Day-of Details: Who Puts the Flowers on the Cake?

Day-of Details: Who Puts the Flowers on the Cake?
April 27, 2017

As wedding professionals, the goal is to leave no stone unturned, no detail overlooked. But, we are all human and it happens sometimes. So today, we wanted to talk about one of those day-of details that can sometimes be overlooked, leaving vendors confused about whose responsibility it is - cake flowers.

Read on to learn about how Puerto Rico based wedding planner Alba Figueroa and San Diego based baker Jenny Williams approach things as well as our tips to make sure that this detail is always covered.


Define What Flowers Are Needed

Alba: Usually the cake designer will let me know exactly how many flowers they will need for the design to make sure we have enough flowers  to complete the look. For example, let’s say that for a luxe design of a 3 tiered cake, the cake designer will need 7 peonies, 9 garden roses, 20 spray roses, and 5 springs of Italian Ruscus to coordinate with the floral center pieces in the venue. I try to make sure they have a little extra in case a flower breaks or there is room to add a little more.  Planning ahead will allow you to avoid pulling flowers from arrangements.

Jenny: We usually rely on the florist for this detail since they know exactly what florals are being used throughout the decor. There are some flowers that are easier to work with on cakes so, it is always a good idea to at least exchange a couple of emails to make sure everyone is on the same page. We also prefer to know what types of flowers are being considered to make sure the the spacing of the tiers will accommodate them.

Get on the same page: Know what types of flowers you are considering decorating the cake with before meeting with your baker. That way, whoever is sketching the cake design can include it and send back to the florist to make sure everything is kosher. Plus, the baker can then construct the cake in a way that is best for the types of flowers being used. 

Define Where The Flowers Are Coming From

Alba: I usually send loose blooms to the cake designer when they are putting the finishing touches on the cake.  I make sure to have several blooms available that are part of the main décor of the wedding and usually ask the cake designer to provide a sketch or packing list of the flowers they need. I don’t like pulling from an arrangement because I won’t be able to have the right quantity if flowers needed for the cake and then the arrangement will look incomplete.

Jenny: When we are confirming details in the contract, we always ask for the details from the florist. Specifically, we mention that the couple needs to order cake flowers from their florist. When the final cake payment is due 3 weeks before the wedding, we confirm that they still want the same décor and remind them to confirm with the florist that they will be providing cake flowers. On the day-of, we assume that flowers will be there and left loose in a vase on the cake table (not in a bouquet, since there is often a toss bouquet on the cake table).

Sometimes we find no flowers so our usual routine is:

  1. Look for the florist. If they are still there, they will probably decorate the cake with the additional blooms after they have finished their décor at the venue
  2. If the florist is no longer there, look for a planner and/or venue co-ordinator, try to contact florist if possible
  3. Worst case scenario we may take small blossoms/foliage from the edges of a very large swag or arrangement on the periphery of the room-we would not resort to taking blooms from centerpieces without direct permission from bride, coordinator or florist
Get on the same page: Include information about where the cake flowers will be coming from and dropped in the details of the day-of timeline. That way, there won't be any confusion about what flowers to use.

Define Who Is Responsible For Decorating The Cake

Alba: The baker is responsible for adding the flowers to the cake. I make sure they have the flowers delivered early in the day so they can prep them and add them to the cake. I usually plan to have everything packaged ahead of time and ready to go rather than the flowers and baker arriving at the same time. I don’t want anyone feeling rushed to finish a job on time as this can lead to poor quality of work.

Jenny: We usually like the florist to decorate the cake, as they have a great eye for it, and are also able to bring out the best in their blooms. But they have often left for the day, so we are happy to decorate if they have left us the flowers.

Get on the same page: Plan ahead! Ask your florist and bakers what their standard process is and make sure to clearly delegate the responsibility before the day-of.


Hero photo courtesy Photos by Heart and Cakes by Kim


About the Author

Aisle Planner Editorial Team
Aisle Planner Editorial Team
The Aisle Planner Editorial Team is a collective of creative writers, editors, and former event pros who obsess over weddings and special events—and the businesses behind them! Drawn to refined details, design, and creativity, our team provides intelligent and straightforward articles with insights, practical tips, and expert guidance in putting Aisle Planner's "Power of One" behind your business.