Some couples go all out buying or renting elaborate cake stands, which are pretty, but not really necessary. Besides, most bakers will provide a decorated base board you can place right on the table. Once you have your cake display, focus on adding to the space around it—choose a fun linen from home, lush greenery, old family wedding photos, candles or flowers to bring some life to the table.
My boyfriend and I are actually thinking of customising an M&S cake for our wedding cake – the plan is to make fondant icing safari animals to place around the sides and then we have Ryu and Chun-Li figurines (from the Street Fighter computer game) to put on top to hopefully make it look a bit like a stage of the computer game. It’s not really part of a theme as such, just something that we both happen to love!
While the seedheads are drying you can start work on the stamens. These tend to come in bunches of around 100. Divide these into smaller groups of about ten. Take one group, make sure the heads are roughly level, and brush the middle and up to a centimetre from each end with edible glues Squeeze the stamen threads together to bind them, and let dry. Do this with each small group.
The tiers should reflect the number of guests you would like to feed, as well as personal preference. This is another of the often overlooked hidden costs attached to a bigger guest list. Expect to pay more not just for your venue hire and wedding breakfast themselves, but also for larger cakes, more table centres and additional bottles of wine too.
If you choose to make your own cake, allow yourself some extra time and manage expectations: you (or your bridesmaids) are likely not going to be able to craft a fondant-covered confection worthy of a magazine spread. Simple, rustic decorations are more achievable. You'll also want to plan your calendar accordingly. Take time to make a test cake and keep careful notes.
Once cooked, leave the cake to cool in the tin. When cool, remove from the tin and place on some baking parchment. Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of brandy (or your other chosen liquor) over the cake and wrap it up tightly in parchment and clingfilm or foil. Every few days unwrap the cake to feed it with another spoonful of liquor, then wrap it back up and return to a safe, temperate storage space.