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Choosing Your Wedding Cake



Wedding cake – 8 top tips

Our new contributor, Judith Bond joins us today to share her top tips on how to choose your wedding cake. Judith is a bespoke Cake Maker from North Wales and is the owner of Judith Bond Cakes based in Llandudno. As well as Wedding cakes, Judith specialises in celebrations, cupcakes and corporate events and has customers all along the North Wales coast and into Chester. Judith is an enthusiastic photographer and a member of the Welshot Photographic Academy and she loves writing her blog charting her delightful adventures in cake. You can find out more about Judith on her new website . Her work has also been published in Cupcake Heaven Magazine. We are delighted that Judith has joined us and hope you enjoy her blog.

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Kate Winslet famously said:

Romance to me is spontaneity. It’s not diamonds, it’s a bunch of daffodils freshly picked from the field”.

Of course she’s right – romance means so many different things to each of us and it’s hard to beat a bunch of spring daffodils. But we all love diamonds too – it’s the perfect sign and seal of our commitment to each other in engagement and then marriage.

Not many of us should expect a 15 carat diamond engagement ring like the one Kanye West placed on Kim Kardashian’s finger when he popped the question in a baseball stadium with a full orchestra, but every diamond however large or small means the world to us and hopefully sits on our finger for a good many years.

Did you know that the word diamond is derived from the ancient Greek adámas meaning, “proper”, “unalterable”, “unbreakable”. I love this.

Once you’ve chosen your diamond ring, you’ll have a long list of other things to plan for your big day including your wedding cake – and there’s more to it than you might, at first, think.

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At Judith Bond Cakes, we’ve been working with brides across North Wales for nearly 3 years and have learnt a thing or two about choosing your cake. I’ve put together a ‘DIAMOND’ list to give you my top tips on how to choose your Cake Maker and have the cake of your dreams.

Dream

Yes, you’re allowed to dream. It’s your big day and within reason – and budget – you get to have whatever you want. So pour over Pinterest, imagine with Instagram, mooch through Wedding Magazines – collect the photographs you like, think about the colours your love, dream away – it’s a great place to start.

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When I meet with brides, I always ask them to bring pictures, colour swatches, a copy of the invitation and anything else that helps me get the feel of the wedding. It will help you explain your ideas and will help me understand better and hopefully make you the cake you’ve been dreaming of.

Hannah brought me a B&Q paint colour chart to show me the 3 shades of blue she wanted on her wedding cupcakes and it was so helpful!

Involve the Groom

Your wedding cake is very significant because it’s the first thing you and your groom will do together. You will jointly hold the knife and cut into your cake together as you set out on your married life.  When you’re planning your cake, try and involve him. Most cake decorators offer different flavoured tiers so perhaps your groom would like a tier in his favourite flavour so he gets to really enjoy it on the day. You might find he has some ideas about the design and shape of the cake, so you can involve him in the planning.

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Hailey and Adam are one of the cutest couples I have worked with. They’d been together for ages, had saved up for the wedding of their dreams and both came to the consultation to talk about their cake. Adam’s main request was that one of the tiers be double chocolate and his wish was my command. It was lovely to see them discuss design ideas together so they felt it was very much a joint project.

Ask Around

Unless you know a cake decorator that you can trust, you’ll be looking around to find someone. The best referrals will come from your friends or colleagues – people who you know and who’s opinion you trust.

  • It would be wise to investigate 2 or 3 decorators in your area. If they have a shop, visit and look at their work
  • Do you have rapport with them? Do you think you can work well together and they can make a good job of what you are asking for?
  • Make sure they are registered as a proper business – just because you’ve seen photographs on facebook doesn’t mean they are operating properly.
  • They must have a Food Safety Level 2 Certificate; and they must have a Local Authority Food Hygiene rating – this is the green label or ‘scores on the doors’ that you see on restaurant doors that indicates a rating between 1 and 5. If this is not displayed in the shop, you must ask what rating they have achieved. There is no reason for a Cake Business to have less than 5.
  • Check out reviews on their website and social media – you’ll gain a lot of information from what other people say about them

Mind the Budget

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The average UK wedding costs in excess of £18,000 today. Of course savings can be made in different areas – you can do some of the work yourself and use the skills of your friends and family to help keep costs down. A budget is essential and it’s wise to keep within it.

