21 Jan How to choose your wedding cake
Choosing the right wedding cake
Congratulations; you’re engaged…and it’s so exciting! Now is the perfect time to start thinking about how to choose your wedding cake. Even if the proposal wasn’t as spectacular as a scene from your favourite rom-com, now you might be feeling the pressure to put together a wedding that is just as stellar. Or at the very least, unique and unlike the other five weddings you’ll be invited to this year.
When you start planning your wedding, the volumes of information can be quite overwhelming. (Let’s not count the hours lost on Instagram/Pinterest searching for something that is right for you and any other members of the wedding party you have to please!) Your other half probably can’t deal with any more wedding talk and comparisons with Sophie’s wedding last year, even though coming down the aisle on a flying unicorn was quite impressive. In all, it can be a challenge.
So let’s start with something I can help you with…the wedding cake; the tastiest part of your planning…
Overall wedding style
You don’t have to come up with anything remotely close to the final cake design but start by thinking about what sort of wedding you might be having, which usually reflects both your styles and personalities. Will it be in a rustic converted barn, a stately home setting or a boho tipi? These large categories of wedding styles may be quite obvious but will help direct you towards your overall look.
Of course, social media is a fantastic resource for putting together some initial ideas. Have a look through the feeds of some of the big name wedding cake designers, most of which I am following, and you’ll soon establish which styles you like and which ones just aren’t for you!
Allocating a budget for your cake should also be part of your initial discussions as this may determine how complex the design can be. Any good cake maker will take this into consideration with either the design or quantity needed. I always advise clients of any limitations necessary whilst still being able to incorporate as much of your personality as possible into the design.
Overall cake design
More specific things to think about to help you get closer to what you’d like is the shape (round, hexagonal, or an interesting mixture of shapes and heights) and the number of tiers. Some couples choose beautiful, delicate smaller cakes whilst others want a spectacular five-tier, showpiece of a design.
You’ll see that many of my designs use fresh flowers (because I just love them!) so this is something to think about. There are other options, however, such as beautiful habotai silk ribbon. And sometimes the design is so colourful and detailed that it needs nothing more than a cake topper. Whether you choose a classic white cake or an artistic design with edible gold leaf, how much colour you think you’d like to include is another factor to consider.
You might not know the answer to this, but a final point on the taste front is whether you’d like buttercream or fondant covered cake. Whichever you choose, this will determine a lot of what you can do with the design. Fondant cakes lend themselves to many techniques such as ruffled tiers, hand-painted watercolour designs and on-trend marbling. Buttercream cakes are lighter and allow the texture to be added to the cake surface. This would also be the right choice if you’d like a semi-naked cake; a design which has been really popular for the last few years.
Start narrowing your social media searches using increasingly specific hashtags, copying them from photos of cakes that you like. You’ll end up with a variety of images which you should save and you can then work from. I always ask couples to send me photos before their consultation, so that I can get a feel for the direction it’s going in and prepare some other design paths I think you might like.
Finding your unique wedding cake
Once you have some gathered all your ideas (and a large collection of screenshots!), this is where I dive in and help. As a cake designer, this is my favourite part of my job! I absolutely love to take your ideas, show you some other styles that you might not have considered, then create a cake design that incorporates your personality and is unique to you. Like all designers, I am inspired by amazing artists around the world, but I never reproduce a copy-cat cake. Finding something that suits you and your wedding means working with a designer who can get to you know you a little and who gets you to think outside the box. I’m happy to spend as long as is needed doing this if it means you achieve your perfect cake.
A unique cake does not have to mean something over-complicated. In fact, as you can see, my designs are simple and modern, which is my signature style. I like to think of your cake as the centrepiece of the reception and it will stand out just for being a little different. I know I’m bound to say this, but your wedding cake is one of the big name features of your wedding day. Just like your dress and first dance music, your guests will really look forward to seeing what you have chosen, will celebrate with you when you cut it and of course be dying to eat it too!
And even if I’m not making your wedding cake, please use me for inspiration and ideas. It’s all about the details and I’d be so happy to know that I’d been added to the growing mountain of information you’re gathering. Good luck and enjoy all your planning!
Here’s a recap which you might find as a useful process in starting your cake plan:
- Your overall style
- Number of tiers/cakes
- Fresh flowers
- Buttercream or fondant
- Specific useful hashtags
- The little details