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Sugar Flowers or Fresh Flowers?

This is a question I get asked quite a lot! My conversation usually starts with, "are you having flowers as part of your wedding?".

Why? Because if you are having flowers as part of your wedding, for example table decor or bouquets, then this is a good place to start. If you are not having flowers then an alternative decoration may be more suitable.

I will also ask you what type of flowers and foliage you have chosen and whether you have a colour scheme to work with. You may not have decided these things yet and sometimes you need a consultation with your florist or stylist first before we can start on the cake design. All this information can help with deciding your cake flowers.

What are the benefits of sugar flowers?

You can have any variety of flowers and it will always be cake safe (I will be writing a blog about cake safe flowers soon). They are made from food safe materials and prepared and inserted into the cake appropriately.

They can be colour matched to your colour scheme. Being made from flowerpaste they are a wonderful match to a sugarpaste cake covering.

Sugar flowers are a lovely modern twist instead of using real flowers, you can have a variety of colours as well at metallics. I prefer to mix my own colours for all my sugar flowers - I always send samples of colour to you so that you can check the colour against something like fabric swatches.

What are the benefits of fresh flowers?

They are ordered from the same florist that you have chosen for your styling and bouquets. This means they will all match and it's just one supplier for all your flowers.

They will have a more natural and traditional look than sugar flowers.

Fresh flowers will cost less than sugar flowers. Sugar flowers take time and materials to create, when using fresh flowers it requires a lot less work as my main task is just to get them attached to the cake. Quite often there are more flowers provided than what is needed which means I can experiment with the arrangement on the day.

They are also flexible compared to sugar flowers therefore can be manipulated better to fit the size cake that has been made. This includes foliage that can fill gaps.

Are there any disadvantages to sugar flowers or fresh flowers?

Yes, there are some fresh flowers and foliage that I strictly cannot use on a cake. They contain toxins that can make you seriously ill if consumed. I will always suggest an alternative that is fresh or artificial (there are some really convincing artificial products out there. Did you notice that there is artificial gypsophila with the red roses in the image above?).

My sugar flowers are cake safe, but they are not edible. You would be surprised at how many people would like to eat one but they are usually wired and may contain a polystyrene ball in the centre. I wouldn't recommend trying to eat one but they can be a great keepsake!

For the majority of my wedding cakes the unwritten rule seems to be:

Iced Cake = Sugar Flowers Buttercream Cake = Fresh Flowers

but this does not need to be the case.

Buttercream covered cakes

Whether you have chosen a semi-naked or full covering of buttercream, I always think that fresh flowers compliment this style of cake. It usually ties in with a rustic wedding theme too. As there are usually more flowers provided than what I need some of the spares can be used to decorate the cake table.

Iced Cakes

I must admit, I prefer to use sugar flowers, just because I feel it best compliments the cake. However, using fresh flowers is just as beneficial, especially if you want to match your decor or bouquet exactly.

Below is one of my favourite cake designs. The couple requested nude colours with a feature of gold. Gold was featured in their styling and I was able to colour match the leaves with the metallic ribbon quite easily. These are lovely statement flowers - a less is more approach (very much my belief when it comes to designing wedding cakes). As you can see, the sugar flowers do not have to be a different colour to the cake covering. Another favourite design of mine is white flowers and foliage on a white covered cake (stay tuned on my socials for a design coming soon!).

So what do you think, would you prefer to have sugar flowers or fresh flowers? Has any of my opinions or images helped you decide?

If you are still looking for a wedding cake designer - please do get in touch below!

Next month I will be talking about cake safe flowers and foliage.

Follow my Instagram page to see when this is published!

Until next time!

Krissy x

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