ultimate wedding cake checklist - planning your wedding from abroad

Monday, July 01, 2013

Planning your wedding from abroad is hard work. For me, it almost became a second job. I would log out of my work computer, go home and then log back on to my ongoing wedding spreadsheet (geeky, but necessary). And surprisingly, one of the toughest tasks to organise was the wedding cake.

After several unanswered emails to various cake shops close to the location of my wedding asking what options they had, I decided on a new approach, and did what I would do at work - I wrote a Wedding Cake Brief.

The key was to be specific. Cake Designers aren't mind readers, and they especially won't be able to guess your style if they haven't met you in person, so you need to give them as many details as possible. So with that in mind I've bundled up all my learnings into a handy checklist:

Claire's ultimate wedding cake checklist

To get started your cake designer will need guidance on the following:

  1. Cake flavours you like (chocolate duh!), and the type of consistency your after. If you're having a summer wedding then you might like something light and fluffy like a sponge cake, but if you're planning on a winter or autumn wedding you might prefer a more dense cake, such as a pound, fruit or carrot cake
  2. Icing flavours and type. For example  - do you want butter cream, cream-cheese or marzipan? In vanilla, chocolate or something else more unique?
  3. Cake size. Let your cake designer know how many guests you need to feed and number of tiers you're envisioning
  4. Think about what you might want to do with any left over cake after the wedding too. We took ours to our post-wedding BBQ the next day, but you might want a cake that will freeze well so you can save the top tier for your 1-year anniversary
  5. Find lots of visual examples of things you like (rather than what you don't like) and share these with your cake designer. Pinterest is a real life saver when planning a wedding. All the photos I found and used as examples in my Wedding Cake Brief (see below) I found on Pinterest.
  6. Share details about your wedding theme, including colours and flowers too - cake designers are very creative so this helps them visulise and brainstorm with you
  7. Confirm date, address and time of your wedding as well as the time you want the cake delivered. If you're planning to pick the cake up yourself, check on the best way to transport it.

To get you started here's a few snippets from my own Wedding Cake Brief...

Claire's wedding cake brief

Cake to feed 70 people.
Preferably sponge, and light in texture.
Three tiers. 

My flavours in order of preference:
1. Vanilla and cream, with berries
2. Lemon
3. Chocolate
4. Carrot
Happy to have a mix of flavours, one for each tier.

Butter-cream frosting - vanilla.

Decorated with fresh flowers to match my bouquet and wedding colours -  Dolcetta roses, and a mix of lisianthus in Mauve, pink and white/cream.

Some cakes I like the look of:

Ultimate Wedding Cake Checklist - Panning Your Wedding Abroad
Claire likes icing - slightly rough and textured, and fresh flowers.
Joseph doesn't like the pearls though.

Ultimate Wedding Cake Checklist - Panning Your Wedding Abroad
Claire loves the uneven icing and placement of the fresh flowers. It looks so yummy!

Ultimate Wedding Cake Checklist - Panning Your Wedding Abroad
YUM!!!!  Joseph likes everything about this cake - the cream, sponge and icing.

Ultimate Wedding Cake Checklist - Panning Your Wedding Abroad
Claire likes these colours - they match quite well with the wedding theme, but not the bow or lace.

Ultimate Wedding Cake Checklist - Panning Your Wedding Abroad
Claire loves the mix of flowers - so pretty!

Ultimate Wedding Cake Checklist - Panning Your Wedding Abroad
Claire love this cake -  where the flowers are, and how it’s been iced.
Joseph likes the icing too, and these flowers aren't too bad ;p

Ultimate Wedding Cake Checklist - Panning Your Wedding Abroad
Claire likes the use of real flowers.

Ultimate Wedding Cake Checklist - Panning Your Wedding Abroad
Claire likes this because it reminds her of the cake in Japan.
Joseph thinks this cake looks cool, but maybe a bit too sweet?

Seems like a lot of pictures now - but these really helped us (or me) get the cake of my dreams. And it was delicious! In the end we had three tiers - chocolate, lemon and carrot, with vanilla butter-cream icing, and the cake was decorated with flowers to match my bouquet. I was planning to save some - but it was soo delicious that our quests gobbled the whole thing!

Our Wedding Cake
our wedding cake

Our wedding cake and us
wedding cake and us :)

If you're planning a wedding in New Zealand - close to Palmerston North, New Plymouth, Wellington or Whanganui I would highly recommend River City Cakes - Lyn did an amazing job for us.

And if you're after any more wedding inspiration do get on Pinterest - here's a link to my Wedding Inspiration Board to get you started.

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  1. What a great idea! My fiance and I are doing cupcakes and I'm trying to figure out how to dress them up a little bit!

  2. While I'm not planning internationally (go you!), I am planning from out of state. I also created a visual PDF for potential florists and bakers so they could understand our vision! I feel a little better knowing that I'm not the only one to do something that detailed! I love your cake, by the way! It's similar to what we're looking to get, too! Thanks for linking up! :)

  3. woo! beautiful cakes , I like to have in my wedding can i get the models in free wedding planner android apps

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