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Wedding Cake Florals (Fresh vs. Fake vs. Edible)

Updated: Sep 7, 2021

One of the most frequent questions I receive from my brides about their cake design has to do with flowers.

Couples usually come to me with a general idea about what type of flowers they want on their cake, but many have no idea what their options are, or even that they have options!

Sugar flowers are a skill set that few seasoned cake decorators possess, and true edible floral talent may be hard to find locally. If you do happen find someone who can, sugar flowers will be a beautiful addition to your cake!

The 3 main floral options cake designers generally refer to are silk, real, and sugar. Below I touch upon the pros and cons of each, and from there you can make your own decision on what is best for you!

Real Flowers:

This is usually the standard option for florals on a cake!

Naked Cake with real flowers


  • Certain fresh flowers are not in season year-round, or readily available. So, that black and white anemone you were gushing over for your cake...may be a bit pricey, and possibly hard to find.

  • Many flowers don’t last very long without water, so if your cake is sitting in the reception hall waiting to be cut, some types of flowers may start to wilt while waiting for their moment. Certain flowers (like Magnolias) will begin to wilt and die almost immediately after cut.

  • Unless you're selecting the flowers yourself, you and your baker may not have any control over the quality or selection of flowers that are left at the venue. This may lead to a disappointing final outcome especially if the bakers needs weren't communicated to the florist.

  • Also, (and this is my biggest peeve with fresh flowers) dirt and pesticides, Ew! Yes, you can get organically grown flowers and greenery, but many flowers we’re seeing lately that we’d love to decorate with, are poisonous. If the flower should not be consumed by a human or animal, than it’s safe to say it doesn’t belong on your cake. Hydrangeas are one of those flowers.

**There certainly are ways to prevent cross-contamination, but it’s more than likely if the florist is the one placing the flowers on your cake, there is little chance they will be taking measures to prevent the two from touching.

Sugar Flowers: