Here is a selection of Q&As from Your East Midlands Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
To view more expert advice on a different topic, please select one from the list below.
Q. For our wedding, we want a cake with a difference. What are the up and coming cake trends set for this year?
A. Sophie Poole says: We're seeing lots of new and exciting trends appearing for wedding cakes in 2020, with a definite rise in our orders for dessert tables. Still new on the block, a dessert table is a showstopping alternative to a wedding cake. Whether it's a table full of brownies, cupcakes and macaroons, or extra goodies – you'll be bang on-trend.
There has been a certain sway from the popular semi-naked cakes into textured buttercream decorated with fresh flowers, similar to Harry and Meghan's wedding cake, which makes a great modern alternative to a traditional sugar paste cake. Or you could add a splash of colour with icing smudges by using a palette knife to match the colour-theme, which adds another element to the texture.
We've also noticed a move away from the 2019 trend of marbling, towards handpainting. This is an amazing way of adding subtle colour to your cake without it being too blocky or not looking right.
We can add streaks, ombre or a cascading effect down the tiers and the use of gold leaf and sugar flowers will ensure you have an amazing cake.
Sophie Poole , Red Robin Cakery
Q. We have a huge guest list and I'm worried that to have a cake large enough it'll be way over our budget. What can we do?
A. Dawn Wilson says: There are ways in which to keep within your budget. Cake designers have many tricks up their sleeves for creating similar designs but using less skill, time and less expensive methods. This will ensure a fabulous finish but at less cost, which always helps when you're trying to provide enough portions to cover all of your guests. It's possible to gain extra portions by speaking with your venue and asking them to cut the cake horizontally as well as vertically, providing you have enough layers in each tier.
The best advice is to speak with your supplier, explain that you want as many portions as possible within your budget and they'll be more than happy to help you achieve this.
Q. We've decided on a naked cake design to complement our rustic theme, but I'm worried it'll go dry once it's displayed. Help!
A. Dawn Wilson says: I'd recommend that you use a professional cake designer to make sure that your bake's dealt with properly and a good sponge is delivered.
Naked cakes shouldn't go dry if they're only out for the day. They can get a crust, but this wouldn't normally be served anyway, as edges are usually disposed of when your venue or caterer portion it for serving. I also brush mine with a sugar syrup solution to give the sponge added protection from drying.
If you're still concerned, maybe a slight design alteration would help. If you have a semi-naked cake the outer edges are smeared with buttercream or ganache creating a barrier and preserving the sponge.
Choose a supplier with experience of this style and check out their reviews. This way you'll know you won't encounter any mishaps or be disappointed on your special day.
Q. I'm struggling to come up with ideas for our cake design. What do you suggest for the ultimate show-stopper?
A. Sophie Taylor says: The most important thing is to find a designer whose portfolio you adore and who'll listen to your inspiration and create your show-stopping bake! Gather ideas before meeting for a consultation and look out for textures that you like and colours that suit your theme. When meeting with your pro, describe how you imagine your day to look and feel. The more you paint a picture for them the easier it'll be to create your vision.
Dress the cake table with a gorgeous stand, decorative runner, candles and display a bouquet on there too. The ultimate show-stopper will be one that blends seamlessly with the rest of your day, but doesn't just sit in the corner of the room – it should scream “look at me and eat me!”
Q. I love Christmas and can't wait for my festive-styled big day. Do you have any tips on creating the perfect design for our showstopper cake that'll complement our theme?
A. Dawn Wilson says: Firstly think about what the festive season means to you. What images come to mind – snowdrops, mistletoe, gold trimmings? What colours do you associate with this time of the year – shades of purple, red, woodland green or softer colours such as cream, peach and lilac?
Armed with your information, book a consultation with your cake supplier. It's a great opportunity to meet them and taste some delicious cakes. I love to chat to couples about the different aspects of their day to help me create a moodboard and I use this to sketch a couple of designs for them to chose from.
If you have a strict budget, make sure this is one of the first things you mention. Your cake designer is an artist and depending on their capability, their time will be priced accordingly. The more intricate the design, the more expensive your cake will be.
Q. I'd love a showstopper for our reception centrepiece. How can we incorporate our seasonal theme into our big-day bake?
A. Sophie Taylor says: One of the easiest ways to incorporate the season is the use of colour. In the warmer seasons brights and pastels work well and in the colder months bold colours such as orange, red and brown or metallics bring warmth into a design. Mixed textures are currently a huge trend in cake design and this is an ideal way to convey the seasons. Think autumnal bark or sparkling wintry snow.
The addition of sugar or fresh flowers is a great way to add to the theme by working with what's available from season to season. Spring and summer bring pastel and bright blooms, whilst autumn and winter bring more burnt tones, foliage and seedheads.
Bring the outdoors into your design with berries and fruits. The perfect addition to an autumnal-inspired design would be a petite pumpkin or squash, which is also very on-trend.
Q. I'd love a chocolate cake for our special day but not sure that's a good idea in the heat. Is there a way that I can still incorporate chocolate into our sweet treats?
A. Helen Houlden says: If you choose a chocolate cake in the summer, whether ganache or with decoration, the best advice is don't have it in a marquee! If you're indoors and there is air-conditioning it's not a problem. Be sure to keep it out of direct sunlight though as that'll melt the chocolate whatever shape or form it comes in. If you have it covered in sugarpaste it'll be absolutely fine and will also keep for at least three weeks so you can enjoy it for a while after your special day.