We don’t publish a price list for weddings but I have a rough guide that I give to brides when they show an interest. I would often ask my brides what their budget is, and I can then design them something that will comfortably fit within their means and make sure there’s plenty of cake to go round.

Opt for Original

It’s amazing how much wedding cake trends have changed. My parents married in 1970 with a 3 tier royal iced fruit cake complete with columns and silk flowers. It was beautiful in it’s day but there was no choice at all – you went to the Bakery – and they only wanted to know the date!

Wedding cake

Today cake trends are changing so rapidly it’s hard to keep up. My Autumn 2015 issue of Wedding Cakes tells me that we can expect rustic inspired wedding cakes to continue – this includes naked cakes, semi naked cakes, buttercream cakes, and bark like textures.

Naked wedding cake, vintage wedding cake, vintage wedding, vintage bride

This summer we worked with Catrin and Tim on their summer fruits Naked Wedding Cakes decorated with fresh flowers and blackberries – they chose their favourite flavours for each tier and it fitted in perfectly with their rustic barn wedding reception.

Numbers matter

Whatever size wedding you are dreaming of, you need to make sure you have enough slices to go round. Decide whether you want to keep a tier for a later occasion, although this will usually only work with fruit cake, as sponge has a shorter shelf life.

If you have a good number of guests, one of the ways you can keep your costs down is to have an additional cake. We offer our brides an extra cutting cake, normally plain iced, which we deliver straight to the kitchen. They will have this ready sliced up so that when you have your ‘cake cutting’ moment, the staff can whistle in and serve the cake really quickly, without your guests waiting around

Do a taste test

However amazing your cake looks, it needs to taste fantastic too. When you have chosen your Cake Maker, you should be offered a taste test so you can make a final decision on flavours.

We offer our 12 distinctive flavours publicised on our website. When you book a wedding consultation with us, you can choose up to 3 flavours to try and I’ll arrange to come to your home, talk through your plans and decide on your flavours over a nice cup of tea.

Wedding Cake

As well as the classics, you can choose Fresh Raspberry – a lovely fresh flavour, perfect for a summer garden party or country picnic. Fresh vanilla sponge with baked in fruit, swirled with pink coulis buttercream, topped with fresh sugared raspberry.

Our Orange Poppy Seed is inspired by the still quiet of a little hotel in Quelfes nestled in the orange groves, a stones-throw from Faro, in the Algarve. This fresh citrus flavoured poppy seed sponge is swirled with zesty orange buttercream and is the perfect treat for a summer’s day

Our Chocolate Fudge is ever popular, perfect for chocolate lovers, and described by one of our customers as “epic”. It’s a rich fudgy chocolate sponge is swirled with indulgent chocolate ganache buttercream.

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You might like our Almond Amaretto – straight from the sun drenched town of Ravello on the gorgeous Amalfi coast. Nutty almond white sponge covered with luxurious amaretto buttercream topped with crumbled amaretto biscuit.

Our customer favourite this summer has been Salted Caramel. Everyone’s going mad for it and it’s easy to see why – this rich chocolate sponge filled with oozy salted caramel sauce swirled with cream caramel frosting will have coming back for more, and more, and more.

Settle in writing

After your wedding consultation, your taste test and your exchange of emails over details – you should make sure you have all the details of what you have ordered including costs settled in writing. This will act as your contract and it should lay out what you expect from your cake maker, and what they expect from you in terms of organisation and planning.

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Many brides take out wedding insurance now to cover them for any let downs in the planning process. You don’t have to do this but it may give you peace of mind. Your Cake Maker should have professional indemnity insurance and commercial-use car insurance for deliveries and it may be worth checking this before you sign off your deposit.

When we take a wedding booking, we ask our brides to pay at 50% deposit to secure their order. This is fairly common practice in the cake world and ensures commitment on both sides to what has been agreed.

I hope my little list will help you to choose your Cake Maker wisely and if you are in North Wales / Chester area we’d love to meet you and talk about how we can make the cake of your dreams.

We’d love you to call by our brand new website  and have a good look round and we wish you all the happiness in the world with your forthcoming Big Day and new life ahead.

Love, Judith x

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