Just like your choice of venue, your bridal gown, and your wedding decorations, your wedding cake is a chance to express your personal style, and add to the overall theme of your wedding. It will provide an ornamental feature at your reception, a great photo opportunity when you and your new husband cut it, and a tasty dessert or after dinner snack for your guests.
You should choose and order your wedding cake six to eight months before your wedding, and here are a few of the questions you should consider when you are making that choice.
What size should my wedding cake be?
The number of guests at your wedding will be a major factor in the size of wedding cake you choose, but it is not the only consideration. Wedding cakes are often a key decorative feature, or the focal point of a wedding reception, so you may want to make yours larger than it needs to be just to feed your guests.
You may also want to have extra cake left after the reception to post to people who couldn’t make it or to eat yourselves. It is traditional for couples to save a whole tier of wedding cake to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. Recently many couples are choosing to have different flavoured tiers, which are a great way to keep your guests happy, but it will mean the cake has to be fairly large.
Is my chosen cake suitable for our wedding venue?
The ingredients and icing used in your wedding cake may depend on the temperature of your wedding venue. If you are having an outdoor mid-summer wedding, you will probably need rolled fondant icing as this responds well to high temperatures.
You might have your heart set on a decadent chocolate wedding cake, but unless you are having your reception in air conditioned function rooms, you would have to display, cut and serve this very quickly indeed. Talk to your cake maker about the type of wedding and venue you are having, they should be able to offer sound advice on suitable cake options.
Will the cake fit in with our wedding theme?
Most cake makers and decorators are happy to incorporate your personal ideas into the wedding cake design to make it fit with the theme of your wedding. Whether that means using certain flower decorations, a particular shade of icing, or a full on beach scene, you should look for a cake makers or decorators that is willing to adapt their standard wedding cake designs to meet your needs.
How do I know if it tastes as good as it looks?
All too often, the taste of the wedding cake is overlooked because the couple are concentrating on the look. Visiting your cake maker and tasting the different cake, filling and icing options they offer can be one of the more enjoyable parts of wedding planning. When you think you have decided on a winning combination, consider ordering a small sample cake so you can test it out at home and make sure you have got it right.
Trends in wedding cake design
There are a number of emerging trends in wedding cakes, and here are a few ideas or designs that you might want to consider when choosing your perfect cake.
- Simple and understated. Many couples are choosing classic wedding cake designs inspired by bridal gown fabrics, with a subtle all over pattern.
- Unusually shaped tiers. Couples are increasingly stepping away from circular and square tiers and choosing octagonal, hexagonal, or flower shapes instead. Stacking different shaped tiers can have a dramatic effect. There is also an increase in couples choosing individual cupcake cakes for their wedding day.
- Directly stacked tiers. Contemporary wedding cakes have the tiers stacked one on top of the other rather than being separated by columns or cake boards. Any supports that are used are hidden by fresh or sugared flowers or fruits.
- Coloured icing. As with many aspects of contemporary weddings, colour is creeping in to replace traditional white or ivory icing. Cake makers and decorators are seeing a demand for lavender, pistachio, ice blue and butterscotch to match the wedding theme and bridesmaids’ dresses.
- Tantalising tastes. Many couples are turning away from traditional plain sponge cakes and choosing alternative flavours such as chocolate and pistachio. Some are choosing to combine a piece of their wedding cake with a rich mousse, or pieces of fresh fruit when they serve it to their guests.
- Simple flowers. Whether they are fresh or sugared, flowers continue to play a role in most wedding cake designs. Popular blooms this year are daisies, orchids, calla lilies, tulips and gardenias.