It's nice to think that everyone can afford gorgeous flowers for their wedding. Everyone has a budget, or a place where they feel they would like to prioritize spending. At my first wedding (many moons ago), the bulk of the budget went to fantastic champagne. As a lover of the bubbly, I wanted to delight my guests with the best wine possible- and what suffered? my flower arrangements. I did simple potted plants (for a late summer outdoor tented wedding)- which got something on to the table- however in retrospect, I wish I had gone just a little further. For my upcoming wedding the decor will certainly be much different.
But here we are now decorating cakes- and living in NYC there is not a day when I don't walk past a deli with buckets of flowers outside on the sidewalk. In the Winter months there are usually rows and rows of Carnations and various Mums and, of course, the ubiquitous Rose- but now that Spring is here, Lilacs are singing to me and Peonies and bobble headed Tulips.
We've been having a lot of rain here the past few weeks and if not wet, it has certainly been gray. This morning there was a bit of a reprieve- the sun has finally muscled through, and with that a lilt in my step and a flush of inspiration.
Ducking into Trader Joe's to collect a few groceries, I spied along the window a huge row of fresh flower bouquets! Not just clumps of cellophaned single variety- but lovely arrangements. Pretty mixes in hot pinks and reds, oranges and yellows and some bright green and burgundy. And even better- They were $3.99 a bunch!!!
So I grabbed a few and here is what became of them. Same cake- our Florentine Swirl design in buttercream- and the same flowers- but several different ideas.
The bouquets consisted of Roses in hot pink and deep red, and freesia in purple and pink. There were some green leaves in there too- a waxy long leaf- used as a filler. Altogether I purchased 3 bunches. Again- same cake, same flowers- different looks.
The first cake is only the roses- I made up easy, graceful groupings- not too ordered and a pretty mix of each type of rose. The stems were taped with florist tape and finished pretty. They may either be tucked into the cake, or laid alongside.
The second cake is a generous grouping of the roses on top and then on the bottom a parade of heads around the base of the cake. The rest of the tiers were sprinkled with petals to add lightness and romance.
The third cake used the alstromeria too. A ring of the alstromeria ringed the top tier and then the roses were nestled in between as a topper. Then sporadically simple little groupings of flowers scattered here and there. Again- not too organized, just something that made the eye flow from one to the other.
Lastly- a bit more involved. I purchased at NY Cake and Baking Supply a few things-
- The first is a Wilton Crystal Look Bowl insert that is intended for placing flowers underneath and between column separated tiers. It's a clear, fluted plastic bowl in two pieces. I just used one half (it comes in two pieces). I then bought:
- 2 sets of Wilton Fresh Flower Holders (4 all together). They are white plastic cups that are semi circular and also have a long lip that you can tuck into or under the cake to secure them to it.
- A pair of Wilton plain plastic separator plates, without the columns.
- A block of floral Oasis from Jumali Garden Supply
- A small quantity of hot pink grosgrain ribbon 7/8" from Pacific Trimming Enterprise
I then hot glued together the bowl half to the smooth side of the separator plate. The little knobs on the bottom help to secure the plate into the cake icing and anchor it.
I'm not a fan of the bright white plastic of the flower holders, so I glued on a strip of ribbon. I've also been known to paint these plastic things with a craft latex paint- you can even antique them up- it's stunning!
The next step was to soak the florist oasis in cold water and allow it to sit for a good 15 minutes. You really want the water to soak in. Then the Oasis was trimmed and put into the cup holders.
The flowers were then arranged in the cups and bowl to my satisfaction. I used some of the filler leaves for this one too. The benefit of this method is you really don't have flowers touching the cake at all, and they make for easy removal when its time to cut and serve the cake. In addition the oasis offers the flowers water to drink, so they stay fresh throughout the reception.
These flower holders may also be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge overnight before putting them on the cake.
Please let us know what you think- and certainly if you try it!