The wedding date
This is the first things your wedding cake maker will ask you. Many cake makers, like I love that cake Co., are small businesses and will only accept one wedding cake booking in any week. Before we commit to making your wedding cake we need to make sure your dates are available!
Your wedding venue
First, location – do check that your wedding venue is within your wedding cake maker's delivery area, if not you will have to pay an additonal delivery charge or arrange collection and setting up of your wedding cake yourself.
Secondly, it is worth discussing with your wedding/reception venue how and where they plan to display your cake on the day – it will help you make decisions about the design and the sort of cake stand you need.
A good wedding cake maker will be happy to talk to your venue for you to co-ordinate delivery and set up of your cake – it is good to get a contact name and number for someone at the venue to help them do this.
Type of cake
There are several questions you need to consider when choosing your flavour of wedding cake – but the first , and most important, is what do you like? Gone are the days of ‘fruitcake or nothing’ and, while some wedding cake designs will limit you to a particular type of cake, in most cases there should be lots of options available.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a tasting session or taster cakes – while some cake makers will charge for this uprfront, most will refunbd the cost from the price of your cake when you order. Can’t decide on a flavour? Ask for different types of cake for different tiers – any good cake company will be happy to oblige.
Size of wedding cake
How many people does your cake need to feed? This will be the main factor in how big/how many tiers your cake should have, so it is good to have at least an approximate number when you first contact a cake-maker.
The second question is what portions size do you require? The standard portion sizes quoted by most cake companies are 1”x 2” for sponge style cakes, and 1” x1” for fruit cake (much richer than sponge and therefore served in much smaller portions). Think about when you are serving the cake - if your wedding cake is being served as a dessert you will need a larger portion size.
Too big, too small?! Sometimes you may have a particular design in mind that does not match well with the number of guests you are feeding – for example, your ideal cake is 4 tiers high but you only have 50 guests? Or maybe you want to feed 200 guests but are on a tight budget? A cunning cake-maker should be able find a solution to this!
Cutting cakes – These are additional cakes, in the same flavour and with the same colour/style of icing as the main wedding cake. They can be kept in the kitchen at your wedding and cut into extra portions when your cake is served – your guests will never know they are not eating from the main wedding cake!
Dummy wedding cakes – having a small wedding but always dreamed of that dramatic 4 tier fantasy wedding cake? Dummy cakes are polystyrene blocks, in the shape of a cake, decorated with the same icing and decor to look just like a real cake (cake-makers use these all the time for competitions). They can be used to add extra tiers to your cake, but at a lower cost than the real thing. Once again, your guests will never know the difference!
Shape and formation of wedding cake
Round? Square? Hexagon? Oval? Heart? Petal? A mixture of several shapes? The variety of combinations is almost endless and, while certain shapes can tend to suit certain styles better, the choice is yours. If you are unsure what you want, then talk to your cake-maker as they can help you decide what shape will best suit your chosen design.
Formation of your wedding cake – this should complement both the size and the design of your cake. The possibilities are endless, but here are some of the more common formations for wedding cakes:
Wedding cake decoration and design
Finally the most exciting part of the process – what will your wedding cake look like?! Some brides and grooms will know exactly the style they want – if this is you try to source images or make sketches to give your cake maker the most informaiton possible. Go online and find pictures of the cake you want, cut photos out of magazines, draw a picture – use whatever you can to make sure your cake-maker can see exactly what your perfect cake looks like!
Not 100% sure what you are looking for? Haven't got the first idea? Well, this is where a talented cake maker can really earn their money! Any good cake maker will be happy to meet with you - more than once if needed - in order to discuss styles, designs and decorative techniques. They should be happy to provide sketches to allow you to really visualise how your cake will look.
Some questions that may help with your cake design:
Theme of your wedding – winter wedding? Spring? Traditional? Vintage style? Modern? Quirky?
Wedding colours – what colours are the wedding party wearing? How is the venue to be decorated? What colour flowers will the bride carry?
The wedding dress – one of the key centre pieces for most weddings, and often the best wedding cakes can reflect the design and style of the dress. Sometimes that is directly, by copying colours or lace patterns etc. other times more generally, by evoking the same style (simplicity, vintage, ornate etc.)
Flowers – a beautiful element of many cake designs, and a great way of making the cake co-ordinate with the wider wedding theme. Sugar flowers or real flowers?
Sugar flowers – any wedding cake maker should be an expert at creating hand-made sugar flowers. A talented cake maker will be able to create pretty much any flower or arrangement - either a naturalistic manner, or stylised to suit your design. Sugar flowers also offer a beautiful keep-sake of your special day.
Real flowers – still very popular, and can be a beautiful addition to your cake. In most cases these will need to be sourced via your florist, not your cake-maker as here are many food safety and health issues involved with putting real flowers on a cake. Most cake makers will co-ordinate with your florist to help you do this.
On the big day
Delivery & set up – most cake makers will include this within your cake price, within a certain delivery area. Wedding cakes are often fragile (and surprisingly heavy!) so only take on delivery yourself if you are sure you have the right type of box and equipment for transport.
Cake stand – many styles of cake stand are available, ask your cake-maker to show you images of the style(s) they think will best complement your wedding cake.
Most wedding cake companies will offer a cake stand hire service for you, or be able to arrange it on your behalf. But first, do check with your venue before you spend money on stand hire – many wedding venues will have basic cake stands available for you to use!
Most hire services will involve a cost for hire plus a returnable loss and damage deposit.
Cutting Knife – this is an ornate cake knife, which can be decorated with ribbon and flowers (real or sugar), for the ceremonial cutting of the cake, and will look beautiful in your wedding photos. Hire of a cutting knife can be arranged much the same as cake-stand hire.
There, you have now thought of everything, your wedding day is finally here – time to have your wedding cake and eat it!
I love that cake Co. xxx