Dreme Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 3:12pm
post #1 of

I have a client that wants to use artificial flowers on a wedding cake due to budget. She seemed pretty adamant on this and stated why she didn't want to use the other options. I didn't say what I really thought, as I was caught off guard with the request and didn't professionally know how to respond. I wanted to veto her idea but I just wrote it down on her sheet and proceeded to the next question.

Personally I think it's tacky and I really don't want any part of the credit on that one. I feel like that can degrade my product and possibly make me look bad. I really rather use fresh or gumpaste flowers, and preferably gumpaste at that. I can't help but feel that artificial flowers at a wedding or event already looks cheap and tacky and I really don't want this to cross over into my product and what we do here. Our product cannot be represented that way.

Would you let a client put artificial flowers on your cake? How do you politely and professionally get the client off this idea and keep your quality of work?

38 replies
sweettreat101 Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 4:04pm
post #2 of

Yes I would if that is what they want to do. It's their cake so I would let them make any decision regarding the decorations and the design. Fake flowers don't all look bad.

leah_s Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 4:14pm
post #3 of

Not only would I let the customer put silk/artificial flowers on my cake, I offer to do it for them. Frankly, once the flowers are washed, they present no food safety issues, so I ofter prefer them to real.

RetiredNavyChief Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 4:15pm
post #4 of

I agree with sweettreat, I actually tell them they have 3 choices for flowers, real, gumpaste and silk. Its all their choice after all. I always tell them I will get the silk flowers if they tell me what kind and color that way I dont get really cheap ones from like walmart or something.

aprilismaius Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 4:19pm
post #5 of

some silks look really nice, so i would have no problem with this. their wedding, not mine. i agree with leah, i would offer to arrange and place them myself.

SarahBeth3 Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 4:19pm
post #6 of

I understand what you mean about what it says about your work, but it is her cake and her budget. It's a hard call. I guess the only thing is that I personally would want to put them on myself so I would know it looks the best it can under the circumstances. If you are dead set against the silk, then you could always say that you respect her budget and want to help her stay within it, and then offer a few compromises, so she still gets her cake but it has beautiful GP flowers on top.

Dreme Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 4:24pm
post #7 of

The ones they have at micheal's or ac moores do look nice and a bit more realistic. (Still not crazy about it, but if I have too they need to be of high quality). Her friend mentioned dollar tree flowers and she went with that. That conversation is what really made me want to veto her idea.

sweettreat101 Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 4:48pm
post #8 of

Now dollar tree flowers do look horrible. Tell her to print up Michael's coupons online and purchase some nice looking artificial flowers. If she insisted on using the Dollar tree flowers I would deliver the cake and let her put the flowers on. You just have to remember your cake will still taste great. Is this person a friend?

Coral3 Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 5:01pm
post #9 of

If it doesn't fit with your cake image, then just don't put photos of that cake up on your website.

I think it's good that the bride is happy to choose cheaper options to save money...the alternative I guess is that she says something like "I want gumpaste flowers, but my budget is only $X...can you lower your price or throw in the gumpaste flowers for free?" I'm sure every decorator just LOVES hearing things like that!

Dreme Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 5:05pm

I just printed off a few from the ad on here!

No the client is not a friend of mine.

Dreme Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 5:23pm

No this cake would not be on my site or in my portfolio with those flowers on it. We will do a before the flowers photo shoot and post to the web before she does. Client's have a tendency to post their pics to facebook and tag or mention you in them. I don't mind that, but this one I will have to untag if it goes up.

I prolly would have to fight laughing if a client were to ask me to throw in something for free that causes me to have to work harder or longer for them. I do not lower my prices. They are what they are. Now we can get rid of some stuff (like the tacky flowers) and save you a bit of money there. lol

indydebi Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 6:38pm

Like leah, I also prefer silk florals and I prefer to do the placement. Silks are easy to handle, no worry about dirt or pesticides or wilting. And unlike the fake (plastic) flowers of yesteryear, today's (silk) florals look very nice.

However .... cheap flowers look cheap so the dollar store recommendation above is correct.

It also depends on the skill of the person doing the placement. I've seen cakes where flowers were pretty much pushed straight down into the cake. It looked like an imitation of the old movies where the dead body was holding a flower by the stem and the flower was standing straight up. icon_eek.gif

There needs to be an artistic eye to floral placement .... not just a stem stabbed into the cake.

the best looking silks in the world will make a cake look bad if the person doing the placement has no idea what they're doing. And I've seen evidence that some skilled cake decorators have no idea how to place real or silk flowers on a cake.

