How to Choose the Perfect Wedding CakeBy HOPP Team
A beautiful wedding cake will make for the perfect centrepiece to any wedding venue, and have everyone’s mouths watering long before it has been cut.
Pouring through wedding cake designs may not be the most taxing job on your wedding planning to-do list, but wedding cake prices will still require some careful budgeting before you commit to your cake maker. To avoid disappointment, secure your place in your cake maker’s diary at least a few months before the wedding date — the best bakers will be in high demand.
Take a look at our guide to discovering your favourite wedding cake designs, and read up on some of the most important questions you and your fiancé should be asking yourselves before you select from your short list of wedding cake suppliers and place an order. Oh, and don’t worry — tasting will be obligatory.
What is Your Budget?
Wedding cake prices will vary depending on the cake maker, the ingredients used, and, of course, the size of the cake itself. Before you start talking to suppliers, begin with a strict budget in mind, and alter your expectations accordingly. Wedding cake prices will rise sharply if more work is required to pull off the design.
Talk to your wedding cake maker about your vision, and be realistic about the prices. Fondant, for instance, is more costly than buttercream, so consider a beautiful naked wedding cake if your budget is tight.
Traditional or Contemporary Wedding Cake?
We are all well acquainted with the wedding classics: a 3 tier wedding cake — possibly involving fruit — enrobed in white fondant and sugar flowers, and topped with marzipan figurines.
Classic wedding cake designs have remained the norm for a reason; they evoke a sense of luxury, celebration, and luck in a way that is difficult to supersede. A traditional design would make an excellent throwback centrepiece to any retro-inspired wedding, and can always be updated with more indulgent flavours in the sponge.
If you are looking for modern wedding cakes, there are many talented and innovative wedding cake makers out there who will be able to turn your ideas into a workable, stunning design. Forming a collaborative relationship with your supplier will allow you to work a little of your own personal magic into the cake. Don’t feel limited to tradition; these days, elegant wedding cakes come in all shapes and sizes.
How Much Cake Do You Need?
Too-much-cake (if there is such a thing) is always preferable to not-enough-cake. Leftover wedding cake will find a good home; at the end of the evening, there will be no shortage of sweet-toothed guests ready and armed with spare napkins, happy to take a few slices off your hands.
A typical 3 tier wedding cake can feed up to one hundred people, so be sure to discuss your headcount with your cakemaker when the final numbers have been settled.
How Do You Want it to Taste?
Many of the most exciting parts of wedding planning are accompanied by the caveat that, at some time or another, you will begin to feel anxious or overwhelmed by choice. But, when it comes to choosing the flavours for your wedding cake, this simply is not so.
Don’t waste time second-guessing your guests’ preferences; find a cake maker whose wedding cake designs you admire, and arrange for an opportunity to meet, hash out ideas, and — most importantly — experience their work for yourself. Custom made cakes are perfect for any couple looking to create something truly unique, in appearance and flavour.
Chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, lemon drizzle, marble...the list goes on. Gone are the days of austere, heavy fruitcakes trimmed with sickly sweet embellishments; find your soul food, and run with it.
If sponge is not quite your speed, don’t feel limited — use it as another excuse to harness your creativity and do something memorable. Perhaps you would prefer a wedding cheesecake, or a (literal) cheese wedding cake.
Whatever your tastes, find a flavour that appeals to you.
How Would You Your Cake to Look?
Looking at wedding cake designs is enough to set your mouth watering, but finding a style that compliments your theme, and provides enough slices to feed all your guests, takes a little more research.
Your wedding cake will be an integral part of the wedding decor, so think carefully about how you would like to go about tying it in with your theme. You needn’t stick to the traditional 3 tier wedding cake design; research cake makers who specialise in creating unusual or unique shapes with icing and sponge.
Compile an inspiration board of wedding cake designs that appeal to you, and show these to your cake maker; they are artists whose creativity will prove invaluable as you work towards a truly unique design.
Icing, fondant, and marzipan can be coloured to tie-in with your scheme; edible flowers can breathe new life into a more traditional design; a bespoke wedding cake topper can make for a special memento in the years to come.
What Goes on Top?
Elegant wedding cakes deserve an elegant finish, and what goes on top of the cake will take centre stage. Your cake topper can be as simple as a posy of dewy, edible flowers that reflect your colour scheme, or as unique and charming as handmade figurines styled in your likeness. Express a personal sentiment with laser cut calligraphy, or, for a more bohemian look, have your initials sewn onto a string of miniature bunting.
Cutting the wedding cake is a rite of passage for any newlywed couple; it represents the first task you complete as a pair. If you are looking to step way outside of the box and serve your guests another sweet treat like a doughnut stack or croquembouche, then you might consider asking your baker to top it off with a ‘cutting cake’.
This is a much smaller cake, there only for the purpose of allowing newlyweds to continue the tradition of cutting the wedding cake together, even if their tastes lie with another dessert.
Looking for inspiration? Try not to dribble over our range of fabulous wedding cake suppliers.