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  • Writer's pictureSenga Dent

Can we incorporate fresh flowers into our wedding cake design?

This is a question often asked by couples.

a display of flowers for a wedding
wedding floral display

Let me start by saying you absolutely can have fresh flowers as part of your wedding cake decor/design. There is however different categories of flowers and it isn't safe to use all fresh or even dried flowers on or even around your wedding cake.

For the purposes of food, flowers can be broken into three categories:

Edible - Completely safe to be eaten provided it is grown in a food safe way without chemicals stored in a food safe way.

Contact safe - not edible but will not cause harm by coming into contact with your wedding cake, provided once again they are grown without harmful pesticides.

Toxic - these flowers cannot be used on or around your wedding cake as part oall of the plant contains harmful substances. Unfortunately many flowers popular for wedding bouquets are toxic and your cake designer will n ot be able to use these in their design for your and your guests safety. The good news is that as long as they are prepared correctly, there are a good number of fresh flowers that can be used on and around your cake, lets start with these.

Edible flowers

while this isn't an exhaustive list the flowers lsited below are all ebible when grown and stored in a food safe way:

Alyssm, Amaranth, Basil Bay, Begonia, Bellis Daisy, Borage, Calendula, Chervil, Chive Flowers, Coriander Flowers, Cornflowers, Cosmos, Dahlias, Dianthus/Carnations, Dill, Elderflower (not leaves), Electric Daisy, Fennel, Forget Me Nots, Fuchsia, Geranium Leaves, Gladioli, Lavender

Lemon Verbena, Lemon Grass, Lovage, Mallow Mint, Nasturtiums, Nigella/ Love In A Mist, Oregano, Orchids, Oxalis, Pansies, Parlsey, Primula, Rocket Flowers, Roses, Rosemary, Salvia (Sage), Sunflower, Snapdragions, Tagetes / Marigolds Tarragon, Thyme Tulips (heads only), Viola, Wild Primroses.

Contact safe

once again not an exhaustive list:

Achillea / Yarrow, Allium, Astrantia, Bergamont, Bouvardia, Busy Lizzie, Camellia, Camomile, Campanula, Cape Jasmine (not false Jasmine, Gelsemium Sempervirens is very poisonous)

Dandelion Echinacea / Rudbeckia, Eryngium, Freesia, Geraniums, Gerbera, Heliconia, Hibiscus, Hyssopus,Lilac, Lisianthus, Magnolia, Orlaya Grandiflora, Oxeye Garden Daisy, Passion flower, Peony, Pinecones,Protea, Scabious,Statice, Strawflowers, Cactus / Succulents (but commonly misidentified as euphoria which is very toxic), Thistle (not yellow star),Waxflower.


once again not an exhaustive list:

Agapanthus, Aglaomorpha, Alstroemeria, Amaryllis/Hippeastrum, Anemone, Anthurium, Aster, Azalea, Bluebell, Buckthorn, Cherry Blossom, Chrysanthemum, Clematis, Cotton, Cow Parsley, Crocus, Daffodil (Narcissus), Daphne, Delphinium (Larkspur), Foxglove, Frangipani, Gypsophila, Heather, Helenium, Helleborus, Hyacinth, Hydrangea, Iberis, Iris, Laburnum, Lilies, Lily of the Valley, Lobelia, Lupin, Physalis/Chinese Lantern, Poinsettia, Poppy Queen Anne's Lace, Ranunculus, Rhododendron, Snow Berry, Sweetpea,Wisteria.

Toxic Foliage:

Aloe, Beargrass, Dusty Miller / Senecio English Yew, Eucalyptus, Euphorbia / Spurges Fern, Ivy, Holly (and it's berries), Mistletoe, Monstera, Ruscus.

So as you can see a lot of the most popular (in italics) flowers can't be used on your wedding cake, probably the most popular of all is the Gypsophila (Baby's Breath) all parts of this plant are toxic and shouldn't be used in your wedding cake decor or display. While some of these flowers may cause mild symptoms such as a mild rash others are much more serious.

The cake designer you chose should know which fresh flowers and foliage can and can't be used, they should also know how to prepare them for use.

If you really want to use a flower that is on the toxic list, you should consider either sugar flowers or waferpaper flowers. Alternatively using these for a full display for your cake will eliminate all risk. Your wedding cake designer will be happy to discuss this with you.

If you still want to use fresh flowers, your cake designer will liase with your florist to ensure the flowers for your cake will not come from the toxic list.

I hope you found this blog useful



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