SarahBeth3 Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 7:15pm

Dollar Tree flowers! Oh no!

indydebi, will you look at the flower I recently put on a wedding cake? It was my second time making GP flowers, or anything from GP and I wasn't for sure how to place them, so I just did what I thought looked right. Now, though, after reading your post, I'm wondering if I am one of those that doesn't really know how to place the flowers! Yikes! You're honest opinion would be appreciated, or anyone else that has lots of experience in this area. TIA

http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2049430

dorothymarie Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 7:25pm

Here is one of 7 arrangements with a battery candle that will be on 7 different double tiered cakes. Event center is dark so candles will be very luminous. This is a country theme with wild flowers. All cakes have white icing. The wrapped cake board with flowers and candle can be picked up all at once so the candle can be turned on and off easily and placed on the cake.

Image

cakedout Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 7:57pm

Whatever the bride chooses, I usually tried to encourage them to let ME do the arranging! thumbs_up.gif Silks can be just fine and dandy, if arranged well.

After a bad experience, I learned to have the bride bring all cake decor to me 2 weeks prior to the event! I HATE surprises! icon_mad.gif

Back in the day, a bride on a budget told me that they would be providing
"silk flowers" for around the cake fountain and the separation between tiers....I even gave her that Wilton ring thingie to use as a holder for the flowers. But oh snap! What a surprise I got when I arrived at the venue! icon_confused.gificon_eek.gificon_mad.gif Her idea of "silk flowers" was a styrofoam ring crammed into the holder with rather mangled bunches of ribbon roses haphazardly glued to it! What the??? icon_confused.gif It was the most hideous thing I'd ever seen! Can't recall anymore what I did, but after that all cake decor came to me first!! icon_lol.gif

Kristie925 Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 7:57pm

The way I set it, after they pay for the cake and it's delivered, they can do whatever they want to it! I would have no problem using silk flowers, I've done them before.

indydebi Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 11:09pm

SarahBeth your cake looks wonderful. The flowers have a rounded shape and are well shaped on the top tier. thumbs_up.gif This is definitely not a "plunge and run" set up! icon_biggrin.gif

Sangriacupcake Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 11:23pm

I like to use silk for all the reasons listed, but also: you know exactly what you're getting when you buy them--you never know with fresh flowers that need to be ordered ahead of time. Also, you don't have to worry about keeping them from wilting while on the cake.

And BTW, gumpaste flowers are just as "fake" as silk flowers.

imagenthatnj Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 11:24pm

Well, as long as they don't make it lean like this. It could have been a disaster.

http://mixmingleglow.com/blog/?p=367

Kaykaymay Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 11:37pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sangriacupcake



And BTW, gumpaste flowers are just as "fake" as silk flowers.




My thoughts exactly. icon_razz.gif

MayWest Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 11:42pm

There is a great advantage in using silk flowers; there is no surprises when you get to the venue and find out the flowers are not the right size or color, or have enough flowers to place on the cake or the florist is not there and holds you up. Silk flowers can be placed on a cake and delivered fully decorated. Just drop it off and go. Here are several decorated with silk and (in my opinion) does not make the cake look less elegant or cheap and like other cc'ers have said it is in the placement of the flowers.

http://cakecentral.com/gallery/1438529

http://cakecentral.com/gallery/1261396

http://www.cakesbymay.com/apps/photos/photo?photoid=53565004

LKing12 Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 11:56pm

And BTW, gumpaste flowers are just as "fake" as silk flowers.[/quote]

I agree, I have used silk flowers and really prefer them to real.

cakeyouverymuch Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 11:57pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreme

Would you let a client put artificial flowers on your cake? How do you politely and professionally get the client off this idea and keep your quality of work?




No, I wouldn't let anyone put any kind of flowers on MY cake! They get in the way of the fork.

When its the CLIENT's cake, however, SHE can put any durn thing she wants on it.

If its ordered and paid for, its HER cake, not MINE.

