Luxury Wedding Cakes – High End With a Twist

High end with a twist. Part 2.

 

I’m back!! Sorry for the radio silence. I had some major issues with my website, but that’s been fixed now. So I’m back! I’ll let you decide if that’s a good or bad thing.

 

Have you ever been to Sketch in London? After my blog last time about ‘high end with a twist’ wedding cakes I started to think of what that might equate to in other areas. And I remembered Sketch.

The Parlour at Sketch

Best friends and high tea.

 

Last year one of my best friends came over from America for a visit to London for her 50th birthday. She wanted to go somewhere for afternoon tea. We had already done Claridges and the one on the double-decker bus on previous trips (that is great fun!) So I wanted to take her somewhere a bit different this time.

And so I took her to Sketch. And it sums up ‘high end with a twist’ perfectly! To begin with its pink, and if you know me, then you know how much I love pink. The website is super fun to be on too. Then there is their dress code, “we ask our guests to dress with a sense of style and character.”

The Bar at Sketch

Destination toilets.

 

Everything about the place is quirky, from the entrance to the toilets. OMG the toilets are worth the visit on their own! No spoilers, go see for yourselves. But it also oozes class and quality. It’s a memorable experience with every detail thought about and taken to the next level.

If my style and ethos could be summed up in a place, it would be Sketch, London. Taking your ideas about your wedding cake and taking them to the next level, with class, but also with a ‘sense of style and character.’

The Parlour

Pining.

 

I’ve been missing London this year. The last time I was there was for The Wedding Gallery networking evening back in January. Usually I’d be up there every few weeks. I would say around 80% of my clients who are getting married down here in the magnificent South West, are not local. They are from London or the South East, and so I find myself popping up to London to meet with couples who can’t get down to meet with me. And also to meet with some lovely wedding industry contacts who have become friends over the years.

 

Letting the train take the strain.

 

Now I know what you might be thinking. All those trips to London from Cornwall. That’s a lot of driving and that’s not good for the environment. Well that would be true, if I were driving. But I don’t, I take the train. Yes, cakes on a train (sorry, had to). But it works very well. Yes it’s much better for the planet, but also it’s more economic, and a lot less stressful. So it’s a win all round. I will admit that once there, when I have a cake, I do use a cab as it’s way safer than trying to take a cake on the tube (trust me, I’ve tried!) And I think using a cab might be the safest option for a while yet, to ensure the safety of everyone at the venues I’m visiting. Plus I have to be very careful with vulnerable family members. Which is why I haven’t been travelling anything like as much as I usually would.

High tea at Sketch

High End with a twist.

 

So back to the point of this blog. I hope I have helped clarify a bit more why I describe my style the way I do. I put my heart and soul into everything I do for my clients. And, as I limit the amount of weddings I do a year, I make sure every cake and every client gets the same attention.

There is no doubt that weddings as we know them have changed and will be different for a while to come. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have that amazing cake you have been dreaming about. In fact having to have a smaller wedding is even more reason to go all out on the cake, and on everything actually! So take that idea and let me turn it into a showstopping cake that will help to make your wedding live in the memories of your guests for years to come.

 

Top tips on getting your ‘High End With a Twist’ wedding cake;

 

1/ Get in touch with me! 😉

2/ Seriously though. Do a little research and find a cake maker whose work you really love. And have a bit of a look on Pinterest etc to find inspiration pics for your dream cake, this will make it easier to decide on the style you want, and that will help you find your perfect cake maker.

3/ Consider your venue, and what kind of cake would fit well. Are there details in the décor or architecture that could be picked up in the wedding cake design.

4/ Give all your inspiration pics and Pinterest boards to your cake maker. We will then use these as the starting point for your design. Although please remember we don’t ‘copy/paste’ but work with you to design something unique.

5/ Have fun! Have some fun with your designs and colours. This will help to make your cake truly yours.

 

 

Luxury Wedding Cakes- High End Wedding Cakes with a Twist

High end wedding cakes with a twist.

You may well have seen the phrase .high end wedding cakes with a twist’ on my Instagram and email signature. It’s become my tag line, as it seems to sum up what I do perfectly. But what does ‘High end wedding cakes with a twit’ mean?

