Design your own wedding cake
by Colleen Charles
(Clark Lake, MIchigan, USA)
Less is more
How do you (and other cake decorator's) come up with your wedding cake designs? Do you recommend that the bride bring a picture, go through wedding cake books, look online at cake pictures, try to draw what she is describing or a mixture of all of the above.
Right now I rely on a lot of the cake decorating books
for pictures or have some printed out if I have a general idea.
I am not an artist by any means to try and draw one out (like on some of the cake shows). I try to listen to the customer and write down everything they like as we go through various books and draw layers and placements of items.
Just wondering as I am getting more orders and would like to be as professional as possible.
Thanks for your help.
Colleen Hi Coleen, What a great question.
Here is the design process that I usually use: I ask the bride to bring pictures of what she would like if she has ideas. If not then during the cake consultation I will do as you do and jot down ideas and sketches for the bride and groom.
I ask them if I may use my judgment during the decorating process. I like to have some flexibility to add or subtract to the design. Most couple will trust me and give the go ahead.
I then will look through pictures and ideas from my past cakes and online, sometimes using Youtube for inspirational ideas.
Examples: The pictures above are all cakes I did recently. The photo of the Logo cake that the bride gave me was much busier
and did not have the logo on it. She gave us a menu with the logo and we reproduced it on a plaque. The flowers and design are the same but much less of it. That was a decision I made as I was decorating.
The bridal gown cake was totally custom. Some of the cake was designed to reflect the gown, such as the flowers that were made to look like the ones on her dress. The color of the cake was champagne as her gown and the draping was added to subtly suggest the drapes on her dress too. The only other request they had was that I incorporate the fresh flowers and grasses that they were using for the table settings.
The wine themed wedding cake was also custom designed. The bride gave me full creative permission. I love when that happens. I did use Cake Decorating: A Step-By-Step Guide to Making Traditional & Fantasy Cakes for help with the grapes and little flowers on the sides of the cake. The bride also supplied me with the hydrangea that she wanted to have around the cake.
My Top Three Favorite Cake Decorating Books
Cakewalk: Adventures In Sugar With Margaret Braun
The Essential Guide to Cake Decorating (Cookery)
Cake Decorating: A Step-By-Step Guide to Making Traditional & Fantasy Cakes
I have picked up a lot of tips from these books and others and always come back to them for inspiration as well as technique.
I hope that helps Coleen. Lets see if some of the other cake decorators will add their ideas and thoughts about the process on how to design your own cake. Thanks Colleen.