What to Consider When Choosing your Wedding Cake

Written by Charlene Russell
Hello! It’s great to be back here to impart some jewels of wedding cake wisdom! In my last blog, How to Find the Right Wedding Cake Designer for You, I talked about finding your perfect cake supplier but this time I’m back to talk about the next step in your planning: the wedding cake design.

I’m Charlene, founder and owner of Terre et Lune Cake Design and from my years of creating bespoke wedding cakes, I know that for most couples this will be their first time commissioning a special cake and there are a few practicalities to consider, including those that will influence the style and kind of cake design you can have.

It goes without saying that your wedding day should be all about you as a couple and everything, including the wedding cake, will undoubtedly be led by your own personal styles, whether that be modern, traditional, minimalist, maximalist…the list goes on. Whilst your personal style will be the main influence for your cake design, there are some other factors that you might need to consider when thinking about your wedding cake design.

Your venue

In most cases, your venue will likely influence the style of wedding you’re going for and therefore, the style of cake you might want. From a relaxed, rustic tipi wedding to a formal stately affair in a historic manor house, the cake design may vary drastically to suit its surroundings. In fact, the venue style tends to set the tone for the whole wedding and the wedding styling.

As a cake designer who has made cakes for rustic barn weddings as well as highly ornate mansions and stately homes, I would suggest that you think about the size of the room and the ceiling height. Often, a small three-tiered cake can suddenly look very lost in a huge room but that’s not to say that you must go overboard on the cake portions if you don’t need it; we can use dummy tiers, clear acrylic tiers, floating tiers and other decorative tricks to extend the height of your cake.


Weddings tend to roll with the seasons, therefore we see a lot of pastel colour palettes during the spring and summer months, moving towards richer and darker shades for the autumn and winter. That doesn’t mean there’s a hard and fast rule for this; I absolutely love a vibrant and varied colour palette any time of year and after all, it’s your wedding, your way!

There is one element however that can’t escape the seasons and that’s your wedding florals. Let’s just say that if you love spring daffodils but are getting married in October then you’re going to have some trouble. A common one is the popular peony, which is only in season between April and June.

When it comes to wedding cakes, if you’re using fresh florals as decoration then this can be an issue but that’s where edible sugar or wafer paper flowers come into their own. Not only can you have any colour or flower that you want, including those that are normally toxic and shouldn’t be used on cakes (namely gypsophila, eucalyptus, hydrangea and delphinium among others), but they make such an artistic statement, especially when they look so realistic.

The weather

When it comes to wedding planning, the weather is a hot topic of conversation, especially with the unpredictability of the UK! Couples often consider a wet weather plan but don’t often consider the weather when it comes to their wedding cake.

Whilst professional bakers have some tricks up their sleeves to mitigate the effects, cakes are still sensitive to heat and humidity so do bear in mind that the weather has a huge role to play in the type of icing you choose.

Buttercream will not stand up as well to the effects of heat as chocolate ganache or fondant icing (also known as sugarpaste) and I would suggest steering away from buttercream if your wedding venue is a marquee or in a conservatory without air conditioning during the peak of summer!

If you’re set on a buttercream cake, do check when searching for your cake designer that they offer buttercream cakes during the summer months, as there are some that avoid buttercream during the warm season altogether. There are also cake designers that only work with buttercream and vice versa.

The icing on the cake!

The buttercream versus fondant debate is an ongoing one within the baking community and, whilst it tends to be a matter of taste preference, bear in mind that your choice will influence the design of your cake, as the decorating techniques will vary because they are very different mediums. The way a watercolour artist paints differs greatly from an oil painter for example.

Personally, I work with both buttercream and fondant but my preference is fondant, as it allows me to be more adventurous with design and offers me more options in terms of decorating techniques. I also find it less messy and much more structurally sound overall.

If you’re not a fan of fondant and you’re concerned about the taste, please trust me when I say that premium quality fondant tastes SO much better than the thick layer of sickly fondant that’s used to cover supermarket-bought birthday cakes. It’s also designed to be rolled thinly so you won’t have a thick layer of fondant covering your cake. I personally use a premium quality fondant (think marshmallow taste rather than pure sugar!) and each tier is covered with a thin layer of Belgian chocolate ganache before the fondant is applied. You won’t miss out on the buttercream either as there will be plenty of it layered within the cake.

All the above said, please don’t panic about planning your wedding cake. Your cake designer doesn’t expect you to know about the practicalities of cake decorating. We are there to support and guide you throughout the whole process, give you recommendations and ultimately, design and create a wedding cake that works for you!

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