The preparation of a wedding is not simple, and often not linear either. By nature, they are difficult to manage, and require a lot of forethought before anything is decided in stone; resultantly, smaller elements are often left to the last minute, or done without enough attention. This mistake can cost you, particularly if the details are lacking, and can make a real difference on your big day.
As such, the wedding cake is often considered to be the necessary baptism of fire for any couple planning their nuptials, and not something to be left to one side. Although it merely needs to be symbolic, and live up to your expectations regarding taste and appearance, it can be a very tiring process. So follow these five steps, and don’t delay in finding the perfect cake.
- Think about budget and space
- Be aware of alternatives
- Mould the cake to your theme
- Look for a professional
- Zankyou’s advice
We already know that your budget is going to determine the large majority of your wedding. With the wedding cake, it can happen that although there is an abundance of options, you have to be aware of additional costs which some companies charge for.
Firstly, you should know whether the catering service or the venue you have hired includes a wedding cake, or if you’re going to need to look for another person to make it for you. If you’re looking at the latter, be prepared to fight your way through a jungle of professional bakers to find the one who will make your perfect cake. However, it is important to note that some venues do not allow other providers in their space, so make sure you know the exact policy before you hire anyone.
Your budget is important because quality costs. Whether you’ve hired a master or a novice, most bakers are aware of how much a couple are willing to pay for perfection, and so a wedding cake has the potential to set you back a little way. But establishing a general price, such as between £5-6 per person, is a good way of estimating how much you should be paying for the entire product.
Amongst the most popular cakes today, we’ve found that the more traditional styles and flavours continue to be a favourite. However, more vintage or quirky combinations are also gaining traction. These include:
The classic cake is covered by a white fondant icing, and is perhaps the most commonly associated with weddings. You will see it in every film or artwork, but it maintains its success through its simplicity, and how easy it is to decorate. Additionally, many couples prefer to go with tradition over trying new styles on a day as important as their wedding.
The naked cake is one of the more modern cakes becoming popular, and is in the ‘vintage’ style. This is when a thin layer of liquid icing is spread around the cake itself, but does not provide a complete layer of coverage over the layers. The gaps are often left open, but some opt to then decorate with either fondant or real flowers.
The mirror cake has gained attention for its relative beauty, in that a baker will often use bright colours, and will mix shades together to envelop the entire cake. The icing used is almost completely liquid, and is draped across the cake to create a reflective surface which covers all bases. Once set, the icing shines, and very often draws the eye.
The ruffle cake is also very popular, and owes said popularity to its appearance. Using wet meringue, a wavy and undulating pattern is created on top of the cake, creating a special kind of elegance. Once dry, the meringue can be painted using edible materials, and is often dusted in edible glitter, or, more traditionally, covered in berries and other small fruits.
Although within the realm of deciding the theme of your wedding you have total liberty, you should afterwards make an effort to ensure that all the details conform to this line, including the bouquet, the jewellery, and of course the cake. In this way, the cake should – as much as a cake can – reflect the personality of the couple. In a more classical-style wedding, we would recommend a fondant cake; for a more vintage-themed country wedding, a naked cake might be more appropriate, with its boho chic lineage. However, couples should ensure that the decoration of their cake, its flavour, size and final appearance should not deviate too far from the menu itself.
The professional that you choose is very important, especially in light of the numerous new bakers that are setting up businesses every year. Ever since cooking became an art, the variety of products and creators has multiplied, as have the requests. So, what should you do?
As a priority, figure out what your own expectations are. If the cake is just a formality for you, don’t make your lives more difficult by trying to find a cake that expresses you; choose a more general design, and don’t spend too much getting it decorated by a professional. But if you have grand expectations, and a real palate, choose a designer and baker with some experience who can stretch themselves to give you exactly what it is that you’re picturing. Either way, make sure that beyond anything else, your cake is delicious! There are going to be a lot of people at your reception hoping that it is.
Before you do anything else, investigate all of the options that you have available to you, and make sure that the inside and the decoration are both going to be up to the standard that you want. In the case that your cake is included by your caterer, make sure the flavours of your menu all harmonise – and make yourself clear on your expectations.
Be careful with allergies. A lot of cakes contain ingredients that are potentially dangerous for your guests with allergies, such as those with coeliac who cannot eat gluten, or those who are lactose intolerant. Make sure you don’t just ignore these people either – provide them with an alternative! And make sure that all the ingredients are listed on the menu, to avoid any unfortunate events at your reception.
And if you’re transporting your cake to the venue from another place, make sure whatever vehicle you have arranged is big enough, airy enough, and set at the right temperature – no one wants a wedding cake with melted fondant! Also be sure that you trust the person driving!
A wedding cake can be a key feature at your wedding, and a real treat not only for the bride and groom but for their guests as well. So follow our tips to make sure it’s a moment to remember!