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wedding cake

Whether it’s a Caribbean rum fruitcake, Italian tart or Indonesian Kek lapis, wedding cakes have always been more than just a delicious dessert. They are a symbol of love and hope for the future, as well as an opportunity to bring in some family traditions.

In medieval England, it was customary to stack small spiced buns, scones and cookies as high as possible and then attempt to kiss over the tower of pastries. If they could smooch without knocking the whole thing over, it was believed to be a good omen for their marriage.

This tradition influenced the development of today’s multi-tiered cakes, which are often decorated with edible flowers (although not all florists use these for cakes), or chocolate and other rich flavours. The practice of baking charms into a cake was also long-standing and, until recently, was often seen in Hollywood (with Mariah Carey, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones being among the celebrities to have had their own special charms baked into their cake).

It’s traditional for the newlywed couple to feed each other a slice of their wedding cake, a symbol of their first feat together as a unified team. Taking this tradition to a new level, some couples now choose to smash their wedding cake (or at least try to) which is a fun way of showing how committed they are to creating a sweet and fulfilling life.

Many modern brides and grooms like to incorporate the wedding cake into their own personal wedding style, choosing a flavour or design that reflects them as a couple. A favourite design is the rose tier, which represents eternal love and is the ideal choice for any romantic occasion.

Another option is to choose a theme for the cake that is based on the wedding location or season, as this can add to the overall look and feel of the event. One idea is to create a mood board of different cake styles you like and then take this to your supplier as a reference.

Wedding cakes can be expensive, especially if they’re made by a renowned designer, so it is important to choose wisely and ensure all costs are agreed upon before the contract is signed, says Stenstrom. Then the stress of a faulty design or cost overrun will be a lot less to contend with.

The best way to find the perfect cake for your big day is to get recommendations from recently married pals or your venue, and then have a taste test with potential suppliers to compare flavours and designs.

The last tip from Stenstrom is to read the contract thoroughly before you sign it, as it will detail all of the details and fine print of your cake, so that there are no surprises on the day of your wedding. It’s best to sign your contract with a few hours of buffer time, so that you can address any concerns that may arise on the day.