Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Our Wedding Cake

We had our cake made by Kirstin at Taupo Cakes. After the initial contact, we had lots of back and forth emails discussing ideas and making sure our visions aligned. This was the one aspect of the wedding day everyone else saw before we did. As it was delivered at the reception venue while we were getting ready that morning. It didn't disappoint in appearance or taste.... YUM!

© Ross Herbert Photography

We had 65 guests at our wedding, so a 5-tier cake tower masterpiece was going to be way too much.
Left-overs for tea the next day, or a first anniversary is one thing; but I'm sure we would have been living off the other 4 tiers for the rest of the month, no to mention having to up-size my entire wardrobe afterwards.....
They do look beautiful and pack an optical punch, making a great focus point to display your theme or personality.

However, this can definitely still be achieved on a smaller scale, without having to stretch your wallet or waistline.

© Ross Herbert Photography

I do like the idea of tiers though, even if they are small . When feeding a large number of guests, not everyone is going to be thrilled about your choice of say, a Green Tea Cake. If its your favourite; sure, include it, but also have another tier which is a more usual flavour. It would be a shame for those fuss-pots out there to miss out entirely.

Smaller businesses cannot always afford to do "tasting sessions" and so a compromise is to order a small cake or cupcakes in the flavours you are interested in. Turn it into a nice surprise for a family dinner or anniversary. The main thing is to try before you buy - pretty pictures are only half the battle.
We tried out flavours by ordering a variety of Taupo Cakes's cupcakes. This way we knew what we were getting, and how the flavours worked together.
The pick was our two favourite flavours;  Carrot Cake and Chocolate Mud Cake. Nothing outrageous, but still super delicious.
Recommendations are great, but some tastes and flavours are quite personal, you will want to know what you are serving and not use your closest family and friends as the guinea pigs.

Not everyone is into "rich" cake flavours, especially in the hot summer months, it can become a bit "heavy". So I had considered choosing a "light" flavour such as Pink lemonade or Lime cake. The husband-to-be stepped in at this point. Chris wanted the two flavours we went with in the end. I'm a fan of rich cakes, so I had no problem with that decision either. Plus, we weren't going to be eating the cake until later when it was cooler and inside. Problem solved.

© Ross Herbert Photography

The decorations consisted of a base of pale green fondant icing (the nice kind), with white icing pearl strings draped all around. The base of each tier was embellished with a thin plum ribbon and lace bordering. The cake was crowned with handmade sugar roses, painted with a plum colouring. This was perched on a plain sturdy white cake stand.

© Ross Herbert Photography

It proved difficult to find any decorative cake stands to hire or buy for a reasonable price (room in the market for crafty locals) and so the one used was supplied by the baker.

I had hoped to find something similar to this...
Ideally (as you may have guessed) with pearls hanging in a chandelier type pattern. Alas, with the days growing short, and only discovering this style late in the planning process, it was one of the ideas that we never got around to sorting.

With regards to floral decorations, check with your florist as to how much any floral toppers would come to using real flowers vs. hand-hand sugar decorations. Depending on the season, how expensive the real flowers are vs. how time consuming they are to construct; you may be surprised as to which is the better option.

© Ross Herbert Photography

We couldn't pass up another shot of this stunning sunset, and so the cake cutting session providing the perfect opportunity to allow us to capture this moment.

© Ross Herbert Photography

Wanting a more extravagant cake but don't have the guest numbers to justify it? Ask your baker about including a fake tier. They can ice and decorate an extra polystyrene tier to add height and grandeur to your first dessert as a married couple without the need for baking. The cake will probably be sliced up in the kitchen, away from your guests eyes, so they will be none the wiser (unless you tell them) that your cake isn't 100% authentic.
Not keen on a fake cake? Include cake separators, where you can leave gaps between the tiers or fill them with flowers.

If you have a big event coming up and are wanting to create your own cake masterpiece; the picture below may give you an indication as to the dish sizes you'll require. The picture is also linked to another bloggers site which goes into more serving details.

If you are after inspiration or an idea of the styles I was choosing between, follow me on Pinterest.

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