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

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13. Wedding Cake ideas and advice

Wedding Planning > Wedding Planning Guide > Wedding Day Schedule

Weddings in South Wales - your Wedding Cake

  • This is our Wedding Planner 'Wedding Cake' Page. For more wedding planning help, click on Wedding Planner Guide Index or scroll down to the bottom of this page.

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 could even have a photograph scanned and the image transferred onto the cake though we have not seen this done in any of the examples below.



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.

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.  

See Wedding Cake Construction basics and load bearing issues (below), specifically with tiered cakes.  See recent examples of collapsed wedding cakes here.

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. However, please note that we are unable to accept any liability for loss or damage howsoever caused and all cakes left by your cakemaker or decorator remain your responsibility.


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.



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. Ideally 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.

Wedding Planning Book, Wedding Cake at Craig y Nos Castle Wedding Venue



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 for this tier that will last. Alternatively you can try freezing it and bringing it out a year later but it might not be so tasty on thawing out.

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

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!

At Craig y Nos Castle we allow Couples to serve their Wedding Cake in lieu of a third course at the Wedding Breakfast - we add cream and ice cream to it and serve it as a pudding course for £4.00/ head. This saves the Bride £3.00 a head over the regular £7/head pudding course, and ensures that an expensive wedding cake into which you will have put a lot of thought, does not go to waste because everyone is feeling too full. Make sure it is really appreciated and enjoyed by all your guests.



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. This allows (if you are having a pudding course) the staff to cut the cake while your guests are having their pudding course. The cake can then be served after the pudding course (or, as above, instead of the pudding course).

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