So you’ve set a date, booked a venue and booked your photographer. One of the number one questions I get asked once my couples have booked me is do I know a cake maker or a florist I can recommend. Just like choosing your photographer, choosing your cake and your cake maker can be a bit overwhelming with so many options. So I went for coffee with Lauren from The Honeybee Wedding Cake Co. to get all the info you need on how to choose your wedding cake and baker – you’re welcome!
Where do you even start to design a wedding cake?
Pinterest and Instagram are great places to look at pictures of cakes and it can be a great starting point to send to your cake designer so they get a feel for the style you like. However, remember you are paying for a bespoke service so why not let your cake maker design you something unique and special to you as a couple? I know the best cakes I’ve made are the ones where my couples have given me some clear
guidance but then let me run with it. I will always send over sketches for you to approve so you don’t have a surprise on the day – unless you want one! It may be that your cake designer has seen a new technique or be aware of trends that you’ve not thought of so they should be able to help with some lovely ideas.
When planning out how the cake will look, remember it is not just something sweet to eat but for a big part of the day it’s there as part of the décor. Think about the venue itself, are you having a barn wedding that might lend itself to a rustic cake, or are you in a grand room where something like this one I did at Chiswick House would be more at home?
Talk to your cake designer about the flowers you’re having, your stationery, chair covers etc. Don’t forget your dress either (although maybe not while your partner is listening!) These are all great sources of inspiration and can be included on the cake. I love to make sugar flowers to match the table centres, or use lace patterns to complement your dress.
What about size, do we cater for everyone?
This depends on the portions required and how you want it to look. Your cake maker will be able to recommend the appropriate size – remember not everyone will eat the cake but do discuss with them if you would like extra to take home and share (or to eat for yourselves!!). If you want more tiers than you need portions, you can include dummy tiers, which are just fake cakes decorated in the same way as the rest of the cake. This may reduce the cost slightly but it won’t be as much of a saving as many magazines will have you believe – much of cost is based on the time spent on decorating and perfecting the icing. Separator tiers are also good for adding height – these are mini dummy tiers as seen on the glossy parts of this black cake / navy blue thin layer on the hexagon cake.
So many flavours! How to narrow them down?
3 words – Taste the cake! If you haven’t already booked in with a deposit, many cake makers will charge a nominal amount for tasters – after all it is costing them a lot of money and time to do. Personally, I make this redeemable against your cake price if you go ahead so it is effectively free, but do check. Before spending out money on this and doing lots of tasters, have a look at their reviews, you can see what cakes look like from photos but also look into what people are saying about the taste.
Think about what flavours you both love – it’s your day so have flavours you like! But also think about your guests…. if you want to! If you want to go for some unusual combinations perhaps consider a Victoria sponge or something that’s a crowd pleaser for one of your tiers. Also when deciding which tier to have in which flavour, many of my couples say, “oh we love Salted Caramel, let’s have that the biggest tier!” but, and I may be wrong here, you are unlikely to have more than one or two pieces so perhaps it’s a good idea to have the sizes based on what you think will be most popular to least popular. Also bear in mind the season – something like a zesty Lemon & Elderflower is perfect for spring / summer weddings, and maybe something like a Black Forest for an autumn / winter wedding?
There are so many bakers, how to choose one?
Word of mouth is by far the best. If you’ve been to a wedding and enjoyed the cake, thought it looked amazing – ask the couple who made their cake. Also ask your other suppliers – your photographer and florist for example will have worked with lots of cake makers and are really well placed for offering suggestions of great people.
Follow cake makers on instagram – a good thing to do is follow hashtags for your venue or #essexweddingcakes for example. Have a look at cakes that have been set up at your venue. Check you like their style, and go with someone who makes cakes that you look at and love.
Thank you so much to Lauren from The Honeybee Wedding Cake Co. for her fab insight into choosing your wedding cake. She has limited availability for 2019 and now booking 2020 so get in touch with her to discuss your own cake.
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