Top Tips for choosing your Wedding Cake

1. You will need to consider how many guests will want a piece of cake. If you are serving the cake as dessert then you will need a larger portion per person but if it is in addition to dessert, a 2” x 1” portion per person will be adequate. Your cake decorator will then advise you about what size cake you will need. If you want to keep costs down, you can ask for a ‘cutting’ cake in addition to a smaller decorated one which will give more portions without the cost of decoration.
2. Make sure your cake will taste as great as it looks, so sample some cake before you book your wedding cake. Most cake decorators will offer you a consultation with tasting although some may charge a small fee. If you are having a tiered cake you could have different flavours for each tier so you can choose all your favourites. It’s a good idea to think about the wedding menu and you may want to choose complementary flavours particularly if you’re serving your cake as dessert. If you choose sponge cake it will need to be eaten within a few days. A fruit cake will last much longer, so consider when you will be cutting the cake and when your guests will be eating it. Have a look at some flavour ideas here.
3. Consider whether you will need to provide for special dietary requirements. Your cake decorator should be able to prepare cakes for most needs. You can also request any modifications such as less fruit in your fruit cake.
4. Looking for pictures of your dream cake is a great idea to help your wedding cake decorator to get an idea of what styles you like. It will also help if you have pictures or swatches of fabric from wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, floral arrangements, invitations, if you want to incorporate these into the cake design.
5. Discuss your budget with your cake decorator as there may be ways you can achieve your dream cake on a lower budget if needed by simplifying elements of the design.
6. Check with your venue that they can provide a cake table and knife for your wedding cake. Think about how you will need to decorate the table so that your cake looks its best, your wedding cake decorator may help you with this.
7. Wedding cakes should ideally be booked at least 12 – 16 weeks in advance of your wedding. Many cake decorators get very busy, particularly during peak wedding time – April to September, so book as early as possible. Also, some decorations like sugar flowers and models can take many hours to make by hand.
8. Fresh flowers are not necessarily cheaper than hand-made sugar flowers and you would need to consider how long they would last out of water. Also, some flowers are not edible, some even poisonous and could have been sprayed with chemicals and although they are not going to be eaten, you may not want to put them on your cake.

Wedding Cake Countdown…

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How to plan your Wedding Cake…

6 months to 1 year

~It’s never too early to start planning for your perfect day! Depending on the date you would like you may be wise to start planning a year ahead as many suppliers get booked up quickly during the ‘wedding season’ May to August. Although you may not have a definite idea of how you would like your cake to look and taste it’s worth checking out your favourite cake designers for ideas and prices and whether they would have your date available.
~Once you have an idea of guest numbers you will be able to request provisional quotes from cake decorators. You will need to consider how many guests will want a piece of cake. If you are serving the cake as dessert then you will need a larger portion per person but if it is in addition to dessert, a 1” x 1” portion per person will be adequate. Your cake designer will then advise you about what size cake you will need. If you want to keep costs down you can ask for a ‘cutting’ cake in addition to a smaller decorated one which will give more portions without the cost of decoration.
~Taste some cake! Most cake designers will offer a wedding cake consultation where you can meet with them and chat about your ideas and taste some cake. Think about your flavours – there are so many combinations to choose from and your cake decorator will be able to help you with some ideas. If you are having a tiered cake you could have different flavours for each tier but if you choose sponge cake it will need to be eaten within a few days. A fruit cake will last much longer, so consider when you will be cutting the cake and when your guests will be eating it. Some designers charge for wedding cake consultations but some will discount the price from the cake order.
~Consider whether you will need to provide for special dietary requirements. Your cake decorator should be able to prepare cakes for most needs. You can also request any modifications such as less fruit in your fruit cake.
~A cake designer will probably not be able to give a definite price until the size, flavours and design of the cake are decided but they can give you price guides and options. Make sure you let them know what your budget is so that they can create a cake design to fit what you need.
~If you have ideas, wedding colours, theme and/or photos of things you have seen, take these along to your cake designer. All your ideas can be incorporated into the design. Even if you want a very simple cake it will help to give an idea of how you would like your dream cake to look.
~Along with the number of guests expected your cake designer will need to know the venue details for delivery and setting up and whether there will be a cake table ready. You will need to check with the venue whether they can provide a knife to cut the cake and whether they have a cake stand you can use. If not, you will need to talk to your cake designer about hiring these.
~You will need to pay a deposit to secure your booking and the cake designer will give you a completed cake order with all the details for your records. The final balance will be due on or before the wedding date.

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3 months

~Go through your order form and make sure all the details are correct. Check when the final payment is due for your wedding cake.
~Make sure your designer has any colour swatches needed.
~Check with your caterer whether they can cut the cake for you into the required portions. Some venues/ caterers charge for this service.

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1 month

~Confirm all the order details with your cake designer – from final payment to delivery and set up instructions.

Enjoy your cake!

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