I have wanted to write this blog for quite some time but due to time constraints kept pushing it. But today after having a conversation with one of my clients today about flowers on the cake I decided it was time for me to write my views on one of the most debated topics Fresh Flowers Vs Sugar Flowers on a wedding Cake. Which one to choose? What’s better? How do you decide?
As a cake designer I feel whether fresh or sugar; flowers are a classic way to embellish your wedding cake. Some florists pick just the right flowers and arrange them in a way that they look too perfect to have grown naturally and on the other hand we have some great cake artists like Ron Ben Israel, Jacqueline Butler, Peggy Porschen to name a few who are so skilled at creating lifelike looking blooms and leaves that you may not be able to tell them from the real thing.
So which one to choose? The answer is quite simple. I always suggest based on the theme and design of the cake for the wedding. Rustic theme is in trend this wedding season 2015-2016 and so a naked cake is what most brides are looking for. When it comes to a naked cake I always prefer fresh flowers as the freshness of the flowers compliments the rustic look of the cake. Real flowers come in many shapes, colors and sizes but a flower is a flower - you cannot randomly add other petal shapes to a real flower or change its colors.
If the theme is classy and elegant than I suggest a fondant-covered cake to add the elegance and the sugar flowers to add the oomph factor to the cakes. With sugar flowers, you can create all kinds of flowers both real and imaginary. You can merge half of one flower to half of another and create a unique flower that is special for that particular wedding. We often add elements of fantasy you can’t get in a fresh arrangement like a gold branch, shimmery silver orchids, hydrangeas with pearl centers that mimic the beading on the bride’s gown. As far as sugar flowers go, the only design limitation is your imagination!
What’s better? I am talking about this with my own experience. When I got married I wanted pink lily’s on my wedding cake and that too fresh. When I got the cake I saw that the lily was on the verge of dying. It probably was placed a long time ago and so could not stay fresh for long.
When we do naked cakes we deliver the cake close to the time of cutting the cake so that we could place the flowers at the venue and they look fresh when the bridal couple are ready to cut the cake.
With sugar flowers you don’t have to worry about this. They can be custom made and they don’t wilt so can be kept as a great momento of your wedding day.
How do you decide? The deciding factors are a few
1. Availability – Fresh flowers (like tulips, peonies) are not available through out the year. So you have to compromise or use alternatives. Sugar flowers can be made to exact shape, size and colour irrespective of seasonality.
2. Cost – Flowers are not cheap to buy but 99.9% of the time, it will be cheaper to buy flowers for a cake than to make them. In our part of the globe Fresh flowers are equally expensive and specially the tulips, dahlia’s and giant roses. Since the sugar flowers are hand crafted they are quite expensive. During the consultation, if cost is a concern, I suggest the bridal couple to opt for a simple cake punctuated with one oversize sugar flower that makes a statement, as opposed to lots of small blooms, which are labor intensive and pricey.
3. Hygiene – Fresh flowers used on a cake must be pesticide free and sanitized properly before use and also they are not edible at least most of them Sugar flowers on the other hand are edible and pesticide free.
At SUGARology we hand craft all of our sugar flowers. It’s another expression of our creativity as each flower and petal is individually cut and formed, and custom dusted with an endless variety of coloured petal dust available to us.
So what is your choice? Fresh or real ...Leave your comments below.