Your Wedding Cake: Tips from a Cakemaker

As a bride-to-be, there are always so many unanswered questions regarding the whole planning. This is the first little article of a series that will try to answer some of them. This time, we have invited the awesome Sarah from ‘Tiny Sarah’s Cakes’ to answer some of the main questions brides-to-be might have regarding… Cake! Wedding cake might not be the first thing we think of when we start planning a wedding, but it is an important part of it. The article is ‘decorated’ with some photos of the awesome hand-painted (!) cake Sarah has made for a photo shoot we worked on together recently, but her style is so much more than what you can see. So please take a look at her website, Facebook and Instagram to see what a variety of flawless cakes this French cake-maker is capable of providing her customers with.

Please introduce yourself

I run ‘Tiny Sarah’s Cakes’, a one-woman show dedicated to making your cake dreams come true. From unicorns to bunnies, from skulls to little sugar figurines of you, from skulls to avocados and pineapples – nothing is too crazy for me, as long as you and I have the same goal: to get you a cake that will rock your wedding day.
I also make dessert tables for those who don’t think that just cake is enough (you are my kind of people) and let me tell you that your guests will love stuffing their faces with my brownies, rocky roads, cookies, Rice Krispie treats, caramel bars, and so on.
Oh, also – I specialise in vegan and allergy friendly cakes!
I have launched my business a year and a half ago – but used to work for other people before that, so I have been making cakes for about 4 years now!

Wedding Cakes: when to order? How long before the wedding?

As soon as possible. I have a lot of people emailing me today for their wedding which is in less than three months, and I have to turn a lot of people down. I would say it really depends on what you are after: if you really want to book someone because you like their style or what they specialise in, you need to get in quickly. I take orders for weddings that are more than a year away. If you don’t really care and will choose someone for their price or availability, you don’t need a lot of notice.

What would you say it’s a realistic price range for a wedding cake?

It completely depends on what you want! But realistically, unless you are buying a factory made, full of preservatives, and industrial cake, you will have to pay someone’s wage. I have made very small cakes for people who didn’t have a lot of guests and wanted simple cakes for less than £130, but have also made cakes nearer £1,000 because they had a lot of guests and wanted a cake with a lot of decor and personality.

What factors into the final price?

Mostly, time. I can’t take more than two wedding cake orders a week, and if they are detailed then I will stick to one. And I do this job full time – so cakes have to pay my mortgage. Cakes take a lot of time and skill – if you want them made right anyway.
But also ingredients. I easily spend £200 on ingredients for large wedding cakes. Again – if you want a cheap cake, you will either have to go industrial, or to someone who doesn’t charge a good cake’s worth, and that could be either because they have loads of money stashed somewhere and don’t need to work (improbable), or because they use cheap ingredients that are not good quality.

Common mistakes/misconceptions/wrong expectations customers have?

People go for very traditional cakes. Don’t! Cakes can be awesome. People still talk to me about our wedding cake which I made almost three years ago! No one remembers the all-white Marks and Spencer cake a colleague had. If you’re not interested in the cake, that might be enough – but really, cakes can be customised, fit with your dress, stationery, theme, colours…

Any suggestions for brides-to-be?

Find someone whose style you love. Don’t choose someone because they’re cheap. Be yourself. Don’t ask someone to copy someone else’s design or cake. Date to be different!

Are you looking for more wedding planning tips? Feel free to browse my posts with useful tips and join my Facebook group for ‘Unconventional Brides & Grooms’.

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