Love is Sweet
Let them eat Cake
Do. Please. Even if you don’t like sweet things, there’s nothing that makes your heart sink more at a wedding than when you hear there’s no cake. Well ok, maybe if the Bride or Groom got cold feet and ran for the hills then that may have you reaching for the tissues faster but in my experience to date I never saw it happen so having no cake is top of my list.
Actually no, having a cake and NOT CUTTING IT is top of the list. It happens, a lot. Try not to do that to your biggest fans.
A lot of people don’t want one because the wedding cakes they remember are marzipan and white icing creations. Cakes these days are nothing like the fruitcakes of old, there are very very talented cake designers here in the Algarve, and the flavours they can do for you now are mouth watering, white chocolate and raspberry, salted caramel, amaretto and baileys, are you really going to say no to that?
Now for my top tip regarding these fragile tiered creations of loveliness. Do not let anyone near that cake, unless they are the creators of that cake, or they are part of the venue team and regularly carry the things.
If you’re at the Sao Rafael Atlantico you have no need to fear, numerous times I’ve seen the chef jog across the gardens at top speed, cake in arms, with not even one little drop of sweat on his brow.
There’s a reason I’m stressing this point to you. Here it is, my not so little secret, the biggest disaster in my wedding career to date…I dropped a cake. Well not exactly dropped, but I was responsible for some serious smooshing. The cake stand holding the beautiful three tier cake was sat on top of a wedding menu, my styling OCD took full control of my mind and all common sense momentarily went offline and I lifted the corner of the cake stand to move the menu. Seriously. I was that stupid. The cake fell backwards onto the wall, my reflex immediately woke so I caught it before too much damage was done and set it upright. I was so very very lucky that it was a semi naked cake with foliage, so I was able to artistically hide the smooshing with greenery. Thank you universe. Jane never, ever let me near a wedding cake again.
Of course one more reason to get a cake is for that photographic opportunity of smashing the first piece into each others faces. One of my favourite ever wedding memories, was at the end of a wedding in the early hours of the following morning when I was ushering guests towards the coaches. I turned around to my beautiful bride who was, very merry by that point, just as she decided to have her very own cake smash moment and head butted the remains of the wedding cake, like a rock and roll queen. Always and forever one of my favourite brides, not every girl could still look drop dead gorgeous with a head full of buttercream.
The photo opportunity does also work with a pastel de nata tower, as these two beauties above demonstrated, yes we approve the pastel de nata’s!! If you’re not familiar with the Portuguese delicacy get those priorities in order and get to the closest padaria when you’re here.
Another tip which might seem a little obvious, if it’s a DIY wedding then make sure the cake doesn’t go outside too early, yes it might look nice on display but you don’t want that heat to mess with that dairy and have all your guests fighting to get into the nearest bathroom. Also do make sure there’s a cake knife there the second the cake comes out, at one wedding there was perhaps a five minute gap in which the cake was brought out and the staff went to get the knife and plates. Those partygoers were like animals they actually clawed and pawed at it with their hands, alcohol and sunshine can make people a little loopy so be prepared for anything!
Another tip if you’re tight on budget but love the look of a tall cake, is to have some fake layers. Your cake decorator will tell you exactly what these are made up of, something like polystyrene, then are decorated in the same way so nobody knows the difference. Just be sure you’re certain of which tier is the fake one before you push that knife in, cutting through it and faking deliciousness while chewing on that could get awkward.
Speaking of awkward, do you want to know our most awkward cake cutting moment of all time? Oh I shall share…All was well, love was well and truly in the air, the cake was ready to cut, the crowd were gathered. You may be aware that at that moment you tend to have a romantic song playing in the background to set the mood. This particular couple had told us to make the call and play any romantic song at all, so we asked the DJ to play quite a well known one that’s often played on the wedding circuit. In the words of Vivian in Pretty Woman it was a big mistake. Big! Huge!! We were not to know, but apparently it was the favourite song the groom shared with his ex girlfriend, and not the lovely lady he had just married. Never have we been so scared of a woman holding a knife, or more thankful for the huge table that was between her and us.
If you are working with Wedding Planners please don’t presume they’re psychic, and don’t stab them with a cake knife they bring quite a lot of work our way.
If you’re visiting prior to the big day then do get a cake tasting booked, definitely one of the best parts of the planning process you’d be crazy to miss that off your appointment list!