Black buttercream wedding cake with edible flowers
Dramatic but still classy is my passion

 

Let me explain.

High end weddings and wedding cakes are what I do, I work with discerning clients who know what they want. And what they want is something a little different, a wedding cake with a twist!
Usually my clients are looking for a high end, luxury wedding cake, but they also want to have something that reflects them, their personalities and their passions. This may mean hand painting their pet Guinea pigs around one of the cake tiers, or designing and hand cutting a custom stencil.
My clients are classy, but a little quirky. They want their wedding and their wedding cake to be elegant, but to also be creative and a talking point. And it’s my job to get that balance just right.

red roses on floating cake tier
How about a floating tier to add that twist?

 

Now I’m not talking full on themed wedding cakes here, or the sculpted novelty cakes, although I know fellow cake makers who are amazing at those and I can put you in touch with them.
For me the twist is taking the traditional wedding cake and making it stand out and also making it truly personal to you. Often the cake is the part of the wedding that people feel they can get more creative with, without going to OTT. A subtle nod to something, even if that something means nothing to anyone but them. In fact that makes it even more special.

Making your wedding cake yours.

hand painted elopement cake
A hand painted scene of the beach where the couple got engaged.

 

How many times have you seen a pretty wedding cake online and thought ‘that’s lovely, but…’ Or it’s so similar to every other wedding cake that comes up that you can’t tell who made it or who’s wedding it was?

Now there is nothing wrong with this, in fact I love the pretty, traditional, wedding cakes. And these can be exactly what is required for some weddings.
Where I come in is when a couple wants something just that little bit more unique. So maybe that’s a stencil of the details from your wedding stationary, or the lace or detailing from the wedding dress or suits. How about matching the sugar flowers on the cake to the wedding flowers? Or a hand painted scene of a favourite place, maybe the beach where you got engaged? All of these things can be included in the wedding cake design, and these are what adds the ‘twist’.

Colour.

Peacock coloured wedding cake
Colour on a wedding cake can be very elegant

 

And then there’s colour. You may have noticed that I love colour. And there is no reason why you can’t have colour on your wedding cake. In fact I encourage it. These days the edible colours are amazing, and it’s possible to create any shade you need. Something I pride myself on is being able to colour match the fondant for the cake to any colour you give me. Quite often a couple will give me a swatch of fabric, ribbon or one of their invites and ask me to colour match these on the cake. This is another way to make the wedding cake really personal to each couple.

Personal touches.

wedding cake with hand cut stencil
A hand cut stencil to match the wedding stationary.

 

I can also cast moulds of things like shells, broches, personal trinkets or other items being used in the wedding décor or table settings. These will be completely unique to you and your wedding and can become a keepsake if made in cold porcelain rather than sugar. In fact, the flowers for the cake can also be made in cold porcelain and then kept forever. What a beautiful thing to be able to keep.

Cake toppers.

wedding cake with bright colours cake
The groom made the brides wedding shoes. So I made a chocolate shoe cake topper.

 

Another way to add that personal and creative twist to your wedding cake is with the wedding cake topper.
These days there are literally thousands of options for a topper, not just the traditional bride and groom. How about including the whole family, even your pets? And you can keep it classy, there’s no need for the generic, plastic figures anymore. Or keep it simple and have an acrylic or wooden topper commissioned with your names and wedding dates, these also make a nice keepsake of the day.

flamingo wedding cake

I find my clients tend not to want the traditional figures on top of their cake, but some still want a topper. This is again where the high end with a twist comes in.

I spend a lot of time working with my clients and their ideas to make sure their wedding cake is exactly how they want it. And this includes the cake topper. I am always happy to source the topper, and to help you think a little differently about what can work. For example, I have a lovely little pair of elephants with their trunks forming a heart. It wasn’t sold as a cake topper, but I knew it would work, so I bought it to have in stock. On a trip to America once I picked up a cute pair of silver starfish that also make an adorable wedding cake topper.

 

Elephant wedding cake topper
The adorable elephant wedding cake topper.

