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Guest Post: Wedding Cake – Real Flowers vs Sugar Flowers

One of the most debated topics: which flowers to choose for your wedding cake – Fresh Flowers or Sugar Flowers? What’s better? How do you decide?


Photo Source: Sugarology

As a cake designer, I feel be it 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. 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.

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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, then 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 lilies 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 can place the flowers at the venue and they look fresh when the bridal couple is 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 throughout the year. So you have to compromise or use alternatives. Sugar flowers can be made to exact shape, size and color 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 – specially the tulips, dahlias and giant roses. Since the sugar flowers are handcrafted, 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 oversized 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, even though most of them are non-edible. Sugar flowers, on the other hand, are edible and pesticide-free.

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At SUGARology we handcraft 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 colored petal dust available to us.

So what is your choice? Fresh or real …Leave your comments below.

Submitted by: Gayu Lewis from SUGARology.

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