Pretty Sure My Mouth Is Still Hanging Open..

Decorating By mommachris Updated 2 Aug 2011 , 6:26pm by enchantedcreations

mommachris Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 1:55am
post #1 of 23

I just got back from delivering a cake to a wedding venue.
Not in business, but occasionally a friend will ask me to make a cake for an event. Wish I was legal cause I would have wiped the floor with the lady I had to deal with this afternoon.

I'm very careful when I deal with food. Clean my kitchen up royally the night before I make a cake and wear my hair up, we have NO pets and I'm a fanatic about clean hands. ( My son had a compromised immune system last year, and we learned a lot about how germs transfer when the nutritionist trained us how to make his meals.) friend chose a simple push-pillar cake with flowers between tiers. I asked to to find out from the florist how the flowers would be placed on the cake so I could be sure they wouldn't actually touch the cake, or put supports for a bowl with oasis foam.
Friend got back to me a month later saying that the woman said she would be putting the flowers right on the cake so no need to put in supports. Also that she would be making a flower topper for the top.

Okay.....I'm putting a layer of wax paper on my cake. I don't care how "organic' flowers are in my mind if you can't eat it, then it shouldn't touch your icing.

Fast forward to today..
I get there with my daughter and the florist isn't there. She's left a bucket of flowers behind the cake table so we knew she'd been to the site already and left.
I was fully prepared to place those flowers if she didn't come back. I really wish she hadn't.

She came in, all put upon because she's, "Got three other weddings today."
Hey, I didn't schedule your day. I'm just doing my friend a favor.
I asked her it she minds while I watch since I have five daughters that aren't married and I'm going to need all sorts of skills to pull that off.
She says, "I'd tell them to elope." Charming woman.

We had already put the wax paper on the bottom and middle tiers. The top one didn't have have its on because I wanted to be sure it wouldn't be visible under the 'topper'. I was going to trim the paper once I saw what the florist had made with the letter 'M' that my friend gave her.

All went pretty well, except that I wasn't too happy she was snapping off the heads of the gerbera daisies with her hands and then putting them on the cake.
Everyone knows that when you break the stem of a plant that there is 'sap', no matter how minimal, that leaks out.
Reminded myself that the wax paper would keep that nasty taste way from my luscious icon_wink.gif butter cream.

Bottom done, we put on the middle tier and she does the same thing...snap, place, snap, place...add some pine-looking plants that hang over the edge....I felt myself get a bit tight when she got wilder with the flowers.
She steps out to get something so I had my daughter put my cake box in the car. The wax paper was in the a box.
Back comes the Flower-lady with the 'topper'.
All she has is a big, black metal letter M and a couple of feather covered birds. The letter has no spike on it so she walks up and JAMS it into the icing. It starts to fall backwards so she says, "I can fix it."
She grabs a leafy branch and pull off a twig then she PLUNGES it into the cake behind the letter M to act as a brace.

I'm telling you I able came unglued. icon_eek.gif

Surprise ove came my shyness, "You JUST put that in the cake that people have are going to eat!"
She never missed a beat, "I do this all the time."
"I've been taught that you need to put things in cut drinking straws to keep the cake food-safe."
This woman proceeds to tell me that everything that comes into her shop is washed. "I do this all the time, " she tells me again.

I just stood there and watched her put more PLANTS on the top of the cake, she buried the M so that it wasn't even recognizable. And then she tops it off with those nasty little feathered birds. None of those things have been in packaging so I have NO idea what sorts of heebbie-jeebies were on them.

My daughter had to tell me to take some pictures so we could leave. I was just in shock. What is wrong with that woman. Clueless.

I honestly hope that they don't end up cutting the top tier because I'm sure it isn't going to taste like the rest of the cake.

She pushed that branch into my cake leaves and all....ewww!
I'm not sure I should say some thing to my friend. She should be just about to cut the cake right about now. What to do?

Whoa, wrote a novel there. Sorry.


22 replies
Lcubed82 Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 2:01am
post #2 of 23

Not funny, I know, but LOL!

