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 .- .COLLAPSING.CAKES
The 2008/2011 economic downturn when combined with hot weather 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 was 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. The Upper Levels are your longer lasting 'anniversary' levels - hence you'll be advised to use longer lasting fruit fillings for the top levels. You can see that if your base ends up a lightweight sponge cake while the upper tiers are heavy, therein lies a construction issue.
With the economic recovery post 2012 this problem seems to have resolved. Just be aware of Wedding Cake Construction basics and load bearing issues (below), specifically with tiered cakes.
BEST ARCHITECTURAL CONSTRUCTION & STORAGE FOR A WEDDING CAKE
In theory the icing should become solid and with a few internal pillars to provide support, everything should be ok. In hot weather in the Glass walled Conservatory, icing becomes soft, leading to no outside support, as there remains no outer 'shell' for the pillars to rest upon. If the supporting pillars are not held firmly in place and are resting on soft sponge the upper tiers will lean. While a cakemaker may use internal supports, these are not enough if only held in place by a soft sponge and soft icing. Incorrect storage can damage your Cake. Any wedding cake can easily be ruined if exposed to heat or just a high ambient temperature - for example, if left for any time in a warm car, or in direct sunlight.
We have a cold store and in warm weather you should ask to store your wedding cake in our Cold Store for a few hours to keep it in a good, constructively stable condition.
FIRM AND FALSE BASES
To carry the weight of the upper tiers bearing down on the lowest tier, you ideally need a firm base or even a false base, for decorative effect. A generous looking round cake on which rest a couple of smaller upper tiers gives guests the impression of a much grander cake than you have actually paid for.
Your decision on cake size will depend on how large or small your wedding party is and how much cake you will actually need, but you will also want the grand visual effect.
Your wedding cake can be 'a statement', something topical or pertinent to the Couple, or a thing of wonder, a 'statement' of shock and awe, or just humorous. Below are a couple of 'castle themed' wedding cakes. The one with the clock-tower was a favourite of mine, being a replica of Craig y Nos Castle's clock tower.
Hot weather in Wales is not usually a problem but when you are paying £400 or more for your wedding cake, you do not want the centrepiece of your wedding to go wrong. 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 other within a solid frame, to fully support the cake.
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.
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). We have a mirrored Sideboard in the Conservatory which is a popular place for wedding cakes. However the mirror should be covered with a table cloth - something you as the Wedding Couple need to specify as this will not generally be thought of by staff unfamiliar with the mirrored background in any flash Photography (not to mention any guest photographing it will inevitably end up reflected in the mirror - though a professional photographer would avoid such an error).
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. A cake placed loose in the boot of a car will arrive at the venue in pieces (this has happened - we've seen it all!). 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.