It’s finally here! After so many months of planning and preparation, our feature in Martha Stewart Weddings has finally hit the stands, and I’m so excited to reveal some of my wedding photos. I’ll be posting them in a series of blog posts in the next few weeks, so make sure to stay tuned! I wanted to first show you guys our amazing cake, and share some tips on how to choose your dream wedding cake as well.
One of my favorite moments of this planning process has been designing our cake with the very talented Juliet Sear, who is seriously a master of cake design! Shortly after Mackenzie and I got engaged, I found some inspo for wedding cakes that I just loved, with a modern “scraped off” icing technique that I thought looked gorgeous. I also wanted fresh flowers or fruit to decorate the cake, and for it to have a rustic feel, nothing too complicated. Turns out I picked the one type of icing that means the cake must be baked literally right before it is served (of course I did – oops!) because the sponge can dry out when it’s exposed in places like that. I stumbled upon Juliet and her amazing designs, and we were so thrilled to work with her for our big day. Read below for Juliet’s inspiring story and her top tips for creating your dream wedding cake.
Juliet has always had a passion for all things food, and her journey with cake baking began 18 years ago when she threw a big birthday bash for her son George. She caught the baking bug and by popular demand began making cakes for her friends and family, as at that time very few bakeries were doing it in a modern style (this was long before YouTube tutorials, so she taught herself using old fashioned cookbooks but dreamed up modern designs all on her own!). By accident, she ended up starting her small cake business from home, eventually going to work for a top cake company in London where she honed her craft and even created cakes for a few high profile events (like Madonna’s wedding, and David Beckham’s 30th birthday party!). Today she’s a top food artist and stylist, and has even published several books, including Cakeology (which is full of wedding cake inspo).
How To Choose Your Wedding Cake:
Get In The Mood: First off, always try to create a mood board or gather visuals of what you love so that your cake designer can come up with the right design for you. Every couple is different, and a Pinterest board with inspiration can go a long way in helping your designer understand your tastes. Make sure your cake ideas also fit with the decor and theme of the room, the rest of the food, and your dress.
Take the Designer’s Advice: Your cake designer should have had plenty of experience, and can help with logistics of what will really work for your cake. For example, in the height of summer, if you won’t be having your cake in an air-conditioned room, you will most likely not want to have buttercream – or if you insist on it, your designer should have ways to ensure that it doesn’t melt. They will be used to all the edible mediums and what works best for different looks, so make sure to keep an open mind to what your designer might recommend, to avoid any cake disasters!
Be Mindful of the Season: Juliet swears by the fact that food is so much better when you work with the seasons – just like when you’re deciding on the rest of the menu and alcohol selection for your big day, your cake should also go along with the time of year in which your wedding is taking place. For a fall wedding like ours, we wanted dark green, waxy leaves and orange kumquats to decorate the cake. We also looked at sliced figs, for those warm autumnal vibes.
Be Mindful of the Location: Think about the place you’ll be displaying the cake – are there tall ceilings? What’s the decor like? Juliet says that she’s been to a few venues where the bride has been super specific about a type of design, only to set up a colour pop crazy cartoon cake in front of beautiful hand painted chinoiserie wall paper in an old castle. Think about the space as it really impacts on the look of the cake – it has to work!
Size Matters: Take advice from your cake maker on this point – if you aren’t serving the cake for dessert, many cakes are way too big for the event and often can end up being thrown away. Your cake maker can advise you on freezing options – or perhaps if you wanted a large cake – you could even have a couple of fake tiers which generally will cut down the cost by around 20-30% depending on the designer. Waste not want not! Conversely, we wanted a smaller cake, and due to the amount of guests we have, Juliet is baking extra sponges that won’t be on display, to cut and prep in the kitchen, ready to serve.
What do you guys think?!