Wedding Cakes - The History Of Wedding Cakes

The requirement for wedding cakes is borne out of many traditions.  One of the first began in Ancient Rome where small wheat cakes were broken over a Bride’s head.  It was thought this ritual would bring good fortune to the couple and their guests, who would scramble to polish off the crumbs from the broken bread in order to ensure prosperity for themselves.

The first signs of a tiered wedding cake appeared in Medieval England in the form of a succulent slab made from fruit and wine, which was regarded as a symbol of fertility and prosperity and would last at least until the couple’s first anniversary.  

Early wedding cakes would be stacked high, which the Bride and Groom were required to kiss over.  The idea was to stack them as high as possible to make it difficult for the couple to kiss over the top.  If they were able to do so, it was thought to symbolise a life time of prosperity.

The Bride would then help the Groom to cut the cake, symbolising her promise to help and support him wherever possible.  If they proceeded to feed each other the first slice, they were committing to provide for and share with each other for life.

 

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Wedding Cakes - The Wedding Cakes Of Today

Today, considering the number of hurdles we encounter whilst planning a wedding, it is perhaps just as well that you no longer need to worry about jumping over cake!  Fortunately, tradition has given way to taste. In recent years, fruit cakes encased in royal (white) icing have given way to a rainbow of colours and a myriad of flavours and fillings.

And whilst there are no longer any hard and fast rules associated with choosing a cake there are definitely a few important points to consider;

1: Give some thought to what you would really like and set a budget. Decide how much you are willing to spend and how your cake fits in with your overall vision for the day. For instance, will you cut it and offer pieces to every guest to take away with them, incorporate it into the meal as dessert, or cut costs with a polystyrene tier or two and serve slices from a discrete tray, baked separately so as not to disturb the masterpiece?  It might sound a bit over the top but considering all the options may save you money and time in the long run

 

2: Be prepared to order your cake at least three months before the wedding. As the size of the cake is usually determined by the number of guests, you will need to have your numbers at the ready, and bear in mind that if the cake is to fit in with your overall theme, you will need to have a colour pallet in mind. Your choice of dress, flowers and other finishing touches may also have a bearing on the design of your cake

 

3: Look for visual inspiration on the web and social media such as Pinterest and Instagram to gather ideas and identify what you do and do not like

 

Juniper Cakery 3

4: By all means, seek recommendations but most importantly.....eat cake!  Ask every cake designer you meet for samples

 

5: Consider all the alternatives to a tiered cake, such as a dessert table incorporating cupcakes, cake pops, cookies, brownies and a good old pic-nic...yes, an entire cake made of pork pie and cheese!

 

6: When you think you have found the right supplier, arrange a consultation.  Take pictures of any designs you like and be prepared to describe as many elements of your day as possible.  As well as understanding your colour pallet, they may also ask to see pictures of your dress and flowers, particularly if the cake is to be decorated with co-ordinating ribbons, swirls, flowers, lace or icing patterns to echo the embroidery on your dress

 

7: Consider to what extent the cake could reflect your image. Since we’re no longer bound by tradition, the only limit is your imagination. Whether it is to be fruit or sponge, flavoured, iced or naked is entirely up to you.  Do not be afraid to opt for a quirky, bespoke design incorporating spots, stripes and personalised toppers reflecting your individual personalities and hobbies

 

Juniper Cakery 2

8: Will it be vanilla, lemon, coffee, chocolate fudge, orange, fruit, coconut, banana or carrot? Filled with buttercream or jam or both? Don’t rule out the possibility that each tier could be a different flavour

 

9: If it is a fruit cake, it should be made as far ahead of the wedding as possible to give the recipe chance to develop and mature, whereas a sponge cake must be freshly baked no more than a couple of days before the wedding

 

10: Establish whether any guests have any allergies or special dietary requirements, e.g. gluten-free. Can the cake designer cater for this

 

11: Establish how the cake will be transported, when it will be delivered and assembled, and by whom

 

12: Is there an additional cost for a cake stand and knife to be supplied?  Some venues do have their own and can supply them for you

 

13: Ask for everything to be confirmed in writing in a contract and establish what deposit is payable and when

 

Get it right and your cake will be a focal point, a centrepiece and quite possibly, the best-dressed guest at your wedding. Get it wrong and you will wish you hadn’t!

Each of the images within this article are being used with kind permission by Juniper Cakery, whose beautiful cakes I wholeheartedly recommend. 

 

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13 THINGS ABOUT WEDDING CAKES YOU NEED TO CONSIDER | HELEN DAVIES

Contents

UK Destination Wedding - Why Choose To Get Married Here In The UK?

With its quaint villages, picturesque countryside, stunning coastlines, eclectic architecture, beautiful gardens, castles, palaces and iconic landmarks and stately homes, it is hardly surprising that the United Kingdom attracts couples from all over the world who wish to experience a quintessentially (great!) British UK Destination Wedding.

