Wedding cakes originated in Roman times, where the groom broke a loaf of bread above the bride’s head as a symbol of his dominance over her in the relationship. Times have changed, and the wedding cake is now seen as an integral part of the wedding day.
The traditional cake was a dense fruit cake, split over a number of tiers. The top, smaller tier was often set aside and used at the Christening of the first born child. These days it is quite rare for a fruit cake to be the cake of choice at a Scottish wedding, never mind setting some aside for a number of years.
The basic wedding cake today will be some sort of sponge, surrounded by icing, possibly with a layer of marzipan or fondant in between, and maybe a fruit jam through the middle. It is often the shape, colour and decoration of the cake that appeals to a bride and groom.
A good cake maker will be able to ensure your cake forms part of your overall theme and colour scheme, and offering a selection of shapes and sizes to suit.
There has been a shift away from the large, three-tiered cakes and towards something altogether more modern. The cupcake has made an appearance at a large amount of weddings, with a collection of cupcakes presented across a number of tiers. The great thing about this approach is it allows you to offer a selection of sponge flavours, as well as keeping any remaining cakes fresh for some time afterwards. Due to the additional work involved the cupcake wedding cakes can be more costly than a standard cake but the presentation is, in my opinion, far more modern and offers more versatility.
Wedding cakes are generally priced on a per-person basis, and prices range considerably. A cake from a supermarket can cost as little as £80.00 and can work out at 40p per person, but it is more realistic to budget for around £4.00 per person. Intricate design work will push the cost up, as will delivery if the supplier is based a long way from the venue.
Whichever approach you choose, just make sure you get a piece of the cake yourself. You’d be surprised at the number of happy couples who spend a lot of time and money on their wedding cake yet never get a piece.