Wedding Receptions


Wedding Receptions: Cake Comments


     One enduring symbol of a wedding reception is the multi-tiered wedding cake, with the bride and groom replicas on top. (The idea of a wheat-based sweet dessert at weddings evolved from customs in ancient Greece or medieval England, depending on whom you ask.) Just be aware that wedding cake specialists are different from other bakers who can create the same effect: while the

If the cake is layered as well as tiered, you can ask for different flavored and colored layers and different creams separating the layers. Cakes spiked with brandy or liqueurs will keep longer after the big event but may not be acceptable to some guests who can’t ingest alcohol (I’m one of them).


     In case Murphy’s Law strikes, take a photograph of the cake while still in the bakery; have a smaller or home-made back-up cake on standby; and make sure the cake is covered under someone’s insurance. While a substantial deposit will likely be required, final payment should come only after the affair.


     One of the tender – or humorous – moments of the reception is when the bride and groom cut the cake together, and (optionally) feed each other the first bite of cake. You can decide how big a deal you want to make of this – just be sure to let the MC and photographer in on the plan.


Checklist for the Wedding Cake


• If you are looking for a fantastic creation, you should start looking about six months in advance. Call early in the week because most good bakeries and designers are going to be extremely busy during the end of the week.


• You get what you pay for when it comes to cakes and the more intricate you want it, the more it’s going to cost.


• Deposits are standard so bring your checkbook.


• Is there a delivery cost or is it included in the price of the cake?


• When is final payment do?


• What is the cancellation policy?


• If you want colors matched, bring a swatch of fabric with you.


• Flowers, Fresh – Beware! They most likely have insecticides on them and chemicals to keep them looking fresh.


• Flowers, Icing and Sugar – These flowers may have wires or supports in them and must be removed before serving.


• Decorations – Artificial pearls and other decorations must be removed before serving.


• How much cake you need will obviously depend on the serving size and number of guests. Have the bakery/designer show you some serving sizes and help you estimate the size cake needed. Note: Be very clear on how many people you expect. If you send out 150 invitations that could really mean 300 people would be attending.


• Fillings – Seeds, coconut, nuts, fruit etc. could be difficult for some people to handle especially if many of your guests are elderly.


• Beware outdoor locations and potential foul weather problems. Have a second location ready if you are planning an outdoor reception.


• Consider carefully where your cake will be placed. Is the background good for pictures? If you are planning to have a fountain on your cake, is there a plug handy? Is the table sturdy? Is the table likely to be bumped? Who is providing the table cloth.


• Who will cut your cake? Have they been briefed on the proper way to serve your special cake?


• Who will provide the knives and serving plates?


• Do you have an emergency number if the cake is damaged on the day of the wedding?


• Do you have a smaller backup cake in case of disaster?


Here’s a good article about picking wedding cakes