Above: Cake by Sweet Bites Cakes, POA
For one of the sweetest parts of planning, it’s amazing how quickly cake dilemmas can turn the whole celebration sour. Dodge common mistakes by consulting our comprehensive guide.
Assuming the cake you love will be too expensive to create
Just because a design might look complex, doesn’t mean it can’t be altered to suit your budget. Often, simple changes can dramatically reduce the cost – think sugar flowers covering two tiers instead of three, or textured layer of buttercream icing instead of a smooth fondant shell. Approach your baker, communicate your budget, and share the ideas you had in mind – you might be surprised at the possibilities.
Not being specific enough
When you discuss your cake design with your baker, be sure to avoid misunderstandings by communicating your vision as specifically as you can – remember that your idea of lilac might not be the same as theirs. Bring along colour swatches and images of cake designs you like, and nothing will be left unclear.
Picking up the cake yourself
Wedding cakes are heavy, delicate, unstable and awkwardly shaped. In short, they’re a transport nightmare. Some jobs are best left to the pros: avoid big-day disaster by opting to have your cake delivered straight to your venue.
Not considering your venue
A thick layer of fluffy buttercream icing might be a great idea in theory, but if your cake will be sitting in the hot afternoon sun for hours then its unlikely to look as good for the cake-cutting as it did when was freshly made. Be sure to take into account the time of year, where your cake will be stored and how long it’ll need to be stored for when settling on a design. A reputable baker and decorator will be able to inform you on the best ingredient and decorating options specific to your celebration.
Getting too colourful
If you want to incorporate bold hues into your cake design, it’s often best to do so through use of ribbons or flesh blooms. The large amounts of food colouring present in bright-coloured icing can stain lips and teeth – avoid the problem by selecting a neutral or pastel alternative.
Forgetting about the surroundings
You’ve dropped at least a few hundred dollars, your decorator has laboured over that delicate cascade of sugar butterflies for hours and the cake has made it to the venue in one miraculous piece. Don’t let all that effort go to waste – when it comes to presentation, your tiered triumph will only look as good as the spot where it’s displayed. Spend time considering a stand and table cloth that will do it justice: the display needn’t be complicated (a classic white stand and a crisp linen cloth will let a flower-laden creation truly shine) but it does need to be thought through.
Not listening to your baker
Perhaps you’ve had your heart set on using your grandmother’s fruitcake recipe since you were 12, or maybe you’ve always dreamed of crowning your top tier with an elaborate chocolate topper. Whatever the story, if a baker or decorator strongly advises against a particular design element or flavour choice, be sure to listen to their reasoning.