In this blog article Jo Lawinski from Cake My Day by Jo will discuss her top 10 wedding cake do’s and don’ts.
1. Do check that your cake artisan is licensed by their council and has public liability insurance. It may seem a bit of a silly question to ask but any cake artisan dealing with wedding cakes should be licenced and insured. By asking this question and getting a “Yes” answer you can rest easier knowing that your cake is going to be prepared in a safe environment and is safe for your guests to eat.
2. Do have a budget in mind (and be reasonable). Wedding cakes are generally priced according to size, shape, flavour, decorations required, fondant or buttercream, labour etc. Most cake artisans have spent years developing their recipes & techniques so that you can have your dream wedding cake. Everything is made by hand and from scratch and this takes time, it’s also why their cakes taste so good. So, it’s important to value their worth. Most wedding cakes we make in our kitchen take a minimum of 5 hours of work and this increases with the size and complexity or the design. It's not unusual for us to spend 10+ hours on making just 1 cake. Be realistic about your budget - don’t expect to pay $300 for a 7-tier cake to feed 300 guests (believe me I’ve had my share of people who expect this). Instead if you are working with a tight budget but really love a particular cake artisan then be upfront about your budget, if you have reasonable expectations then they may be able to work with you to offer alternative suggestions
3. Do your research. Before you start emailing every cake artisan you follow on social media for prices on cakes, take a moment to do a bit of research into the type of cake you would like to have on your special day and more importantly check that the cake artisan you want; makes the type of cake you want. Not all cake artisan’s work with both fondant and buttercream, and most will specialise in one or the other. You will save yourself a whole lot of time by checking these things first.
4. Do have a cake tasting consultation.
Cake tasting consultations are designed so that you can meet the cake artisan, try their cakes and discuss your wedding and design requirements in person. Most consultations will take approx. 30 -40 minutes depending on the specific cake artisan, but this time will be invaluable for you to get your vision across and ensure you and your artisan are on the same page. You may even get to see a rough design sketch at the end of the consultation, and girls it’s the easiest part of wedding planning to get your partner to happily come along to.
P.S – Most cake artisans will charge for tastings, however the cost is usually deducted from your order if you order within a certain time frame.
5. Do give your cake the spotlight it deserves. No matter how much you spend on your cake make sure it is placed where your guests can enjoy looking at it before they devour it. Ask your venue to have a flat level, well-lit table for your cake to sit on and take centre stage. Don’t hide it away in a dimly lit corner where nobody can enjoy its beauty – after all it is an edible work of art!
1. Don’t be a people pleaser when it comes to your wedding cake flavour. It’s easy to get lost in pleasing everybody else when it comes to wedding planning, but I firmly believe that the wedding cake is the one thing you and your partner can be selfish about. After all it’s the two of you who are going to be taking home the leftovers, so make sure you choose flavours you love.
2. Don’t forget to consider the weather Make sure you know what type of weather conditions your cake can comfortably withstand and listen to your cake artisan’s advice about storage and display options for extreme weather conditions. If you are going to be having a marque wedding in the middle of summer with no air-conditioning, then a butter cream cake is not going to withstand the heat for a long period of time. Consider having the cake stored in the venue’s fridge and brought out shortly before the cutting ceremony. Alternatively, if you are having a fondant cake which will hold up better in hot conditions make sure your venue hasn’t placed the cake table right where the western sun hits in the afternoon – melted chocolate ganache = droopy sad cake!
3. Don’t forget to top it off. A cake without a topper is just simply undressed. There are so many beautiful and unique cake toppers out there now day’s we’re certainly spoilt for choice. Customised acrylic/bamboo toppers are extremely popular now and the variety is only limited to your imagination. Custom figurines are also a popular choice along with adding your fur baby’s. Fresh florals can also be used to top your cake along with drips, chocolate sails, fruits and candy’s. Whichever option you choose make sure it adds that something special to your cake and the design.
4. Don’t forget to eat your cake (no seriously!) So many couples say they didn’t have a chance to eat cake on the night as they were tending to their guests. Whilst it’s important to look after everybody, it’s equally as important to remember to eat your desserts. Ask your venue or caterer to put aside a small wine, cheese and cake platter for you and your partner to enjoy as a post-wedding late night snack.
5. Don’t let freezer burn happen. I always cringe when couples ask for an extra tier on their cake so they can eat it on their first anniversary. Freshly made cakes just aren’t meant to be kept that long and even with the best of intentions, super airtight packing measures and an abundance of cling wrap, eating the top tier of your cake on your fist anniversary is more of a romantic notion than a practical one. Freezer burn is a real thing and it will happen to any food stored in a freezer. If you have left over cake, then you can safely keep it wrapped tightly in cling wrap in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. After this time the cake will start to deteriorate in taste, texture and appearance.
Author - Jo Lawinski a cake artisan, teacher and the owner of Cake My Day by Jo and has been making and decorating cakes for 10 years. Cake My Day by Jo specialises in delicious buttercream creations.