So you've become engaged and the exciting task of planning your big day has begun. You know where you want to get married, the style of wedding you want and have found 'the dress', but where do you start with your cake?
Style Of Cake
First, think about the type of cake that will fit into your wedding venue and the overall style of your big day. Are you getting married in the luxurious surrounding of a beautiful manor house or are you having a rustic, tipi wedding? This will help guide you in the style of cake that will fit into your big day best.
Naked cakes and semi-naked cakes are very popular right now and are a good way to keep costs down if you don't have a huge wedding budget. Naked cakes have no buttercream or icing on the outside of the cake, whereas a semi-naked cake has a thin coating of buttercream around the sponge. Both look beautiful dressed with fruits or fresh flowers. You can still choose more than one flavour of sponge to give your guests choice. They are particularly popular with summer weddings.
Perhaps you'd like a more traditional style of cake. Sugar flowers, ruffles, lace and royal iced details could all be incorporated. Lustre can also add a subtle sheen to some tiers which gives a nice contrast to the matt fondant. There are lots of options to keep your cake more traditional but also give it a modern feel.
Or are you having a modern or quirky styled wedding that calls for a less than traditional cake? Drips, metallics, bright colours and vivid prints are all popular trends right now. Having tall, or shorter tiers and mixing up the shapes of your tiers is a way to add interest and a modern vibe to your cake too.
Don't forget Pinterest! It is an amazing resource for design ideas. We have our own 'Wedding Cake Ideas' Pinterest board here to help you choose your cake.
When you plan your wedding, think about the budget you have in mind for your wedding cake.
Your cake may be very important to you or it might just be something you feel is a necessity. Try to remember however, that every guest at your wedding will see the cake and most will eat it so it would be better that it both looks and tastes good.
Try to be realistic when you set your budget. This may seem a daunting task if you don't know the first thing about cakes. As an example, a piece of cake from a department store cafe will cost you at least £3.00 so it is unlikely your wedding cake will be less than this per portion.
Many high street shops now offer wedding cakes to buy off the shelf for a budget price, but these cannot really be compared to a handmade, bespoke cake.
If an off the shelf cake is all your budget will allow then go with that and dress it up with fresh flowers, coordinating ribbon or a cake topper.
But if you want a cake that is especially designed for you and completely bespoke, then you need to have a realistic expectation as to what it may cost.
We always ask couples to give us an idea of their budget when we meet with them so we can plan ideas for their cake accordingly. It also allows us to be realistic about what is achievable within a budget or to make small changes that reduce the cost but still keep the overall design similar. For example, a couple would like metallic gold on their wedding cake. A higher budget might allow the use of 24 carat edible gold leaf, whereas for a more modest budget we could achieve a similar effect by using gold lustre.
Choosing A Cake Designer
The most obvious place to start is online, but this can be a bit of a minefield! How do you know who is the best company to choose?
Look at the photographs of the cakes on a companies website and Facebook page. Do they look genuine? Are they all of a similar standard? Can you see anything you wouldn't be happy with if it was your cake?
Check the supplier is insured, food hygiene qualified and registered with their local council. They don't have to have a physical shop. Lots of cake suppliers choose to work from their home these days (us included), but there are strict hygiene and health and safety rules and regulations that need to be followed so if they have taken these steps, they are at least trying to do things properly.
Ask friends who made their wedding cake, or if they have been to any weddings where the cake was amazing. Look on social media sites; Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram etc. Lots of companies advertise on these sites or post examples of their work.
Ask your wedding venue if they have a preferred supplier or any suppliers they recommend.
Read reviews of people's work. Most companies post testimonials on their websites but Facebook is a fantastic way to leave feedback for companies so check this too. Also, Google the business - are they present? Do they have Google reviews? These are obviously not the be all and end all but its good to read other peoples experiences to help you decide if this is the right business for you to work with.
Ask To Meet With Your Chosen Company
Once you have narrowed down your search, arrange to meet your chosen company/companies for a consultation. Does the company let you taste their cakes when you meet them? This is very important, as obviously you want your cake to taste good too.
Some people offer consultations for free, whereas some may charge a small fee to cover their time and expense in making samples for you to try. Clarify this before you book. Our consultations are free of charge.
Questions To Ask During A Consultation
Usually you will have around an hour of someones time for a consultation. You may want to ask some of these questions during that if they are not already covered:
- Do you make your cakes and filings from scratch?
- What will my cake be filled with and covered with before it is iced?
- Will you deliver and set up my cake?
- Will you liaise with the venue and other suppliers for me if needed?
- How tall will each tier of my cake be?
- Can I have each tier a different flavour?
- What are your payment terms?
- Do you hire cake stands?
Hopefully then, you will be happy with the person you have chosen and they will go on to make the wedding cake of your dreams a reality.
If you are interested in a consultation and tasting with us, please contact us using the 'Contact Us' form on our website or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading!