An Open Letter To Florists: I'm Sorry I Had To Rip Your Arrangement Apart

To any florist who's ever had to do flowers for a wedding cake:

I'm sorry that I had to rip your arrangement apart.

I know that you probably put a lot of work into making a nice arrangement to put on the cake, but it was too wide/too tall/too heavy and it wouldn't fit the cake.

When I told you that the top tier was 6" wide, it didn't mean that the dish the flowers were in should also be 6" wide. That usually makes the flowers look way too big for the cake. The topper that you left was very pretty, but it was also 8" tall and cake tiers are only 4" tall on average. If I left the flowers in the dish that you provided and just put it on the cake it would have looked ridiculous and wouldn't do justice to the flowers or the cake. So I had to take the flowers out and make an arrangement that looked more proportional.

The clusters of flowers that you made to place on the sides of the cake were also beautiful, but they were 6" long and the stems were wrapped in a 3" long, 3/4" thick stick of floral tape that I can't insert into the cake because it isn't food-safe. The ledges on the sides of the cake tiers were only 1" wide, and there's no way that the arrangement was going to fit on the cake.  I had to take it apart and use the individual flowers.

The garland that you made to drape down the cake was also very nice, if it was meant to lie around the base of the cake stand. But the bride wanted it to drape down the sides, and it was twice as long as the height of the cake. I would have cut it in half and put one drape down each side, but it was also so heavy it would have crushed the icing and fallen off of the cake. The fuzzy foliage that was in it would have become embedded in the icing, and most guests don't want to have to pick greenery out of their teeth.

So I unwrapped all of the wires that you'd wrapped up, took out the flowers and about 2% of the greenery that was in it and used that to make a cascade on the cake. I'm sorry that I had to do that to your work, but this was a cake, not a mantelpiece, so a heavy garland just didn't work.

Personally, I'm fine with you leaving loose flowers for me to put on the cake myself. That way I can place them where the bride told me to, and I don't feel like I'm a traitor to another vendor by having to take your stuff apart.

In fact, I think I'll start telling brides that if they're using fresh flowers they should just tell you to save yourself the trouble and leave loose flowers for me to deal with. I hope that this makes your life easier, since I think that we wedding vendors have to stick together and make each other's jobs go smoothly. It will also relieve me of the guilt of destroying that garland...

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC,  online cake supplies at and