Cities such as London, Edinburgh, York and Manchester and towns such as Harrogate, Beverley and Bath offer chic urban spaces. Amidst the rolling countryside throughout the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales and The Cotswolds, there is an abundance of beautiful country houses, idyllic barns and marquee sites.

With its relatively low land mass (approximately 229,848 km sq) it is possible to travel around the entire country with relative ease and you will only ever be two hours away from the nearest beach! Indeed, you will find a multitude of beauty spots including cosy coastal retreats and castles along the 19,491 miles of British coastline.       

With its rich and fascinating history and a monarchy that dates back to 1603 you could be spoilt for choice with a plethora of cultural pleasures including stately homes such as Chatsworth, Kensington Palace and Castle Howard.

WHD - UK DESTINATION Ebook Cover

YOUR UK DESTINATION WEDDING PLANNING GUIDE

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Download the brochure now to learn more about how my UK Destination Wedding Planning service allows you to experience a feeling of total trust and confidence no matter where you are in the world.

 

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UK Destination Wedding - Who Chooses To Have Their Wedding In The UK?

Perhaps you originate from the UK but have emigrated  overseas? If, as a result of a job opportunity or merely a sense of adventure  and a zest for life you have chosen to live overseas but have a desire to celebrate  ‘back home’ surrounded by your closest family and friends, a wedding in the UK may just feel like the most natural choice.

Alternatively, you may have been born elsewhere in the  world, but simply want to embrace English traditions or have always imagined  having a quintessentially English fairy tale wedding!

Keeley and Danny travelled all the way from Manchester to Melbourne and back again in order to share their perfect day with their closest family members and friends at The Principle Hotel and afterwards at leaf on Portland Street.

GAY-1

Sarah and Vern’s travelled all the way from Texas in favour of the rolling hills of the Peak District and the stunning backdrop of Chatsworth House.

Sarah And Vern

Stjepan and Ivan had always dreamed of a fairy tale wedding in a Castle and invited guests from all over the world to celebrate with them in the UK at DeVere Horsley Towers.

Ivan And Stjepan

UK Destination Wedding - What You Need To Know, The Legal Requirements For Marriage In The UK

You must be at least 16 years old to get married or form a civil partnership in the UK. If you are under 18 years old in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland you will need parental permission and on the day of the marriage, two witnesses must be present.

For non-UK nationals, requirements to enter the UK to get married vary based on each couple’s situation. You may need to apply for a visa to enter the country. The UK government guide to marriages and partnerships has more information on visa requirements. This resource also explains the necessary process associated with giving notice and the requirement to reside in the UK for a minimum period of seven nights in order to do so. Please ensure you read it carefully if you are considering being legally married in the UK.

Alternatively, you may wish to complete the legal aspects of your marriage elsewhere and subsequently hold a blessing which can take place anywhere you choose. In this scenario, you have the freedom and the flexibility to personalise the content of your ceremony and make it truly meaningful and memorable by incorporating elements of your own story and making references that are unique to you as a couple. You also have the option to choose who conducts it. Perhaps involving a friend or family member would make it feel more personal? Indeed, this type of wedding ceremony can take place anywhere… in a garden, on a beach, outdoors or inside – the choice is entirely yours.

 

UK Destination Wedding -  Perfect Planning

Chances are, if you are planning a UK destination wedding whilst living overseas without the support of an experienced, professional planner, you will experience more than your fair share of frustration. Sourcing and liaising with vendors whilst working across time zones can be tricky, to say the least. Inevitably, communication will not be as swift as you might like it to be which results in your wedding planning activity being far more time consuming and much less enjoyable than you anticipate.

Ideally, you need to establish a team of people who are used to dealing with clients who live remotely and are willing to communicate via Facetime and Skype, besides e-mail and telephone, and are flexible enough to accommodate communication with you outside standard office hours on your own local timezone.

Not being able to involve your loved ones in the planning, especially if you live overseas and they are in the UK, can lead to a less enjoyable experience overall. The positive alternative is having someone ‘on the ground’ whom you feel able to place your faith and trust in makes all the difference.

Organising hair and makeup trials, menu and cake tastings and a pre-wedding photo shoots might be out of the question, but by engaging a Wedding Planner whose contacts are already proven and are clearly being recommended for all of the right reasons you can expect to experience total peace of mind. Imagine how stressful planning your UK wedding from overseas might be if you attempted to take care of EVERYTHING yourself, without the reassurance that comes from regular personalised progress updates with your planner.

UK Destination Wedding - What EXACTLY Can You Expect From An Experienced Destination Wedding Planner?

Not unlike any memorable journey, it all begins with a few simple steps…

Your Initial Consultation

Your wedding is a celebration of your story as a couple.

The extent to which this is understood by your Wedding Planner will have a significant bearing on their ability to personalise the experience for you and your guests.

During the initial consultation, your planner should seek to understand your vision for the perfect day and the level of support and assistance you need to achieve this.

They should demonstrate a level of competence, expertise and passion which inspires and excites you as you embark upon this life changing journey together. Learn more about UK Destination Weddings by booking a call with me - Book your consultation here.

