Choosing the cake: let’s face it…… the first thing your guest want to see at the wedding is your GOWN…. The first thing they want to see at the reception is the CAKE!!
With so many options for designs and styles for the bride to choose from it can be a pretty daunting task. Oddly enough it is often the last thing on the to do list, because brides make it way more difficult than it really is.
We usually look to the trends of the season to see what’s hot in styles. The wedding cake can be a perfect place to extend that style of the wedding, but I think so many choose to go with a very plain cake just because they are overwhelmed with the choices or afraid to step outside the box. You really can add a WOW factor to your reception even if it is a very formal occasion. The reception is a place to socialize and have fun so why not make the cake fun.
Choosing the cake for you. There is more to it than just a pretty cake. Will the season dictate the flavor you want to present… fall flavors could be spice or pumpkin with a cream cheese filling. Spring may be almond vanilla and a fruit filling. Anything goes and most brides are offering some varieties to choose from.
Choosing a wedding cake can easily be broken down into a few basic parts.
*Icing in the first choice. Butter cream or fondant? Some of the designs will dictate fondant, like the pillow cake. Sometimes you can do buttercream with fondant accents. Fondant gets a bad rap because it is often a bad brand or it is applied to thickly because the decorator may not be confident in doing it. Find someone with the experience to do fondant work.
*Shape and structure is the second. Round, square, pillows, hexagon, oval or assorted. Is it stacked or tiered? Straight or twisted?
Colors: Will you be incorporating colors into the cake? Color could be used just in the decoration around the cake and not actually on the cake. The whole cake can be your color.
Flowers and toppers: fresh flowers are beautiful on a cake.. but you do have to be cautions of pesticides. Talk to your florist or you can have the cake designer make sugar flowers to match. They do also make great keepsakes.
Design : Do you want something that will mimic your gown in the style or the lace. If the decorator is advanced and current in her skills she should be able to do that type of work. Doing a google image search will help this process. You should be able to take a few different ideas to your designer….it is her job to help you bring it all together.
When you are searching for a designer make sure you check them out. Are they insured, licensed and legal? If not, then you may be taking a risk using them. Ask them!! The ones that ARE on then up and up will not mind answering you. Missouri has recently adopted Cottage Laws for food service. This allows anyone to bake from their home kitchen and see that product. They are only inspected once for a general review. You really should know where that cake is coming from and quite frankly you should be able to ask to see that space.
Second is, are they capable. When you look at the web site do you see quality work? Is it varied and current in the trends and newest skills available? Are they willing to work with your design ideas? If you see lesser quality work it may be something you would want to pass on. Saving money is not worth having a disaster. Retail bakeries are ok but you do run a risk of getting an inexperienced decorator on the day your cake is made.
Comparing designers: It used to be easy to compare designers. Now it takes some research. Wedding cakes are priced per serving, BUT the differences now lie in the serving guides and in the “add-ons” as well as the price per serving……..To make it even more complicated the serving guides vary. For the 6” cake on top it can be as much as 8-14 slice difference. ………… In order to really get an idea of your total price you will need to have a consultation. In my opinion, those should be free. Then there will be a full understanding of what you would be getting. If they do charge, at the very least that price should be deducted from your wedding cake.
Visit about 3 cake designers: Ask for samples. See how it all FEELS!! Really, rely on your instincts. We are women. We know when a person is the right fit. If you feel like that person is not getting it or wants to push you into a different design then maybe it’s just not the right mix.
Some of the DYI things you can do to make your cake presentation more amazing. A lot of designers that have items you can rent, BUT there is a wide variety of ways you can dress up the table without spending the extra money. Work with the designer and explain what your vision is regarding the table to make sure the cake is not being put at risk of falling.
Lift the cake: Crates or water glass crates covered with special linens can be beautiful…. Sometimes your venue can help with these ideas too.
Add lighting. Use ice blocks. Votives and lots of rose petals or add a little bling with Jewels or sparkly fabric.