How about commissioning a custom sculpture for the top of your cake? This can then become something to hand down as a family heirloom for future weddings. At our wedding we used the cake topper that was my maternal grandparents, that my mother and aunt had also used at their weddings. There are so many options.

But I’m getting off topic.

High end with a twist wedding cakes. And weddings. These are what I live and work for, this is where I am your perfect cake maker (shameless self-promotion).
But seriously, your wedding should be just that, yours. And having a high end, luxury wedding means you have the budget to have exactly what you want. So there is no need to settle for a copy/paste of the latest Instagram trend. After all, it won’t be a trend for long, but your memories of your big day will last a lifetime. So they need to be perfect, for you.

Instead of looking to follow a trend, how about we set new trends together.

 

Photo credits: FreeForm Images & Helen Chapmen Photography.

To get in touch about your wedding cake click HERE

Luxury Wedding Cakes Devon, Cornwall, London- Sugar Flowers

Sugar flowers and wedding cakes

If you have been on my website before, or if you have been looking at my galleries here or on Instagram and Pinterest, I’m sure you will have noticed a theme. Sugar flowers. Lots of wedding cakes with sugar flowers. And that is what I want to talk about today.

 

Over the years I have lost count of the number of wedding cakes I’ve made, it’s up in the hundreds by now I’m sure. And they are all as unique as the couple who have ordered them. But one thing a lot of them have in common, and the thing I might be best known for, is sugar flowers. I just love them!

Sugar roses

There are many reasons for this love, and it goes way back to when I first left school and enrolled in horticultural college. I was 17 and loved plants and flowers, they fascinated me. I spent many happy hours learning how plants worked and got up close to flowers. And that knowledge seems to have stuck with me, at least to a point.

white wedding cake with pink sugar flowers
Classic sugar flower wedding cake

Having had that horticultural training, I already knew how flowers work, and how they are put together. This has given me a good basic training for making sugar flowers. It’s almost like the reverse of what we did at college. Then we would take a flower apart, petal by petal, piece by piece. Now I constrict them, petal by petal and piece by piece.

 

But why should you consider sugar flowers for your wedding cakes?

 

Well why wouldn’t you? Although I would say that. But they really are a stunning addition. Plus they won’t wilt and die, and you can keep them for years afterwards. I always say that sugar flowers are a like Gremlins (Yes I’m old enough to remember that in the cinema!) keep them out of bright light and don’t get them wet.

Sugar parrot tulips and roses
Sugar Parrot tulips and Roses

If you keep them dry and away from direct heat and sun, they really will keep for years. Some people pop them under a glass dome to help preserve them. Or you could go for a polymer clay version that will keep forever and can be used as an heirloom. They are made in basically the same way as sugar flowers, but are not in any way edible, although perfectly safe to use as a cake topper/decorations.

 

Saying that, sugar flowers are only edible in that they are made from a form of sugar paste. But they almost always have some form of wire or non-edible support in them. And this will render them inedible anyway. I mean you could pull them off the wires and eat the petals if you really wanted to, but I wouldn’t recommend it! Not unless you have a very good dentist.

 

Not all sugar flowers will be wired though. And they don’t have to be super realistic looking either. Flowers can even be made in a form of chocolate paste that are fully edible, and delicious. In fact the possibilities are endless.

watercolour drip cake
stylised wafer paper flowers

I will go into all the options another day.

 

Back to sugar flowers.

 

Sadly I don’t know the history of the sugar flower, that is something I will have to look into. Although they have been around in one form or another for decades. In recent years the range of pastes available to make them with have vastly increased, and this has made it more and more possible to make them super realistic. So has the development of all the equipment used to make them. Not that you need that much to get started. I offer classes which includes the basic kit you will need to get started.

Sugar roses and peonies
Sugar Roses and Peonies

And gone are the days when sugar flowers on wedding cakes were basically white roses. These days you can have pretty much any flower you like, and in any colour. This is very helpful if you want flowers such as sweet peas which are toxic and not a good idea to use on cakes. Have them made in sugar instead! There are many flowers regularly used in floristry that are actually toxic and so can’t be used on cakes. I’ll go into that more in a future post.

