How do you decide on a wedding cake during covid?
If you're getting married and trying to plan your wedding, you'll probably have a few questions. Should you book a date? Should you get your wedding stationery? And what about a cake?
If you've been putting off the decision-making, you may feel now's the time to firm up some plans.
Firstly, whether you've got a date in mind or not, you need to check your cake designer is actually open and can make the dream wedding cake you have in mind (and if you've no idea what style you'd like, more on that later).
Secondly, if you've got a dietary requirement (like gluten-free) then you'll need to check they can absolutely, definitely accommodate you (with no cross-contamination). It may be you've edited the guest list somewhat and don't have so many dietary requests. Either way, make sure you've considered everyone, especially yourself. (I've lost count of the number of times a bride's told me she won't be able to eat her wedding cake because no-one wants wheat-free. Then when the family try the cake they're blown away by how good it is!)
Thirdly, you'll need to check the terms for cake cancellations or postponements. Most bakers operate a no-refunds policy but the majority will accommodate a date postponement if they've availability. I know I have.
If you choose to cancel the wedding completely, however, you likely won't get your money back, and if this seems unfair, just remember two things:
Booking a cake designer for a specific day means they'll have to turn away anyone else who applies for that day, which means if you cancel they've lost business elsewhere.
A lot of work goes into a wedding cake prior to it actually being made. This includes the cake design, umpteen e-mails/phone calls to you, your venue, your florist etc..., not to mention the cake tasting and any specialist equipment needed for your cake (I once had to order something from China).
At this point you may feel you ought to hang fire. After all, why should you order a cake if things are so uncertain?
My main response would be this: if you've checked your cake designer's Terms & Conditions, talked your fears through with them and you find them reassuring, there's going to come a point where if you don't order your cake, you won't be able to get it. Everyone I know operates by a policy of first come with deposit, first served.
You may wonder how you can do a cake tasting. From my point of view it's simple: I ask people to choose their favourite flavours, collect cake tasters (which you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home) and then have a Zoom call to discuss the perfect cake design which I then draw up and e-mail over.
But what about the cake style? Should you go big (because you're determined to have an even more amazing celebration after being separated from your loved ones for so long) or keep it tiny (because you're only having 30 guests and don't want to find cake in the loft in 2025).
This begs more questions: do you want your cake to look like a wedding cake or are you happy with an exquisite one tier design? There are plenty of the latter that look amazing and are a bit kinder to your wallet.
But if a budget cake's not your thing, you can still get an amazing cake with a 4", 6" and 8" set of tiers, which will feed around 30 guests and mean you have a few leftovers to enjoy with your newly wedded partner the next day with Champagne for breakfast (after all, you just got married).
If you're still not convinced, one thing you can do is order your cake toppers. I make mine