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. We love the idea of a wedding cake as a showstopping centrepiece, but neither of us are keen on sponge. Is there an alternative?
A. Nicola Thomas says: Why not try a different filling? You could always take the more traditional route with a fruit cake, rich with spices and bursting with flavour. Or follow the lead of one of my couples who'll be celebrating with an Irish chocolate biscuit cake in honour of the bride's heritage. Based on the classic chocolate tiffin, the cake is iced and could be used as a single tier of your design or for the whole cake.
Alternatively, you could consider a twist on tradition and opt for a macaron tower, providing an unusual and beautiful centrepiece with the opportunity to incorporate a combination of different flavours such as salted caramel, raspberry, pistachio, coffee, vanilla, chocolate or honey. There are so many possibilities! 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.
Nicola Thomas,Boutqiue Bakery
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.