Wedding cakes have been a traditional part of proceedings since the Middle Ages. Originally, smaller cakes were presented to the happy couple as gifts. They were piled on a table, and if the bride and groom could reach to kiss over the top, it was considered good luck for the rest of the wedding.
The cut and kiss remain as big a part of the tradition as the cake itself, yet few people know the origins of it.
If you’re planning your wedding and are at the stage where you need to begin selecting a wedding cake, we’re here to help. Like any part of wedding planning, preparation is key for getting the result you deserve. Follow these tips to ensure you get the perfect wedding cake for your big day!
All wedding planning begins with research. Visit wedding websites, buy bridal magazines, ask friends, relatives and anyone in the know about cakes. Read reviews, visit bakeries and find a reliable supplier that has a proven track record of making great wedding cakes.
Most bakeries can make cakes; many can even make celebration cakes, but very few can make great wedding cakes. The complexity and artistry involved in making a wedding cake goes beyond the norm, which is why choosing a bakery with a track record is so important.
Once you have a shortlist, talk to the cake makers and select one that you think will deliver what you want at a price you can afford.
As soon as you have set a date and have selected a wedding theme and reception venue, it’s time to choose the cake. Even if it’s several months in advance, it’s time. A fabulous wedding cake can take months to prepare properly, especially if it’s a traditional fruit cake.
Ideally, you would give the baker between three and six months’ notice to make the cake. One you know the date, have chosen your wedding colour scheme and theme and know where the reception is going to be, you can begin choosing your cake.
Fruit cakes take a few months to mature. Some decorations have to be hand-made long in advance, ingredients may have to be specially ordered, or even created. All these things take time. The more time you give your cake maker, the better the job they can achieve.
Arrange a tasting
A great wedding cake will look the part, but it has to taste great too. Most companies who make wedding cakes will arrange a tasting session with you to select the sponge type and flavours of your cake. Make sure you attend and get to know the baker as well as their product.
There are all sorts of amazing cake designs and exotic flavours that are possible with a wedding cake. That does not mean you have to use them. The more complicated the cake, the more it will cost. The more exotic the flavour, the less likely all your guests will like it.
While it’s your wedding, it is not all about you. Not everyone likes fruit cake; not everyone likes chocolate sponge flavoured with rum. Consider your guest list and what they like when choosing your wedding cake. Remember, if you’re having a multi-tier cake, you can have different sponges in different tiers so you can please everyone.
Not all bakeries work the same way. Some will include the cost of stands and toppers in the price; other’s won’t. Some will charge for delivery; some won’t, others will not deliver at all. You will also need to know if they will set the cake up if they do deliver or whether that’s up to you.
All these little details can make or break a wedding day so it’s important to get them nailed down when you’re doing your initial selection.
Once you have all the information and have made a decision, get confirmation in writing and pay the deposit. Most wedding cake makers will have a brief contract listing the cake, all the details of the sponge, colours and decoration, plus all the other details as discussed above.
Once you have ordered your wedding cake, you can essentially forget about it until nearer the day. Just remember to give them a quick call a few days before the wedding to make sure they are on track and ready for the day!