 

Making your own.

 

While it takes a lot of practice and patience to make the super realistic sugar flowers. You can make some smaller, and more basic ones at home. And this is what I teach in my classes. Well I do when I am able to start doing them again.

And how lovely would it be to have a few little filler flowers on your wedding cake that you have made yourself? And how cool would it be to have part of your hen party celebrations making sugar flowers for your wedding cake? They can be left with me to be added in with the rest of them on your cake. And it will be even more personal.

 

The future.

 

With the new normal, and all the new guidelines and restrictions around weddings, things are going to be scaled down a fair bit for quite a while. But this allows you more scope to upgrade on the things you can still have, like the wedding cake.

Now you’re not spending so much on a large wedding with 100 plus people, you can free up some of the budget for other things.

One of the things you can still have, and which is going to become even more important, is the cake. Now more than ever it will become the centre piece.

You may not be able to have all of the usual elements that have become the norm at a wedding, like the big evening party etc. But you can still have the lovely tradition of cutting the cake.

In fact I think the older traditions like the cake cutting are going to become more important again in the new normal. Keeping those old traditions alive gives us consistency in a time of such upheaval, and helps to ground us and remind us that some things may change, but other things remain.

With this in mind why not go all out with the cake? Have that big wedding cake dripping in sugar flowers that you dream of but couldn’t justify spending on before. Remember it doesn’t have to be all real cake. You can have just the one tire of real cake and the rest as dummies. And don’t worry about waste. I can have the dummy tires back, strip them and reuse them over and over.

red roses on floating cake tier
You could learn to make the filler flowers for your wedding cake

There are as many ways to incorporate sugar flowers into you wedding cake as there are wedding cake! From small clusters of dainty blossoms, to full on cascades of realistic looking blooms. Want a bright blue rose? You can in sugar! Let your imagination run riot.

 

To find out more about sugar flower classes keep an eye out HERE where I will post new classes as they are possible.

To contact me about your wedding cake click HERE

 

Luxury Wedding Cakes Devon, Cornwall, London – Smaller Weddings

Are Smaller Weddings the way forward?

As we are still in a semi lock down here in the UK, and the government is giving us NO information on when weddings will be allowed to go ahead, or in what form. I thought I would follow up on a previous post about micro and elopement weddings, and focus on cakes for smaller weddings.

elopement cake and scones
High Tea for two

I know some people think that we in the wedding industry, and especially venues, get given information ahead of the public about what the plans are for weddings. But I can assure you we really don’t. We know no more or less than everyone else, in spite of lobbying for information. Believe me this is all as frustrating for us as it is for you. I know of at least two wedding businesses that have folded due to the virus and weddings having to be called off this year. And, sadly, I think there will be many more. It’s a nightmare.

I was talking to a couple the other day who are getting married this September, and they were saying it would be so helpful if the government would just make the decision. And I couldn’t agree more!

Algarve elopement cake
Small can still be beautiful

Anyway back to the subject of smaller weddings and cakes.

The trend for micro and elopement weddings started a few years ago, in fact I think they have always been a thing. And, as I’ve said before, they do have a lot going for them. If the government does give the go ahead for weddings, then it’s likely to be with number restrictions to begin with (I’m not even going to try to guess what those numbers might be).
Now you may think that having a smaller wedding means you have to compromise on the cake. But this isn’t necessarily so. After all you may already have had to compromise on so much else.
I have often done a fake or dummy tier as part of a cake for a smaller wedding, in order to give it more height and more wow. And this is what I would recommend doing for your smaller wedding.

Romeo & Juliet cake
90% of this cake is fake, and has real impact.

 

You may only need one or two tiers of real cake to feed you and your guests, and don’t leave yourselves out when thinking about how much cake you need. Too many times I’ve had couples tell me that all their guests loved the cake, but they never managed to get any!

