The wedding cake selection is a prime candidate for Instagram and Pinterest (or a scrapbook if you prefer the hard-copy approach). Every time you see a cake you like the look of ‘save it’, ‘pin it’, or screenshot it. This is a great way to be inspired for all aspects of your cake, including the wedding cake topper, the shape of the tiers, colours for the icing, the list goes on!
Most patissiers will happily translate your picture into reality, although of course there may be a price tag that generates the need for simplification if your wedding budget doesn’t match your design abilities!
You will want to take into account:
Number of portions (i.e. your number of guests)
• Size of portion (this can vary with but generally you will be given the option of ‘finger size’ (which is usually as the name suggests a long thin piece of cake per guest) versus ‘dessert size’ (which you might want to think about if you are serving the cake in the evening and would like it to be a little more substantial and the dessert element of your evening food).
• Number of tiers – this can be a design feature or just dictated by the number of portions you want to serve. Some tiered cakes include dummy layers which are simply for the aesthetic of the cake.
• Most Patissiers offer a range of delicious flavours and each tier can be different if you wish. The more traditional couple will at least include one tier of fruit cake but others will have a separate ‘cutting block’ of fruitcake to satisfy the fruitcake eaters. Others will simply stick to sponge or macaroons or profiteroles.
• In terms of the ‘outside’, naked cakes (no icing) will compete for your vote against sugar or buttercream icing.
• Dietary constraints – it is possible to offer gluten-free, nut-free, etc. but this may alter the taste to some extent. You may wish to consider a tiered cake stand to separate the cakes to avoid cross-contamination. Discuss your requirements with your Patissier.
• On your timetable make sure that you have allocated a slot for the formal cake cutting if this is part of your plan. Forewarn the toastmaster (or the last speaker if this is a run-on at the end of the speeches) so that it is announced – and your guests and photographer don’t miss it!
• Ensure that your cake maker will both deliver to your venue and set up the cake. Is s/he also providing the cake stand and who has the knife…?
• If you are planning any fresh cream or other temperature-sensitive ingredients, check with your venue that you are operating within legal food safety guidelines.