Your Budget

Irrespective of how much money you are comfortable spending on your wedding, an experienced Wedding Planner will provide the appropriate guidance to ensure that your priorities are identified and your overall budget is allocated correctly. Expect your planner to have a detailed discussion with you and provide you with supporting tools to enable you to calculate and keep track of your overall spend.

Venue Search

If you don’t already have a venue in mind, your planner will help you to identify your criteria and will invest the necessary time and effort to search for venues which meet that criteria before shortlisting and presenting options to you. Also you can check out my blog on What Makes A Winning Wedding Venue here. They will visit potential venues with you or on your behalf and will review contracts and negotiate terms in order to achieve the best possible value for money. In doing so, they will probably ask questions based on their experience of running weddings which may not even cross your mind, this experience alone is invaluable. Their focus should be on ensuring the venue is equipped to deliver precisely the type of wedding you wish to have.

Vendor Selection

This is arguably the most time-consuming aspect of planning a wedding, with so many suppliers to engage!

Where to start? Who to trust? Fear not. A Full Service Wedding Planner’s contact directory is a priceless resource, guaranteed to save you heaps of time, energy and stress.

Having taken into consideration all of your requirements and carried out the necessary research, your planner should present you with a number of available options that meet your criteria. Then, during meetings and consultations with key people such as your Caterer, Photographer and Florist, they should ask all the questions you do not think of, ensuring you avoid any pitfalls you may otherwise encounter.

Your Wedding Planning Road Map

Above all, a UK Destination Full Service Wedding Planner’s job is to help you to prepare for your perfect day. They are accountable for making sure your priorities are taken care of and that absolutely nothing is overlooked.

First things first… expect your planner to present you with a road map. A step by step process outlining the order in which your priorities are being taken care of. This, combined with regular progress updates and prompts should provide you with all the confidence and peace of mind you need. Learn more about Full Service Wedding Planning through my guide - click here to download

Final Stage Preparation

Around six weeks before the wedding is when the real fun begins, when it is time to finalise every detail. With a UK Destination Full Service Wedding Planner, you can relax in the knowledge that everything is being taken care of. You will not need to worry about responding to the endless emails and calls that you would otherwise have to deal with if you were planning your wedding yourself. Your planner will ensure that all of the necessary conversations with vendors take place, arrangements will be finalised and a detailed timeline or wedding day plan will be created and circulated to everyone involved. This results in everyone knowing precisely what is expected of them and when enabling you to relax and enjoy the build up to your perfect day.

On The Day Co-ordination

From the point at which the first vendor arrives, your planner will be the single point of contact for you and everyone else involved to manage your On The Day Co-ordination. Besides overseeing the logistics of the day and managing all of your vendors, they will take care of some of the details such as correctly pinning on buttonholes, ensuring members of your Bridal party, Groomsmen and Ushers understand their roles, queueing music for your ceremony and making any necessary announcements. Learn more about On The Day Co-ordination through my guide - click here to download

UK Destination Wedding -  How Much Does It Cost To Plan?

When you have an entire wedding to pay for, the additional cost of an experienced Wedding Planner can, on the surface, seem like an unnecessary cost. However, a UK Destination Full Service Wedding Planner should be seen as an investment. If you want the luxurious wedding experience that you’ve always dreamed of, having an industry professional is not only a good idea, but they can actually end up saving you money.

Do not be afraid to talk candidly to your planner about their fee structure. Some planners charge a fixed fee and will focus on generating as much additional value for you as possible, whilst others earn a commission from the vendors they source and recommend on your behalf.

More often than not, when a planner relies on commission from vendors, the cost of that commission is passed on to the customer, i.e. you.

A planner who charges a fixed fee will be more transparent in their dealings with suppliers and is likely to deliver better value for money overall. Furthermore, their unbiased approach towards suppliers ensures that they only recommend suppliers who they believe are the right match for you. An honest and trustworthy planner will leverage their relationships with suppliers in order to generate the best benefits for YOU, not themselves!

Not unlike so many other things, the price you pay will be reflective of the service you should expect to receive. You should expect to pay somewhere in the region of £6,000 for a full UK Destination wedding planning service. This should afford you an experienced, professional Wedding Planner with the necessary know-how to handle just about any eventuality, without you even knowing about it. If a planner advertises the service at a significantly lower price, buyer BEWARE! Ask precisely how much experience they have and always request sight of testimonials or better still, ask to speak to previous clients who are able to back this up. The last thing you want to find yourselves doing is counting the cost either during or after the event as a result of an inexperienced amateur letting you down.   

Ultimately, your peace of mind is priceless.

UKD - Testimonial

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About The Author

Helen Davies

Helen’s unrivalled enthusiasm and meticulous attention to detail means that she delivers incredible stand out experiences entirely unique to you and your partner’s personal style preferences, while maintaining the practical and logistical knowhow that makes sure everything is done well, and done on time. Helen prides herself on her ability to get to know you and your partner on a personal level in order to create a bespoke and thoughtful celebration of your relationship. Connect with Helen on Social or schedule a call through the links on this page.

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