A wedding cake crisis – our wedding

Posted on January 30th 2015

I love weddings and creating a wedding cake (or cakes) is my favourite type of order to complete. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy everything I do, I am very lucky, I really do! It’s just there is something about a wedding and creating something for, not only the couple but for their closest friends and family that makes it all the more special. (All photo's by Chris Seddon and in the stunning Wedding Yurt we booked from Wedding Yurts)

When I got engaged I didn’t really think about the cake much to be honest (insert gasp here) I thought I had loads of time to consider my options and, as I would be making it myself I didn’t need to worry. Turns out, that was most definitely not the case.

I don’t know what it like for most people when looking into wedding cakes, but I think I made the mistake that most people thankfully don’t….. I didn’t. I didn’t look, I didn’t sketch, I just concentrated on everything else. Then with about 8 months to go (That’s seems a long time still I know but to put it into context we started booking things and planning 2 years in advance) I suddenly thought maybe I ought to decide what I am doing. My now husband sat me down and made me face that as we were having a DIY wedding and I am not very good at delegating so was doing it all myself (more on that drama another time) I needed to really decide what was and wasn’t important for me to do.

So I made the rather unusual decision that I wasn’t going to do our cake (another gasp maybe?) I had a massive cake crush Nevie Pie Cakes and knew we would be having a vintage china everywhere so contacted Natasha to see if there was any way she could fit in a cake for us based on a teacup of my Nans. When she unfortunately couldn’t (I knew I’d left it too late to ask really) I thought no problem I’ll order an undecorated one from the amazing Cake Décor nearby and decorate it myself. So I sorted that and again pushed it down to the bottom of my mind thinking that I would draw some sketches and think about the design closer to the day.

Fast forward to the week before the wedding and I hadn’t thought about it, I hadn’t drawn up a design and the teacup I had planned to use to base my cake on didn’t work. I didn’t like the colours, shape style and I didn’t like it with any other teacups (and there are many) in my possession.

So how did our final cake design come about? Well as soon as it was delivered two days before the wedding I stacked the individual tiers and then just sat down and painted it. I had no plan I just painted a rose and then built up the design around it. (It was pure luck that the colours complimented the chaise we used as our guest book area) Was I happy with it? Surprising I was. I'll hold my hands up and say no, it’s not the best design I have ever painted, but it worked and complimented the day very well and that’s what counts. It was simple and sweet like the rest of the décor and no, in hindsight I don’t think I would change it at all.

And shall I let you into a secret….

We didn’t even remember to cut it!

We cut it rather hung over and exhausted the next morning with just our closest family around us and you know what… that was a really lovely moment. So if you are wedding cake planning, here are just a few tips to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes I did, and get the right cake for you:

DO dedicate time to thinking about your cake and give it as much thinking time as the other big things like the venue, dress and rings. Even if it’s that you decide not to have one or to go with an alternative. DON’T forget to think about it like me!

DO collect images, take photo’s, go Pinterest crazy looking at things you like. Even if they are all different if you collect everything you fancy you may see a theme start to emerge, or even if you thought you had a clear idea of what you wanted, you may see your idea’s change.

DO make sure you plan in advance. Most wedding cakes and large orders need to be booked in, in advance and are mainly based on the availability of your chosen designer/baker. Here at the Sugared Rose, for example we like at least 6 months’ notice and other companies may ask for more.

DO think about your budget. Bespoke cakes whether for a wedding or other event are not generally cheap. You are ordering something that is specifically designed for you and that may be in multiple flavours for a large number of people and with multiple design elements that all take time to create. So it does pay to do your research. Ask for quotes and be honest with your budget from the start. All good designers/bakers will work with you to create something within your budget. Naked cakes for example are all the rage and could potentially be a slightly cheaper option (but do consider than they may need to be erected at your venue) You could have a small wedding cake for photo’s with a cutting cake that is not decorated for serving or another popular option is to have a small wedding cake and ask the guests to bring cakes/pudding for a Great British Bake Off style desert table – puddings all round that way!

DO ask to try it! Most companies like us will complete tasters and we even tried the fruitcake before we committed to having it as our bottom tier and in doing that we realised we wanted it a bit more boozy so dropped some brandy into Cake Décor a couple of months before the wedding so Kerry could feed the cake.

DON’T ask your cake designer/baker to completely copy someone else’s design. You may love it, it may be prefect but it is not fair on either your designer/baker or the person who created it first. Think about it a bit more. What exactly is it that you love about it and what would make it more personal to you. No one really benefits from an identi-kit cake and surely it’s better to use the elements you like to create something similar but that’s more personal to you as a couple.

DON’T forget to actually eat it! You have put your time in to choosing flavours you are likely to love so make sure you actually get a piece of it on the day!

Have fun planning!

Sarah x

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