After all the excitement of getting engaged, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the big decisions you have to make when planning a wedding.
When it comes to wedding cakes, it’s totally ok not to have a clue about what you want your cake to look like or even taste like! This is where a professional baker will be able to inspire you, and steer you in the right direction. Hopefully this post will cut through the mounds of information out there and help you to pick a cake you will remember for years to come.
First and foremost think about your budget. I can’t emphasise this enough! Its better to be clear on this from the beginning, so you and your baker have realistic expectations. The size of the cake, type and design can all be tailored to your needs. Personally I never charge more for a cake just because it’s a wedding cake. It’s all about the amount of work that goes into it, whether it’s for a wedding or a baby shower.
2: Time of year
Next, think about the time of year you are getting married. Flowers, especially organic edible ones are seasonal, so this will be a factor in your decoration type. Another thing to consider, if you are getting married in the hot summer months, (we live in hope they will be!) is that a buttercream drip cake might not be the best option, unless you know your cake will be displayed in an air-conditioned room, so think about where your cake will be displayed, and in what conditions.
3. The Venue
The venue can set the tone and theme of the whole wedding. If you are having a rustic wedding in a barn, you might want to stay away from a traditional iced cake, with royal icing swags and opulent detail, as it would just look wrong in that setting and visa versa. Again your baker should be able to provide you with plenty ideas to fit in with your venue choice.
4: How big?
How many guests will your cake be feeding? A traditional portion is 1” x 2”. However, you might want to consider a dessert table, these usually have a cake as a centrepiece, surrounded by smaller treats like macarons and cake pops. This is also a good option if you have guests with allergies. Some couples stick with tradition and keep one layer of fruitcake for their first wedding anniversary.
Some professional bakers will offer a wedding tasting service (sometimes offset against the price of the wedding cake) where you can taste some cakes, fillings and frostings. The frosting is what surrounds the cake, usually either buttercream or ganache before being covered with rolled icing, depending on your design. Its popular to have different flavours for different tiers, you could even offer a gluten free tier.
This is the really fun part! First of all think about the overall theme of the wedding (See point 3) your baker should be able to show you a range of styles and designs that will fit in with your budget. The more pictures, swatches and design inspiration you can give to your baker the better.
7: Edible favours
Edible favours are proving popular with brides, and we’re not talking about sugared almonds! Lolly pops, little pots of jam, iced biscuits and even these edible broaches that your guests can wear and eat are a great choice. Visit Etsy shop.
8: Delivery and set up
Delivery is usually the preferred option for a wedding cake. Your baker knows how to safely transport and set up your creation and you wouldn’t want that responsibility on any of the bridal party. This is usually charged as an extra, so make sure you check what your bakers policy is.
9: Cake stand/knife hire
Some venues will hire out their cake stands or knives as part of their package, but if not, speak to your baker about whether they offer this service and if it’s included. A deposit will usually be taken in case of damage. Consider also, how you will get the hired stand and knife back to your baker, which is usually within 3 days.
10: Payment and deposit
When it comes to payment, be prepared to pay a deposit on booking and quite often the full amount before the big day. Wedding cake decorations will often be made in advance so the deposit will secure your booking.