Even if you regard yourself as something of a quirky bride, the chances are you’ve chosen to have some sort of a wedding cake on your big day.
You could have chosen:
- A traditional tiered cake with white icing
- A French-style croquembouche (as above)
- A tier of cheeses
- A pyramid of cupcakes
- A tree of cake pops
- A chocolate biscuit style ‘groom’s cake’
… We could go on but you get the idea
Getting the cake right
Whatever you’ve decided on, there are some key pointers to get right when you’re choosing your wedding cake. Don’t worry we’re here to help you, here are some things you need to know.
Don’t blow your budget
You may be drooling over pictures of amazing cakes on Instagram and Pinterest but the reality is that many of these cost over a thousand pounds. If you’re an heiress well, that’s fine but if you want to stretch your wedding budget around a bit then you might have to rein yourself in somewhat.
As a general guide it’s recommended that you spend just 1-2% of your budget on your wedding cake.
There are ways around this of course which we’ll get to later.
Think of the time of year
If you’re marrying in midsummer, with a party out in a marquee, then you might have a scorcher of a day. So much as you love chocolate; a large five tier-cake dripping in chocolate might not be the best plan. You could always have a chocolate fountain with fresh fruit instead.
Marry in midsummer and you could consider a ‘nude’ cake. That is a sponge that isn’t iced but beautifully decorated with flowers and fruit and sprinkled with icing sugar.
Of course, a traditional white iced cake looks good all year round.
Although if you are marrying in the colder months then we say have your chocolate wedding cake and enjoy!
Have layers in different flavours
Think a wedding cake is just a fruit cake, with a marzipan topping covered in fondant icing? Well it doesn’t have to be that way.
Smart brides choose different flavours on each layer. Maybe a traditional layer of fruit cake, then a lemon sponge, then maybe a chocolate sponge. Mix it up a bit. You could have a gluten-free layer and a vegan layer if you have people with particular diets coming along to your reception.
Fancy a tall cake?
If you fancy having a theatrical 10 tier cake well there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. But what about the cost?
The trick is to ask your caterer to put some fake tiers in. This is actually done far more often than you’d think and nobody is any the wiser. They just think you have a cake that’s a bit of a skyscraper!
DIY wedding cakes
Unless you’re a master baker, we wouldn’t recommend that you make your own cake.
However you could go to a good supermarket and buy a plain white iced tiered cake and decorate it yourself for a fraction of what it would cost one to buy ready decorated. Waitrose has a good range by Fiona Cairns who made the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding cake.
Alternatively, if you have a relative who is a wonderful baker who has offered to make your cake then you could accept with delight (it could be a wedding present) and then you could pay for the cake to be professionally iced.
Your cake could take the place of dessert
If you have a particularly sumptuous cake, then you could serve it instead of dessert. This works particularly well if you’re having a buffet-style wedding day.
Serving tea/coffee and cake in a break out area is always popular with the oldies who get to have a good catch-up and who may not want to dance the night away!
Dress up the table
No matter how beautiful the cake is, don’t forget to dress the table it’s placed on. Don’t just leave the caterers to plonk your cake on a table with a plain white cloth. Think ahead a bit.
- You can put your bouquet by the cake
- You could have a sequin tablecloth underneath
- You could have a botanical garland around the edge
- You could have a starlight curtain behind the cake
We hope our advice on wedding cakes has helped you with the decision making process a bit. Don’t forget to share any photographs of your wedding cakes with us on our Facebook page!