13. Wedding Cake ideas and advice - Weddings in Wales at Craig y Nos Castle

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13. Wedding Cake ideas and advice

Plan The Day > The Big Day > Wedding Day Schedule



This is one of the focal points of your wedding. Modern wedding cakes come in all sizes, shapes, colours and flavours. Popular in the castle are various designs of castle cake complete with turrets, in the colours of the Bride & Groom's table settings.

You can even have a photograph scanned and the image transferred onto the cake.

W A R N I N G...-....C O L L A P S I N G....C A K E S   
The recent economic downturn when combined with hot weather has brought about a new problem: collapsing cakes. What, you might ask, has a collapsing wedding cake to do with the weather and the economy?  Well, during a recent warm spell, we had two consecutive weddings experience collapsed cakes. One was an Italian themed wedding, but the Bride did not see the humour in someone likening her cake to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The problem is caused by brides in straitened economic times, ordering light sponge fillings for the lower tier of the cake instead of fruit, with the more expensive and heavier fillings reserved for the upper levels. These are your longer lasting 'anniversary' levels - hence you'll be advised to use fruit fillings for these top levels. So your base ends up a lightweight sponge cake while the upper tiers are top-heavy.  

In theory the icing should become solid and with a few internal pillars to provide support, everything should be ok. But we are finding in hot weather all the icing becomes soft, so there is no outside support, and the internal supporting pillars are not held firmly in place by the soft sponge and fall over. The weight of the upper tiers bears down on the lower tier, causing a crushing collapse.

The effect is for the base to sag in on itself, unevenly, developing cracks around the sides, the icing falls away and the upper tiers lean at a crazy angle. Though a cakemaker may use internal supports, these are not enough if only held in place by a soft sponge and soft icing, so your cake can easily be ruined if exposed to heat, high ambient temperature (e.g. a warm car), direct sunlight etc.

We managed to hide the damage on the first bride's cake by putting flowers in the cracks but the 'lean' could not be corrected. The second bride had to buy in a replacement cake from a local supplier. Hot weather in Wales is not a common problem but when you are paying £400 or more for your wedding cake, you do not want the centrepiece of your wedding to become heap of dough and icing all in a pile. We recommend you opt for a heavier base, such as fruit, which will work fine. If you are going for a light sponge base, do not overload the cake with heavier upper tiers, and instruct your cakemaker to insert sufficient plastic pillars, connected to each otherr within a solid frame, to fully support the cake.

F L O W E R...P O I S O N....A L E R T
Be careful about decorating the cake with fresh flowers as some flowers are poisonous. Use silk flowers for the cake if you wish to decorate it with flowers.

P O S I T I O N I N G....Y O U R ...C A K E
Position the cake where it can be seen by your guests but not knocked over. Avoid standing it by a window, in the glare of sunlight, or in front of a mirror (a photographer's nightmare since the flash will show up in the mirror in any pictures). Having it set up against a wall or in a corner is impractical as it does not offer room for Bride and Groom to stand and pose for pictures while cutting the cake. Never put the cake on the dance floor or near the entrance / exits to the room.

Take care when transporting the cake. More than one groom has placed the cake loose in the boot of their car and arrived at the venue with their cake in pieces. In one instance two weddings had similar 'castle' cakes and we had to reassemble the damaged cake using turrets donated from the previous wedding's cake.

The normal slice size for rich cakes is 2 inches square. Some cakes have differently flavoured or filled tiers, in which case it is worth serving two smaller slices, one from each tier to give guests a sample of both flavours.

The top tier of the cake is traditionally the 'anniversary' layer. Rich fruit cakes may well last a year but not all fillings will last to your anniversary. So if you are intending to save your 'anniversary tier' till your first anniversary, select a filling that will last. Alternatively you can try freezing it and bringing it out a year later but this might not be so tasty on thawing out.

Some couples save the top tier and take it with them for their honeymoon.

You may be tempted to top the cake with an heirloom such as, perhaps, a china statuette that decorated your mother's or grandmother's cake. Best advice is not to, in case it gets broken or falls off, or even, thrown into the bin by the caterers when the cake is being cut for the guests!

C A K E   C U T T I N G   C E R E M O N Y
The photographer will want to get some good close-up pictures. Placing his hand over the Bride's, the groom guides the Bride's hand as the Bride cuts into the first slice. The groom feeds the bride the first bite, and then she feeds him the second bite. Then the cake is handed to the caterers to complete the cake cutting and plate each serving for the guests.

When should you have the cake cutting ceremony?  At Craig Y Nos we recommend the Cake Cutting Ceremony be after the main course, but before the pudding course, as the staff can then cut the cake while your guests are having their pudding course. The cake can then be served after the pudding course.

In these tougher economic times, some Couples are having a two course Wedding Breakfast, as per the Special Wedding Offer Deal, and using the Cake as the 'third course'.

Wedding Planning Book, Craig y Nos Castle model wedding cake
Wedding Planning Book, Two Tier Wedding Cakeat Craig y Nos Castle Wedding Venue

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