25 years ago, wedding cakes were pretty, but had a reputation for being dry and boring. Now wedding cakes are far more than pretty — they’re exciting, creative, and definitely yummy. A talented pastry chef can copy almost any design a bride or groom can think of, and most of the time it still tastes great.
If you have a sweet tooth (Like I do), choosing your wedding cake is likely to be one of your favorite parts of wedding planning.
However, it can be a deceptively tricky task. There’s a whole host of things to consider, including the design, the flavor, portion size and, of course, your wedding budget.
As a bride do not be shocked by the price of wedding cakes when you first start contacting bakers for quotes. This is because if you look closely at the design process that they go through to be able to create your cake, you realize how much time, talent and hard work goes into each and every cake. This is especially true for wedding cakes with intricate designs.
So how do you go about getting this perfect cake that will not only be a work of art, but also something that will symbolize your personalities as a couple?
a. Think about your design
If you already have a design that you’ve had in your head for years, chances are someone has already got there first. This is actually a good thing because it means that your design has already been created by someone out there.
If you are starting on a blank slate and are willing to try out new ideas, start by searching on Pinterest or Google and see if you can find a vision. Get your cake designer to mix it up and create something original.
Keep in mind; magazines have food stylists, editors, and assistants working nonstop to keep the cakes looking perfect. They can fix sagging cakes with Photoshop and they also have the luxury of creating cakes from stuff that isn’t edible. So don’t expect your cake designer to be able to replicate exactly what you see in print.
b. Be honest about your budget
The more complicated the cake, the higher the price tag. If you want elaborate molded shapes, vibrant colors, or handmade sugar-flower detailing, you will have to pay for the cake designer’s labor.
It really is important that you trust your cake designer enough that you tell them your real budget. Letting your designer know how much is at stake here means they can work on ideas that are actually realistic.
If you are looking to save, you can order a small cake that’s decorated to perfection but can only feed a handful plus several sheet cakes of the same flavor to actually feed the guests. Stay away from tiers, handmade sugar flowers, and specially molded shapes. Garnish with seasonal flowers and fruit for an elegant but less expensive effect.
c. Portions should ALWAYS dictate size
It’s not the other way around, the number of people you need to serve is more important than the number of tiers you think your cake should have. If your number is on the low side you can then have fewer tiers that cater to your guests adequately.
d. Make sure you like your cake designers style
Cake designers have styles too. You will be much better off finding someone who works with the medium you want for your cake. This will make it easier for everyone.
e. You get what you pay for
If you want to save money, try to be flexible with your designs. As the saying goes, ‘cheap cake ain’t good, good cake ain’t cheap’.
f. After the Wedding…
Eating the top tier of your cake on your first anniversary sounds far better than it tastes. Indulge on it on your two-week or one-month anniversary, and treat yourself to a fresh cake in the same flavor on the first year.
If you must adhere to tradition, wrap the cake in plastic wrap, and then bag it in an airtight bag. To make sure your cake is well protected, ensure it is in an airtight container.
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