You can’t tie the knot without a wedding cake – it’s symbolic, traditional and tasty! But there are so many different types of wedding cake to choose from. Here we share some wedding cake ideas and wedding cake tips to help you get one that’s just right for your perfect day.
Looks are important
Every wedding has its own distinct style or theme and the cake has to be in harmony with that. For instance, a rustic cake will look out of place if you’re hosting a very formal black-tie and ballgown affair. So, leave any wedding cake decisions till after you’re sure about dress style and reception décor. You should also consider the nature of the venue, the season, the flower arrangements and possibly the menu.
What do your taste buds tell you?
Make a shortlist of wedding cake creators and discuss the factors mentioned above. Then comes the best bit – the tastings! You might have some ideas of your own but be sure to experience a range of different flavours. A vanilla and chocolate combo is always popular but don’t be afraid to try something a little bit more adventurous. The same goes for fillings – sample as many as you can. Guava and mango or hazelnut and mocha might sound a bit offbeat but they work a treat for wedding cakes!
Size does matter!
The number of guests will determine how big a wedding cake you’ll need (so don’t order it until the guest list is finalised!). Three tiers will probably be sufficient for 50 to 100 guests. More than 200 guests and five tiers might be required. You also need to consider the dimensions of the room. If the reception is in a grand space with high ceilings you need to go large on your wedding cake. One trick is to increase the cake's stature by separating the tiers with columns.
How much should I spend?
The average wedding cake costs around £300. Stores like M&S and Waitrose offer lovely creations for considerably less. Some couples, however, splurge considerably more for their own unique affair - £500 will get you something pretty amazing! Think £400 if you have more than 100 guests. If your budget is tight avoid tiers, handmade sugar flowers and specially moulded shapes. You could even order a small cake that's decorated to perfection plus several 'behind the scenes' sheet cakes of the same flavour to actually feed the majority of guests.
The finish affects the finances
The fancier the finish the more work involved – so you’ll have to splash more cash. Naked and semi-naked wedding cakes work well in a rustic setting or at a less formal occasion. If you add icing the cost goes up, especially if you go for fondant, delicate gum paste, handmade sugar flowers, marzipan fruits, metallic finishes, chocolate-moulded flowers and lace points.
Full marks for presentation
Wedding cakes are a work of art and they need displaying to best effect. Make sure you organise a suitable table for the perfect presentation. A round cake usually works best with a round table but a linear cake design may call for a rectangular table. Dress the table with sumptuous fabrics and decorate it with motifs, colours and flowers to match the cake.
Top it off with a final flourish
A wedding cake topper can transform even the plainest creation into something much more impressive. There’s no shortage of options from the sophisticated to the kitsch and the artisan to the humorous – no need to stick with the traditional figurines!
This little slice of advice has hopefully sharpened your appetite for some serious cake discussions – enjoy!