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Choosing a wedding cake

The cutting of the cake will be one of the most memorable photos in your wedding album. However, the vast array of options can make choosing a wedding cake an overwhelming task. This selection of top tips should help narrow down your search.

1. What sort of cake

First of all, are you after a traditional iced, rich, fruitcake or modern twist on the classic? How many tiers would you like? A smaller wedding will require fewer, whereas if you’re planning a large party, you’ll need more tiers.

But if the traditional tiered wedding cake isn’t for you, have you considered a wedding cupcake tower? Cupcakes tend to be lower in price and they have the added fun factor. Leaning towards the cupcake tower, but still want the classic cutting of the cake photo? Speak to your baker as they can usually make a separate cake to sit at the top of the stand.

2. Alternatives

If you don’t have such a sweet tooth, there are alternatives – an increasing number of couples are opting for a wedding cheesecake. If you’d rather not have a cake at all, you could have celebratory cookies and place them in gift bags as a wedding memento. If you’d like cupcakes, but a cupcake stand isn’t for you, how about personalised cupcakes as an alternative to name cards?

3. Where to buy it

Choosing where to buy your cake is largely dependent on your budget and whether you have a special design in mind. To cut costs you could buy an iced cake and decorate it yourself. Alternatively, if you have a friend/family member who is a keen baker, you could request they make it as a substitute for a gift. If you’re prepared to spend more of your budget on the cake, order it from your local bakery or from a specialist baker.

4. Questions for the baker

If you order from a professional baker, there are some key questions you may want to ask. Try and arrange a tasting session before you decide on your flavours. Have you seen the baker’s portfolio? This will give you an insight into the baker’s style; does it match your ideas? If you’re thinking of a custom cake, is the baker confident with your designs?

5. Theme

The theme of the cake usually ties in with the theme of the wedding, the colour scheme, choice of flowers or location of wedding venue. Decorations can include sugar roses, fruit, hearts, ribbons and swirls. If you’re having an outdoor ceremony, how about including vines and edible flowers; an attractive way to carry on the outdoor theme?

6. Flavour / filling

Once the obvious choice was a rich fruit cake, nowadays the possibilities are endless. If you feel a fruit cake wouldn’t suit everyone’s tastes, how about a sponge cake? With flavours such as lemon, coffee, fudge, orange, coconut, carrot or even banana and a wide range of preserves and butter creams available, your cake can be as individual as you fancy. Struggling to choose a flavour? You could try having different flavours on each tier so there’s one guaranteed to suit every taste.

7. Cake toppers

Traditional cake toppers would feature the groom in a black morning suit and the bride a long, white dress, but let your personality shine through; tailor them to suit your image, personality or hobbies.

8. Costs

The average cost of a wedding cake in the UK is £200*. But don’t forget about hidden costs such as assembly at the venue, the cake stand, knife hire and a deposit.

9. How / when to serve it

The wedding cake is traditionally served after the speeches have been made, however it can be served as part of the wedding breakfast as a dessert, or served as a leaving gift. You will also need to think about how it will be eaten – fingers or fork?

10. After the big day

If you opt for a fruitcake, it’s tradition for the top tier to be saved to serve at the christening of your first child. Alternatively, it can be served on your one-year anniversary.

How can John Lewis Wedding Insurance help?

When planning a wedding make sure you keep track of deposits and costs, including any that you pay for the cake. Taking out wedding insurance to protect the money you invest during the planning stage can be invaluable.

John Lewis Wedding Insurance can help financially protect your special day. And whether you’re planning a lavish ceremony at home or an intimate wedding abroad, our Wedding Insurance is variable so we can arrange the right amount of cover for your big day.

For further tips and advice, please see our quick guide (PDF).

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John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England (No. 233462). John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. John Lewis Wedding Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323). Calls may be recorded and monitored.

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