After your dress, venue and flowers, your wedding cake is going to be a centrepiece at your wedding reception, so it deserves some careful planning. There will be lots of photographs of you posing with it and cutting it, so it's worth making it a memory to remember. Read on for my top tips for ensuring your wedding cake is everything you dreamed it would be, and more!
1. Think about what you like and don’t like
As with everything else, cake styles change, and trends come and go, so there is so much choice out there! I would always recommend adding some images to a Pinterest board (or other mood board!)
Different types of cake might be:
Tiered and stacked cakes in various shapes (eg round, hexagonal, square, novelty), covered in fondant, buttercream or ‘naked’.
Cupcake Towers with or without a cake tier
Mini Cakes, including mini stacked cakes, spherical cakes or cupcakes
Cheese Wheel Cakes – a range of different types of cheese, stacked to resemble a cake - you can get all different versions of these - think cinnamon rolls, pies, cheesecakes, whatever you fancy!
Think about which of these you really love to start narrowing down your choices.
It can often be a surprise that the 4-tier regal design you were considering is closer to the £1000 mark rather than the £200 you were expecting. Remember you are paying for a bespoke, one-off, edible work of art, and that takes skill and expertise. The more complex the design, (eg ruffles, flowers, intricate piping, complex flavours etc) the more skill, expertise and time is required by your cake artist.
If budget isn’t a factor for you, definitely go all out on the design of your cake! But if you do need to stick to a budget, be honest with your cake artist on what that is. Some cake artists have a minimum order value, but they will often relish the challenge to create the best possible cake they can in your price range.
3. How many guests will you be having?
You need to have an idea on your guest numbers before you finalise the size of your cake. Your guest numbers don't have to completely guide this, but they can be a good starting point.
Consider whether your cake will be served only to your day guests or whether it will be served later on to include your evening guests.
If you are only having a small wedding, but still want the impact of an elaborate 5 tier cake, speak to your cake artist about using ‘fake cake’ for some of the tiers. This will give the effect that you are going for but you’re not having to waste a lot of cake - although, what is wasted cake?!
4. Serving your cake
When and how you plan to serve your cake is an important factor in deciding the size and number of portions you need. The main ways of serving your cake are:
Instead of dessert - as the final course of the wedding breakfast.
Your standard portion size for this will usually be 2"x1", and you will need to ensure you have a portion for each guest at your daytime reception.
You might need to check that this is an option with your venue caterers.
During the evening reception - you will need to include the number of evening guests into the equation. But bear in mind that not everyone will need or want a piece of cake, and you can serve smaller portions for this.
As part of a dessert table - if you're having a dessert table with lots of tasty treat options, it is highly unlikely that everyone will want a piece of cake. For this, you can serve smaller portions, and you only need to cater for around half of your guests
Make sure to tell the venue what portion size you would like served. Also let them know what you want to do with any leftover cake!
5. Style & Design
It is likely that your wedding cake will be inspired by the theme and style of your wedding.
You can take inspiration from things like …
Choose a cake that will fit with the style of your chosen venue. For example:
A large tiered elegant cake would suit a stately home well
Something semi-naked with fresh flowers would work well for an outdoor wedding
Your wedding dress:
Some brides choose to use the style and design of their wedding dress to inspire their cake. Your cake artist will be able to replicate elements such as the lace, pleating and beading of your dress.
If you have specific colours or designs on your invitations, you could use this as inspiration for your cake. Specific colours or flowers would work beautifully for this.
The overall style and theme of your wedding:
The overall style of your ceremony and reception can inspire your cake. Use the same flowers to decorate, or take inspiration from table decorations.
If you hate plain white cakes, go for something col