Is it Safe to Place Fresh Flowers on a Wedding Cake?

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Fresh flowers can add the perfect touch to a beautiful wedding cake. Whether you choose to have the flowers for your cake taken care of by your bakery, your florist, or you take care of them yourself, there are some important things you’ll need to know.

Some flowers are edible. These can often be found at gourmet grocery stores. If you choose edible flowers to place on your cake, they should be ready to use as soon as you take them out of the container. Be sure to eat flowers only if you are absolutely positive that they are an edible variety and have been grown free of pesticides. Common types of edible flowers include day lilies, dianthus, lilacs, pansies and roses.

Other types of flowers are toxic. Common toxic flowers used for weddings are calla lilies, hyacinths, lilies of the valley, tulips, hydrangeas, birds of paradise and carnations. Ivy can also be toxic. Do your research and ask plenty of questions before placing any type of flower against your cake.

Any type of flower, whether known to be toxic or not, may be safe in theory yet may have been tainted by pesticides used while they were growing. For this reason, it’s important to ask your floral supplier about the origins of any flower that might come in contact with your cake. A small, clear barrier might need to be used to keep the flowers from directly touching the cake.

If you would rather not risk it or it seems like a lot of trouble to determine which flowers might be safe for your cake, you can always choose silk flowers for your cake. These days, many higher quality silk flowers have a remarkably life-like appearance, so if you choose well, no one will notice that the flowers weren’t real. Do keep in mind, however, that it would be difficult to determine whether the silk flowers may have been exposed to anything toxic during the manufacturing process. For this reason, it’s wise to use an inconspicuous barrier between the silk flowers and the cake. An inexpensive, easy-to-find option would be to use a clean soft drink cup lid from a fast food restaurant. When positioned well, the lid will disappear under the flowers.

When it’s time to add flowers to the cake, there are several options to consider. If each layer of the cake is suspended, you’ve probably got room to place blossoms between the layers. A small cluster might be placed on top of the cake, with or without a garland cascading toward the bottom layer. Or small clusters might be placed strategically in various points on the cake.

Discuss the options with your florist and baker plenty of time in advance, and your wedding professionals are likely to have great ideas to help make your cake the center of attention at your reception.