Fresh from showcasing a £10,000 cake in the BBC2 documentary 'The Millionaire's Gift Guide', Odiham Cake Company's Gareth Jones shares his top tips for choosing the perfect wedding cake.
1) Involve the groom. A great way to get the groom involved is with the cake. He may want a particular flavour or colour; more often than not he will want a sports theme (usually football). Most brides, understandably, are not so keen, but keep their other half happy with a separate 'groom's cake' incorporating a favourite sport or hobby.
2) Colour Swatch. If you're looking to match your colour theme with the cake, then bring a piece of ribbon or even a dress swatch to show the baker.
3) Budget. If you have a budget in mind it is often helpful to let the baker know. A respectable baker will be able to work within a budget or, at the very least, advise you on alternative options. Move to tip no. 4.
4) The Price. Anything that's handcrafted and bespoke will take time to produce and the price will reflect this. A cake is no exception. The cost is down to the time and detail: instead of having handmade sugar flowers, how about using flowers from the florist to keep costs down.
5) Portions. Don't forget that the cake is a central part of the wedding day, and something that everyone enjoys. While providing enough portions for your guests is recommended, a 5-tier cake for 30 guests is an extravagance.
6) Create a Mood Board. By bringing some images on your phone or emailing some images of cakes and colour schemes to your baker beforehand will provide a great base to work with. There may be a dozen or so design ideas that can then be incorporated into one bespoke design made just for you.
7) Taste the cake. This is the best bit or rather the most important part of the cake. You don't want to have the most beautiful looking cake that isn't fit to serve to your guests! A good baker will usually provide tasters.
8) You should feel comfortable with the baker. The baker should make you feel relaxed and comfortable. Discussing your wedding cake is important, and if it just doesn't feel right then wrong decisions could be made.
9) It's your cake! Often there are many ideas from friends and family that may not fit with your design and flavours. You may want a specific element to add to the cake that reminds you of a specific time, place or person. Don't feel under pressure to please everyone else. The final decision should be between the bride and groom
10) Fruit cake - don't get bogged down with tradition. Couples often ask us if they should have a fruit cake because it's "traditional". No, is the simple answer. If you don't like fruit cake, don't have it. Remember point 9: you can have pretty much any flavour you want - it's your choice and your wedding.
For more information about Odiham Cake Company visit www.odihamcakecompany.co.uk