You’re getting married!! Eeeeeek! So exciting! But getting carried away with the excitement can be a big mistake! Weddings as a whole are a huge financial undertaking and your cake can be a very big chunk of that, but you have to decide what is the most important thing for you. It’s very easy to get carried away with the excitement and romanticism of a fairytale wedding but after the big day, you’ve still got to live!! Saying that however, the memories of your special day, do live on forever, so you definitely want to think about what you want your day to be remembered for. For some, it’s the venue, for others it’s their dress, while others it is their cake or a combination of all three!
You know in your heart whether it’s a big deal to you or not, by your reaction to people’s suggestions about a shop bought cake! Let me be straight up honest with you, there are some beautiful shop bought cakes available on the market. The main difference between buying a shop bought cake and a bespoke cake is exactly that. Shop bought cakes are rarely personalised and whilst beautiful, may not be what you’re looking for if you want a showstopper cake. In addition to this, ordinarily shop bought cakes don’t cater for larger numbers, so you may need to purchase additional cakes to increase your number of portions.
However, if you are on a budget, you don’t have large numbers of guests and you’re not too fussed about what it looks like on the outside, as long as you’ve got a cake, then a shop bought cake may actually be better for you financially because even a simple cake with a bespoke baker can cost considerably more than it would with a shop bought alternative.
Now, you know as well as I do, of course everyone is going to say that they are the best thing since sliced bread, or cake even lol! However, it is prudent not to rely solely on the opinion of a company of their own worth and quality because each company will claim that they are the best in the field and that you should choose them over their competitors! So do your research! Are there any reviews on this company? What do they say? Sadly, we all have the occasional unhappy client, that’s just life, so don’t be too scathing if a company got the odd poor review, that’s normal, but start being concerned if they are averaging at less than 4 stars! The people most likely to tell the truth are the customers!
In saying that however, you can have fake reviews so don’t put all your trust in this alone. You need to consider other factors when doing your research. What is their social media like? Do they have a consistent presence? Can you discern the quality of their work from what you can see? What is their website like? Can you get a sense of the type of company that they are or the type of baker/individual that fronts the company? Is this a company that I would like to work with from what I can see of them? This is so important. As a couple, you are putting your trust in the hands of someone you have probably never met, for a very important item, which if it goes wrong, it is not something you can exchange, and all the refunds in the world will not help you after the event!
You might think this has nothing to do with it but believe me, I have seen when a cake looks completely out of place in a setting. Have you ever turned up to an event and you are completely under dressed or overdressed? That feeling of being/looking totally out of place is not a nice one and it can actually happen with your cake!!
It’s important to consider which style of cake would suit the setting and this conversation can be had with your wedding planner or your cake maker but it does make a difference and I would encourage you to think about that before finalising your design, even if you have had one in mind that you have been dreaming about forever!
It’s actually unlikely that this will happen, as in most cases, a standard 3 tier cake only feeds around 72 people which is effectively quite a small wedding. But, if your cake is not the dessert and you have an additional dessert table perhaps, you do not need slices of cake for every single guest!
It will save you lots of money if you just chose a standard 3 tier cake rather than some giant centrepiece if you know that it will not be eaten. It is a terrible waste and even if people do take it home, there is a limited shelf-life and if you don’t know what you’re doing when you’re freezing a cake, it might not be a good use of your hard earned cash and I’m quite sure you can find many more places that you need to spend that!
Wedding cakes have changed so much nowadays and you can have some sensational pieces of edible art that are far from the traditional conventions that you may have seen in the past that are largely white with perhaps an accent colour in ribbon or flowers.
Of late, you can see anything from naked cakes, standard tiered cakes to cakes that are created in the shape of a bride! They can look exactly the way you want! However this is where you can be guided again by your cake maker/decorator and/or wedding planner as to what would match with your décor, the décor of the venue and your bridal party colour scheme.
Now obviously you can do whatever you like, the ball is entirely in your court and you may just like being a little eccentric and feel no way at all about things not matching, but in my view, it’s definitely worth considering.
So many brides and grooms stick with very traditional flavours because they are catering to limited factions of their guests’s tastes. If you think about it, unless you take a poll, do you actually know, without a shadow of a doubt, what flavours they like or don’t like? Nine times out of ten you don’t, so it’s my view that you do a good proportion of a standard flavour that most people would enjoy and then branch out to other flavours. Most cake companies offer taster sessions either in person or through the post, so why not make enquiries and see what’s available! Get creative!
If you are having a summer wedding or your wedding will take place in a warm country, you must take into account the type of cake style you are selecting. Having a fresh cream, or buttercream cake, may not be the best of options because they melt! Having your cake disintegrate before the eyes of your guests is not a good look. Fondant covered cakes are much better options for those climates and temperatures, but do have the discussion with your cakemaker/decorator, who will be able to advise you.
Once again, we talked about the venue choice in respect to your cake but within each venue, you often have different rooms and depending on how many tables you are trying to fit in as well as the DJ, Candy Buffet etc, you may end up having to be very restricted on where your cake can be positioned. It sounds like a small detail but I promise you it’s one that is worth thinking about before you start planning a cake that can reach the moon. Breaking it yourself once you’ve got your heart set on an impossibility is not a nice thing.
It’s probably common knowledge that certain real flowers are seasonal, but believe it or not, even silk flowers are also seasonal. It’s very important that you talk these ideas through with your cake designer at the time of your order so that they can advise you what would be available because the last thing you want is planning your whole design around something that you would struggle to obtain. There is always the option to have whatever flower you like created from sugar, but it is something that you should definitely bear in mind when you are selecting your design.
In my time, I have had couples ask me to collect their wedding cake as they are having the wedding far away from my base or so that they can avoid the delivery and set up fees! Now I personally, completely advise against this. Unless you have a cake maker and decorator that you trust at the wedding that will be able to set that cake up for you, it is much better that you have the cake delivered and erected by the person who made it and knows that cake inside out.
Can you imagine the nightmare of paying all of that money for your cake only for it not to turn up in one piece or be ruined during the set up process or you being left with something resembling the Leaning Tower of Pisa because someone did not have the right equipment/knowledge to set up properly It really doesn’t bear thinking about. It is definitely worth thinking that through and paying whatever it costs for the travel and time to have it set up by a professional.
I hope that this has been helpful! Keep your eyes peeled for the next episode on how to save money on your wedding cake!!
Natasha Orumbie isn’t your ordinary baker! Yes she is well known in her industry for creating awesome works of edible art, but she has recently gained notoriety in the online world. She has catapulted her business from near obscurity with an Instagram following of just 400 to over 7000 in just 8 months and growing every day! Originally a teacher of teenagers by trade, she is naturally able to share knowledge in an engaging and humorous fashion, making her Instagram, blog posts and e-books a pleasure to read! She now takes great pleasure in teaching others how to bake, decorate and sell cakes of their own.