2. Know Your Venue
This is the second post in the series in When To Order The Wedding Cake? 5 Things You Need To Know First!
The first was Know Your Wedding Date.
To choose the right wedding cake, we have a few tips you should be aware of when choosing a wedding venue. These will give you an idea about the size and where you are going to have the wedding cake set up.
Why Is The Venue Important… For Your Cake?
It’s because, for your cake height to match your venue space, you need to know where you are having the wedding reception.Cake at Vic Falls
If it’s small and cosy – you won’t need a massive multi-layer cake.
And the reverse is true too. A small cake would be lost in a huge ballroom type venue.
Okay, so you might be thinking – yeah, that’s obvious… But, believe me – there are many who don’t even give this a thought. One would think that is because it’s a larger space – the cake would have to be bigger so that it can feed all the guests.
But with “kitchen cake” (will talk about this in another post) many brides choose a small cake and lots of kitchen cake.
The result is an imbalance.
Need An Example To Show Why You Should Have A Cake To Match Your Venue?
I had to set up a cake once in a HUGE hotel conference room. The cake table was tiny! The cake was only two tiers, there was no cake stand and there was no other decorations in the area at all!!! (I was not prepared to decorate the table – only to set up.)
The cake was so lost in this environment, perhaps the only thing that saved the day – was that the cake was in a deep teal and white. So it sparked a bit of interest from across the room.
But that was an interesting learning curve for me as a cake decorator. Now, I quiz the bride about the reception space before finalising an order so that it doesn’t happen again.
Tip – Let your cake decorator know where your reception will be.
Let’s look at a few other details about your venue that would be a huge deal breaker to your cake decorator and your cake…
“If you are going to have a cake – do it well. You don’t have to go super fancy – you just need to create the right balance.”Cake at Vic Falls
Where Is The Reception Being Held?
What could go wrong? And what should you be aware of… (please excuse the doom and gloom, remember, forewarned is forearmed!)
Some hotel rooms only have air-con to cool the room down – no windows. This is fine, but when are they going to put the air-con on?
I had a set up once in a closed room and it was as hot, if not hotter than it was outside – their policy was to only switch on the air-con an hour before the reception. The caterer had wanted the cake 3 hours before – had this been a buttercream cake – it would have looked awful after sitting all those hours in a hot room. And, if there had been fresh flowers on the cake – they would have wilted.
It’s true, they could put it in the fridge – but then – who will be responsible for the set up of the cake and what if anything went wrong?
Note: If you are having buttercream or fresh flowers on your cake and are using an indoor room with no natural window openings or the weather in your area is particularly hot – ensure the room will be cooled well in advance.
Otherwise, have your cake delivered just an hour before, so that set up will go smoothly.
Tip – discuss the care of your wedding cake with your wedding planner and cake decorator.
Why this is important?
The wedding cake is probably the next most photographed after the bride and groom.
Things To Ensure About The Cake Table Set Up
•Know where in your venue you are setting up the cake – it should be in a safe position
•The cake is the main feature at the reception, so check that it is “in the spotlight” without attention competing items in the immediate area or nasty background items
•Wherever you place it – it needs to be clearly seen by all
•You want to be able to actually see the cake and take reasonably good photos – it must be well lit
Tip – discuss the placement of your wedding cake with your wedding planner and cake decorator.
Out Door Weddings
While the same principles above apply, outdoor
weddings have their own challenges…
Insects love cake!
Especially bees and flies – and in some places ants 😊. Just be careful about fly-swatting around the cake! I had a photoshoot and only later saw that a fly was sitting on my cake the whole time!!! grrrr…
Bees aren’t as common, but I have had a few round a cake, they went away eventually and the only worry I had was – what if anyone was allergic to bees.
A few reasons to put your cake under some form of shelter…
• The Sun – it’s is not a friend of cake – it melts the icing and wilts fresh flowers
• The Wind – it can blow the decorations off your cake or table setting, stir up dust, leaves and twigs which could stick into the icing and decorations. It can be the ruin of a beautiful cake design when these bits are later removed from the icing.
• The Rain – it can ruin a cake with the first few drops. Water and fondant icing – are enemies… no quick fix here.
• The Rain and Wind – you should have had an indoor reception – lots of things not just the cake, get ruined in this scenario…
• Someone may need to guard the cake for some reason – shelter would make it more comfortable
Need an example To Show Why You Need To Think About The Weather?
I had a wedding cake set up along a riverfront. Within the hour I was there setting up the cake – it was sunny, windy, raining heavily and then still and humid… And during this time, I also had a monkey, steal two of my individual guest cakes!
I was so grateful for the tent provided for the cake – it was also for the dinner buffet. Without that – I would have been a sad, wet cake decorator and the bride would have been devastated! The cake was important to her!
I didn’t notice the monkey take the first cake but spied him the second time. Cheeky little thing!
My son was on guard after that – he sat on a chair under the tent and watched the tables, while I had my back turned and was attending to the main cake set up – mopping up drops and puddles on the table from the sudden downpour.
In this case, chairs had all been set up outside for the ceremony (very romantic by the waters edge) and all the material chair covers had to be replaced with fresh dry ones. The outer roof decorations on the tent also had to be removed and new ones rehung.
How fortunate all these were at hand!
Apart from moving the cake table in a bit and ensuring that the tent wasn’t leaking – the cake was safe.
We had a feeling it would rain – but it was so iffy.
Note: Don’t take chances – it can cause so much stress and potential ruin.
A covering of some kind would actually save you money. (The bride was charged for the extra linen covers and decorations.)
On the Big Day, the bride is not going to be asked what to do about all these details – others are going to be sorting any crises that come up.
So this is why, making good Venue decisions in the very beginning, can save potential ruin and avoidable stress for others later on.
Key Take Away
• know what space your cake will be displayed in
• aim to match this by size and height
• be aware of what could happen in both outdoor and indoor cake settings and prepare accordingly
Are you a travel bride? If so, you should consider choosing a wedding venue in the Victoria Falls Zimbabwe. Getting married to the one you love on the banks of the Zambezi River with the setting sun reflecting on the water, is a romantic venue that is hard to beat. There are wedding event planners here, who do an amazing job of organising weddings. I work with them regularly and can see that making your wedding a success is at the heart of their business.