How to get the best from your wedding cake consultation

Your wedding cake consultation is one of those planning moments couples look forward to. Eating lots of yummy cake and waxing lyrical about all the design elements you want to include in the finished creation is so much fun. My consultations are held over zoom so you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home. There are a lot of things to consider before we “meet” to discuss your wedding cake, some of which you may not have thought of before. Below are some helpful ideas to ensure you get the most out of your appointment.

The first two pieces of information needed are date of your wedding and your venue. Both these factors have an impact on the style of cake. Each season has its own feel and colour palette and it’s useful to keep this in mind when designing your cake. If you choose a semi-naked or buttercream finish and want to decorate it with fresh flowers, you need to know that your chosen blooms will be available at the time you are planning to wed. It is important that your cake fits well in the style of venue you have chosen. If your wedding room has very high ceilings a smaller cake may feel a little “lost”, especially during the cutting ceremony and do consider the décor of the room, if it has a strong coloured wallpaper keep this in mind when choosing icing colours.

The number of guests will obviously dictate the size of cake you need. It is customary to cater for approximate 90% of your guests, however remember some people are partial to cake, they may wish to have a piece of each flavour available, you don’t wat to run out! I always advise my couples to choose the size of their cake by thinking about the aesthetics of the design and not how many servings they require because there are lots of way to ensure you have enough to go around. Should you wish to have a real show stopper seven tier masterpiece, but do not want to have left over cake then we can include faux tiers. These are iced styrofoam tiers which look identical to a normal edible tier, they can be included at any level of the cake and no one will know the difference, alternatively if you have your heart set on a 4 tier cake but it won’t yield enough servings for all your guests then I’ll make a cutting cake for the additional amount. Cutting cakes are those which are covered with plain fondant icing with no decoration. They are kept in the kitchen of the venue and cut and served at the same time as the wedding cake.

The choices of flavours are endless, don’t miss the opportunity to have a different one in every tier, how often to do get to have four pieces of different flavoured delicious cake?! My advice is to have a light sponge such a lemon or white chocolate and raspberry, a richer sponge, maybe carrot or chocolate and something a little different, you could always try cherry bakewell or apple cinnamon. I also offer varieties that cater for dietary restrictions, but do keep in mind they are baked in the same kitchen as other cakes, feel free to discuss any questions about food allergies with me.

Don’t forget to think about what covering you would like on your cake. Sugar paste icing gives a clean, smooth base and can be coloured in a myriad of hues. It is the best foundation for intricately detailed designs and forms a fantastically stable base for sugar flowers. If you have your heart set on a really ornamental design with a cascade of sugar flowers then sugar paste is definitely the way to go. Since Harry and Meghan’s wedding the lean towards a buttercream finish has really taken off. Semi-naked, smooth or textured it gives your wedding cake a more relaxed feel. If you want to decorate it with flowers then it is better to choose fresh or buttercream ones and you can of course add fresh fruit, macarons or meringue kisses to add a little something extra.

When it comes to the actual design of your wedding cake, I would suggest you take time to look through magazines or trawl the internet. But in order to make your cake personal to you don’t just copy a design exactly.

Decide which elements really connect with you, there may be a few cakes you really like but when you break it down it may be just one decorative detail that you are drawn to. I always encourage my couples to create a Pinterest board or gather images of cake designs they like, to show me during their consultation. It really helps to see a collection of cakes as I can pinpoint what connects them all and can then tease out the details to use on your cake. It is just as important to discuss what you don’t like so that a design can really represent you and not be a replica of someone else’s.

If you are wanting your cake to include the main colour palette of your wedding then don’t forget to save a swatch of fabric to use for colour matching. Colours can look very different on screen and when making custom icing colours it is really helpful to have a sample to help the matching process.

Making your wedding cake personal is really important to me, I like to find out as much as possible about you, your relationship and special moments you’ve had together so that we can weave this into the detail on the cake. I once had a couple where the bride wanted a very elegant wedding cake with an abundance or sugar flowers and brush embroidery details (a technique where royal icing is brushed onto the cake to look like an embroidery design) and the groom was obsessed with superman, so I used the embroidery technique to adorn one of the tiers with segments of the Superman logo, it was very effective but subtle enough to blend with the rest of the design. They both loved the cake so much as they were both represented and it made the guests chuckle as they knew how obsessed the groom was!

So, you now know what you need to really enjoy your consultation, collect as much information as possible, be open to suggestions and if you want to co-ordinate tasting your flavour options at the same time as discussing your design don’t forget to order your sample box in good time. But most of all enjoy yourself, it is a very exciting moment in your wedding planning!

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