The Dos and Don'ts of Choosing Your Wedding Cake | BRIDES
How to Choose a Wedding Cake for a Formal Wedding
Many couples use formal wedding cakes as focal pieces at their wedding receptions. They want them not only to taste delicious, but to look beautiful too. However, with so many options available, it can be tough to make a decision. Decide on the color scheme first. Then choose the cake style based on the look you’re trying to achieve as well as how many guests you’ll need to feed. Use formal embellishments, like fresh flowers or elegant icing designs, as finishing touches.
Choosing a Color Scheme
Align your cake colors with your wedding color scheme.Most weddings have a very specific color scheme, and those colors often lead the way when it comes to choosing the wedding cake details. If you’re working with a specific color scheme, consider those colors for the cake, as well. This will unify the style elements of your big day and lend a sophisticated, well-curated air to the occasion.
- For instance, if your wedding colors are burgundy and cream, try a cake with buttercream frosting and burgundy rosettes as accents.
- Give your baker fabric swatches to make sure the colors are perfectly replicated.
Select an all-white cake.A white on white cake looks elegant, traditional and classy. If you’re concerned that the all-white option is too boring, think again! Jazz things up with unique embellishments, multiple tiers and non-traditional shapes. Since all-white matches everything, you can avoid stressing over matching the frosting identically to your décor elements.
- To spice things up, consider sophisticated embellishments like pearls, lace, piped embroidery, and fresh flowers.
- Consider nontraditional shapes like hexagons or ovals, or mixing up the tier heights to create a dynamic, unexpected look.
Go for glamour with a metallic cake.Wedding cakes in silver and gold are popular with those aiming for an art deco or vintage Hollywood vibe. However, metallics are easily adaptable for almost any wedding style! For an opulent look, go for something highly stylized in all-gold or all-silver, with delicate details. Create a vintage feeling by taking it down a notch and using metallic colors with a slight patina.
- If a full-metallic cake is a bit much for you, try using a more neutral buttercream for most the cake, with highly stylized metallic embellishments, like patterns, baubles, or iridescent rosettes.
Check out Pinterest and style magazines for more inspiration.Even if you've already decided on a set color scheme, create a board on Pinterest and explore style magazines for ideas on how to execute your chosen theme. You may stumble on something perfect that you would have never settled on otherwise!
- Use your Pinterest board when you meet with your baker to give them a visual reference point for what you want.
Selecting a Style
Match the cake style to your overall wedding style.If your wedding is very traditional, go with a complementary cake, such as a three-tiered round confection with ivory buttercream or royal frosting and fresh or sugar flower embellishments.If your wedding is all about drama and glamour, choose an eye-catching cake with sophisticated accents like metallic patterns or intricate designs.
Go for multiple tiers.A multi-tiered cake looks formal and sophisticated. The number of tiers is up to you! Three tiers is a classic choice. One and two tiered cakes generally look less formal, but special or sophisticated embellishments can add an elegant flair.
Take the number of guests into account.In general, three tiers will serve 50 to 100 guests. If you plan to have 200 or more guests, opt for something in the five to six tier range.Tell your baker how many guests will be attending the wedding. This will help both of you define the size of the cake, as well as how many tiers it should have.
Choose round or square shaped tiers.Traditionally, formal wedding cakes are round, though square is also considered formal. However, experimental or nontraditional shapes, like hexagons or ovals, can certainly look formal if the other elements are restrained. For instance, an all-white cake with a nontraditional shape can still look formal if the embellishments are minimal.
Align the cake style with the venue.If your reception will be held in a large ballroom with high ceilings, choose a cake that complements that – something grand, with height that mimics the room. If you’re planning a smaller, more intimate reception in a tasteful setting, don’t choose an epic cake that dominates the room. Go with something refined, with three tiers or less, featuring elegant embellishments.
Refer to your budget and keep track of pricing.It's easy to start choosing cake features without thinking about the price tag, but the little things can add up fast! The more complicated the cake is, the more it will cost. Molded shapes, elaborate tiers, intricate details and handmade embellishments will up the final price.
- Even pricing for icing can vary quite a bit. For instance, fondant icing is a lot more expensive than buttercream.
- Most bakers price cake by the slice; inquire about the cost of each detail and make your decisions carefully.
Avoid novelty cakes to maintain formality.Formal wedding cakes are elegant and, though they are traditionally eye-catchers, remain within the bounds of traditional wedding colors and decorative styles. Novelty cakes with exceptional forms and colors such as cakes made to look like the newlyweds faces, desert islands, or castles, aren't considered to be formal, though they can be appealing and fun.
Using Decorations and Accents
Embellish with fresh flowers.Opt for elegant blooms, such as roses, tulips, and lilies. Stay away from the more boho-inspired flowers, like daisies and baby’s breath, since they have a less formal appearance. You can recreate the bridal bouquet on the cake, or go for an entirely new design with other types of flowers.
- Try not to go overboard; the flowers should complement the overall look of the cake, not obscure it.
Try sugared flowers instead of fresh ones.Sugared flowers can look just as stunning as the fresh ones. For instance, you could go with sugar rosettes to mimic the look of fresh roses. Stick with white, ivory or subtle blush-colored rosettes to keep things looking formal and sophisticated.
- Fresh or sugared is completely your choice! Speak with your chosen baker about options and pricing before making a decision.
Accent the tiers with trim for an understated look.If your idea of formality is more on the minimal side, consider using subtle trim (usually made out of icing) on the cake tiers for embellishment. You have tons of choices here, but to keep things sophisticated, opt for metallic trim, lace beveling, pearl strands, rosettes, or simple patterns.
Distribute embellishments in a balanced way.If you only add embellishments to a single tier, this will draw eyes straight to that tier only. Unless this is your goal, make sure the cake looks balanced by spacing out the embellishments evenly among the tiers.
- For instance, if you're using sugared rosettes on a three tiered cake, ask your baker to create small "mini bouquets" of the flowers and cluster them evenly – one on the center of the top tier, one on the left side of the middle tier, and one on the right side of the bottom tier.
Set up a tasting with your chosen baker.You want your wedding cake to look beautiful, but it should also taste good. Before making any final decisions, set up a tasting with the baker. You can taste a variety of options and find out what special embellishments, like sugar flowers, actually taste like. Ask plenty of questions and review the baker's portfolio while you're there.
- Eat something light before attending the tasting. If you go in hungry, everything might taste better than usual!
Choose a complementary cake stand.Don’t choose just any stand for your wedding cake! It should be an extension of the style and overall vibe of your cake design. Consider the height, color, material and design of the stand when making your choice.
- For instance, a five-tiered cake on a tall, slender cake stand that matches the cake (or the accents) will create a far more impressive and formal look than setting it on something plain or ordinary-looking.
Video: CHOOSING OUR WEDDING CAKE
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