You have booked your wedding venue and ceremony; you have your dress and photographer and now looking at choosing your wedding cake.
To help you with planning your best wedding, I caught up with one of my oldest industry friends and asked her for some advice on all things cake.
Meet Lorena, from Pasticceria Lorena!
She is a Nottingham-based Italian pastry chef with a flair for creating stunning and delicious dessert tables, wedding cakes and favours with a difference, ones that stand out from the crowd and make your mouth water. As an experienced wedding supplier she has put together her top eight things to consider when choosing a wedding cake supplier and cake!
Word of mouth.
Getting a recommendation from someone that you know and trust is a good place to start. If you have a friend or relative who has recently married, ask them to recommend a cake supplier or ask your venue for their recommended cake suppliers.
If this does not help, attend some local wedding fairs and browse the web, but be sure to look for reviews posted about your chosen cake maker.
Cakes are tricky things to transport, so the further afield you go, the longer the delivery journey, this will not only be more costly but will also mean a more precarious one.
Most cake makers will have a travel remit, so be sure to ask when you enquire. Supporting local also means you will be able to attend consultations or meetings easily.
Style and experience.
Look for a cake supplier with experience and ones that can deliver something unique. Each baker will have a style or trademark. Whether its intricate sugar flowers, an ultra-modern design, or a patisserie display, have an idea of what you are looking for and find a cake supplier that fits the bill.
When you think you have found the one, make sure you connect, its so important that they know about your big day and understand your vision.
Whilst it’s a good idea to collate images of cakes you like for inspiration don’t expect a cake designer to replicate something you have found on Pinterest unless it’s their own design, most designers will expect some artistic license when designing a cake, after all, that is what you are paying them for. If you want something that is an exact replica of picture you have seen be sure to go to that specific designer.
Have a budget in mind.
In just the same way you will have a budget in mind for your wedding dress, you should do the same for cake, and be realistic about what you can achieve with that budget.
You would not go to Vivienne Westwood and expect her to design and make you a dress for £500, so the same goes for cake. The bigger and more elaborate you would like your cake or dessert table to be the more you should expect to spend.
Be clear and upfront about what your budget is from the start and see if its something that your chosen baker can accommodate. Cakes can vary dramatically in price depending on the experience of the baker, the complexity of the design, the ingredients and of more importantly the time it takes to design, bake, decorate, deliver, and set up your cake.
Book early to secure your date.
Couples often make the mistake of leaving the cake booking until last and are sometimes disappointed to find their chosen baker is already booked.
Whilst you should leave the cake design details until you have chosen your décor, dress, stationary, colour scheme etc. once you find the right baker, secure your date with a deposit early and book in a design consultation later on in the process.
Be sure to have a tasting.
It is all very well having a cake that looks like a work of art, but if it does not taste good then it defeats the object. A cake is for eating, so in my book taste comes first and foremost.
All reputable bakers will offer you a tasting, some as boxes that you can purchase and collect, and others will offer it as part of the consultation process. Either way your cake should taste just as good as it looks, and the proof is in the pudding as they say!!
Consider the weather and location.
Let’s talk logistics, its no good having a chocolate cake on display all day in a marquee at the height of summer, it will only end in disaster. Consider what the weather will be like, where in your venue you are going to display your cake and when, before you decide what cake to have.
Any reputable baker will be able to advise you about this. This does not however mean you have to compromise on things completely if you have your heart set on a particular type of cake, if its chocolate or patisserie you are wanting and the weather is hot, ask your designer if they are willing to set up your cake or dessert table just before they are to be served or ask your venue if they can refrigerate your cake.
There are certainly ways to have your cake and eat it!!!
Be unique and don’t be bound by trends.
By all means, be aware of trends but don’t be bound by them. Following a particular trend because someone in an article says it’s fashionable this year, or because a particular celebrity had it at their wedding, often leads to looking back at your photos in years to come and thinking how dated they look. Instead consider your venue and its style, think about which flavours and looks are seasonal and put your own spin on things, after all, who said you must have a traditional tiered wedding cake?
Try to think outside the box and make your day unique to you. If you like cheese, have a cheese tower that forms the central part of your evening buffet. If you love chocolate, don’t opt for icing have a chocolate trio of wedding cakes instead. If you are not a fan of the cake cutting tradition and want something that is more relaxed and social opt for a patisserie table of mini desserts and gateaux.
Make the design of your cake/dessert table reflect your tastes, personality and what you as a couple are all about and I can guarantee you will look back and consider it timeless. Go on….dare to be different, dare to be you.
If you do dare to be different, check out Lorena’s amazing and unique wedding desserts tables here:
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