A florist has to decorate a cake not only with nice flowers, but also do it safely, as all the flowers have chemicals, bacteria dangerous for humans.
Flowers safe to use on wedding cakes are used strictly as a garnish and for decoration. Although these are non-poisonous flowers, they are not necessarily organically grown and therefore should not be eaten. It is extremely important to wash the flowers thoroughly before using them. It is important to have a barrier between these flowers and the cake. NEVER place a flower stem directly into the wedding cake!
Many wedding florists use specially designed holders when placing flowers on the cake. These holders give florists the ability to arrange flowers in the cake without exposing the cake directly to the flower. They also make it easier to remove the flowers when serving the cake.
Working with a cake baker
Ask your baker for a photo or diagram of the cake you have selected. This helps you calculate the volume and price of flowers needed to decorate the cake. As a precaution, ask specifically for cell phone numbers in case of a cake emergency. Ask them to schedule in advance a meeting for on-site floral decorating of the cake or agree on a plan for how cake decorations will be added.
Extra icing, please!
One decorating technique that works well is to have the cake baker place mounds of icing in the areas where the flowers stems will be inserted. The icing acts as the design mechanic that holds the flowers in place. The stems won’t touch the edible parts of the cake. Prior to cutting and serving the cake, a cake server can be used to remove the flowers and icing to a plate nearby.
Add highlights of seasonal color and texture with surprising decorative accessories. Wire and rattan are eye-catching elements that are fun to experiment with OASIS Flat Wire and OASIS Midollino Sticks (watch video) are two great products that are easy to design with when accessorizing cakes. They can also be easily removed when it’s time to cut the cake.
The baker can leave a tube of icing for the florist to place the mounds as they design.
Outdoor wedding cake protection
Special consideration must be given when placing cakes outdoors or in extreme hot or cold areas.
Check the cake site in advance at the wedding time of day on several occasions. Be sure there isn’t a hot spot there from sunlight.
Shield cake from direct sunlight, heat, wind and especially rain.
Make sure the table supporting the cake has a firm foundation and won’t turn over.
Create a plan for keeping insects or house pets away from the cake.
Have an alternative plan for moving the cake indoors in the event of inclement weather.
Place needed serving items such as utility table, serving utensils, plates, etc. out of the cake display sightline but within reach for easy serving.
Flowers of the season are more accustomed to seasonal outdoor temperatures than hothouse flowers of another season. You may save money using readily seasonal flowers versus out-of-season flowers shipped from another climate. As a bonus, seasonal flower colors are typically more complimentary to the season’s wedding fashion colors as well. Celebrate the season with flowers!
Protecting flowers without special holders
1. Cut the stems to about 2″ to 3″ long and remove any large stamens and pollen. I always give them a little shake to dislodge any pollen, petals or leaves that might be loose.
2. Dip the stem into water with a few drops of bleach solution and lay on the towel. Let sit for one minute then wipe the stem dry. This kills any bacteria that can be living on the stems.
3. Make small posies or bundles of the flowers in arrangements and wrap the stems with floral tape to hold them together.
4. Wrap the stem bundle in a small piece of the Glade Press-n-Seal folding a flap over the base of the bundle. This locks in any moisture that may leak out of the stems.
5. Now choose a straw that the bundle fits snugly into. Trim the straw to just slightly longer than the stem bundle.
Though you have made them safe to decorate the cake with, these flowers should NEVER be eaten, regardless if they are actually an edible variety. The ONLY time flowers should be consumed is if they have been grown at a certified organic facility specifically for being edible flowers. Commercial flowers are not grown in a food safe manner no matter how you clean and prepare them.