While the dress, the venue and the decoration are all important parts of your wedding and reception, the cake also plays a significant role in your big day and in tradition. Not only is it visually the centre piece of your reception gathering, it is also one of the most recognised parts of the reception formalities. The cake cutting is one of the final symbols of the couple’s union, public promise and the ceremony surrounding this, and also offers a bit of fun with the tradition of feeding it to each other.
Like everything with your wedding — the engagement rings, the bridesmaid colours, the hire cars — selecting the cake can involve quite a few considerations. Below is a list of things to think about to get you started:
Surprisingly, the cake can make a big impact on your wedding budget, depending on who makes it, what style it is and how much decoration you require. While cakes can be expensive in general, when a cake maker and decorator learns your cake is for your wedding, expect the price tag to go up.
It is not uncommon for cakes to cost hundreds, even thousands, so be prepared. Discuss your ideas and requirements with a number of different bakers and cake shops so you can get a good understanding of what’s involved, their expert opinion and also compare costs so you get the best result for the best price tag.
Interestingly, what’s popular in cakes is impacted greatly by trends in other weddings at the time. While it has long been tradition for wedding cakes to have multiple levels – the top being the keepsake for the bride and groom – the current trend is for the cake to be split up even further. Quite common in latest trends is to see wedding cakes made entirely of separate cupcakes – one for each person. Each cake is specially decorated to create the entire effect, with a final top tier added for the bride and groom to cut into and keep. Also popular is for edible flowers, such as roses, to be used as a top tier decoration and then carried down throughout the layers to bring it all together.
While it does sound practical, these kinds of cakes can be expensive and do require a lot of work – especially if the design and decoration on each cake is very intricate.
The Actual Cake
Also requiring decision is the actual cake underneath the decoration – after all, that’s what your guests will be eating. Traditionally, when plastic icing is used in decoration, the cake itself is a fruit cake. This provides a solid, yet moist base for the decoration. These days, couples have moved away from tradition and more towards taste, many selecting chocolate and mud cakes so as to retain the moisture, provide the solid base, and still have the rich taste.
When considering the decoration, the cost and the actual cake, you also need to think about the purpose of the cake. For some weddings, the reception will include an extravagant three course meal, exclusive of the cake – this means the cake is more for visual appeal. For others, the cake will act as the third course, so the taste is much more important!