The 4 C’s of Creating a Show-Stopping Wedding Cake Tablecloth with 1,800 Roses
So a bride asks her florist to create ‘something no one has seen before’ with fresh flowers, she’s asking for a real showstopper.
Ian Prosser AIFD, PFCI was asked to transform an understated four-tiered wedding cake into an amazing display. Ian and his team met the challenge by using a burlap tablecloth, 1,800 roses and 40 tubes of OASIS® Floral Adhesive resulting in a rose covered floral wedding cake tablecloth.
“It was truly a labor of love, but the end result was awesome,” said Ian. “I made a suggestion of covering the cake table in roses to the bride, then later wished I hadn’t. It was a lot more involved than I thought it would be. It took four people three hours to cover that table skirt in roses.”
Born in Scotland, Ian began his career with three successful floral design shops in Glasgow. His award-winning work has spanned more than 40 years and includes a long list of accolades and achievements. From Queen Elizabeth to Tom Cruise, this international designer is known for creating exceptional designs for celebrities and flower-savvy brides.
The Creative Team
Ian has been impressing clients in the Tampa, Florida, bay area with his floral designs since 1989. Today his floral company Botanica International Design & Décor Studio designs for events across the globe. The Botanica team shares a core belief that ‘beauty is our work.’
In 2012, Ian established Ian Prosser Productions as a design division for über creative special events and weddings. Visit the website botanicaflorist.com for photos of recent events.
The wedding cake featured simple lines and no ornamentation and sat atop a 40-inch roundtable.
“I had no idea how to do this when I first suggested it,” explained Ian. “I had made a horse blanket of roses before so I decided to use the same technique and also expand the concept. Luckily, it worked.”
Ian began with a rough textured burlap tablecloth as the base of the table skirt. Using a magic marker, he drew a circle around the circumference of the cloth. He then drew intersecting lines through the center to divide the circle into four equal parts.
To keep the design in balance, he divided the stems of roses into four groups, giving each member of his design team 450 for their section. This also prevented having too many blooms in any one area or running out of roses before all sections were complete.
OASIS® Floral Adhesive was applied and rubbed into the burlap tablecloth so the rough fibres could absorb some of the cold glue. As a result helping to lock the roses in place. Most noteworthy glue bonds to glue, so it is a good idea to add a dab of glue at the base of each rose head as well.
A combination of Sahara, Versilla, Vendella and Champagne roses were chosen for the design. After all of the roses were applied, heirloom hydrangea blooms were used to fill in any empty spaces.
Knowing that a rose covered tablecloth could be quite heavy, Ian attached a chicken wire crinoline around the table for support. The decorative table skirt was then attached to the wire frame allowing it to drape fashionably. Bridesmaid bouquets were placed at the base of the cake. As a finishing touch, rose petals were sprinkled over the tabletop to complete the look.
The design team sprayed the design with Floralife® Finishing Touch Spray, an anti-transpirant that helped keep the cut roses fresh and lovely for the wedding.
Once the design was complete, “it was so heavy that it took eight people to lift the cloth and attach it to the sides of the cake table,” said Ian.
Ian soon realized that it took longer to produce the table skirt than he expected. “I had carefully worked out the cost of product but I underestimated the amount of labor and the number of tubes of OASIS® Floral Adhesive that would be necessary.”
He learned from this experience and increased the cost substantially for future orders of the same design. In the end, he was glad that he suggested this elegant design to the bride.
“I loved it,” Ian confided enthusiastically with the lingering remnants of a Scottish brogue. “I was so glad we did it for the experience. It was a real showstopper!”
What amazing ideas for wedding cake table designs can you share with us?
Sharon McGukin Smithers-Oasis North America Design Director Sharon McGukin, AIFD, AAF, PFCI, is a speaker and author known for her “edutaining” floral design tips and Southern charm. She has four decades of design experience, is past president of AIFD and lives in Carrollton, Georgia.