The question has been popped, the ring has dazzled your nearest and dearest and the butterflies have settled. You’ve landed bottom first off cushy cloud nine.
It’s wedding planning time! Some of you will be cheering with glee, clipboard in hand, colour schemes on the brain. But for others, you may already be feeling overwhelmed and a little bit green with the scale of what’s ahead of you.
Whether you’re a bride or groom zilla, don’t fret. Anges de Sucre, is taking one thing off your plate (well not your dessert plate). Yes, you’ve guessed it: the wedding cake, the crowning glory of your day. After the dress (sorry grooms, a tux is just not that exciting) and the venue, your cake is the focal point of your wedding day. You might think that’s a slight exaggeration, but for many couples, their cake is so much more than a dessert.
Cutting it together, posing beside it, feeding each other the first sweet bite; it’s all part of the day’s romance. It doesn’t matter whether you’re getting married in a grand venue with 500 onlookers, or celebrating your nuptials in a cosy pub with good friends. The cake will be pictured and remembered by you for years to come.
So, here’s our guide to choosing your perfect wedding cake and making sure you’ve got the taste, size and style on point. (NOTE: Make sure you’ve got some snacks to hand while reading….all this cake chat will definitely get that mouth dribbling and belly rumbling).
1. VENUE & MENU
Where and when you’re getting married can be a great inspiration for your wedding cake. Is it a grand hotel? A rustic barn?
Similarly, the wedding breakfast you choose might influence the style and flavours of your grand dessert. While you might not want an overly themed wedding, keeping things consistent in terms of styling and colours looks elegant and sophisticated. We’d advise choosing your venue and menu before deciding on the final design of your cake. It doesn’t mean everything has to be matchy-matchy and conformist, but it does help you create the right design for your wedding cake masterpiece.
2. BAKERY BESTIES
You might be ultra-organised and have a wedding cake mood board or Pinterest page you’re constantly updating or you might have seen the cake of your dreams in one of the many wedding magazines or blogs you’ve been poring over in the last few months. So, when choosing the right person to make your cake, make sure you’ve seen their style and know what to expect.
The best cake designers out there have their own signature styles. Don’t be surprised if they refuse to copy another bakery’s design, why should they? At Anges de Sucre, while we will work closely with you to create the cake of your wedding dreams, we will never ever reproduce someone else’s work. Originality is key, so choose the right cake designer for your wedding day.
3. EVERY PENNY COUNTS
Newsflash: weddings are expensive. In fact, an article in Brides Magazine earlier this year estimated the average UK wedding cost up to £30,000. Wow. That is a lot of money.
So how much should you be paying for your wedding cake? Well, how long is a piece of string people (what an annoying saying)? Our smallest wedding cakes start at around £160 and can reach well over £650. No matter what professional baker you choose, you will probably be paying more for this cake than any other sweet treat in your life. Why? Because you’re paying for the time, creativity, love and artistry that your professional pours into each of their creations.
Always be honest with your cake maker about your budget. Once they know what ball park figure they are working with, they’ll be able to create a bespoke design that won’t send your knickers in a twist. Be open and honest and get the best cake for your bucks. And don't worry about them trying to "short-change" you by giving you a lesser design and charging the top-end of your budget ball-park - all cake makers know savvy brides and grooms will be asking for at least 4-5 quotes and they know they are in competition to make your dream cake so it is always in our best interests to suggest how best we can cater to the budget.
4. WHEN DO I ORDER?
If you know which bakery you want to work with and are super in love with their cake magic powers, book as early as you can to avoid disappointment. On average, most couples start their planning about a year in advance, so it’s a good idea to book as early as possible in the planning process.
Wedding cakes are very elaborate and highly specific, so you don’t want to settle for a second-rate cake for that big day. Contact your chosen bakery as soon as you can so you can discuss the finer details and find out if they can make what you’re looking for.
