Cakeolgy: Let’s Talk Cake!

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Owner - Flour House Cakes

In my world, every wedding deserves a bespoke celebratory cake. Whether it be a one-tier hand-painted “minimony” confection or a towering avant-garde stunner, your wedding cake is one of the single most important details of your celebration that deserves considerable attention. If you haven’t given your wedding cake much thought or were thinking of opting out of a cake, I’m here to guide you through some basic cakeology to help you with your decision-making and planning.


 By tradition, wedding cakes were structurally uniform. They represented good fortune and prosperity and were often symbols of wealth. Although some of these ideas hold true today, we’ve rightfully evolved from some of the eccentric reasons to celebrate with cake. Thanks to ‘the modern couple,’ the art of cake has taken on a whole new look. Gone are the days of catalogue cake orders that categorized for us what a wedding cake should look and taste like. Cookie cutter tiered cakes, plastic swan cake toppers, and plug-in water fountains helped put me on the map. These early design concepts have been replaced by asymmetric tiers, themed designs, and ornate color palettes.

At Flour House Cakes & Co., we are intentional with every aspect of our wedding cake design process to ensure we’re producing relevant and authentic creations that have meaning for our couples. A well-designed wedding cake tells the story of your love and wedding journey, and that does not always take the shape of a traditional structure or translate well in white. In fact, some of my most photographed cakes look more like art pieces than wedding cakes.


When you look at a striking wedding cake in a magazine or on Pinterest, what is it about the cake that speaks to you? The answer is intentionality. The cake tells a story that translates a feeling, mood, vibe, and aesthetic that is consistent with the other elements around it. Have you ever attended a wedding reception, looked at the wedding cake, and thought, “one of these things is not like the other?” That’s because the wedding cake was most likely an afterthought and the couple failed to prioritize this essential element during their wedding planning phase. Likewise, storytelling will set one wedding cake apart from the other.

Fun Fact: Gospel recording artist, Kierra Sheard-Kelly, requested that we incorporate butterflies into her wedding cake design to represent her grandmother, the late Dr. Mattie Moss Clark. Accents of butterflies appeared all around her beautiful reception space, from the dinner menus to the floor wrap. The entire room told a uniform story of love.


In our experience, couples come to the table underprepared to ‘talk cake.’ This is unfortunate because, besides the couple and their beautiful wedding attire, no other aspect of the wedding trends as much on social media as photographs of the wedding cake. It is the most tangible and talked about element of a wedding that everyone will experience. It often becomes the central backdrop at the reception for selfies and group photographs, essentially becoming timeless keepsakes.


Fun Fact: If you serve your delicious bespoke cake to your guests after dinner, they are more likely to experience an instant boost of endorphin release, enhancing their moods. So, for those of you planning long lists of speeches and toasts, I recommend serving a thick slice of your favorite cake to your guests!


One of the most unintentional ways you can potentially offend or limit your cake artist is to present them with an “inspirational” wedding cake photo but request the exact same cake. Again, your wedding cake cannot be intentional if you’re borrowing someone else’s story, word-for-word. We also understand that every cake artist’s approach is different. Some don’t like to design, but they do an excellent job of reproducing another artist’s work. Then you have published artists like me, who choose not to reproduce cakes but take inspiration from general elements to draft an original design. Just like your wedding attire and florals, your wedding cake is an investment. You can expect to spend hundreds to thousands on a quality cake.

Fun fact: Your cake is one of only a few wedding purchases you can completely customize because it’s not sold off a rack, ordered in bulk or rented. You have a unique opportunity to wow your guests with a statement piece that looks amazing and tastes exquisite. I encourage you to raise the bar and challenge yourself to find a cake artist who’ll design an original wedding cake that tells your uniquely intimate love story and complements your overall wedding aesthetic.  


Remember that your wedding cake gets more facetime at your reception than any other feature. So when your flowers begin to wilt, the candles have burned to the core, and the tablescapes have been collected, your bespoke cake will continue to stand tall in its original form to remind the room of your love story.

This brings us to what I consider to be the top contentious aspect of wedding cake planning, budgeting. Purchasing a wedding cake can be perplexing because there is so much subjectivity within pricing. Unless you are working with a seasoned event planner (which I highly recommend), you probably don’t know where to begin with wedding cake budgeting. For example, if you’re unfamiliar with cake design, you may not know that the number of hours it may take to embroider a wedding gown with lace could be the same hours it takes to embroider a multi-tiered wedding cake with sugar lace. Many factors play into the cost of a wedding cake. These include the artist’s notoriety and skill level, wedding cake flavors and fillings, cake design and size, intricate decor elements, cake stand options, fresh or sugar florals, and market value influences. Generally, the more intricate the cake design, the more you should expect the cake to cost.


Be upfront with your cake artist about your budget. If you have $1,500 to spend on a cake, then communicate that at the beginning of your consultation. The last thing any talented cake artist wants to hear from a couple is, “but ‘Payless Bakeries’ can make it cheaper.” At Flour House Cakes & Co., we will educate you and then send you on your way with a sweet parting gift. Before considering ‘Payless Bakeries,’ consider why they can sell another artist’s design at a reduced price. What are you giving up for that cheaper price tag? Quality? Taste? Uniqueness? To avoid some of these perplexities, set reasonable expectations based on your budget. You may still be able to work with a reputable cake artist if you allow them to design a cake around your budget.


Building a rapport with your cake designer is equally important. The more you learn about each other, the better your love story will authentically translate through your cake. Finally, understand what your cake artists stand for. Do your research. Explore their mission and value statements to ensure their business principles align with yours as a couple.


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