas stuck on there! icon_surprised.gif

tonedna Posted 27 May 2009 , 7:18pm
post #19 of 24

[quote="indydebi"]

Quote:
Originally Posted by leannewinslow


Imagine my shock and terror when I received a photo of one of my cakes with hydrangeas stuck on there! icon_surprised.gif





icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif I seen this before..I just avoid to look at them..lol.
I get at least one or 2 weddings a week where the bride wants their florist
to place the flowers. I give up..If thats their choice, let it be. I got too many weddings to be fighting about who will place the flowers..

I had once this girl that wanted a cake with swags and on every end of the swag some fresh flowers. The florist was going to send the flowers. They were roses. She sent them already arranged. Almost like a Boutonnière, but we are not talking about one rose, it was an arrangement of a few roses and baby's breath and greenery. The stem was sooooo thick and short!

I said..I wash my hands..this is ridicoulous!..That thing was going to break the cake! It was so thick.
Honeslty..I have no idea what they decided to do. She wanted her thing her way, I say let her have her cake the way she wants it. She payed for it.
Edna icon_smile.gif

jeking Posted 27 May 2009 , 7:32pm
post #20 of 24

This past weekend I delivered and set up the cake, each layer on columns. Asked the wedding planner where the flowers were for the cake and she looked at me blankly. The florist hadn't arrived with the flowers for the tables or the cake yet. The were still at the church doing the wedding flowers. One hour and 45 minutes later...exactly 45 minutes before the reception was supposed to begin, I told the wedding planner to have the florist decorate the cake IMMEDIATELY when she arrived. We went over exactly how to do it in detail. I was nervous, but had other cakes to deliver.

Yesterday, I received a call from the bride absolutely thrilled with the cake. Said it was so beautiful it took her breath away. So the florist must have done a great job! I was pretty plain without the flowers, I must say!

Yes, we put the flowers right on the cake and no one has died in the past 20 years from it.

If the bride wants the florist to do it...great! Just take a photo before the flowers are placed so you have evidence that it was in great shape prior. Honestly, I think the florist do a better job most of the time. Most florists that do weddings know how to decorate cakes. The florist did my wedding cake and it was beautiful.

Neelas_wife Posted 27 May 2009 , 7:35pm
post #21 of 24

At the end of the day people hear the cake is baked/decorated by you. If the appearance is messed up with the fresh flowers mainly because someone else decided they will place it on the cake - it still is your cake and your decor to the eyes of the unknown. Hurts your reputation...

If they still insist abt doing it all then I will not fight it but simply tell them the cons and get paid/walk away....Yes, it still does not change the fact that it your reputation on the line but atleast you have communicated the facts to them and at that point leaving so you dont add stress to the brise on her special day.

debster Posted 27 May 2009 , 7:47pm
post #22 of 24

I do the flowers UNLESS Bride insists the florist does it which I've not had anyone insist yet, I've only done a few with live flowers anyway, what I do is wrap the stems with saran wrap then I place them in a mound of extra frosting so no taste to get in the frosting that way. It's worked for me thus far.

JCE62108 Posted 28 May 2009 , 2:58am
post #23 of 24

wrapping the stems is a great idea. I can agree with that.

I personnaly have no experience in flower arranging at all. I probably would prefer the florist do it, but ONLY if they know what they are doing. Not just anyone who has no knowledge of flowers or cakes. Im glad to see most of you think I wasnt over-reacting. lol. I think I nearly lost that order over this ordeal.

Eventually we came to an agreement though. There was a topper that rested on a plastic plate, and some orchids that were placed gently on the tiers, but not stuck inside of it. I was ok with this.

Next time I dont care what any event coordinator says, I will not take an order if I cannot speak directly with the bride or florist.

umgrzfn Posted 28 May 2009 , 3:16am
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by leannewinslow

Hmmm,

I definitely prefer that the florist do it, after all they are professional arrangers. But true they don't deal with the health dept.

I have delivered cakes before when I have coordinated with the florist and arranged to be at the venue at the same time so they can place the topper so I can get photos and the florist comes over with a bucket of flowers, not an arrangement.

I voiced my opinion that she should not stick the stems into the cake and that had I known I would have brought some foam or picks. But at the end of the day it's not my cake.

I know it's hard but we have to realize that it's not our cake and the best you can do is share your professional advice and then let it go. The customer owns the cake now.

You have an obligation to provide service which includes your experience and knowledge that flowers shouldn't be placed into a cake but once it's delivered they can do whatever they please with it.

Short of ringing the bride on her cell phone what can you do?

Maybe we should all put straws and picks or foam in our delivery kits in case we encounter these "lazy" florists.

My most recent encounter with a florist was awesome. Very professional and not a single stem inserted into the cake.

On the flip side the florist was telling me how she hates when the cake makers take it upon themselves to place the flowers. So FYI they feel the same way we do. They are the florist and we have no business placing flowers. She said she goes to so much effort to make all the bouquets, center pieces, arrangements, etc. coordinate and orders specials stems from around the world that she about dies when a cake shows up with the wrong shade of roses or whatever.

I think the lesson leaned here is COMMUNICATION is key! I always talk to the florist in advance if fresh flowers will be involved. Let them know in advance you are concerned and you'll get a more cooperative florist.




I agree to some extent, however, you may have run across only a handful of florists that will "neatly" place the flowers. I have to agree with "NO FLOWER JUICES" policy!! Do you know how GROSS it would be to take a big ol' bite of......yeah...anyway icon_surprised.gif You are right, at the end of the day, it isn't our cake....HOWEVER, we are the ones with the contract, we are the ones that have put hours upon hours into our creations, and word of mouth is HUGE. So how bout this, again...someone takes a big ol' bite of flower gunk, they say, "WHO MADE THIS"? So now it comes back to you, and I can just imagine the conversation "SHE made this cake. I've heard her cakes were so good, but damn....this is TERIBLE. I'll make sure I don't use her or refer any one I know to her". And so on...just my opinion! icon_wink.gif

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