Many of us think of wedding cake as a stable element of any wedding, alongside things like your white dress or your floral bouquet. But just because it is considered a tradition to have a wedding cake, it does not mean that you are bound to it! In today's blog, we go over five things to consider when deciding on 1) whether cake and 2) what kind of wedding cake to get! We will try to help you answer those crucial questions like: how big should it be, how much should it cost, what flavours to have?
Full disclosure: my husband and I had a wedding cake when we got married, so I will also be sharing our thought process when we were shopping for ours!
1.Choose a cake to match your wedding style.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to know your wedding theme or style or decor before choosing what kind of wedding cake you want. You may love a rustic, semi-naked cake that's all the rage right now, but if you are having a black-tie ballroom wedding, that style may clash with the rest of your wedding decor. Knowing your wedding dress style, your floral arrangements, your venue decor, or your table settings, etc., will help immensely in choosing the right cake for you. Your cake-maker will ask you for these things in your consultation, so be ready with some answers. Knowing your wedding style will also help you decide how you want to showcase your cake on your wedding day. It will determine the cake stand you want, where you want it placed in your venue, and how you want to cut and serve it later!
My wedding experience: My husband and I took such a long time to decide on our wedding cake, and that is partly because we had difficulty settling on a wedding style, colour palette, etc. The only thing we knew was that we wanted to have a tall cake to match the tall ceiling of our venue (Barrick Salon, Nature Museum). Once we had those decided, Gabriela from Dulce Couture Cakes who made our gorgeous wedding cake (who was also patient with us) was able to design for us a cake that matched our style. Shout out to
2. Budget, budget, budget!
Know your budget. As with most wedding things, the cost can get out of control if you don't keep an eye for it. Set a budget for the cake you want and communicate that to your cake-maker. As you can expect, the bigger or more elaborate your cake design is, the more expensive it will be. Other things will cost you extra as well that you might not consider. For example, if you would like florals on your wedding cake as I did for mine, that will cost you a bit more. Also, accessories like a cake-stand (if you have to rent it) or the cutlery (if you want a special one engraved with your initials) will cost you a bit more as well. Keep in mind that depending on your caterer, you might also have to pay for the cutting and serving of your wedding cake, so don't forget to budget that in!
My wedding experience: We initially thought that we wanted to have a small cake for our wedding, but as the planning unfolded, it became increasingly clear that what we wanted was a cake that would grab people's attention! The quotes we received ranged from $300 up to $1500.
3. Flavours ( you can't please everyone!)
It is a complete myth that wedding cakes are not delicious, because they absolutely can be amazingly delicious! So, when choosing a wedding cake, have a rough idea of the cake flavour you want. Some cake-makers will allow you to have multiple flavours depending on the number of tiers you have, for example. They will usually list the cake flavours on their website or their pricing guide. Think about what is seasonal as well. If you're having a summer wedding, why not have summer flavours, like strawberries; for a fall wedding, try pumpkin-inspired flavours!
There is more to cake than just the flavours, of course. Your wedding cake will likely be coated in some form of frosting (buttercream, ganache, cream cheese, fondant, etc.). These will affect not only the taste of your cake but also its texture, so do not ignore this vital element. Lastly, you absolutely must try samples from your cake-maker - they will only be too happy to provide you with some!
My wedding experience: For my wedding cake, we had three flavours: red velvet (60%), salted caramel (30%), and vanilla (10%) distributed in 6 layers of cake. I do want to note that you should take comfort in knowing that you cannot please everyone. So, choose favours that you like and have fun with it!
4. Other “sweets”
What other "sweets" your will guests be having after dinner should be a factor in the type of wedding cake you get. For example, will a dessert be served as part of your course meal on top of the cake? If so, consider how big your wedding cake should be; you do not want to have a massive cake only for no one to eat it because your guests are already full! It is regrettable to see slices of delicious cakes left uneaten.
It is also very common now for couples to pair their wedding cake with other kinds of desserts, like doughnuts of cupcakes on the dessert table. If you do decide to match your cake with other desserts, you can opt for a significantly smaller cake! Having a variety of sweets will allow your guests to have more options and will ensure that nothing goes to waste because they will have several options from which to choose. As always, we recommend you to speak to your baker to discuss what types of flavours go together if you pick this route.
5. Not cake
If you don't think the wedding cake is for you, do not be compelled to get it just because "every wedding has to have it." It is your wedding; you can do whatever you want!! You can go for doughnuts, cupcakes, fruits, you can even have a cake made out cheese wheels. We had a couple who had many of their guests travelling from out of town, so they wanted to share a piece of Ottawa. They got doughnuts from our very own Suzy Qs, and it was such a big hit! We also had a couple who served fancy ice-cream sandwiches!