AnotherCaker Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 2:02am
post #3 of 23

Believe me, no one there will give a flying rat's ass. It's just us. It grosses us out, and I won't do it either. I play all nice nice while florists are around, but they all know they don't do anything to my cakes. I do it. And I'm not shy about it. But really, in the grand scheme of the evening, no one cares, they will see a beautiful cake, eat the cake, no one will taste anything....and it's just not worth getting ripped over.

bohemiagetsajob Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 2:22am
post #4 of 23

I agree with AnotherCaker- until I started making cakes I would never have thought about it.

PS- AnotherCaker- I just noticed your Signture- Nice to see a fellow admirer of handmade "art". icon_wink.gif

AnotherCaker Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 2:27am
post #5 of 23
Originally Posted by bohemiagetsajob

PS- AnotherCaker- I just noticed your Signture- Nice to see a fellow admirer of handmade "art". icon_wink.gif


de_montsoreau Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 4:58pm
post #6 of 23

That's why I insist that the florist leaves the flowers for me and only I decorate the cake.
Never had a bride question this. They understand that the florist does not share the same vision as bride and I do.

Sorry you had to go through this!

Spuddysmom Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 5:41pm
post #7 of 23

icon_sad.gif yuck!
The only bright spot is that they usually don't cut into the top tier so, hopefully, no one ate that. I would definitely tell your friend, the bride, so she doesn't eat from that tier later.
Sorry this happened, good lesson for the future.

sugarMomma Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 5:47pm
post #8 of 23

Unfortunately it is done all the time...more so than you would think. Not saying I agree, jsut that is happens. I know because I work in a banquet dept at a very large and well known hotel at the oceanfront and most flowers are put directly on the cake. I have only seen special holders for the stems maybe 3 times in the last 6 years over hundreds of cakes.

I don't see a problem with edible orchids, we place them directly on top of our sorbets and maritini desserts all the time. I always wonder about the daisies, though. I have seen a lot of crazy things stuck in the cakes and nobody else seems to mind. Thankfully I have never heard of anyone noticing a difference in the taste, yet.

Sorry you had such a rude experience.

leah_s Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 6:53pm
post #9 of 23

1. Florists DO NOT put flowers on my cakes. No way no how. OK the one florist I work with all the time, does, but he respects my wishes and keeps the cake food safe.

2. My contract specificially states, "If the florist places stems or flowers directly into on onto the cake, I will inform the catering staff that that tier of the cake is unsafe to eat and should not be served." And have the cient initial it.

I'm hard core. And every florist in town knows it. I actually had one look up when she saw me entering the room and say, "Oh! If I'd known you made the cake I would have already assembled the topper." She was obviously planning on jamming stems into the cake. I answered with "Yes, because now you're going to have to wrap each individaul stem while I'm here to make the topper."

jenmat Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 7:27pm
post #10 of 23

I'm with Leahs. I do NOT let the florist touch may cake. And I've had florists who actually showed up an hour and a half late from the agreed upon time because "they" wanted to be the one do put the flowers on the cake, because the flowers were "their" work.
Nope. Not gonna happen. I wrap all my stems myself and touch the cake myself. Its still MY cake until the bride and groom arrive, which means I'm responsible for how it is treated.

Oh well, while you're justifiably horrified, just chalk it up to a learning experience, and next time you'll know to take control BEFORE the flowers are even thought about.

sugarMomma Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 7:30pm
post #11 of 23

I also see a lot of the cake vendors set up the cake and immediately leave, not waiting to see what happens after or what the florist does. Let that be a lesson to the baker!

costumeczar Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 9:49pm
post #12 of 23

A lot of bakers don't care and let the florists stick flowers in because it saves them the effort of doing it themselves. If you want to do the flowers you need to tell the florist and the bride ahead of time so that there are no surprises.

Better yet, use gumpaste flowers instead of fresh, then you won't have the problem in the first place.

