Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Cheshire & Merseyside 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. There are so many delicious wedding cake flavours available now, that it's hard to choose! Which would you recommend for our winter wedding?
A. Nicola Thomas says: The colder months are the perfect time to enjoy something a little richer and more decadent than you'd perhaps choose during the summer. One of my most popular winter flavours is sticky toffee pudding, a rich and sticky sponge, sweet with brown sugar and Medjool dates, layered with a homemade sticky toffee sauce and a deliciously smooth vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream. The best bit is, I can also provide extra jugs of sticky toffee sauce to be heated and served alongside – the perfect winter warming sweet treat!
If you want something that captures the spices associated with the wintertime, then how about a carrot cake? Full of cinnamon, ginger and cloves, it's packed full of crunchy walnuts and layered with a deliciously zesty orange buttercream for a real taste of the season.
Nicola Thomas,Boutique Bakery
Q. We're looking for a winter-wedding showstopper of a big-day bake. What can you suggest?
A. Sarah Yearsley says: Winter can be such a magical time of the year for a wedding, especially around Christmas. When it comes to designing a showstopper wedding cake there's so much inspiration to draw on during this time of the year! I tend to think of the colours and textures used for decorating Christmas trees. Gone are the days of clashing baubles, tinsel and novelty decorations. I'm thinking deep reds and greens with berries and gold, jewel tones with gold leaf, or silver with frosty white and glitter.
I made a wedding cake last year that would fit in perfectly with a white winter wonderland theme. This cake had tiers of varying textures, using icing-like material, pearls and silver lustres to add a sheen, all finished off with a ruffle ball on the top to bring more height. Another idea is to add sugar flowers, which can be made to match your bouquet and can look amazing with the addition of some berries and frosted pinecones. To personalise your cake, why not add your names or initials with a bit of metallic gold or silver?
Winter can also be reflected in the flavours you choose for your big-day bake. Rich fruit cake is an obvious one, but think of indulgent desserts like sticky toffee pudding or chocolate orange brownie.
Sarah Yearsley,Cheshire Wedding Cakes
Q. We both have a sweet tooth, but aren't fans of traditional wedding cake. What can you suggest as an alternative?
A. Nicola Thomas says: A macaron tower is the perfect alternative to a traditional wedding cake, providing an unusual and beautiful centrepiece. You can choose to have your macarons all one colour, include hand-painted details, or even opt for a multi-shade ombré effect running up the height of the tower. As each one is no more than a mouthful or two, why not play around with the flavours too - they can all be the same or you can decide between a wide variety of tastes, such as salted caramel, raspberry, pistachio, coffee, vanilla, chocolate or honey – there are so many possibilities!
If you'd still like to include a traditional element to your tower, why not top it with an iced cake? Not only does it give you the opportunity for fabulous cake cutting photographs, but you also get the best of both worlds. If you'd like to add a little more decoration, they can look fabulous festooned with fresh flowers, or equally stunning topped with a single statement sugar bloom.
Nicola Thomas,Boutique Bakery
Q. How can we personalise our big-day bake to bring our story to life and highlight the romance?
A. Lindsay Albon says: In years gone by, the most popular way of personalising a wedding cake was by adding a replica bride and groom topper. Many couples still choose to do this, but with new and creative twists. We've seen everything from crotched Mr and Mrs dolls to little peg people and mini Lego figures.
There are many alternatives to making your cake truly yours. Bringing in the theme of your day is a real showstopping way to do this. For example, match lace elements from the dress or incorporate features of the table settings. You could even colour coordinate the bake's embellishments, and replicate your flowers either in sugar or as real blooms. We're seeing more couples opting for their initials in a monogram feature, which is often designed to reflect the wedding invitations or place names.
Your big-day bake is a blank canvas, and can become a real statement piece. It's an edible piece of art that brings the whole wedding to life.
Q. How do I incorporate my vibrant colour scheme into my cake design?
A. Katy Quinn says: So, you're not a pastel kind of couple? No worries, the cake doesn't have to be something you buy because you think you need one or because of the photo opportunity it presents. Practically anything goes with wedding cakes, they can be a real expression of who you are and your journey as a couple. I had a couple recently that came in for something plain and by the end of the consultation we had a life-sized Hedwig owl sitting atop their cake!
It's very common to choose colours that run throughout your day from the invitations to bridesmaids' dresses and table dressings. Don't forget the cake is something else you can use to highlight your colour palette. Vibrant hues can be hand-painted on to your cake or included in a floral arrangement. It's possible that you might want to remember a loved one who can't be there on your big day, but their favourite colour was yellow. In this case a nice bright sunflower is a winner.
Sitting down with your cake designer is an absolute must, and don't forget, we're creative folk and love a challenge!
Katy Quinn,Quinn Cakes