What will it be…real flowers or sugar flowers on your wedding cake? If you’re having trouble deciding, let our expert help! We enlisted the advice of Fran Colby, owner and designer of Cakes by Colby. Fran is well-known for her life-like floral creations and wedding cakes that straddle the line of dessert and art. Using her background in interior design, Fran combines color, texture, scale, and balance when creating the most unique accoutrements for wedding and specialty cakes. She has even been taught by Maggie Austin, one of the world’s most renowned cake designers and artists! An acute eye for detail and expert training allows Fran to design intricately decorated cakes that wow. Here she is sharing a few reasons why you might want to skip the fresh florals and opt for a wedding cake with sugar flowers instead!
But first, what exactly are sugar flowers?
This is a great question and one that has a fairly simple answer. Sugar flowers are made from…you guessed it…sugar! These delicate creations can be made from two types of dough: gum paste or fondant. I focus on gum paste flowers as this type of dough allows for the most intricate details. The gum paste dries very hard with an almost porcelain-like finish. They are edible, but because of their hardness, you wouldn’t really want to eat them.
Not all sugar flowers are equal!
Sugar flowers should be a fine work of art made by a cake artist. However, many bakers don’t have the skill or time to make delicate, beautiful sugar flowers. Many times, the petals are very thick, while in actuality, real flower petals are thin. A true sugar flower artist should roll the gum paste very thin and then stretch it to an almost see-through finish, making the flowers look more life-like. Sugar flowers should be realistic!
Aren’t sugar flowers crazy expensive?
Yes, it is true that sugar flowers are more expensive than fresh flowers. My advice is to budget for them at the beginning of your wedding planning. Your cake designer can help you select sugar flowers that take less time to make, and are therefore less costly. A simple cake with just a few gorgeously made sugar flowers can really be a fabulously looking statement piece at your reception.
Now that you know more about sugar flowers, let’s talk about why they could be a better option than real flowers on your wedding cake.
1.) Sugar flowers won’t wilt.
Heat and humidity can wreak havoc on wedding flowers, including those on your cake. A beautifully decorated (and expensive!) wedding cake can easily be ruined by wilted flowers that can’t stand up against the elements, especially at an outdoor reception. Luckily, sugar flowers will look “fresh” no matter the weather or where your wedding takes place!
2.) Sugar flowers are never out of season.
Everyone knows that one way to save money on wedding flowers is to opt for seasonal blooms. But what if you’re getting married in July and really want sunflowers? Or your wedding is in December and you absolutely love white peonies? With sugar flowers on your cake, you don’t have to worry about what season it is as these beauties can be made all year long!
3.) Sugar flowers are completely customizable.
The wonderful thing about sugar flowers is that they are made by hand and from scratch, which means they can be personalized to your liking. Each petal and leaf are cut using special tools and then dyed or painted to match the flower’s natural colors or your wedding color palette. Because sugar flowers can be made in any size or shape, they are easy to scale for a dainty, simple cake or a multi-tiered, show-stopping focal point.
4.) Sugar flowers will last forever!
Unfortunately, the fresh flowers from your wedding will eventually die. However, the sugar flowers on your cake can become keepsakes! Despite being made of sugar, they will last forever at room temperature. This means, you can display them in a vase or on a shelf in your home as a unique memento from one of the most special days of your life.
As if your mouth isn’t watering yet, you can find even more of Fran’s gorgeous work in the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide. Follow @wedding_cakes_by_colby on Instagram too for a digital dose of gorgeous confections!