And I'm with the "nobody touches the cake but me" crowd. If the florist wants to decorate my cakes then I tell them I'll rearrange their centerpieces while they're doing it. They usually understand that.

mindy1204 Posted 31 Jul 2011 , 10:23pm
post #13 of 23

I have yet to deal with florists but I have to say YUCK! And OMG she stuck that M so far in that it doesnt even look like a M anymore

sweetflowers Posted 1 Aug 2011 , 4:49pm
post #14 of 23

I'm also with the 'no one touches my cake' crowd. I'm a little shy about some things, but not when it comes to flowers/branches in my cake. I don't care how many times you wash a hydrangea, it's still poisonous, and the majority of florists have no idea which plants are edible and which aren't. And, just because you do it all the the time, doesn't mean you should be doing it. But there's no point if fretting about it now, try to relax and know the guests probably won't know the difference either.

JoanieB Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 1:57am
post #15 of 23

That is gross and seems so disrespectful to your work of art. "I do this all the time"...what? you destroy and contaminate edible works of art all the time?

But that does bring up a question I've been thinking about. Over the weekend I did a wedding cake for my portfolio since I've never done one and I used cake spikes for my flowers on the top tier. Well, all those spikes destroyed the top tier.

If this would have been for a real wedding I couldn't imagine giving that top tier to the bride and groom to save cause it had all these huge holes from the spikes and the buttercream was all cracked on top and everything. What do you all do?

elliespartycake Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 2:14am
post #16 of 23

Not only did the florist disrespect your cake...her flower arranging skill are questionable. If the cake in your photos is the one your are speaking of...looks like she threw them on your lovely cake!

psurrette Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 2:50am
post #17 of 23

I dont arrange your flowers you dont make my cake. Hands off!

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 3:05am
post #18 of 23

Ok, I always thought we shouldn't be the ones to arrange the flowers on the cake because I don't want to be responsible if the flowers haven't been made food safe (as in the case of poisonous flowers that need to be prepped by the florist for food, orchids, hydrangeas, etc.) We always tell the bride to make sure the florist knows the flowers are going on the cake, but what if they forget to tell them, or the florist just neglects to do it? Is this the wrong way to handle this? We just figure if our hands touch the flowers and place them on the cake, and then someone gets sick, we could get blamed for it.

psurrette Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 3:48am
post #19 of 23

If you ask your board of health how they feel about this topic they will say no flowers on the cakes period. Unless they are edible. Think about the less than desirable water conditions where the flowers are grown. not to mention who knows what they use for pesticides.

mommachris Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 2:34pm
post #20 of 23

Yes, Ellie..she basically just threw them on the cake. The end product doesn't look anything like the original picture that the bride sent to me. Those flowers were uniform, balanced and huge blossoms. I'm not a fan of her work either.

As for the top tier, I'd already told the wedding coordinator before the top tier was mangled that she could serve the top tier since I'd promised my friend a fresh cake for her anniversary.
I think that if you know you are going to basically chew up the cake with flowers that a new one should be part of the deal. JMO.


tiptop57 Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 3:04pm
post #21 of 23

As an introvert, it has always baffled me how one person can storm a room, take over, change the mood and atmosphere, complicate any situation and leave the setting worse off for wear.

My mouth would still be hanging open also!

KoryAK Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 5:57pm
post #22 of 23

cakemaster - most florists have no idea what is toxic and not and how to make it food safe. There is no need for that knowledge set in their industry as they are making a decoration only product. YOU/WE are making the food and so the burden is on us to make sure it is safe. WE are also the ones who know the cake vision and should therefore be completing it. The best florist out there might still do clusters when the bride wanted a cascade.

enchantedcreations Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 6:26pm
post #23 of 23
Originally Posted by KoryAK

cakemaster - most florists have no idea what is toxic and not and how to make it food safe. There is no need for that knowledge set in their industry as they are making a decoration only product. YOU/WE are making the food and so the burden is on us to make sure it is safe. WE are also the ones who know the cake vision and should therefore be completing it. The best florist out there might still do clusters when the bride wanted a cascade.

exception to this rule; my mother was a florist for 35 years..... she also decorated cakes as a hobby and she knew what the flowers would to a cake if not protected. She always put the flowers in the proper containers and she never messed with anyone's cake unless it was left for her. But this was back in the 50's, 60's and 70's'. Things are much different now, everyone has "their" job.

I don't think I could have stayed calm. You're a much bigger person than I am. LOL.

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