SarahBeth3 Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 12:11am
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagenthatnj

Well, as long as they don't make it lean like this. It could have been a disaster.

http://mixmingleglow.com/blog/?p=367




Oh man! That's so sad.

cakeyouverymuch, your comment "No, I wouldn't let anyone put any kind of flowers on MY cake! They get in the way of the fork. " made me laugh. Good point, I totally agree!

SarahBeth3 Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 12:13am
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

SarahBeth your cake looks wonderful. The flowers have a rounded shape and are well shaped on the top tier. thumbs_up.gif This is definitely not a "plunge and run" set up! icon_biggrin.gif




Thank you, I appreciate your opinion. My DH said something about it not looking quite right & I just figured it was because he's a man and couldn't make a flower arrangement for his life...guess I was right. icon_wink.gif

DeniseNH Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 12:22am

I agree, silk flowers from an upscale shop can look so much like real, without the worry of contamination or pollen stains. But flowers from the dollar store, crosses my line. What I would do is take a picture of the before then "forget" to take a picture of the "after". Cash the check and move onto the next cake.

Cealy Posted 8 Jun 2011 , 12:24am

AC Moore's has printable coupons on their site.
Joann's has coupons on their site, by mail and in flyers they also take competitors coupons!!!
She has no excuse to get $store flowers!
C

Dreme Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 4:46am

Thank you all for the replies!

After reading your replies, and my partner thinking the same as you guys, I was feeling that silk flowers are not that bad (but not the cheap ones). I was actually ok with this until I realized I have no idea how to arrange them; this is not my medium.

I went into micheals, (thanks for the coupon mention), the other day for some other stuff and looked at her flower in silk: the calla lily. The flower my own mother wants me to use for my wedding one day, which I associate with funerals, so no, not for my own; but this is what the bride wants so that I guess that is fine. (ok, sorry guess that was a bit off topic...)

Anyways...right now i'm not feeling ok with arranging the silk flowers myself. Something about them being stalky intimidates me. I have no idea how to arrange the silk ones the way I drew them in my sketches; which were like the thin, tightly wired handmade gumpaste sprays. I don't know how to bound the plastic stalky silk ones tightly together. One gumpaste wired spray would be thinner than one stalk. I feel like I would leave a large holes in the cake with these things. I have never arranged flowers other than gumpaste ones on my cakes. It's stated in my contract that I only do gumpaste and that the bride and her florist are responsible for for fresh flowers. I have never had a bride ask about this. I feel like I may need to cover silk in the contract now.

I am not sure on what to do about her flowers. Gumpaste I know how to work with and can arrange them on the cake easily. I almost feel like I should have a say in the method of florals if i'm going to have to arrange them based on my skill. I would say if it were any other flower I wouldn't be worried as much and would have just left it at a, "hey im ok with silk flowers now". This particular flower has me baffled as to how to arrange them as well as now the other flowers. I only know how to work with thin wire. I can manipulate that better for what I want to do. Can't bend and bound plastic quite the same.

I wish I would have knew I wasn't able to do the same arranging methods up front when she mentioned them. I would have said we only do gumpaste arrangements. Indy I admit I'm a decorator that does not know how to do this!

Dreme Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 5:56am

Ok just thinking some more...Since we are at the designing stage and we have not signed any contract, I'm wondering about only giving her two options.

One: I only do gumpaste flowers and leave it at that. I do not arrange anything but my chosen medium.

Two: Anything that is not gumpaste must be handled and arranged with the client's florist or someone who will do the final arrangement. So she can have silks, it just won't my responsibility if something were to go wrong. Less stress.


My contract covers my release of responsibly on fresh flowers (which can now cover silk) and anyone who touches the cake once it has been delivered. I also do a photo shoot here before the cake leaves out so I have my portfolio pics that will look good. I take photos of all sides of the cake as well as the cake with the agent who signed off on delivery just as I have left it for evidence.

What do you think of this? Do you think I should just do the above and leave it at that? Is there a better way to handle this?

I'm thinking that we fix the problem for future brides that may ask for silk, I will know how to handle it. I will never have to deal with outside florals or be responsible in the event that it looks itty as a result. I can also see how the current bride may go elsewhere (I sort of have a feeling that that could happen anyways based on price of the cake before florals anyways). This whole silk thing just has me thinking.

Lindsram Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 6:38am

Michael's has the floral counter with a person who is knowledgeable in flower arranging. You could have them help you put an arrangement together if you decide to do the silk flowers yourself.

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