Your wedding cake is one of the most important elements of your big day. It's a centrepiece that will be photographed and admired by everyone, so you want to make sure you choose the perfect cake for your special day. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right cake. But don't worry, I've got you covered! Here are some tips for choosing your wedding cake.
Think carefully about design
The design and decoration of your cake should be a reflection of your personal style and preferences. You can opt for a classic design with intricate details, or go for a more modern look with bold colours and simple lines. You can also consider adding handmade sugar flowers or fresh flowers to match your wedding theme. Consider your venue too, is it modern and stylish or a rustic barn, does it have a statement colour on the wall that’s going to clash with your wedding colours? I have made cakes that match the colours in the venue so anything is possible.
Give yourself plenty of time
So, you've set your date and you think you’ve got plenty of time to get things organised right? Well, I'm sorry to burst your bubble but all the great suppliers get booked up months and years in advance so if you’ve been following that certain someone on Instagram and you know you want them to be your photographer/florist/cake designer then you should definitely message them sooner rather than later to get booked in. It’s usually only a small booking fee that’s required. For me it’s £100. You don’t need to know the design of your cake as that bit comes later but it will give you peace of mind knowing you have your favourite cake designer booked in.
Set a budget
This is really important because you don’t want to get booked in and then find out you can’t afford your dream cake. It’s a hard thing to do though because you’ve probably never bought a cake of this size before so it’s difficult to know how much it will cost. Similarly if you have a family member that’s said they will pay for your cake, please make them aware of how much you are looking to spend.
Cakes are not cheap, especially the good ones! You’ve heard the phrase "cheap cakes aren’t great, great cakes aren’t cheap!" It’s true. I had a couple tell me their family friend was paying for their wedding cake and when we had designed their beautiful 4 tier cake with gorgeous sugar flowers and foliage and I’d priced it up the person paying for it said she wasn’t looking to spend that much and they ended up having a plain white cake with no decoration on it at all as she didn’t think "it would be that expensive". I wasted my time and theirs as we sat for ages discussing their ideas, so always make sure you set the budget from the start.
Find your cake designer
Finding the right wedding cake designer can be an important part of planning your wedding so one of the best things you can do is ask for recommendations. Word of mouth is an excellent way of finding out who makes a great cake. Talk to your friends, family members, or other people you know who have recently got married and ask them who made their cake. This will give you a good starting point and help you narrow down your options.
Wedding shows can also be a great way to meet cake designers in person and sample their cakes. I always put a post on my socials for upcoming wedding fayres that I will be at.
Choose YOUR favourite flavours
It’s your wedding remember, not Great Granny’s or Uncle Bobs, yours! What you and your partner choose to have for your cake flavours should be down to you and you alone. You’re (hopefully) never going to buy a wedding cake again so make sure you get the flavours you want. Just bear in mind what you’re having for pudding as you might not want to serve your guests sticky toffee pudding and then sticky toffee cake.
The fun part! Most cake designers offer sample boxes
Once you have saved the date with me you will get a box of five of my most popular cake flavours in a beautiful presentation box to take home with you and try in the comfort of your own home. Some cake designers will hold the tasting at the same time as the design consultation but I find there is nothing worse than being asked a question at the same time as popping a bit of cake in your mouth.
Take a swatch for colour coordination
I always ask my couples to bring a colour swatch to the design consultation. I think it’s important because it can help ensure that your cake complements the overall colour scheme and theme of your wedding.
A colour swatch is a small sample of fabric or material that contains the exact colours that you plan to use in your wedding décor, such as the bridesmaids' dresses, flowers, or table linens. By bringing a colour swatch you can show your cake designer the specific colours you want to incorporate into your wedding, which can help them design a cake that fits seamlessly into your overall vision. I also have my paint cards to hand should you not have a fabric sample I can keep.
In addition, a colour swatch can really help get an accurate sense of the colours you're working with, since colours can sometimes appear differently in different lighting or on a laptop or mobile. By seeing the exact colours you're using in person, I can easily match the colours of your cake to the rest of your wedding décor.
How much cake?
