When choosing your wedding cake, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being traditional. Opting for classic flavours and classic design makes a beautifully elegant statement, but it's fun to be playful and inventive too.
A couple of weeks ago I made the wedding cake of a good friend, whose wedding had a village fete theme. At our initial discussions, neither she nor her fiancé had really given much thought to how they wanted their cake to look, apart from having a mild preference for individual cakes and a colour scheme of pink and lilac. I sketched several designs with gingham bunting, rosettes and other summer fete-inspired themes and in the end, they chose a tower of miniature cakes and cupcakes with a top tier, all iced with sugar bunting, bumble bees, daisies, forget-me-nots and pink and lilac roses.
They had already come for a cake tasting a few weeks before and had chosen two cake flavours: passion fruit and chocolate and red peppercorn; flavours that were new to them, but that they were excited by, that they wanted their guests to be excited by too. The feedback was wonderfully positive and people really enjoyed the cake. They had been delighted when they saw the cake displayed (one guest described it as "such a happy-looking cake!”) and then, when it came to eating time, enjoyed the surprise of having something other than fruit cake or vanilla sponge.
My friend thanked me for helping to make her marquee look more beautiful, which is exactly what a wedding cake ought to do. You spend a fortune on flowers and table decorations to make the venue look special and your cake should be just as ornamental; a design focal point that is spectacular to look at, as well as a pleasure to eat. It is so important for your cake to look beautiful and to reflect your personality and style, but it would be ridiculous if beneath the icing veneer the cake itself was dry and tasteless. If the cake looks great but tastes awful, it becomes an empty promise, which is ultimately a big fat disappointment.
I thought it was brilliant that my village fete wedding friends were happy not to play too safe and, as a result, their cake was a real talking point and reflected their laidback style and great sense of fun.