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Why are wedding cakes so expensive?

It’s a common question I’ve seen time and time again. Many respond with “They’ve just added on wedding tax,” or “it’s just cake.” Believe me when I say there is no such thing as “wedding tax” and it definitely isn’t “just cake.” When you buy a bespoke wedding cake you are buying a service. The service a professional baker provides is not just about a delicious and beautiful cake, but also the peace of mind that comes with hiring experience. 

Level cakes, flawless finishes and of course delicious cake is just one part. Designers such as myself have spent many years training and learning, improving our skill levels, spending thousands on equipment, especially for making sugar flowers! As I have a registered food business, it means I have to pay insurance and have to follow strict food safety guidelines to ensure none of your guests become ill or worse have an allergic reaction.

Your auntie or best friend can certainly make you an inexpensive wedding cake but should anything go wrong would they know what to do? Is their skill level up to a good standard? Are you going to love or hate the photos of it? These are definitely things you should consider. We’ve all seen the photos of wedding cakes gone wrong and I really wouldn’t want this to happen to anyone.

Cake cutting is not only a fantastic photo opportunity, but it’s also the first thing you do together as a married couple. It’s a key moment in your day, and it’s important to get it right. There are companies who offer set designs which can be cheaper as this removes a lot of the design process. But for those looking for something personal to them and their day, a bespoke cake is the best way to achieve this.

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"There's no such thing as wedding tax."

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Consultations, paperwork, sketches, emails and more admin, ordering custom items, shopping for ingredients, buying equipment, making custom items; this all happens before the oven even gets turned on!

 

Your wedding cake is a minimum 5 day process - baking, filling & ganaching, covering, decorating and delivering. If your cake has a complicated design involving many sugar flowers this work would involve additional time which would be started weeks, sometimes even months, in advance.

 

Let’s not forget all the additional costs involved;

  • Utilities (electricity, water, etc)

  • Rent

  • Business rates and Insurance

  • Advertising

  • Website Design & Fees

  • Branding

  • Taxes & Accountancy fees

  • Fuel (+ wear and tear on the car)

  • An hourly wage so we actually earn an income!

"That's all very well, but can I actually afford a bespoke cake?"

The answer is YES!

There are cake designers out there to suit everyone so it’s important to shop around and find one that fits with your budget and vision. There are several factors that will determine the price of your cake;

  • The complexity of the design

  • The date

  • Size/ servings

  • Venue (which determines the delivery fee)

If you’re looking for a bespoke cake it’s important to let your designer know your budget. There’s a common misconception that if you let them know your budget, they will charge for you every penny and provide less cake. That’s not the case at all, we want to provide you with the best possible design and size for your budget. Without knowing what you’d like to spend it makes it very difficult to advise on design.

Whichever suppliers you choose, it's important to do a bit of research, check their previous work and read their reviews and recommendations. We don't want your wedding to end up in the news for all the wrong reasons!

Your cake is going to be the centrepiece of your wedding day so it’s important not to cut corners.

 

If you would like to discuss your dream wedding cake please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.

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Sugar flowers or fresh flowers, which is best?

 

 

So it’s time to think about your wedding cake design, but do you go for sugar flowers or fresh flowers? There are pros and cons to each option, which we will look at to see which option is right for you and your wedding.

Sugar Flowers

These can add great flexibility and choice to your cake design. Sugar flowers are never out of season, and they are very customisable in terms of colour and size. You can even go for metallic gold or silver leaves.

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If they are handled correctly they are completely food safe and you won’t have to worry about any sap leaking as can happen with fresh flowers. Sugar flowers are made from edible materials combined with non edible items such as wires, these wires are then covered and inserted into the cake using a barrier to protect the cake.

Some sugar flowers are incredibly realistic. You can see through the delicate petals and beautiful veins, so look just like the real thing. They will have your guests in disbelief! Unlike fresh flowers, you will be able to keep these long after your wedding day. Sugar flowers can survive forever if kept in the correct conditions, like avoiding high humidity and direct sunlight.

Because sugar flowers are highly technical, they can be costly. A single flower can take anywhere from an hour to several hours to make depending on the type. If you are looking for realistic sugar flowers it’s important to choose your cake designer wisely. I have spent many years learning, practicing and improving, to provide stunning sugar flowers which not only look realistic but are safe for your cake. An inexperienced cake designer may not be familiar with all the steps necessary to give you the look you are after.

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Fresh Flowers

Fresh flowers are an inexpensive way to create a natural and beautiful look to your cake. If you get them from the same florist they will match your bouquets and create a cohesive look. Fresh flowers can also elevate a simple cake, which is perfect for couples on a budget. Not only that but they smell amazing too!

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Food safety is an important consideration when thinking of using fresh flowers. Many flowers requested for cakes are in fact toxic or even poisonous, for example gypsophilia (baby’s breath), hydrangeas and lilies. Fresh flowers are not grown or prepared with food safety in mind, therefore they may have been sprayed with pesticides and contain dirt or other contaminants. This means a lot of work is involved in making fresh flowers safer for your cake. Stems need prepared and covered, the backs protected from touching the cake and a barrier used when inserting into the cake. This still doesn’t 100% guarantee they are completely food safe. To guarantee food safety with fresh flowers, you can opt for organically grown flowers from specialist farms. However, these are more expensive and the choice can be limited.

Another large drawback to fresh flowers is you are limited in choice by the time of year, for example peonies are only in season May-July. Once fresh flowers are cut, the shelf life will start to reduce. On a hot summers day fresh flowers can wilt very quickly, which can ruin your beautiful cake.

There are a couple of other options. You can also consider silk flowers, wafer paper flowers, or dried flowers. Silk flowers can be a great compromise between sugar and fresh. They are making much more realistic ones nowadays; they are cost effective and can easily be made food safe. Wafer paper flowers add a dreamy delicate look to your cake design. And at the moment we are seeing a huge trend in dried flowers and foliage which can add a rustic or boho look to your cake.

As you can see there are a lot of options to consider and it’s important to discuss with your cake designer the look you would like to achieve and your budget.

If you'd like still looking for your wedding cake designer, please get in touch, I'd love to hear from you.

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