Top Tips For Buying Your Wedding Cake
This is one the best parts about planning a wedding. Not only do you get to look at pretty cakes but you get to taste them too. When i worked as a wedding coordinator and had to do wedding fairs, it was almost impossible to stay away from the cake stands. I would literally eat cake samples for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Disgraceful stuff!
When you are looking for a cake, I would highly recommend hitting a wedding fair. In the likes of the Wedding Journal Show, Bride of the Year Show, or even your local hotel show, you can be guaranteed that there will be plenty of wedding cake companies exhibiting and they all have samples!
When choosing your cake, you really only need to focus on 2 things – the taste and the look/skill of the baker.
Before hitting a wedding fair, go through some of the wedding websites and pinterest and gather some ideas. This will allow you to focus on the style that you want rather than getting distracted with the millions of options that you will see at the fairs.
When you get to the fair, chat to each vendor and get a feel for what they do and how they do it.
All will have something different to offer and prices will vary.
One thing I learnt was that some vendors use a cake mix, while others make from scratch. Through my extensive experience in cake tasting 🙂 , you can tell the difference and you pay a little bit extra for the types made from scratch.
Most bakers will offer 2-6 tiers and I’ve seen some that even plug in water features!
In terms of size guidelines, 2 tiers can cover up to 100 and 4 tiers can cover up to 200 guests.
Most will allow different flavours per tier which is always a great hit. Many opt for a fruit top tier and keep it for the first born christening. You can freeze the fruit layer. This tradition has fizzled out slightly over the last few years.
In terms of flavours, the world is your oyster! My favourites include;
- Chocolate biscuit
- Red velvet
- Carrot cake
- lemon drizzle
- Chocolate (Belgian is my favourite)
- Victoria sponge with raspberry and cream filling
- Hazelnut especially when in mixed with chocolate.
- You can also do some boozy options; Grand Marnier is gorgeous mixed with chocolate. Then there is the good old reliable fruit cake.
Im also seeing so many great rainbow cakes, this is where you have different colours and flavours running through the cake. Visually they are amazing but I’m still undecided on flavour. Deirdre in Tremendous Cakes introduced me to the concept of ‘Naked Cakes’, let me just say, they are so beautiful and they look fantastic, particularly for a whimsical style wedding.
You can then pick your icing or as i like to call it, heaven.
My favourite is the buttercream icing. That is the stuff that you get on top of a cupcake. There is chocolate which is luscious and more traditionally you will see sugar icing. There’s a lot of other types but this tends to be the most popular.
Now that you’ve picked tiers, flavour, icing; you will now need to select the style and decoration.
Some more simplistic ones would have a basic flower from sugar craft or ribbon. Some use flowers from their bouquets.
You can go all out depending on the skill of your baker. Some more elaborate cakes have a full artistic theme. For example:
This particular cake is styrofoam as it is purely for visual effect, which a lot of couples do too!
In terms of shape, again so many options but more traditionally you will see round, square, oval and I’ve seen triangle and heart shaped too.
Price is always a funny one as it can depend on what you go for. From what i saw, the starting price is from around €350 and this would be for a basic 2/3 tier.
Always shop around!
I used to recommend that go and taste the cake, chat to the vendor but don’t put money down straight away. Make note of everything you discussed with the vendor and then go home, compare all vendors plus look up their websites, testimonials and reviews.
You need someone that has a track record in being reliable.
Enjoy every second of it!
If traditional cakes are not your thing, check out some alternatives in my wedding cake alternatives blog.
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