Wedding Day Advice | Cakes and Catering

Practical Tips on Choosing a Decadent Wedding Cake

Weddings have taken on a whole new look and feel – the traditional constraints of wedding planning have fallen away to reveal a more creative, free thinking and unique wedding experience. For many women, one of the most exciting aspects of planning a wedding is choosing the perfect wedding cake that reflects the unique style, formality and colour scheme.

If you are in the process of deciding which cake is right for you, then consider the following important points, tips and inspirational elements, put together courtesy of The Wedding Directory team:

Photo Courtesy of: With This Ring Cake Design by: The Cake Girls

Taste preferences
Have your cake and eat it too

The first question you need to ask yourself when deciding on a wedding cake is what is the cake flavour of your choice? Yes, this does sound somewhat elementary, but in some instances, brides tend to go with what is expected of them, rather than what they really enjoy. Be daring, and choose the flavour that expresses you and your husbands taste preferences the most. If you cannot decide on one particular flavour, then perhaps select a few of your top favourites and ask your cake maker to create each tier individually with its own unique flavour. Here are a few wedding cake flavour examples to help get you on your way to choosing your dream wedding cake:

  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Fruit Cake – The traditional favourite
  • Carrot
  • Marble
  • Lemon
  • Orange

Photo Courtesy of: Darcy Miller’s Brides Guide and Martha Stewart

Your Budget
Created to stick you

Bear in mind your budget when deciding on a cake. The more time, labour and materials used on a cake, the more expensive the cake will be. It comes down to detail – to create intricate flowers out of royal icing takes time and will be costly, but decorating the cake with real flowers looks just as beautiful and will not break the bank. You can ask your florist to make up the flowers in a similar style to your bouquet therefore continuing the theme through to your wedding cake.

Inspiration by: Green Wedding Shoes Photos by: Millie Holloman

Finalise your guest list before meeting with the caterer because they will need this to determine the minimum size of the cake and the cost.

Do your homework and get a range of quotes from different confectioners.

Dont forget that as much as a price that is too high can be a put off, dont always go for the cheapest option either; look at portfolios, testimonials, websites and other marketing material to get an idea on the cake makers style and experience.

If your budget is limited, there are a few ways of working it:

  • Use a fake bottom tier made from polystyrene, with the real cake as the top tiers. Each tier will be decorated identically, so nobody will be able to tell the difference.
  • Bakerys and supermarkets have wonderful ranges of already made cakes that can either be used as is or you can ask for the base and decorate the cake yourself – get the girls together and turn it into a fun night in.
  • Stick to traditional cake shapes; round being the most traditional. Square, rectangle and other geometric shapes will be more expensive as they are more difficult to ice.

Flow with the theme

A more formal wedding would be nicely complemented with a more traditional cake, whilst with a themed wedding you can choose a cake designed to coincide with the theme and colour scheme.

Inspiration by: Once Wed Photos by: April Smith Photography

For a truly unique wedding cake, talk to your cake designers, let them know what you are aiming towards and be open to their suggestions as they might be able to come up with a unique twist on your idea that would transform your cake from nice to incredible, remember they do this all the time.

Keep it personalised, for example an adventure-loving couple can top their cake with mini figurines of the newlyweds in a small plane or a motorcycle for a light hearted theme. If you’re planning a Victorian wedding, try a cake draped in bows and Victorian roses.

Photo Courtesy of: Darcy Miller’s Brides Guide and Martha Stewart

Then, there are seasonally themed cakes which give your designers license to let their imaginations run wild. For Autumn weddings, you could opt for a cake garnished with rich warm colours of seasonal fruit and wild berries.

Photo Courtesy of: Darcy Miller’s Brides Guide and Martha Stewart

You can ask your cake maker to make a Spring themed wedding cake that reflects the gorgeously fresh tones of the season with small sprigs of seasonal flowers or delicate white fondant daisies on a sunshine yellow backdrop.

Photo Courtesy of: Darcy Miller’s Brides Guide and Martha Stewart

Apply savvy

Although the world is your oyster on your wedding day and everything should be absolutely perfect, you do need to be practical when it comes down to choosing your wedding cake. You should take into consideration the environment, season and location of your wedding, before making any concrete decisions.

If you are planning on getting married in a hot environment, then it is probably best to avoid fillings and icings that melt in the heat i.e. buttercream, mousse, ice-cream. This doesnt mean you cant have the ice-cream cake that youve dreamt about since you were little; it just means that you will have to take extra precautions to make sure that it doesnt melt. Perhaps have your wedding during the cooler months of the year or choose a reception venue where the climate is controlled.

If you are traveling a long distance to your destination wedding venue, it would probably not be advised to choose a meter high tower cake that is held together with a few dowel rods, chances are you will be handing out doggie bags to all your guests and miss out on the photo opportunity of cutting the cake.

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