Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Flowers on your wedding cake

Some cake designs are interesting enough that they can stand alone, but many designs are definately enhanced by flowers. Either sugar, fresh or fake, some cakes just need some flowers on them.

Sugar flowers are hand made to order and add considerably to the time required to produce a wedding cake. They must be made days or weeks in advance to be given time to dry. Many are made in several steps, each having to dry in between. They do normally add an additional charge to the price of your wedding cake - as little as $50 or as high as several hundred - depending on the type of flower you want and how many. Sugar flowers are often made with gumpaste which is technically edible, but it dries very hard and shatters like glass - so don't eat it. It is usually just ornamental. Sugar flowers are a conversation piece, as people are fasinated that they are hand made, and they are all safe to place on the cake where some people might worry about certain flowers being poisonous. (although I've never heard of a wedding cake/fresh flower related illness - and I've looked). Sugar flowers will keep almost indefinately as long as they are kept dry and protected so they are a nice keepsake.

The advantages with silk flowers is that they can be purchased and arranged in advance - they can be pricy though. As with sugar flowers, they are safe to put on your cake as long as they are kept dust-free.

Fresh flowers are normally the flower of choice. I do not provide fresh flowers as it's important that they match the rest of the flowers used to decorate the reception, so you should arrange with your florist to bring a few extra flowers for the cake.

Many people ask me "How many flowers should I get". It's hard for me to say. The type and size of the flowers makes a difference. If I tell you to bring 3 flowers for the topper you could end up with a tiny topper or a huge one. If you tell your florist how you want your wedding cake flowers (do you just want them on top, or a cascade, or just a few on each tier)then he/she can determine how many to bring.

Sometimes the florist will place fresh flowers on the cake - which is fine by me. If they are unable to do it or prefer not to I am happy to place fresh flowers for you if they are at the venue when I deliver. Due to other deliveries scheduled for the day I can not wait on flowers to arrive. If the bride has specified that she wants the florist to place the flowers on the cake I always assume that she has discussed the arrangement with them. I have been to deliveries where the florist placed the flowers totally different than how the bride told me she wanted them placed - when that happens I assume that there has been a change in plans and the florist knows best. They are the professional when it comes to the flowers so I will defer to their expertise in all flower related matters. I am always happy to communicate with any florist to arrange delivery schedules, number of flowers, etc...

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Referrals - be careful where they come from

Referrals from friends and co-workers are a great way to find out the quality of the vendors you are considering.

Do be careful of where you get your referrals - they are sometimes biased.

I do not get paid to refer any venue or vendor. You can be sure that if I refer them it is based on my personal experience with the vendor, and their merits, and not on how much money I can make from sending business their way. I do not have a mother/father, sister/brother or best friend who are in the wedding business either, so I will not be referring any one to you for the sole purpose of keeping your money in the family.

The customer and my reputation are my concern. I want the happy couple to have what they want for their wedding day - even if it means they use another cake decorator -and if I refer someone to them it because I know that person to be reliable and do a great job - not because I was paid to say something nice about them.

Unfortunately these days we do have to examine a person's motives for saying what they say. If one "professional" says something good or bad about another one just try to determine if there is anything in it for them. Sadly the doller is a great motivator, and the quest for more of it is almost always behind what we hear and see.
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