Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What's a party without cake?

Not much of a party. Unless there are cupcakes then we can talk. Think of this post as part two in your cake planning part of the wedding. I've compiled a handy dandy checklist to get you on your cake way.

You have picked the place and theme for your wedding now you need to focus on the cake. Remember this is a typical focal point at a reception so give it some thought. Ok, if it’s not then at least have it taste divine. Either way, focal point or divine taste you should first meet with bakers about three to six months before the big day. Look over their styles, costs and get a feel for them. Once you find the person you want to work with schedule the wedding date with them and begin the order! I’ve compiled a checklist to help you get inspired and prod you along. As if you need it!

Think of your wedding cake. What pictures and creations pop into your head? If you are blown away by those images or a few clippings in magazines see below. Which word (or words) best describes the vision you'd like to create?

[ ] Contemporary
[ ] Dramatic
[ ] Ornate
[ ] Structured
[ ] Regal
[ ] Round
[ ] Simple
[ ] Square
[ ] Traditional
[ ] Unique
[ ] Modern
[ ] Funky

If you have picked your style then which shape will represent it best? This is where the cake designer can help out.

[ ] Cupcakes
[ ] Hexagonal
[ ] Rectangular
[ ] Round
[ ] Scalloped
[ ] Sheet cake
[ ] Square
[ ] Tiered, stacked

Do you want your guests to actually eat the cake or just look at it? If you cannot fathom cutting into that beauty then perhaps you need a fake cake and a sheet cake in a back room. The cake designer can do both. If you want to cut into that scrumptious treat and devour it then it’s a primary dessert cake. Keep in mind that this affects your budget too.

[ ] For show
[ ] Primary dessert
[ ] Both

Like exotic fruit? Are macaroons your thing? Don’t hold back those passions now. Discuss with your baker a way to bring forth some of the flavors you and your future spouse love and incorporate them into the cake.

[ ] Angel food
[ ] Berries and whipped cream
[ ] Carrot (spice)
[ ] Chocolate
[ ] Nuts
[ ] Golden
[ ] Lemon
[ ] Liqueurs
[ ] Mocha
[ ] Mousse
[ ] Orange
[ ] Raspberry
[ ] Truffle
[ ] White chocolate

Stick with tradition or select shades that complement your wedding colors -- think bridesmaid dresses and the bridal bouquet. Here are some basics that are used. Feel free though to go wild and think of seasons or upcoming holidays too.

[ ] Baby Blue
[ ] Green (pale)
[ ] Lavender
[ ] Peach
[ ] Pink
[ ] White
[ ] Yellow

Details and embellishing extras will transform the look of your cake.

[ ] Chocolate shavings
[ ] Fresh flowers
[ ] Gold or silver leaf
[ ] Pearls
[ ] Sugar blooms
[ ] Toppers

Sugar-spun flowers or real ones, the sky and your budget are the limit here. Here are our suggestions for flowers that make a lasting impression:

[ ] Hydrangeas
[ ] Lilies
[ ] Orchids
[ ] Ranunculuses
[ ] Roses
[ ] Stephanotis
[ ] Tulips
[ ] Violets

The cake should first and foremost taste great. But it should look fabulous, too. Here's a list of ways to consider decorating the cake, beyond the simple chocolate shavings:

[ ] Sugar flowers: Gumpaste can so taste great. Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it. Designers can make some pretty amazing confections with gumpaste and realistic looking too.
[ ] Fresh fruit: Seasonal fruit dotting the cake can make the whole thing fresh and very appealing. For fall think of tiny apples or grapes.
[ ] Motifs: An innovative way to decorate a cake, we encourage brides and grooms to use their wedding motif on the cake, too. For example, having and I (Heart) your city theme, have the cake designer fashion a cityscape on the sides of the cake.
[ ] Patterns: Antique lace or henna traced hands? The idea of adorning the cake in a pattern that mimics the wedding gown, bridesmaid dresses, or a cultural tradition will only enhance your cake.
[ ] Themes: If you've chosen a theme for your wedding, then those ideas should definitely be visible on the cake.

If you have the budget or it’s tradition in your neck of the woods to have a Groom’s cake then apply the same process given above to this cake. I’ve seen many a school mascot Groom’s cake.

[ ] Yes
[ ] No


[ ] 0-50
[ ] 50-100
[ ] 100-150
[ ] 150-200
[ ] 200+

Estimate the damage before you proceed further. Write it down here: $____________
Does it fit your budget? If so, by all means proceed. If it doesn’t then you might have to think of something simpler. Discuss different options with your baker before things get out of hand. It’s an important day but it really shouldn’t break the bank.

(Part of this checklist is compiled from The Knot.)

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