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The Wedding Cake

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Your wedding cake is one of the focal points of the celebration of your marriage. When you join hands to cut the cake, it is a symbol of your unity, of two lives that have now become one.

Because the cake is such an important feature of your special day, you should carefully consider a number of practical issues before you make your final selection:

Are you going to serve your cake for dessert?

What variety of cake will complement the other courses you have selected?

What is the weather likely to be? This is especially important if your reception is being held in a marquee, as some cakes survive warmer weather with better grace than others.

How will the cake be transported to your reception venue?

Do you wish to follow tradition and keep the top tier?

Will you give each guest a slice of cake to take home with them?

And finally, does the cake you are considering complement the colours and theme of your wedding?

Choosing a cake-maker is an important decision and asking for recommendations from other wedding professionals, and from your friends is always a good idea. After you have short-listed some likely candidates, arrange meetings with them and be sure that they can confidently answer any questions you may have, and can show you photos of their previous work as well as testimonials from other brides.

Wedding cakes were once white inside and out. Now, your cake can be any colour, flavour or shape, and can be decorated in any way you would like. You should approach the cake’s design as another opportunity to coordinate the colours and theme of your wedding and to bring your own personal style to your reception. A good cake-maker will be able to offer you a wide variety of finishes and flavours. Choose a flavour that you think will be enjoyed by all of your guests and to ensure that your cake tastes as good as it looks, ask for a sample of the cake you are considering.

Although you should not allow yourself to be talked into a cake style that simply isn’t you, you should listen to good advice. For example, if your cake-maker warns you that the long car journey to your reception venue will have disastrous consequences for the fresh cream citrus cake you had chosen, it would obviously be wise to consider other options.

Wedding cake fashion changes like any other, and Swarovski crystals are currently a very popular decoration choice. However, to avoid the possibility of one of your guests breaking a tooth, each and every crystal will need to be removed before the cake is served. So if your heart is set on crystals, consider having them strung on a thread so they can be quickly and easily removed from the cake. This also gives you the option of keeping your crystals, possibly for later use on a christening cake. A delightful alternative to crystals is silver sugar cachous, which are available in many shapes and sizes and can be used to eye-catching effect.

Cake toppers add a distinctively personal touch to your cake. They make lovely keepsakes and can even be handed down to the next generation. They are also a more affordable and practical alternative for the bride who would like to have a memento from her cake, but doesn’t want to keep the cake’s top tier because she knows that she has no intention of ever eating it.

Silver initials are a popular cake topper choice, while some brides like to use a family heirloom, or select something from the wide variety of ceramic decorations available - some humorous, some more traditional. Or, you may like to have a special cake topper made: surfboards, golf clubs and even frogs, ducks or pigs dressed as bride and groom are not unusual. The popularity of individual cakes, whether cup cakes, layered cake or a croquembouche (a pyramid of profiteroles), is also growing. Cup cakes are an ideal choice for a cocktail party reception, and packed in an attractive box with ‘Thank you’ card attached, also make fantastic bomboniere.

Because the preparation of individual cakes is often time consuming, they can sometime be more expensive than a traditionally tiered cake. Ask your reception centre what costs are associated with serving your wedding cake. You may find that there is no charge if the cake you supply does not have to be plated, thus making individual cakes an affordable option.

Traditionally, fruit and mud cakes have been popular wedding cake choices and both can be given to guests to take home. However, they can make an overly rich and heavy finale to a three-course meal if served for dessert – so why not opt for a fluffy, light sponge cake instead? Sponges can be filled with puréed fresh strawberries, chocolate mousse, lemon or hazelnuts, and some delicious, textured icing options, such as chocolate ganache or butter cream will give them an unforgettable finishing touch.

When you have decided on your cake, ask your cake-maker for a written quote that includes the date your cake is required, its size, design, decoration and flavour, and any relevant delivery and payment details. Be sure to confirm your order at least two months before your wedding day. And finally, remember that quality and service will determine price. Be prepared to pay for expertise and you will no doubt be delighted with the result.


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