Can you copy this wedding cake for my own wedding?

The images of cakes seen online and in magazines can be used for inspiration.  I would say not many cake decorators enjoy simply reproducing a design from another cake decorator.  In instances where I am asked to do this, I always seek permission from the original cake decorator as they should also be credited with the design.  On the rare occasion where permission is refused I will work with the couple to design something in the style of but essentially different from the original design.  E.g. last year I was asked to make the Peggy Porschen floral avalanche cake (http://flowerona.com/2013/06/wedding-wednesday-floral-inspired-iced-wedding-cakes-from-peggy-porschen-2/).

I called up the Peggy Porschen team to tell them I’d been asked to reproduce this iconic cake.  They said they couldn’t allow me to reproduce it, but according to copyright law as long as there were at least 7 marked differences in the design, then this would not breach copyright.  I discussed this with the bride (who is a florist) and she agreed to think about changes.  In the end, and working to detailed flower type and colour specifications, almost all of the flowers on the cascade were changed (and I also learned how to make some new sugar flowers whilst trialling making them).  What we ended up with was a beautiful cake essentially designed by the bride, not breaching copyright or losing the goodwill of a respected, admired and leading cake designer.

Here is the sketch for the cake once the details had been decided:

And here is the finished cake:

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In January 2016, I went on Peggy Porschen’s ‘Business of Wedding Cakes’ course in Belgravia, and told her about this cake I was making and my conversation with her team.  She was nicely surprised that I had bothered to check with her team first, and she also said she liked my sketch so I’m happy to have the approval of my first and biggest inspiration in the cake decorating world.

My sketch of the cake for the bride once the changes in design had been implemented:

Although the sugar flowers were very different to the original Peggy Porschen design, the cascade effect was still achieved.

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