So he asked and you said "YES" ! You searched "wedding cakes near me" and as if by magic here I am! First and foremost, if you are reading this part of the website a HUGE congratulations is in order. This is where the fun starts ! I am not going to sugar coat it (excuse the pun) planning any event has some element of stress relating to it, however your cake should not be one of those stresses.
So how do you make choosing your wedding cake, stress free? You do this by finding the right cake designer for you. Find one who you can relate to, one who makes you feel as though everything is in hand, who has experience in the wedding industry but most of all, one who you actually like ! Each cake designer has their own styles, some only cater for big weddings and have a minimum order value, some look great but the taste doesn't stack up, some may look fab and taste good but you don't click with them. Every wedding cake designer will have their own consultation routine some have formal appointments which are chargeable on a one to one basis, some will invite you to a wedding fayre that they are exhibiting at, some like myself do free online consults, there is no time constraints, you can ask as many questions as you need, you have everything in writing to refer back to and you can do it all in the comfort of your living room in your pj's!
How do I choose the style of cake? Whether you are having a church wedding, a beach wedding, a barn wedding, a civil ceremony, or a blessing. You will have an idea in your head of the overall look/feel of what you want, by the time you come to sorting out your cake you will also have an idea of colour scheme and may have even bought the dress. So with all this in mind you are now prepared enough to share this information with your cake designer. It is then up to your cake company to work with you and create your unique wedding cake using the information you have provided and their creativity and experience, to produce your dream cake.
How do I know how many to feed? This is a common question. Firstly are you having the cake as a dessert for your wedding breakfast guests or are you catering for your day and nighttime guests to serve at the evening reception? Once you know that part, it's easier to work out . If you are catering for example 70 sit down guests but you have another 50 coming to the evening do, a lot of brides will assume the cake needs to feed 120, but 25% of the guests will not eat cake and there is nothing worse that seeing a beautiful cake sitting on the buffet table at the reception going to waste especially when you have paid good money for it. So always take off approximately 25% of the total amount.
How many tiers will I need? Most cake designers work on a wedding slice portion of 1" x 2" now that doesn't sound a lot but you have to remember that good wedding cakes are a minimum of 4.5"- 5" in depth so you get a good 1"x2"x5" slice of cake- if your potential cake designer only produces cakes 3" high then rethink your choice of cake maker. So with that in mind and as a guide for you :
I have seen a cake that is four tiers that I love the design of but only need to serve 50? If a cake designer says it's not possible, my advice is find another one. Anything is possible and your cake company should do everything they can to give you your dream cake, one thing to remember though using dummy or faux tiers will not necessarily bring the cake down in price, there is just as much work involved as using a real cake.
How much should my cake budget be? The cake is as important as your dress in my opinion. Why? Because you are the centre of attention, you are the bride, you will be photographed getting ready, the dress will be photographed hanging on its hanger on the back of your door, each diamante, pearl or lace detailing will be zoomed in to capture this moment. Your groom will be photographed with his ushers in their suits and shiny shoes. Meanwhile the cake will be taking centre stage at the venue, being photographed with the beautiful decor as a backdrop. When you have said the I-do's and your first dance is on the horizon, your cake will be cut in front of all your guests, in a sea of camera flashes being posted immediately onto social media. That is why you need to make sure your cake is made to the highest quality and you cannot put a price on that. You need to be realistic in your budget, if this is the first time you are getting married, you wouldn't know how much cakes cost, why should you? This is your first time ! If you are serving 74 people for example but your initial cake budget is £150 that equates to approx £2 per slice! How much do you pay for a piece of cake in your local coffee shop ? Bearing in mind that is not a bespoke, handcrafted, personalised, professionally baked slice of cake for a wedding.
Could I get my friend to make it? In short the answer is No. Why? She makes fantastic cakes for her family? You have to understand a very important factor in the cake industry in that any cake that is served to the public either as an individual or through catering or events must be produced from a registered and inspected kitchen which is given a hygiene rating through the local council. That company also has to hold public liability insurance, allergen and food safety certification and be registered with HMRC and declare any earnings or payments even if it only for the ingredients used. Some venues will request that the cake designer shows these to them for approval on delivery. Why is this so important? Have a little read through my blog from 2015 on "Getting Legal Beagle" this will cover all your questions.