Choosing a wedding cake isn’t like popping into the bakery and picking one off the shelf. It takes planning, around 3 months preparation time and a lot of decorating. Even the simplest of wedding cakes is complicated compared to the ones you see in the bakery window.
Wedding cakes can be simple, small, huge, multi-tired, fruit, sponge, iced, decorated, undecorated, white, yellow, cream and any colour, shape and consistency under the sun. The sheer variety of wedding cakes available brings with it its own problems, that of choice!
So how do you choose one?
It’s all about design
The first thing you need to consider is the design. If you have a wedding theme already, then this should be fairly simple. Your theme can help influence the size, shape and colour of the cake and be a deciding factor if you have several competing cake types in mind.
Also check the internet for inspiration. We find Pinterest an amazing resource for just about everything and there are literally thousands of wedding cake ideas on there. Wedding sites are also good sources of ideas too.
Once you find something you like, print the images so you can take them to your baker.
It’s all about the price
It surprises many people how expensive wedding cakes are. But, if you have ever been part of the creation process you’ll know why. They are bespoke, made exactly to your specifications, hand decorated and can be works of art in their own right. All that takes time, which has to be paid for.
Be honest about your budget and be realistic about your expectations. There are ways of achieving a fantastic wedding cake on the tiniest of budgets if you talk to the right people, so there’s always a way.
It’s all about the size
Usually, portions dictate the size of the cake. Realistically, a wedding cake should be based on how many people you have to feed rather than how many tiers you want. While you can of course, have whatever you like, it’s more cost efficient to cater for guests rather than just make a statement.
Just because you only have a few guests doesn’t mean you can’t make a statement though! You can use fake tiers to build up the cake to look great in your photographs while only having a tier or two of actual cake. Less waste and less cost.
It’s all about style
Like artists, photographers or fashion designers, bakers have their own style and signatures. When selecting your baker of choice, you need to make sure their style fits your ambitions. Check their portfolio, talk to them and get a feel for their style.
While many bakers are flexible, they all have their ingredients of choice and you are much better working with one who uses your chosen filling or ingredient as their favourite. They will have more skill using it, more enthusiasm for it and will likely produce a better cake because of it.
It’s all about quality
You will find the saying “you get what you pay for” said a lot within wedding planning because it’s true. That exact saying is very apt for wedding cakes too. You can order a cake over the internet from a wholesale bakery, you can order it from someone you know, but make sure it’s of a quality you’re going to be proud of.
Never buy a cake blind. Meet the baker, taste their wares, get a feel for their skill and work with them to ensure you get exactly what you want.
At the end of the day, choosing a wedding cake is all about you. Your tastes, style, wedding theme and budget. Like most aspects of wedding planning, you have to consider many factors when choosing a cake and not just elect for the cheapest or nearest one.
The more effort you put into finding the right baker, the better the cake you get at the end of it. Plus, choosing wedding cakes involves lots of tasting to get the right sponge. What’s not to like!