5. SIZE MATTERS
Your cake doesn’t have to be big enough to feed every single one of your wedding guests, especially if your parents invited an additional 401 people to witness your nuptials, but you do want it to make an impact.
So, before ordering your wedding cake, make sure you have an approximate idea of the number of guests (that you’re inviting, don’t wait for them all to RSVP before ordering!) so you can choose the right size. This will also give you an indication of price so you know what to budget for.
With our range of cakes, couples tend to choose the three or four tiers when they have around 120 guests. We can supplement this with cupcakes or smaller cutting cakes if necessary. For a more intimate do, two tiers will do the job perfectly.
At Anges de Sucre we love a big cake and as our cakes stay fresh for up to five days, they make a great post wedding breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack…..!
6. FLAVOUR FLAVE
Did someone say fruit cake……zzzzzz yawn. Yes, lots of couples do choose the traditional, heavy fruit cake for their wedding cake, but how many people actually like it? When was the last time you thought to yourself “Ooh I really fancy a piece of dense old stodgy fruit cake?”
As you know, we like to be different and if you’re looking for raisins, nuts and whatever else fills a fruity number, we’re not the crew for you.
We offer three flavours: vanilla bean, chocolate mud-cake and red velvet. We’ve chosen this tasty trio for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are absolutely delicious and go well together or on their own. Secondly these flavours are contemporary, simple, crowd-pleasing and did we say delicious already? Choose from our huge range of buttercream flavours and you get design, scrumptiousness and a flavour overload in one mouthful.
7. UNDERCOVER WEDDING CAKE HATERS
If you are one of those rare species that just hates cake full stop we have one question: have you seen a doctor for this problem? Ok, in all seriousness, we understand that not every couple wants cake. We think you’re weird, but hey, each to their own.
These days there are lots of alternatives on offer. You can go for cupcakes (which we still love), lots of people opt for savoury cheese cakes – but what about your guests that don’t want to stink of blue cheese for the rest of the evening? We’ve even seen tiered pork pies (we weren’t impressed).
So, if you are a cake hater and want something different, we offer a range of alternatives including our unique croquembouche cakes. These look and taste dreamy and still give you that awe-inspiring centre piece for the wedding reception.
8. FONDANT OR FON-DON’T?
Close your eyes and imagine the typical wedding cake. Three or four tiers, a bride and groom topper, layers and layers of thick fondant icing. Now close your eyes and imagine your guests’ dessert plates. How many times have you been to a birthday or wedding and peeled the thick fondant icing off to get to the sponge? We’re betting quite a few!
Fondant icing is undoubtedly pretty and can be moulded into pretty much whatever you want, but in our humble opinion it’s not the tastiest option. If this is a look that you really want, then there are plenty of great bakers out there who can create your dream design. If, however you want something different, maybe more buttercream than sugar paste, then we will happily talk cake with you. Check out our previous post on the pros and cons of both decorative styles.
9. CAKE DELIVERY
One thing to double check and triple check again is whether your chosen bakery can and will actually deliver your wedding cake to the right venue. Might sound silly but this has caught some couples out.
You might think you can save costs by picking up the cake yourself or getting someone you trust to do it, but have you really considered the logistical nightmare of transporting a three or four tier cake? Trust us, it’s tough. Most good wedding cake makers will deliver your cake depending on distance and notice period. We have our own transportation and experienced drivers and delivery within Central London is starts from £0. But yes, we have cake, and we do travel further!
10. ORDER ONLINE FOR EASE
If wedding planning has got you pulling your hair out, why not make life easier and order your cake online? It’s a lot easier than traipsing round various bakeries and becoming sugar blind with all the choices.
Choose who you want to make your cake, see if they are available and start an online dialogue. It’s a lot easier for both parties and takes one more stress off your list. Plus having a dialogue in writing is much easier to refer back to. We get how crazy organising the big day can be and don’t want to add to the mania. If we’re the cake designers for you, have a look here for all the wedding cake questions and answers you may have.