After months of planning and tasting and dreaming, you have finally chosen the perfect cake for your wedding. From the design decisions, to the flavor, to the cake designer, you have made sure that your cake is a delicious, fun and exciting part of your big day. However, that's only half the battle!
As a cake designer, I am always surprised at how people often overlook the importance of their wedding cake presentation. I have often left a delivery amazed at how a bride can be so meticulous and stylish when it comes to her cake design, only then to house it in the far, dark corner of a fluorescent-lit cavernous banquet hall. It's the most expensive and significant cake most people will ever buy, yet it's often haphazardly placed 'out of the way' where guests can't enjoy and marvel at it, and where the bride and groom can't enjoy the final design.
Designing a beautiful cake is certainly the first step -- but none of that will matter if it's not properly featured at your wedding venue. Over the last decade I've seen it all and I've comprised a quick list of dos and don'ts to get the most out of your cake:
Do: Place your cake front and center! You've taken time to design a cake that reflects your personal taste and style -- you want to share that with your guests, not make them go hunt for it. Recently I've seen cakes placed near the entrance of the dining room so the guests can appreciate it as they file into the reception area. I've also noticed cakes places in the middle of a dance floor. Both are great options.
If you can't have your cake centrally displayed at least consider moving it to the dance floor (or other easily accessible location) for the cake cutting. That's one of the things guests look forward to and when your cake is off in a corner very few people will actually get to see it.
Don't: Place your cake in a dark corner! If you can't see the cake what's the point?
Do: Place your cake in an area with great lighting -- or bring in lighting if it's not available. It's something that just makes your cake extra special and creates the perfect background for photos (the cake is one of the most photographed elements of the wedding-- second only to the bride!)
Do: Consider the linen that is placed on your cake table. Sometimes custom linens are just simply out of the budget -- but you can always just do a custom cloth for the cake table (since there is only one) without breaking the bank. It's another opportunity to pull focus to your cake and make it feel extra special.
Don't: Put a white cake on a white tablecloth. In photographs, it all just blends together. And, let's face it, at the end if the day all that you have is photographs (and memories!) Colored linen will help make your cake pop, as will a lighter linen for a darker cake. Put some thought into the proper contrast. You'll thank yourself when you see your photos.
Do: Consider the size of the table your cake is displayed on. For smaller cakes, think about placing it on a taller cocktail table. The extra height really makes a difference.
Don't: Place your cake on a 60" round table on a raised platform that requires stairs to reach it. There is nothing that makes a cake look more tiny than a huge table. Even a decent sized four-tier cake will look like a cupcake under those conditions. Proportion is key to many elements of design and your cake presentation is no exception. I always recommend the smallest table size possible. Cocktail tables ate usually the perfect size. Your cake will appear larger (no matter what its size) if displayed on a snug fitting table.
Don't: Use your cake table for anything other than cake. I delivered a cake last week that was displayed on a huge table. They had planned to set out all of the champagne glasses, cake plates and forks right on the cake table along with the cake. It's not only distracting, it looks messy and disorganized. A cake table should be just that -- a table for the cake! (In my humble opinion, of course).
The bottom line is that wedding cake is more than just dessert, it's also a part of your décor. It's a unique and sweet reflection of your personal tastes and design flair, and your guests won't be able to partake in that beauty if the cake is hidden off in the corner. Let your wedding cake shine!