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Wedding cake - When to order and what to think about?

If you are a cake person then a wedding cake is a must, not only delicious, but a great photo opportunity. I wanted to give you more info on the wonderful world of wedding cakes so invited top Wedding cake designer Charlene from Terre et Lune to my page to answer some common cake related queries and questions.

1. How early should you book your wedding cake?

I would usually suggest between 9-12 months, especially for peak season wedding dates. As the sole baker, I can only take a certain number of bookings per week to keep the standard of my cakes high. Even if you're not in a place to start planning your cake design, you can secure your date with a deposit and we can look at the design at a later stage so there's no pressure to have it all figured out! 2. Is there a guide to how many portions of cake you get from a typical 2 tier/ 3 tier? How much do I need?

There isn't really a typical cake size per se (you could have a 3-tier cake to feed 70, 95 or 120 guests for example) so I would always suggest discussing your guest numbers and portions with your cake designer and they will advise the best option.

That said, I recommend catering for less than your expected numbers (around 70-80%) if you're serving your cake at your reception to allow for those guests who don’t fancy cake or are too busy throwing shapes on the dancefloor! However, if you're serving your cake for dessert as part of a sit-down meal, then you will need to be very accurate on your guest numbers. In fact, I suggest that you cater for a few more guests than needed because the last thing you need is to run out of cake! You also need to check with the caterers as to when you should cut the cake during dinner, as they’ll need to whisk it away to cut it into portions.

3. What is the starting cost for a wedding cake?

The cost of a wedding cake will vary from supplier to supplier depending on the level of skill, service, quality of ingredients and their individual business costs so it's very difficult to provide an average cost. As in all areas of business services, there will be different brands for different budgets.

My own cakes start at £650 for a 3-tier cake to feed 70 guests and the final cost will depend on the level of decoration required, so I would expect a cake of that size to cost between £750-£900 with decoration. If a cake were to have handmade flowers then the level of investment would be higher to account for the time and skill it takes to make them. On average, a cake will take a least 3 full days to make from scratch and that would not include the time taken to make wafer paper flowers for example, which could take several days to a week for one cake! 4. What are your tips on choosing the right cake maker?

Aside from searching geographically (many bakers will only travel a certain distance with a delicate cake on board!), look for a cake maker that suits your style. Does their work match your style and ethos? Do their creations inspire and excite you? Does their website speak to you and do they have client testimonials to back up their work? Do they fall within your wedding budget? Let’s just say, if you have a novelty Avengers-themed cake in mind and they only specialise in intricate creations covered in sugar flowers, then they may not be the right baker for you. 5. What are your flavours? Do you offer bespoke flavours if asked?

I offer a variety of different flavours, ranging from the more classic options to my own signature flavours, however, if a couple would like a specific flavour that's not on my menu then I'm happy to discuss creating it for them...which is exactly how my Pistachio & Rose flavour came to be in my collection!

6. Do cake makers/ designers do tasters for cakes?

Yes absolutely and I would be wary if a cake maker didn't offer tasters at all. I personally offer a postal taster box, which contains 4 flavours of your choice from my menu and can be ordered easily via my online shop for you to enjoy in the comfort of your own home! We then have a consultation via Zoom to discuss your wedding cake design. 7. Any tips on where to place it in the venue?

This is a good question and often something that gets overlooked! More often than not, the cake is relegated to a table in the corner, right on front of a rather unattractive fire exit or fire extinguisher, which doesn't make for great photos. Try to be imaginative with your cake display but at the very least, make sure the tablecloth is steamed or ironed and it has a backdrop that's clear of anything unsightly and above all, try to place it in natural light or ensure that your photographer takes some photos of it during daylight.

For some creative ideas on how to display your cake, check out my blog here.

8. Do you typically provide a cake stand and knife? I always suggest that your cake is presented on a cake stand to elevate it in the room and give it more height and I have some available for hire. Unfortunately, I don't offer cake knives for hire so would suggest that you ask your caterer or venue, who will usually have one for you to use.

9. Any tips on when it comes to cake and hot weather?

As British summers are becoming increasingly hotter, I strongly advise against buttercream cakes, especially in a hot marquee! I would always opt for a fondant covered cake, which will tolerate heat a lot better. That said, all cakes are delicate and I would suggest asking your cake maker to deliver the cake later in the day or bringing your cake cutting earlier so that it isn't left sitting out for too long.

10. Do you have a favourite cake type to make?

I have a strong preference for making fondant cakes. Not only for their heat resistant quality that I mentioned before but because it allows me to be more creative and use different techniques. I specialise in hand-painted cakes with handmade wafer paper flowers as well as more artistic and abstract designs for the modern couple who are seeking something different for their wedding cake. I describe my style as romance with an edge!

Thanks so much Charlene! I hope that has answered some cake related questions, you can find Charlene's website here If you need any more guidance with planning your wedding, then please get in touch with me.

Photographers: First Photo by Ellie Mac photography, second and third photos by Suzy Elizabeth Photography


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