The bride’s cake is the second most crucial part of a wedding after the dress. For this reason, you should make sure you choose the right one for your wedding.
But how do you determine the right cake for your wedding when you’ve never had a wedding before? Trust me — it’s not easy.
There are many shapes and sizes, icings, and flavors that will make it almost impossible to decide. But don’t panic. With the right approach, you should be able to choose the perfect bride’s cake for your big day.
The History of the Bride’s Cake
When it comes to wedding cake designs, we’ve seen it all. From Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ 5-foot tall fruit cake to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s lemon elderflower cake. But the history of the bride’s cake transcends the royal family.
The tradition dates back to ancient Rome when the groom would break a loaf of barley bread over the bride’s head as a symbol of fertility. Guests would then scramble to get some of the crumbs to get some of the good luck.
In medieval England, they did things a bit differently. They would organize a massive pile of small spiced buns and ask the couple to kiss over the towering buns. If they managed to do it without knocking the tower of pastries over, the belief was that they would enjoy a long and prosperous marriage.
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Interestingly, back in the day, they made wedding pies and not cakes. In some cultures, the wedding rings were hidden inside the pie, and they believed that the first woman to find it would be the next one to get married. Yes, the traditions came with a lot of superstitions.
Cakes became a thing in the 16th century when white sugar became widely available in Britain. Queen Victoria’s wedding cake in the early 19th-century popularized this tradition.
Is there a groom’s cake?
The terms bride’s cake and wedding cake are used interchangeably, which begs the question: Is there a groom’s cake?
Yes. Although it’s not as popular today, back in the day, it was an integral part of any wedding ceremony. The tradition dates back to the 19th century when weddings were considered too feminine for the men, so they decided to include a groom’s cake for the groom.
The groom’s cake was, in most cases, a liquor-infused fruit cake. However, as years passed, the flavors also included chocolate and red velvet.
Another tradition at the time was that single women would take the groom’s cake home and sleep with it under their pillow to have a dream about their future groom — the things we do for love!
Today, the groom’s cake is simply a cake that represents the groom’s hobbies and tastes. Some people still include it in their weddings, but others prefer to have the bride’s cake only.
How to Choose the Best Bride’s Cake for Your Wedding
Now for the best part: How to choose the best bride’s cake for your wedding.
Many married couples will agree that the bride’s cake is the hardest thing to decide on. You not only have to consider a cake that fits into your overall theme but also one that everyone will enjoy and will look excellent as a centerpiece.
But don’t be overwhelmed. We’ve shared some tips that should help you choose a bride’s cake everyone will remember. Let’s get straight to business.
This tip is must-do if you want the best bride’s cake
The first thing you need to do on your quest to find the best bride’s cake is to pick the right baker. Since this is the person you are going to be entrusting the responsibility to, you need to be sure they not only have the expertise but that they’re also almost as excited about your wedding as you are.
So how do you do this?
You get to learn about bakers and their expertise at cake tastings. At cake tastings, you get to sample different types of cakes, ask questions, review portfolios, and bond with different bakers.
Take your time to go over the different cakes and choose the one you actually like. Also, make sure you and the baker are on the same page before committing to anything.
Why cake style is the last thing you should decide
A rustic semi-naked cake may be your go-to for all events, but if you’re having a black-tie ballroom wedding, this type of cake won’t fit in.
Therefore, it’s best to deal with the cake after deciding on everything else. Decide on your color theme, dress style, and decor first. Then you can move to the cake.
This approach is the best because it allows you to have a cake that fits into the occasion perfectly. It’s also advisable to give the baker some fabric swatches so they can get the colors right.
The best way to determine the size of a bride’s cake
We all dream of gigantic wedding cakes fit for royal weddings. Sadly, we are not all royalty, and it can be quite expensive.
But who said you can’t serve all your guests and still stick to your budget?
The best way to determine the size of your cake is to take into account the number of guests you’re expecting. A three-tier cake should be enough for 50 to 100 guests, and a 5-tier can serve up to 200. With this approach, you’re less likely to go over budget.
Understanding cake pricing
Bride’s cake prices vary from one baker to another. While some charge per slice, others charge by weight. However, you should know that the more complicated the cake (based on design), the higher the price tag.
Fondant icing is also more expensive compared to buttercream icing. You’ll also pay more if you go for hand-made sugar flower detailing.
For the record, the average cost of wedding cakes in the U.S. is $500, with most couples spending anywhere between $300 and $700.
An effective way to save some bucks
So, is there any way to get a stunning wedding cake without breaking the bank? Yes, there is.
If you’re looking to cut back on costs, one of the things you can do is to opt for a smaller cake that’s perfectly decorated but can only feed a few guests.
For the rest of the guests, add some sheet cakes of the same flavor. You should also consider using a tiered pastry stand to display cupcakes that match your bride’s cake.
You can also save costs by staying away from complicated shapes and hand-made sugar flowers. Instead, go for cake flowers and fruits to achieve an elegant but affordable result.
Buttercream or fondant?
Another decision you’ll have to make when choosing a bride’s cake is the frosting. In most cases, there are two options: buttercream or fondant.
Buttercream is more delicious, but if you love the smooth texture of fondant, you should consider using buttercream first and then finishing off with a layer of fondant.
Another great alternative you may like is Swiss meringue — a type of frosting made by whipping egg whites with sugar. It’s not common for weddings, but it has a light and fuzzy appearance that makes the cake look whimsical. Your guests will also love its airy marshmallow flavor that pairs perfectly with fruit-based cakes.
Don’t let this factor ruin your day
One thing couples forget when selecting a bride’s cake is the weather. You need to consider the weather because it can affect the quality of your cake.
If your wedding is in the outdoors in a hot climate, you may want to stay away from whipped creams, buttercream, and meringue because they melt.
The best option for a summer wedding is fondant-covered cakes. These don’t melt and don’t even require refrigeration.
Why you shouldn’t set your expectations too high
Like most brides, you may be going through wedding magazines and websites to get inspiration for your bride’s cake.
While there’s nothing wrong with seeking inspiration from these sources, you should know that a lot of work goes into making those cakes look picture perfect. And if anything seems out of place in the images, the photographers have the option of using Photoshop to make them incredible.
So, don’t expect the impossible from your baker.
How to choose the right topper for a bride’s cake
A cake topper will go a long way in improving the appearance of your cake.
You should also consider getting a simple but romantic wedding cake topper — it will surely make a statement.
Most brides forget this; please don’t
And finally, don’t forget to eat the cake. Most couples leave their weddings without having a taste of their own cake. Don’t be too focused on making everyone else at your wedding happy that you forget to enjoy it as well.
Eat that cake and savor every moment — it’s your day after all!
One last thing
Remember to make transport arrangements. Ensure the cake designer knows where to deliver the cake and when and where to arrange it at the avenue.
Also, find out if the cake will need to be refrigerated so that you can organize for that.
Now Get Started
As you can see, choosing a bride’s cake doesn’t have to be a nightmare. With all the information you need at your fingertips, you can decide on one within no time. These tips will really come in handy when your planning for your big day.
Do you now feel more confident about selecting a bride’s cake for your wedding? What are you dreading most about choosing your cake? Please share your views in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you.