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Posted by Cayla Capri
Picking The Right Cake
Picking the right cake cover full
Wedding cakes and their symbolic properties haven’t always had such an elegant go of it. In medieval England, spiced buns filled with oysters, sweetbreads and other things we don’t want to know about were piled high, one on top of the other. If, and only if, the couple could kiss over the soaring stack would they be granted a life of good fortune. In the seventeenth century, cakes were broken against the crown of the bride’s head; left to crumble by her sides for clambering guests. These days, we still maintain a bit of that abandon, smooshing butter-cream in our lover’s face. But our wedding cake traditions are less about superstitions and experimenting with animal innards, and more about rightfully indulging in a piece of edible art we’d normally drool over/pine for from the wrong side of a bakery shop window. And thank sweet vanilla filling goodness for that.
know your style
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Browse online, flip through cake and wedding zines, veg in front of one of those Learning Channel cake-maker reality shows, and if can swing it, attend a bridal show or two. This way, you’ll get an idea of your dream cake (if you haven’t already been dreaming of it since marching bridal Barbie down a Hot Wheel’s track). Having a predestined cake goal will make the ordering process that much easier.
the classic
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Three circular tiers are timeless, and a bit of floral oomph won’t negate. Try a bouquet of sugar flowers sitting atop, little fresh ones cascading downwards into a cluster of blooming glories, or a painted on/stenciled motif. If flowers aren’t your thing, a fail-proof cake-topper featuring you and babs in miniature should do the trick.
the modern
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When going culinary mod, think haute couture. Seek unexpected, un-floral patterns like black and white paisleys, bold, geometric shapes, chic Burberry or down-home flannel. Clean lines, asymmetrical appliqués and monograms all scream contemporary. However, if you’re looking to improve on tradition with your own modern-woman whims, try sprucing the ol’ floral design up with a theme, like country tea garden, with pale colors and doily-like decoupage; Asian garden, with wiry branches and pink flowers; dark, fantasy-land woods; tropical jungle or whimsical, fairy-infested forest.
the unusual
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Cupcakes, cake-pops and other cutesy, immaculate little crafts are redefining the traditional wedding cake. But if a tier of Krispy Kremes doesn’t speak to your salivary glands like it does others, a plain old cake pisa-ed and decked with artistic whimsy will help your lopsided personality shine, without pushing barriers too far. Think over-the-top themes like Las Vegas or a Marie Antoinette “Let them eat cake!” motif, complete with strings of pearls and ostentatious feathers.
know your taste
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Forget landing your true love, the best part of being engaged is delighting in your first love: cake. And not just one cake, but a whole array of sinful treats made solely to impress and gratify you, darling. It would be rude not to try each and every one.
If you already have a flavor in mind, make sure your baker’s got that one locked down. But if they confidently suggest an ingredient modification, go with their gut.
sugar-coated pricetag
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Wedding cakes can rage anywhere from $2.50 to $12.50 a slice. Custom-made cakes are certainly up there, because so much time is spent contemplating architectural design, color and flavor. Keep in mind that seemingly minute revisions, like choosing real flowers over sugar, can slash numbers significantly. Also, it’s actually safer to under-buy, lest you want to be stuck with months-worth of leftovers (worse things have happened).
what to ask
Set up appointments with a few bakers who share your tastes, and bring along a list of questions. Don’t let the sheer number of inquiries frighten you off; it’ll make meetings way more productive. Plus, your chosen cake maker will have more confidence in your vision if you’ve done your homework.
Who will be making the cake and may I see their portfolio?
Sometimes due to time-restraints the cake-maker's assistant will be the one creating the cake, so it's a good idea to sample the work beforehand.
Are you willing to create custom designs?
If yes, provide the designer with pictures of stuff you like. If no, inquire about alternative materials and color palettes or any other modifications that can be made to existing samples.
What ingredients do you use?
All allergies are critical to mention. Many bakers offer peanut-free environments, while others specialize in vegan cakes.
Can we request a cake tasting before confirming the flavor?
You may have thought you were a vanilla gal through and though, until you discovered how sinful red velvet truly is.
Can I rent cake toppers, cake boards and other accessories for the wedding cake?
Learn what’s up for rent and you may end up loosening your budget.
Can you tell me about delivery cost/insurance?
Be aware of what is and isn’t included in the delivery (like parking), all policies and backup plans.
When, exactly, is the cake baked?
A good cake maker will bake theirs two-three day in advance, depending on size and intricacy involved. Sugar flowers and cake boards can be made well in advance.
When will you arrive at the reception hall?
The last thing you want are the flowers being painted as the guests enter.
When should the cake be brought out/cut?
Normally, wedding cakes are preserved with a fondant that keeps the moisture in. But when opting for a mousse or ice-cream cake, you’ll need to inquire about serving time if you don’t want a melted mess on your hands.
Do you coordinate with the florist?
If you want fresh flowers on your cake, make sure that your designer contacts your florist for specifications.