Whether you've dreamed of a towering white wedding cake elaborately decorated with flowers or a whimsical one with polka dots, a one-of-a-kind wedding cake can be yours to enjoy if you first consider just a few things.
When designing a wedding cake, you should think about what is important to you for your wedding. How did you meet your husband-to-be? How and where did you get engaged? Details, such as where you are getting married, the caterer, or the theme of the wedding, can help guide the vision for your cake design. There are four main things you should take into consideration when selecting a cake: color, fabric, flowers, and something that makes a statement about you.
Color can serve as a point of inspiration. If you have a favorite color, paint chips are a good way to share that color with your cake designer. You can carry the color of your bridesmaids dresses through to the cake, use the color of the bouquet, or take the color from the overall palette of the reception. A blue cake might be a way to include the "something blue" into your wedding. The bottom line: Any color can be used if you like it.
Fabric can also be a jumping-off point for cake design. A special swatch of fabric, such as your grandmother's veil or your mother's wedding gown, can serve as a sentimental piece of cake inspiration. Eyelet cakes, using both scale and pattern, offer a vintage feel, while matelasse brings a wonderful texture to a cake.
Flowers are always a wonderful source for design ideas. Bring a floral inspiration to your cake by adding your favorite flower into the design, or by using a seasonal flower native to the location of your wedding. Cakes decorated with fruit, like strawberries, are perfect for late spring or early summer weddings, while hydrangeas are a great choice for late summer or early fall.
To make your wedding cake personal, a favorite book can offer many ideas. If you collect something that can be used, like plates, the pattern can be replicated onto a cake with a painting technique. If you love monograms, you can incorporate your new monogram on the cake.
Then, of course, there is the flavor of the cake and filling to consider, as well as how the cake is finished -- buttercream and fondant are the most common options. You should always go for a tasting to ensure your cake has the sweet taste you crave. Asking for the baker's advice is always a good idea -- sometimes cakes are better suited for particular seasons, or will work particularly well with the design you've selected. And be sure to order the cake at least six months in advance, or as soon as you have selected the time, date, and place for your reception.
Special thanks to master baker and decorator Wendy Kromer for sharing this valuable information. For more great wedding cake ideas, check out "Martha Stewart's Wedding Cakes."