I always say to my couples that not everyone will have a slice of cake so opt for a few less portions but here are a couple of things to consider when choosing the size of your cake:
Aesthetics: A wedding cake is often a centrepiece of the reception, and it should look visually appealing. A cake that is too small for the number of guests may look underwhelming and unimpressive. Conversely, a cake that is too large for the number of guests may look out of proportion and overwhelming. By matching the cake size to the number of guests, you can ensure that the cake looks visually appealing and complements the overall décor of the reception. But hey, I'm not going to stop you from ordering a 7 tier cake if that's what you have your heart set on.
Cost: Wedding cakes can be expensive, and choosing a cake that is too large for the number of guests can drive up the cost unnecessarily. If you choose a cake size that is just under the number of guests, you can ensure that you get a cake that fits your budget while still providing enough cake for everyone.
Choose icing appropriate for the weather
Choosing the appropriate icing for your wedding cake is important for several reasons:
Appearance: The icing on your wedding cake is one of the first things that your guests will notice when they see your wedding cake. Different types of icing have different textures and finishes, and choosing the right one can help to create the perfect look for your cake.
Taste: Choosing the right type of icing can help to enhance the overall taste of your cake. For example, buttercream icing is creamy and sweet, while fondant icing is more sugary and has a smooth, marshmallow-like texture.
Weather: The weather can play a big role in how well your icing will hold up on your wedding day. For example, if you're having an outdoor wedding in the middle of Summer, you may want to choose a more heat-resistant icing like fondant to ensure that your cake doesn't melt or lose its shape. Semi naked, naked and buttercream cakes don’t work as well in the heat, the sponge can also dry out more quickly.
Have a delivery plan
As a cake designer we want to know all about the drive to your venue. Are there winding roads, cobble stones, pot holes, a farm track, loads of stairs, no lift etc. The drive there is just as important as the set up of your wedding cake. I will ask you for your event coordinators name and phone number and contact them the day before your wedding to let them know when I will be arriving and to ask if there is anything I need to be aware of when it comes to setting up the cake.
Give your cake the spotlight.
There is nothing worse than arriving at a venue to set up a wedding cake and finding a plastic silver or black cake stand. I’ve ranted about this before so check out that blog post. Similarly if your cake is positioned in front of a fire extinguisher or the DJs speakers or a radiator – the list goes on. This is the most expensive cake you’re ever going to buy and you need to show it off so make sure you speak to your wedding coordinator to find out where it will go and if you aren't happy with the positioning just tell them.
A beautifully decorated wedding cake can serve as a stunning focal point in the room and can add to the overall décor and ambiance of the wedding. If you have a sweeping staircase why not position it at the foot of the steps?
Cutting the wedding cake is often seen as one of the most significant moments of the wedding reception as it's the first thing you do together as a married couple. It also signals the end of the formalities and the start of the celebration. By placing the cake in the spotlight, you are giving this moment the attention and significance it deserves. Everyone loves a cutting the cake shot – especially the cake designer who made it for you!
Don't forget to eat your cake (seriously!)
You would be amazed at the number of couples who get in touch with me to say how amazing their cake was and all their guests were raving about it but they never got to have a slice!
Did you know it's a symbolic part of the wedding: The wedding cake is often seen as one of the main symbols of a wedding celebration. Cutting the cake and feeding each other a piece is a tradition that has been around for a long time. It's a way of symbolizing the couple's commitment to each other and their willingness to care for each other – yes, I googled that!
Wedding cakes are made to be delicious, with couples investing a lot of time and money to get the perfect flavour and design. By forgetting to eat your cake, you're missing out on a delicious treat that you may not have the chance to taste again.
If you’re worried that you might miss out, ask your wedding coordinator to get you a couple of slices of each flavour to put in your bridal suite – it’s a really nice treat to come back to and great to soak up the alcohol if you’ve over indulged slightly. I always recommend taking a big Tupperware container to take home any leftovers. All of my cakes are freshly baked so you can always freeze what you don’t eat and every time you fancy a slice just take it out and defrost it.
I hope that this has helped answer any questions you had but if not please send me an email and I will do my best to help you.