Here is a selection of Q&As from Your North East 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. We're having a Christmas extravaganza wedding and want an impressive cake that will wow our guests. Do you have any ideas of how we can achieve this?
A. Graeme Venus says: Here at Sticky Sponge Cake Studio, we create many extravagant and unusual cakes that add the wow factor to any big day.
Festive-themed bakes are very popular with Christmas just around the corner. The designs can be anything from a stylish Christmas tree to snow-covered mountains. Pull together the theme, wedding decorations and colour scheme, while still adding that personal touch to make the day even more special to you both.
To create a showstopping cake, we find a non-traditional sculpted or painted cakes catch peoples' eyes and the details will get everyone talking.
Anything is possible when it comes to creating a cake that ties into your venue and a festive theme, so it's a good time of year to let your imagination run wild!
Graeme Venus, Sticky Sponge Cake Studio
Q. My wife-to-be and I love strong flavours and want something unusual for our cake. Do you have any suggestions for us?
A. Gabriella Grace Rottiers says: My most unusual flavour is spiced clementine, which was inspired by my lovely friend Suzanne at Cove Cake Design. The fruity sponge is infused with star anise plus cinnamon and it's a flavour that most people wouldn't have tried before but are pleasantly surprised when they do.
It's great to have something a bit different at your wedding rather than your standard Victoria sponge. Make sure to pick flavours that appeal to you and your partner – don't try and please everyone because it's your special day.
Some of my couples enquire about a fruit cake, even though they dislike it, to provide for their older crowd. But your loved ones will be just as happy with a delicious sponge cake, especially if it's something they haven't tried before.
Gabriella Grace Rottiers, Gabriella Grace Cakes
Ready, set, bake
Q. We're having an intimate wedding but still want a showstopping cake. How can we achieve this?
A. Graeme Venus says: When we create our cakes, people want a much taller and grander design to achieve that wow factor. However, in this case the cake would go to waste if it's only a small intimate wedding.
In these circumstances, we use dummy tiers that are made from polystyrene. This means couples don't have the extra cost or waste because they only have the amount needed.
We cover the dummy tiers the same way we do with the whole cake and use chocolate and sugar for the decorations – every couple can have the cake of their dreams this way!
Graeme Venus, Sticky Sponge Cake Studio
Tiers of joy
Q. What should we take into consideration when planning our summer wedding cake?
A. Ami Plant and Barbara Jackson says: When creating a cake for a summer wedding, you need to consider your environment. A warm day in a marquee with the cake table in direct sunlight will not suit a semi-naked or buttercream cake; they should be kept indoors in an air-conditioned room. Fondant cakes are better in warmer weather because a good quality white chocolate ganache supports them while giving neat lines and sharp edges. We increase the ratio of white chocolate in warmer weather to ensure your cake remains stable.
A reputable professional will ensure your cake not only tastes delicious but looks as good after delivery. They should know how to stack and support it properly, what flavours and designs are on-trend and what will suit your theme and venue. Make sure your cake gets pride of place and discuss with your venue in advance to make sure that the cake will be displayed beautifully. You don't want crumpled table linen, poor stands or fire extinguishers as a backdrop to ruin the lovely photos. Consider some pretty additions such as cake pops, macarons or other treats to set-up on pretty trays and boxes to give the wow factor.
Ami Plant and Barbara Jackson, Sherbert Moon Wedding Cakes
Ready, set, bake
Q. We have a tight budget for our wedding but want a tasty cake for our guests to enjoy. What advice can you share with us?
A. Helen Edwards says: With the current economic climate, budgets are going to be one of the top priorities with every part of life – not just planning a wedding. But, how can you save some pennies on your wedding cake, without cutting corners?
If you want a large cake, the first option is to opt for a naked or a semi-naked cake rather than a traditional iced one. This way you're knocking off not only the cost of the icing, but it's quicker to make and time is money.
However, if your numbers have dropped a little, or you're not particularly after a traditional bake, a cupcake wedding cake makes a great alternative. Add in a top cutting tier if the budget stretches to it. This option allows you to cater for the number of guests you have invited, and the cupcakes could even double up as your wedding favours if you supplied them in some pretty little boxes for guests. Cupcake boxes are readily available at our favourite bargain shops, and by using a feature cake stand to display the cupcakes, you can create a truly stunning display. Here at Vanilla Teas, we offer free cake stand hire, saving you even more money!
Helen Edwards, Vanilla Teas