Ah the wedding cake, admittedly one of the nicest parts of the planning experience but there’s a lot more to them than you might imagine. Unlike a regular cake you pick up, these beauties take a lot of love, care and attention so to give you an idea of what’s involved and what makes up the price, we’re sharing some helpful tips and guidelines when it comes to choosing your wedding cake…
1. Your cake design
Cakes come in all shapes and sizes from towering round and square tiers to fun suitcase style designs for the travel lovers, stacks of donuts and smaller, individual cakes like Meghan and Harry’s tasty trio! The best way to get an idea of what your own preference is is to start looking at pictures. Check out some gorgeous portfolios from Irish cake makers here and take a peek at some of this year’s most popular wedding cake trends here.
2. Choosing your cake maker
Make sure your cake maker has a premises where they can meet you so you can taste cake options and see some of their wedding creations. They should also be health board registered – after all, you are dealing with food so you need to know that has been made with care (just to note, some venues may not accept a cake where the supplier is not HSE compliant).
Another thing to remember is cake makers all have different price ranges and this can be down to technique or quality of ingredients – for example one cake maker may charge X amount for a cake and another supplier may charge €200 more for a similar style. However, the difference is usually down to the quality of ingredients and the skill involved in perfectly crafting sugar flowers for example – the price will reflect this.
Photo from Siobhan & Mark’s real wedding by IG Studio
3. The price
Wedding cakes can range in price depending on the number of layers, ingredients, finish, size and style. There’s a lot of labour and love that goes in to that masterpiece and lots more besides – there’s the design process and consultations, ingredients, labour and overheads. And of course, the more elaborate the cake design, the more expensive it becomes. Often delivery is included within a local radius, outside of this delivery charges may apply!
4. Fake tiers
The fake tier trend is genius but if you’re looking to save big, this is probably not the way to go about it. Experts say it may only save you about €20 per layer as the cake maker still has to buy the fake tiers in and of course decorate them which is still the same amount of work as with a normal wedding cake.
5. What size cake to buy
It’s all down to personal preference – and of course how many people you want to feed! A 3 tier 6-8-10″ round cake will typically yield 120-140 portions, depending on who cuts it and the fillings inside. Soft cake yield less portions whereas you’ll get more from the likes of a chocolate biscuit cake or traditional fruit cakes. Your own personal choice will also come in to play – if you’re looking for the wow factor, you might like a large, impressive cake or if budget is a concern, perhaps you’re after something smaller.
6. Taste is super important too
You want the cake to look amazing but it has to taste it too! Make sure to schedule in a tasting session with your baker where you can sample lots of yummy flavours – cake makers are constantly experimenting so depending on your tastes, you can come across everything from popular flavours such as red velvet and chocolate biscuit cake to more extravagant pairings like champagne and strawberries or espresso and white chocolate. You can of course have a different flavour for every layer or tier – it can be a lovely way to personalise your wedding so guests get to sample some of your favourites!
7. Consider the venue
If it’s a large venue, a small two tier cake may look a little bit lost so do take in to consideration the style and size of your venue – one way to make sure it has more of an impact is with the likes of cake stands and pedestals!
Tip: Ask the venue what cake stand they supply as this may influence your decision!
8. Don’t leave it until the last minute
Just like photographers and bands, cake makers are in demand so it’s best to book anything up to 6-8 months in advance (or more) to ensure you get a slot with your preferred supplier!
9. Getting cake from family or friends
This is a really special occasion and you’ll want everything just right so weigh up whether you or a family member want to take on the pressure of a DIY wedding cake. Buying a wedding cake from a professional gives you piece of mind – it’s their job to create and deliver a beautiful cake. Cake makers will know everything there is to know about storing and transporting your cake too, something a keen baker might not so it’s worth taking this in to consideration if you’re toying with the idea of having a friend or family member take on your wedding cake. As mentioned, some venues will not accept a cake where the baker is not HSE compliant so be sure to check this in advance as well!
Cake Topper by Belle Toppers, Ireland | Photo by Corin Bishop Photography
10. Don’t forget the little extras
Things like a gorgeous stand for your masterpiece and a fun cake topper can really finish it off so make sure to think about the overall look. Irish companies Belle Toppers and Cake Toppers Ireland specialise in customised caricature cake toppers where you can have miniature versions of you and your other half while Your Perfect Finish – Cake Toppers and The Cake Topper have gorgeous silhouette and calligraphy style toppers that can personalised for that extra special touch!
Another popular trend is not just to have one cake but to have a dessert table full of all your favourite types and flavours – check out some gorgeous ideas here!
Top Tip: The wedding day whizzes by and while you will get to cut the cake, you might not get to sample it! Make sure to appoint someone to save you a slice so you can tuck in to it the following day as you flick through your guests pics!
Main photo from Ashley & Michael’s real wedding by Fleeting Moments Photography
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