Freaking out! Wedding cake peonies & roses

Forum: Cake Disasters

I am doing a wedding cake next week. Spent two weeks making heaps of peonies (my first) in purple and I hate them. I then made white ones with much thinner petals (better) but still not totally happy. Have made a few roses but still have more to make. Every time I pick them up to try and get inspired to come up with some sort of arrangement, I can’t think of anything. They just look big and ugly. I don’t have time to make a whole lot more and I really didn’t charge anything remotely close to what I should have. The bride wants purple & white peonies with deep purple roses and no filler flowers or leaves. I know it is probably too hard to give me advice, but it helps to talk to my cakey family who may understand my stress.
Thanks for listening,
Lorene

Fancy Fondant WA

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52 Replies

miettes ...

Can you show us your flowers?

Laura Willey ...

Hi! I still consider myself a novice in cakes, but I do have some people skills that I can share if that might help. I have been overwhelmed by difficult things like this in the past & I know how stressful it can be when you feel like your hands are tied. First of all, Don’t be so hard on yourself!! You have been given a difficult task, by the bride specifying no leaves or filler flowers. I’ve sometimes felt almost like I was set up to fail when unrealistic expectations have been laid down.
The first thing I would do is talk to the bride ASAP. She’s going to have a lot on her mind so the sooner the better. Just be honest with her. Tell her that you want to meet with her or send her pics of the beautiful flowers you’ve made (and I’m sure they are:) but then tell her that they could be so much more with something to go with them to compliment them. Let her know that you want her to have the best wedding cake she can have but that you’re afraid the “no filler/no leaves” rule won’t allow the cake to be its best. Just try be careful not to criticize her decision, or make her lose confidence in your ability. Tell her you’re excited at the challenge and want to get her input on coming up with an alternative. Try to make her feel like you two are a team (because you are!) and that you need to come up with a solution together. After you’ve made the flowers you need, make a few leaves or filler flowers so that you can show her the difference in the two looks. Explain that gum paste flowers are rigid and the problems that can present. If she is still dead set against leaves/filler flowers ask her about small flower buds, ribbon, tulle, etc. In the end, the decision will be hers and you can only do so much. Who knows, she may be happy with the end result without the leaves/fillers!

When this situation comes up during a consult with a bride/customer I ask them why they have made that decision to restrict my cake creativity, but I put it in a nice way of course. Something like “So you don’t like filler flowers at all or just not the ones you’ve seen so far?” then go from there. “Was it the color of the ones you saw, the quality?” etc and try to get to the root of the problem. Sometimes they have seen a cake that they really didn’t like, sometimes they have trouble envisioning the end product. I’m at the point in my cake career that I’m not afraid to turn people down if I’m not comfortable with something or I’m not totally confident that I can give them what they want or create a product that I am happy with.
Wow, I’ve written a novel! Sorry this is so long! Good luck in your endeavors.

Fancy Fondant WA ...

Wow, Laura I could hug you right now! I have not done many wedding cakes and this is just the most perfect advice I could have heard right now. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blurb and right such beautiful advice. I will definitely take it on board and will do exactly what you have said. Breathing big sigh of relief. ❤️❤️❤️

Fancy Fondant WA ...

Dina, here are my flowers. I need to make heaps more roses and buds and I haven’t dusted the roses, so they will be a deeper colour. The cake dummies are also shown to give you an idea of the base.

Fancy Fondant WA ...

I am not sure if the link works?

Elli Warren ...

Hi Lorene, I have just been reading this thread and what fantastic advise from Laura!! I think she said everything perfectly and can I just say I think your flowers look gorgeous!!! I am not just saying that to make you feel better, they are truly very very pretty!!! I think they are going to look beautiful with fillers or without. Please don’t be worrying anymore, the colours and flowers are beautiful!! :-) x

Goreti ...

I agree with Elli. Those flowers are wonderful. I keep looking at them to see what you are not happy about but quite frankly I don’t see anything wrong with them.

miettes ...

Lorene, Laura’s advice is fantastic and I have to say exactly what Elli and Goreti said, I love your flowers (what you have done so far) and not just saying, I truly like them, the colors are fantastic and I like the hue that is rather soft. I would keep them though in a dark place so that the color does not fade. You have done an aamzing job so far <3 <3

Sweet pear ...

The flowers are gorgeous! And I so understand your feelings .Only a true artist would be so worried for his creation ! You are good, you will succeed and everyone will like it .Success in work!

Fancy Fondant WA ...

I am so grateful for all your encouragement. Thank you everyone. I have done what Laura said and I contacted the bride. She was more than happy for me to add leaves or fillers and to change things around! I have now changed the whole design of the cake and after finishing the rose buds today and reading your comments, I was in a much more positive frame of mind to tackle how to put the flowers together. I had a play around with all the flowers to see what I could possibly do with them and surprised myself! I actually liked what I saw, I am now excited and can go to sleep without thinking all night about what to do. I thought twice about being such a sook on cakesdecor, but I am so thankful for the advice and encouragement. I wish I could hug you all. I will include a picture of my unwired design. Flowers are still to be dusted and have calyx’s etc but to give you an idea.

Laura Willey ...

You are so welcome!! I think we’ve all been in a sticky spot and gotten exasperated! It’s obvious you are SO capable of doing amazing work, (just looking at the cakes you posted) and I hate to see you frustrated. You just needed a little coaxing and I’m glad your “cakey family” could help! I’m so glad it worked out for you! And your flowers are just gorgeous!! Best wishes!
L

miettes ...

Don’t forget to show us the cake when done :D
Hugs xxx

Fancy Fondant WA ...

Ok, I will Dina. Xxoo

Sweet pear ...

Waiting for your masterpiece!

Pink box ...

The flowers look fantastic .. Can’t wait to c the final cake