Wedding Cake Flower Guide

Photo from Short Street Cakes Flickr Photostream
Edible flowers and bird topper on wedding cake

Jodi Rhoden of Short Street Cakes shares her tips on decorating your wedding cake with edible and non-toxic flowers.

I recently had the opportunity and pleasure of catching up with Jodi at her sweet little (pun intended) cake shop in west Asheville. We had a blast chatting about weddings, cakes, and how her social work degree led to cake baking. (It really is a logical progression if you think about it. But more on that later. Jodi and I will be doing a short series on wedding cakes and her life in cake, so stay tuned!)

In the meantime, spring and summer flower season is ramping up. By way of a reminder, a preponderance of daffodils are busy pushing their lovely heads up from the earth. I thought I'd leave all you DIY brides and grooms out there with a few of Jodi's quick tips for decorating cakes with flowers.

  • Make sure your flowers are not toxic to humans. Jodi says that she gets lots of requests for hydrangeas on wedding cakes. "Hydrangeas are toxic to humans," Jodi notes. While it's unlikely anyone will actually die at your wedding from eating cake decorated with hydrangeas, they are simply not good for humans. Chose flowers that are non-toxic and/or edible (and note that the two are not always the same. While all edible flowers are non-toxic; non all non-toxic flowers are edible).

  • Steer clear of supermarket flowers. Supermarket flowers have often been treated with pesticides, which you do not want on your food. They also typically come from far off lands, such as South America, where banned pesticides such as DDT are still widely used. Apart from the toxicity of the pesticides, trucking flowers in from South America leaves a huge carbon footprint. Even regular florist shop flowers can be treated with pesticides and chemicals. When in doubt, ask! Look for your non-toxic flowers marked "edible" or "organic." A great place to find these is the nearest farmers market.

  • The best flowers you can buy will be in season and locally grown. Most tailgate and farmers markets in western North Carolina offer pesticide free, locally grown, fresh cut flowers.

For more info on which flowers are non-toxic (including edible flowers) check out an exhaustively researched edible flowers chart over at My Life in Cake.