May 22, 2020
I’m thrilled to introduce to you Charlene who is one of the most INCREDIBLE bakers I know!! Her cakes aren’t just delicious- they are works of ART. Charlene also blogs tons of wedding planning tips on her website and today has shared some very key things to keep in mind when finding your dream wedding cake. Keep reading!
I’m Charlene Russell, the proud owner of Cherry Tree Cakerie and a wedding cake designer with a passion for creating impossibly beautiful wedding cakes and modern, art-inspired designs.
I strive to make wedding cakes that are unique, non-traditional but beautiful, free-flowing, and artistic. My inspiration comes from the world around us; from nature’s beauty, textures, and colours, as well as art, pottery, and architecture, all designed to tie in perfectly with my couple’s wedding day vision.
I work from my kitchen based in Finmere, Buckinghamshire, and also deliver to the neighbouring counties of Oxfordshire (including The Cotswolds), Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire, as well as London.
This sounds overly obvious but bear with me! In most cases, your venue will most likely dictate the style of wedding you’re going for and therefore, the style of cake you might want. From a relaxed, rustic tipi wedding to a formal stately affair in a historic manor house, the style of cake may vary drastically to suit its surroundings. In fact, the venue style tends to set the tone for the whole wedding.
PS. If you’re considering a marquee venue or maybe even an orangery during the summer season, then really consider the effects of heat on buttercream cakes. Bakers have some tricks up their sleeves to mitigate the risk of melting buttercream but there’s only so much we can do in the midst of a heatwave.
Deciding whether to serve your cake as a dessert for your wedding breakfast or as part of your reception food will dictate what kind of portion size, and therefore the size of cake, you might need.
If serving cake as a dessert then you will need to be pretty accurate on your guest numbers and the size of cake you order. The last thing you need is to run out of cake. If serving cake at your reception, I would suggest catering for around 10% less of your total number to allow for those guests who don’t fancy cake after a day of eating and drinking or are too busy throwing shapes on the dancefloor!
Now for the fun part! Get pinning on Pinterest, delve into Instagram, stock up on those wedding mags and seek inspiration everywhere. It doesn’t necessarily have to be other cakes either; perhaps you’re inspired by a piece of art or maybe you have a favourite interior designer that ignites your creativity. It can be anything…let your imaginations fly.
You may even have a definite design in mind but allowing your baker to flex their creative muscles might just give you a different perspective on it and allow them to create something unique to you.
Aside from searching geographically (some bakers may not travel over a certain distance with a delicate cake on board…1.5 to 2 hours’ journey is generally my own limit), look for a baker that fits with your style and ethos.
Do their creations inspire and excite you? Does their website speak to you and do they have client testimonials to back up their work?
Let’s just say, if you have a novelty, themed cake in mind and they only specialise in intricate creations covered in sugar flowers, then they may not be the right baker for you.
A lot of wedding cake bakers tend to work alone and in turn, they can only take on a certain number of cakes per week to give each creation the time and attention it deserves. As such, it’s advisable to get in early to secure your date. For peak wedding dates, I would suggest 12 months in advance.
Surely the best part of the wedding planning. This is where you get to eat cake and discuss your wedding cake design. It’s also your chance to meet your baker and decide if they’re the right supplier for you and for the baker to tease out those design ideas and create something truly bespoke. Once a design has been agreed then your baker should be in a position to provide you with an accurate cost.
I normally provide a colour sketch of your design alongside your quote so you can really visualise what it will look like.
So you’ve met the baker, tasted their mouth-watering cakes, reached a design and you’re happy with their quote. Now to lock in your date with a deposit and be happy in the knowledge that you’ve found your ideal wedding cake maker!
If you love Charlene’s cakes as much as I do, here’s how to get in touch with her!
If you found this blog post helpful, check out this post on how to plan an at-home garden wedding with Vanilla Rose Weddings!