Cake for you

Then there is the tradition of keeping a tier for the christening of the first baby. Of course this was back when wedding cakes were fruit cake, and we all know how long fruit cakes will keep for. But sponge cakes freeze really well, so it’s still possible to do this. And it doesn’t have to be for a christening. Several of my couples have kept the top tier and frozen it for their first anniversary. If you’re having a smaller wedding then this gives you plenty of scope to have a tier to keep, as you won’t need it to serve to guests.
In fact why not have an extra, smallest, top tier that’s just for you anyway? Sometimes called a ‘take to bed cake’ or ‘midnight feast cake.’ Don’t forget to tell your venue or wedding planner that it’s yours!

Clare and George enjoying their sample box at home
Remember to keep some cake back for yourselves!

You don’t have to get married to have a party!

Yes the chances are that larger weddings will be on hold for a little while, or will be in a different form. And it’s also true that a lot of wedding budgets are having to be spent elsewhere at the moment. However having a smaller wedding has a lot of pluses, as I discussed here. And then, when all this is over, why not have the wedding you were originally planning as a vow renewal for your first anniversary? In fact this is a great idea because you get all of the fun and excitement with none of the wedding day nerves or worries, as you’ve already done that bit.

Keep positive

Nothing anyone says will lessen the disappointment that a lot of couples are feeling this year. Or the stress a lot of wedding businesses are under to try and stay alive. But weddings WILL happen again. And you WILL be able to marry the love of your life.
And think of it this way. You now have more time to iron out all those little things that have been niggling you. You have more time to save, should you need to. And you have time to make changes to anything you weren’t 100% about.

As to the cake?

Well there is no need to scale down that particular part of the dream. In fact the cake is one of the parts of a smaller wedding you can still go all out with. So get creative!

To get in touch about your wedding cake, large or small, click HERE

Photography by: Helen Champman Photography, Mjp Events & Verity Westcott Photography 

Luxury Wedding Cakes- Finding the Right Wedding Cake Maker

Finding the right wedding cake maker for you doesn’t have to be stressful

Well I was going to begin this post by asking if you were all enjoying the beautiful weather! Sadly, it’s now freezing cold and raining, normal British summer has resumed. But what better weather to be indoors planning your wedding? And today I’m not going to talk about choosing your ideal wedding cake, but choosing your ideal wedding cake maker.

Your wedding is a time where you will be getting a whole range of bespoke services, and they all need to work together to bring your vision to reality. And, as you know, whenever you have anything custom made, you need to form a relationship with the creator. Most of the services you need for a wedding you can’t get by just popping to the shops.

This means you will be in regular contact with your suppliers right up to, and maybe including, the big day. So you need to feel 100% comfortable with them, and trust them to deliver your vision.

Now, at the moment, it’s still not really possible (or safe in my opinion) to be meeting up for face to face consultations. And that’s often not possible anyway. I would say around 75% of my clients are holding their weddings or events in the South West, but don’t live here. We are very much a hot spot for destination weddings.

So how do you go about finding the right wedding cake maker? Especially when we can’t do wedding fairs or meet with each other? And how do you even start looking?

Claire setting up a wedding cake
ME!!! Doing my thing 🙂

Firstly decide what kind of wedding you want.

By this I mean are you wanting an intimate, micro wedding, or a big affair with the whole shooting match? Are you thinking pastels and lace and romance, or are you thinking bright and bold? Boho/rustic or high end glam? The list goes on.

Confused?

Don’t be. Even if you don’t think you know what you want, chances are you actually do. Just take a look at your Pinterest boards, I bet there’s a lot they all have in common. The colours and styles you are being drawn to and saving will form the basis for your wedding style or theme. And, let’s be honest, most of us have known the kind of wedding we want for years. I can still remember saying I wanted a gold wedding dress when I was around 14. When I was 26 and getting married, guess what? Yep, my dress was a beautiful, matt gold slugged silk with a red bodice (there’s a wedding pic HERE if you want to see it.)

Whatever your vision, there will be the perfect team of suppliers out there to create it for you. You just have to find them.

cake pic round up
There’s a cake for every style of wedding

 

For many the starting point for any search is good old google (other search engines are available) But what are you searching for?

