Everything You Need To Know About Wedding Cake
As with other elements of your wedding ordering a wedding cake is likely something you’ve never done before. There’ll be lots of decisions to make and so I’ve put together this guide of everything you need to know about wedding cake, decisions that you’ll need to make along the way and what to ask your cake maker too.
Firstly you’ll need to decide who is making your cake. Will it be a friend, relative or will you be hiring a professional? In my opinion it is always best to use a professional. It is a lot of pressure to get this right and I have seen cakes melt in front of my face on a hot day becuase a friend wont be considreing all the logistics of your day.
A professional will not only ensure that your cake tastes and looks exactly how you envisioned for your wedding, they will often let you change your mind a couple of times before final decisions are locked in and will be fully insured too should there be any kind of mishap. Importantly they will (or should) know what questions to ask you about your venue and its logistics to know if the cake you choose is right for your wedding day. Not only will this avoid potential awkward conversations with friends or family if the cake wasn’t what you’d thought it would be but leaving your cake in the hands of a professional also means everyone can kick back, relax and enjoy the day.
Choosing your cake maker
You will have decided on a theme or style for your overall day. Whether that’s rustic, romantic, modern or elegant or something totally different… finding a cake designer that gets your style and you both as a couple will make the process a whole lot easier.
Most cake designers will listen to the couple’s ideas for their cake and take the time to understand the overall wedding vision and set to design something that ties in with this. Many cake designers will have a specific style or expertise, some will specialize in buttercream cakes, others in traditional, a peek at their past work and cake gallery will quickly reveal their style and whether you like their work. It is best to choose a cake designer based on their past work for previous clients, meet them and make sure they understand you and the style you are going for. You’ll be able to check out their Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and website for inspiration and whilst you are there you’ll be able to check out past testimonials too.
How much cake is too much cake?
When deciding how much cake to order, the best place to start is to know how many guests you’d like your wedding cake to serve. The number of portions you need will affect the size and ultimately the cost of your cake. Although, you can order a huge 5-tier showstopper for a smaller number of guests and have your supplier incorporate some dummy tiers instead of real cake tiers. This will leave you with a lot less waste, albeit don't expect the cost to be terribly less as the costs are often in the sugar work. Whislt your cake maker will be able to offer advice on how much cake you’ll need, as a planner, we are there when the cake is cut and then when it is served and we know all too well that it is rarely fuly eaten, and if you have lots of food, sometimes hardly touched, so if you want to ensure that it is eaten, maybe have it served as your dessert with some icecream or fresh fruit. You may also consider serving your wedding cake as part of your evening buffet. If you do decide to do this, make sure you let your cake maker and the kitchen at your venue know, as they’ll be able to provide the correct portions.
How much should you budget?
Price-wise as with anything within your wedding, it’s going to depend on your tastes and requirements as a couple. Buttercream cakes are usually cheaper than fondant and cakes that require a lot of sugar work as the time between them to make varies massively. It’s a good idea to think about your budget early on and once you have a realistic budget in mind take a look at what you are able to get for your money. Most cake designers will have guide prices on their website which will give you an idea of what you can get for your own budget.
The more elaborate the design you choose, the higher the cost will be. Don’t be afraid to be upfront about your cake budget with your designer. They’ll be able to advise on how to create something fabulous without overspending.
You want your cake to look amazing – but it’s also got to taste fabulous too!
Most cake makers will offer a consultation and give you an opportunity to taste the flavour combinations or sample some of their work. We’ve come a long way in just having fruitcake as an option for wedding cake and couples are becoming more and more adventurous in their flavour combinations.
That’s not to say that you can’t stick with the traditional fruit cake, but it is quite heavy.
Popular flavours of wedding cake at the moment include Chocolate cherry, lemon elderflower, salted caramel, chai tea, passionfruit and carrot and mango. Feel free to ask your cake maker to incorporate new flavours or a particular favourite you have into your design. Most cake makers will relish the challenge and love to experiment with new flavour.
Delivery and Set Up
Most wedding cake makers will deliver and set up your cake at your wedding venue, but I am seeing more often that many just want to deliver by courier and not even attend. Whilst this is more cost effective, you may want to get them to include set up in their fee.
Something that is often forgotten is a cake knife to cut the cake. You can get a cake knife, engraved for a keepsake for less than £30 from places like etsy or personalised gift companies, so plenty to choose from.
Many venues will include a cake stand with their packages, however it may not suit your cake, so do check. Talk this through with your cake designer as there are some gorgeous modern cake stands available now that could suit your theme better and it may be something that your designer can provide included in your package or for a small extra.
Finally make sure that your cake is displayed in a fabulous spot, perhaps with a nice backdrop. There’ll likely be photographs of you cutting the cake at some point in the day so you’ll want to make sure that this moment is captured perfectly. It’s also the most expensive cake you’ll ever buy – so make sure it has pride of place and won’t be overlooked by anyone on the day!