Wedding Cake 101
Everyone looks forward to the wedding cake at the reception. It is a tradition we all love. You want your cake to have great style, great taste and comfortably fit with in your budget. So, to make sure you have the wedding cake of your dreams, here is the cake 101.
There are a few things you must decide before ordering your wedding cake. First determine the number of guests you anticipate will attend the reception. Second, is budget. You probably won’t have an exact number, but a general ballpark figure will be sufficient for the baker.
The prices of wedding cakes range depending upon what you order and the time it takes to create. You can plan on anything from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, so have a number in mind before meeting with your baker. You don't want to fall in love with something only to find that it is ten times the price you can afford!
You will also need to know whether your reception will be indoors or outdoors, as well as the basic style and theme you are going with for the wedding. The indoor or outdoor question is a big one when deciding on certain ingredients. Being outside on a hot Florida day, will melt a butter-cream or whipped cream frosting in no time, whereas a fondant covered cake will do much better in the heat.
Cakes that are adorned with fresh flowers is a tried and true trick for saving money.
The style of your wedding and cake should compliment each other. For example, for a traditional wedding, with you in a classic gown and pearl bridal jewelry, think traditional cake. An all white butter-cream with delicate frosting "pearls" can be used to create an elegant border on the edge of the tiers that will mimic your pearl bridal jewelry. Or you could also possibly replicate the pattern of lace on your gown in fondant.
If you are having a more relaxed, outdoor or barn wedding, think simplicity. Let fresh florals that match your bouquet become the decor. Talk to the baker about texturing the frosting and adding in pops of color.
Afraid it will melt? Display cakes are still a great idea. The baker will keep a simpler sheet cake in the kitchen for serving and the display cake will have a small layer for the happy couple to cut into for tradition and pictures.
The taste, flavor and texture of the cake itself is also an important decision. The outside beauty of your wedding cake will last forever in pictures, but the inside of is what you want your guests to remember. You want a cake that is flavorful, moist and really good to eat. Ask if samples of the cake flavors will be available for you to taste when you visit with your baker.
Referrals are always the best way to find a quality baker. Local Bridal Shows are a particularly good place to start your search.
Once you have narrowed your search down, you can start calling to check availability. Depending on the vendor you may need to call as far as 6 months to a year ahead to reserve your date. Be prepared to leave a substantial deposit to insure that the baker reserves the date for you. Schedule an appointment if possible.
The indoor or outdoor question is a big one
when deciding on certain ingredients.
Your budget will have a big impact on the shape, size, and decorations on your wedding cake. Bridal magazines are filled gorgeous cakes that are five tiers tall and covered with beautiful handmade frosting flowers. These cakes are out range for many bridal budgets. But they can help to give you an idea of what you like and the look you are going for.
So don't shy away from showing your baker designs that appeal to you, no matter how over the top they may be. Your baker may be able to come up with ideas that can give you the same look for a reasonable price. Cakes that are adorned with fresh flowers is a tried and true trick for saving money.
You may also choose to display a small “ish” cake at the reception and have a sheet cake waiting in the kitchen to be sliced for the guests. No one will be the wiser, and you will get to "have your cake and eat it too.” v