My advice would be to be a niche as you can with your search terms. Just typing ‘Wedding Cakes’ into google with make your head explode with the number of results you’ll get. So try to narrow it down. Start with the geographical area in which you’re getting married, ‘Wedding Cake Makers South West.’ You’ll still get tens if not hundreds of thousands of hits. ‘Wedding Cake Makers Cornwall’ will bring you a little closer.

And don’t just look at page one of search results, we aren’t all able to be on page one all the time. Some of the smaller, hidden gems, will be on pages 3 or 4 or even further.

You can then narrow things down even more but adding other keywords into your search and so on, I’m sure you already know all this. But there are a lot of search terms that are unique to the wedding industry, especially with dresses and accessories. If you can find out the name of the shape of dress or colour of shoe you want, that’s a big help. I never knew there were so many names for so many dress shapes and colours until I joined the wedding industry.

Bright and bold wedding
Just because I love this photo

Back to cakes though.

You may want a white wedding cake with pink sugar flowers for example. So ‘Sugar flower wedding cakes Cornwall’ might be a good starting point. Or you may want a black wedding cake, or a semi naked cake. Whatever your choice, use that with your geographical area, and you’ll get a good range of results.

Another popular way to find suppliers is the online directories.

Although simply finding the right directory to search in can be a full-time job in itself! There are so many of them now. But again, there are ways to save time and narrow things down. Only use ones that cover the area in which you’re getting married for example. Sounds obvious? But I’ve had so many people contact me over the years who haven’t looked to see where I’m based. And this is important if you are getting married away from home. Your dress you may want to get locally to where you live because of fittings etc, but the cake will be something it is best to get from a cake maker closer to where you are getting married. Although many of us will deliver UK wide.

Personally there are a few directories I would recommend trying first, And I’ll list these at the bottom.

NAWP logo
One of the best directories

A tip for directories.

A top tip for using a directory to contact a supplier is to ignore the enquiry form they sometimes have on them. These send us a generic, often slightly irrelevant, automated message like ‘Hi, we are interested in your services, please send us your brochure.’

It gives us very little info and is usually rather impersonal. If you get emails like this, I bet they are the ones you assign the least amount of time to? And they will sometimes go straight to spam and get missed anyway. It also makes it seem like you aren’t really that interested in us, but are just throwing a net out to see who replies.

Instead click the link to the suppliers own website and use their own contact form. This way you know your message won’t get lost, and will give your supplier the information they need. Even better drop us an email. Emailing us direct will also allow you to send us your mood board links etc, which will save time later down the line.

Should you contact more than one wedding cake maker at a time?

This goes for any supplier really. And of course you can if you wish. No one would expect you not to have a good look at all your options. Especially not for your wedding. Personally I always reply as soon as I can to all my enquiries, and I never expect or assume I’ll be the chosen cake maker. When you have made you decision, just drop the others a quick ‘thanks but no thanks’ email so that they can open that date back up.

Another option is the recommended supplier list from your wedding venue.

Not all venues have this, but it’s always worth asking if they do. Some will have a list on their website, others will simply have people they like to work with who they will tell you about if you ask. In fact this goes for all suppliers. I have a mental list of other suppliers I’ve worked with over the years that I would recommend, and do when I’m asked. And so will your florist, DJ, caterer etc. We work with all these people and get to know them, and their work, really well.

Word of mouth in any walk of life is probably the best way to find the best people. So if your venue or another supplier is recommending a cake maker to you, then it’s worth checking them out. There will be a page coming to the website soon of all the other wedding suppliers I love to work with.

Pentillie Castle logo
I’m a recommended supplier to a number of venues

Then there is your wedding planner.

If you are engaging a wedding planner then make full use of their little black book of contacts, they all have them! Your wedding planner will know which suppliers you’ll get on with, and will fit your style. They will often work directly with us too. So we also trust them to bring us clients that are a good fit for what we do. If a trusted wedding planner puts a couple my way, I know they will be my kind of people, and vice versa. If you wanted a novelty wedding cake, for example, they will only put you in touch with cake makers they know do those (I don’t by the way, but I know a few who do.)

