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Inspiration for your wedding cake

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Updated Sat, September 4th 2010 at 00:00 GMT +3

Esther Muchene

Did someone say cake? Yes. This is the first thing your guests see when they walk in and maybe the reason why they stay over the long and sometimes boring reception. It is funny how some will not even move a muscle until they finally get a piece and after that they act like the wedding is over.

The wedding cake is the main centrepiece and just as everything else, it should have a character of its own to make it stand out and carry on the theme.

Early booking

Once you have set the wedding date start looking for a cake vendor or baker.

"It is advisable to book five months prior as this allows good planning and sourcing for the right accessories. If that is not possible, then six weeks is sufficient for a standard decoration," advises Liz Irungu of Cake Art.

This is especially necessary if you want a rich fruit cake, which will have to be soaked in rum and needs more time to mature.

When it comes to cost, a good wedding cake should cost between Sh30,000 to Sh50,000 depending on the number of guests and the intricacy of the design.

Have an idea of the kind of cake you want when visiting the cake vendor to save on time and to help you get a price quotation as soon as possible.

Have all your facts with you including the expected number of guests, colour scheme and theme.

Although the fruit cake is common in most weddings, one can always seek other alternatives. According to Naomi Bunyi of Muthoni’s Oven, the latest trend is to have different flavours stacked on each other.

Chocolate cakes are also becoming a hit. Be adventurous with flavours but in consultation with your cake vendor.

When looking for a baker, settle for one who will offer a comprehensive package. Liz mentions that it is advisable to let the supplier handle everything, including transporting the cake to the venue as it saves you much headache and makes the vendor accountable should there be any damages.

Some of the other services offered by cake vendors include a free bottle of sparkling wine or sparkling juice, a special knife for cutting the cake, forks, plates and a free anniversary cake. Naomi says she, for example, also complements a decorated cake table with suitable matching net fabric according to the colour scheme.

Be experimental

As for the payments, most vendors will request for a 50 to 75 per cent deposit with the balance being paid one to two weeks before the wedding depending on the service provider and the contract. Use the Internet and other people’s weddings as a source of ideas on the cake to have.

Alternatively, borrow ideas from your wedding gown or even accessories. For example, one can have a bow or sash incorporated between the tiers, pearls and beads detail or a floral headband that replicate the flowers.

The venue or menu can also help you with ideas. For example, should your menu be predominantly African, you may consider having an African inspired cake.

Finally, do not be restricted to having the same types of cakes we see at every wedding. Think outside the box; for example, have the tiers in different flavours and in square or hexagonal shapes instead of the usual round shape.

Or, why not get rid of the single cake and have a trio of smaller or miniature cakes for every table, which can be part of the centrepiece. Alternatively have cup cakes besides the main cake.

The writer is a certified wedding planner.

[email protected]

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