Everything you need to know about wedding cake

As with other parts of organising a 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 and having seen plenty of undue stress caused at weddings with assembly I’d always recommend a professional (me!). I will not only ensure that your cake tastes and looks exactly how you envisioned for your wedding, I can help you navigate all the different considerations before the final decisions are locked in and I am fully insured too should there be any kind of mishap. 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

In planning your wedding you’ll have likely 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 makers 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 cake maker incorporate dummy tiers instead of real cake tiers. This will leave you with a lot less waste, but please do consider that this may still cost almost the same, as it’s largely down to the amount of time it takes your cake maker to add all the intricate decorations, rather than the basic cost of ingredients versus a polystyrene dummy. Your cake maker will be able to offer advice on how much cake you’ll need. You may also consider serving your wedding cake as part of your evening reception. 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 I 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 cakes as the time it takes to create 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.

Flavours

You want your cake to look amazing – but it’s also got to taste fabulous too! Most cake makers will offer a consultation whereby you can taste flavour combinations, sample some of their work, browse their portfolio and ask any questions you may have. 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 and incorporate a fruit element into your cake – it’s your wedding after all! Popular flavours of wedding cake at the moment include mocha spiced chocolate, lemon elderflower, orange and berry with dark chocolate, chai tea 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. Make sure that this is included within your quote. You’ll also need to consider who will be providing the cake stand and knife to cut the cake too. Many venues will now include a cake stand with their packages, however it may not suit your cake. Talk this through with your 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. Take a look behind your cake table – are there things like emergency exit signs, fire extinguishers, light switches or radiators? Is it in a nicely lit position or a dark and gloomy corner? There’ll 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 – if you’ve considered this beforehand, not only will your cake maker be overjoyed, but so will your photographer! 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!

Somerside Photography

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