A wedding planner is also a good idea if you are having a destination wedding, as I’ve mentioned before. Hiring a wedding planner local to where you are getting married will save you a lot of time and stress, as they will know all the best local suppliers, and also the ones to avoid!

 

Finding ‘the one’

Finding the perfect wedding cake maker for you is the same as finding all the other suppliers. The bonus with us is that you will get to try cake ?

A lot of it is going to come down to that gut feeling you get when you speak to us. And if you have followed the above advice you should have narrowed your choices down to those cake makers who fit your style and budget. Only you know what’s most important to you when it comes to your wedding. So trust that voice that tells you that yes, you like this one, they get you and make you feel relaxed. If you don’t get that feeling, however stunning their work might be, you won’t be as relaxed.

Something I try very hard to do is not only reply swiftly, as I know your wedding is a big deal, and you want answers asap. But I also make sure I build a relationship with my clients, and to put them at ease so they know that they can trust me completely.

the cake cutting is a special moment
I love this reaction to one of my cakes

Top tips for finding your perfect wedding cake maker

1/ If you’re using google then niche down your search terms as much as possible. This will give you less results to have to wade through.

2/ Directories are a good resource. Find ones that cover the area in which you are getting married.

3/ If you do use a directory avoid the autofill/auto message forms. These often go to our spam. They don’t give us much info, and tend to be very impersonal. Better to click through to the suppliers website and contact them directly.

4/ If you are contacting more than one cake maker then remember to let the others know when you’ve made your decision, so that they can open that date back up.

5/ Check with your venue to see if they can recommend a cake maker (or any other supplier) As direct recommendations like this are always better.

6/ If you are using a wedding planner then tap into their local knowledge of the best suppliers.

7/ Trust your instincts. If you find a cake maker you click with, then book them, quick!

Directories I would recommend trying

NAWP- National Association of Wedding Professionals

Cornwall Wedding Guide

EEEK!

Pretty & Punk

Art of Weddings

If you’d like to get in touch with me to discuss your wedding cake, then click HERE

Luxury Wedding Cakes – Elopement and Micro Weddings

What is an Elopement or Micro Wedding?

There’s no getting away from it. The days of the big, 200 plus guest weddings are on hold for now. But does this mean that getting married is on hold? I don’t believe so! In fact I think elopement and micro weddings are going to become the next big trend.

Ombre blue elopement cake
Small, but still full of class

There are many reasons why an elopement wedding is a good thing.

I know there’s a lot of disappointment at the moment with weddings having to be postponed. As a wedding supplier I’ve been at the sharp end of the fall out. It’s upsetting to have to move weddings when so many plans have already been made. And money already spent.

But there is hope. And it comes in the form of an elopement wedding, or micro weddings as they are starting to be called.

These days an elopement doesn’t mean the two of you running away is secret. These days it simply means a small wedding, maybe twenty people maximum. You and your nearest and dearest celebrating your special day with you, relaxed and happy.

Although we still don’t know when weddings will be allowed again, I think it’s safe to say that elopement style weddings will be the first to be given the green light. So it’s well worth considering. Why not have an elopement wedding now, and then a big party or a vowel renewal for your first anniversary, when everything is back to normal.

And there are other reason for an elopement or micro wedding that have nothing to do with ‘the virus.’

Firstly the financial aspect. Let’s face it, most of us have been impacted either with jobs or businesses. And there’s much uncertainty. Now I’m not going to dwell on that, but it is worth looking at switching to an elopement style wedding if budget is becoming a consideration.

Then there is all the family and relationship politics surrounding the guest list and seating plan. Been there, done that (we ended up in the pub). I think it was the part of the planning that took the longest! How many people are on that guest list that you’d rather weren’t? Or that you hardly know but feel obliged to invite? I think this is a given for most weddings.

Guest list nightmares

You feel you should invite work colleagues, your parents want you to invite some of their friends, and if they are on your Christmas card list then you feel they should be on your wedding guest list, even if it’s just the evening party. And before you know it you’ve got 150 plus people to feed and entertain! And some of those people feel obliged to come to your wedding even if they’d rather not.  How many weddings have you been to where you’ve hardly got to speak to the happy couple, and have been sat with total strangers? It can all get a bit awkward. You should be enjoying your wedding day, not going around introducing people to each other and hoping they will all get along.

the cake cutting is a special moment
Small weddings are so much more chilled

An elopement solves that at a stroke.

