How will you know what you are serving your guests if you haven’t tasted the cake yourself? It goes without saying then that choosing the right confectioner/cake designer is crucial to the success of your cake. It’s important you meet with the confectioner in person; and you should be impressed with their advice as well as the taste of what they offer you.
What style should you choose?
This is one of the last things that should be on your list. It’s important that you deal with that after all the other decisions have been made. Consider the theme of your wedding: will it be a formal, black-tie affair (then a semi naked cake would not be fitting), or a picnic in the country? Choose a cake that’s compatible with the style of the venue, the season, your gown, the flowers and the menu. The cake should be part of the wedding.
What size or how many tiers should the cake be?
This is entirely dependent on the amount of guests attending your wedding. Generally, three tiers of an average size cake will serve between 50 to 100 guests. If you are having 200 guests or more, you’re likely to need five tiers or more, otherwise increase the size of the actual cake if you are not keen on a high cake.
It’s obvious that costs will vary according to flavour, size and icing. The more complicated the cake, the more it will cost. Fondant icing is more expensive than buttercream, and if you want handmade sugar flowers or detailing, you’ll be paying for labour. In South Africa, the average wedding cake costs around R3 000 for an average size cake. Cheese wheels are also a great option, served with biscuits and fruit; however don’t be fooled into thinking you will be cutting costs, as cheese wheels are not cheap.
How can I save on the cake cost?
Order small cakes or cupcakes; and even doughnuts are very popular nowadays. Stay away from tiers, handmade sugar flowers etc. Garnish with fresh flowers and/or fruit for an elegant but less expensive effect. There are many ways to save.
Choose the right frosting.
Buttercream is generally more delicious than fondant; but if you love a smooth, elegant look consider frosting the cake in buttercream first and then covering it with a layer of fondant. Ganache is another choice to consider: a decadently rich frosting with a fudgy texture made from chocolate and cream, yum!
The weather is an important consideration.
Don’t choose whipped cream, meringue or buttercream if you’re hosting an outdoor wedding in a hot climate, as without a doubt your cake will melt. Opt for a fondant covered cake as often it doesn’t even need to be refrigerated.
You need to think about display.
Your cake will likely be on display before it’s cut and consumed. Make sure there is a designated cake table that allows the most elegant presentation possible. A round table is perfect for round cakes, but a linear cake design may call for a rectangular table. Figure out your options. Once you have a cake table, have fun dressing it up: drape it with sumptuous fabrics and decorate it with motifs, colours and flowers to match the cake (your florist can help).
Make sure that you are on the same page regarding the delivery of your cake from the designer. Is there an additional cost for delivery? Be specific about the time and confirm whether you would require refrigeration or not. Another point to consider is that complex cakes may not necessarily be delivered in their final form. Allow time and space for assembly, if needed.