You can only have, say, 20 people at your wedding. This instantly means you can drop all those obligation invites. You only need to invite those you really want to share your day with, and who you know will want to be a part of that day. The guest list pressure is off! And you know that everyone will know each other well, and so will be relaxed. Plus you will be able to spend quality time with all your guests, and not feel you’ve got to be playing the host.

Another plus is that, with the smaller numbers, you’re more likely to be able to find a venue where you can all stay together.  Many hotels offer a discount for wedding guests, but won’t always have enough vacant rooms to accommodate them all, especially of you’re getting married in the height of summer.

A smaller party will mean more chance of getting rooms for everyone, so no driving or hassle with getting taxis late at night. And a smaller wedding is also perfect for some of the exclusive use venues.

white wedding cake with spring sugar flowers
Set up in a private rental house ready for the intimate party

Why not hire a large holiday home for you all to stay in for the whole weekend, or even the whole week? You can have the actual wedding at a licenced venue, church, chapel or registry office. Then back to your rented house for the party? Hire in private caterers who can do the whole weekend. Or go all out and hire a place that comes with staff and a chef. And then just chill. After the guests have gone you can have the rest of the week there as a mini honeymoon.

I’ve delivered wedding cakes to privately rented houses a few times, and there is always a lovely vibe about the place.

The Old Rectory at Pyworthy for a micro wedding
A stunning private rental in Devon for a micro wedding

Now I know I said I wasn’t going to dwell on finances

But another good thing about a smaller wedding is that you will have more to spend on lots of the extras. One of the biggest costs of any wedding is the reception, and the food/wine/service and entertainment for all those people, then even more people in the evening. This can mean compromises have to be made elsewhere. With a micro wedding there’s no need to choose between one thing or another. Because you’ll be, potentially, saving thousands on the reception, you can have that Vera Wang dress you’ve been dreaming of. Or you can have the most amazing honeymoon.

flower arch
Go OTT with the flowers!

It’s much easier to get personal with a micro wedding too. Why not use some of that spare budget to hire some quirky props, go OTT with the flowers, or hire a live band? The space will be smaller as well, and so easier to customise and personalise.

Okay, Claire, but what about the cake?

Well I have to talk about the cake!

White sea themed elopement wedding cake
You can still have a tired cake at a micro wedding

Over the years I’ve done many elopement cakes as there are several venues here in Cornwall and the South West who specialise in them. And they have always been completely different, and a true representation of the couple. From very simple semi naked cakes with fresh flowers, to a cake with a cow theme. I think people allow their personalities to come to the fore much more at small, intimate weddings. There’s no one there to impress, just those who already know all your quirks. And you’ll already know theirs, so no sudden ‘oh by the way I’m vegan’ surprises at the last minute.

Two tier, peach elopement wedding cake
And the cake can still be a feature

Desert tables work well for small weddings too. As do grazing tables where people can just go and get what they want, when they want it. No long line at the buffet, or harassed waiting staff trying to get everyone seated and served.

Yes a smaller wedding means a smaller cake. And so a lower spend. In theory I should be against this, and encouraging you all to wait until you can have those 200 plus guests and that £1K wedding cake.

semi naked, elopement cake with fresh flowers
Semi naked with fresh flowers

But I’m a realist. Weddings like that aren’t going to be happening anytime soon. Small cakes can be just as special. And you can still have that huge, six tier creation you’ve dreamed of if you want to, just have five of the tiers as dummies.

The wedding industry, as with everything else, is going to be changed by this. And we are going to have to adapt to the ‘new normal.’ This is going to mean smaller weddings for a while. And I, for one, am okay with that.

To get in touch about your elopement or micro wedding cake click HERE

Floral arch by Twigs Flowers 

Elopement wedding venue I love delivering to is Lower Barns

Great exclusive use venue with accommodation at Ash Barton Estate   

And also The Old Rectory