The wedding cake is a big part of the wedding plans and, for a smaller wedding, you might be unsure about what you need. So this week we’ve found an expert to help you through the sometimes daunting prospect of choosing the type/design/even size of cake.
I hope you enjoy this week’s interview column with Janice Cowie. She’s a highly experienced wedding cake confectioner and here’s what she had to say to FortyPlusWeddings…
Why Did You Decide On A Career As A Wedding Cake Confectioner?
I’ve always been creative, and developed an interest in sugar-craft as a child. On leaving school (some 30 years ago now) I was really fortunate to be offered a placement as a trainee confectioner. I’ve worked in this field every since, acquiring and perfecting the skills I have today. I absolutely love my work, advising and designing wedding cakes for brides. The best bit is when I can work on an original design of my own, creating something unique for a couple’s personal taste.
So, Who And What Is Home Bakery Buckie, And Where Can We Find You?
Home Bakery Buckie is a well-established family business found on the beautiful Moray coast of Scotland. The company has been in business for over 54 years now, covering the local area and further afield, and we’re very well-known for our home brand specialities.
What’s The Most Challenging Wedding Cake You’ve Created And How Did You Cope?
One of my brides once asked for a 3-tier sphere-shaped cake with filigree figurines attached to the sides. The shape and detail involved was a real challenge – it was so intricate. But the results were stunning, and when everyone compliments the cake it’s worth all the effort that goes into making it just perfect. Seeing the bride’s smile when you’ve produced exactly what she wants is a great feeling.
Can You Offer A Wedding Cake That’s Different or Unique?
I’m always looking for new and more unusual cake designs. I love a challenge, so I’m really happy to try any design that a bride wants. We have an extensive company portfolio to browse through, but brides aren’t just restricted to what they see there. I’ve found that major events like the Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for instance, might prompt an increase in requests for Lily of the Valley designs, or someone’s profession may be of high significance to the design. I’ll work with someone’s ideas to make the cake personal to them, as well as beautiful.
I can offer the bride and groom the uniqueness of having their own stamp on the cake, for example, copying some part of the wedding invitation perhaps, or entwining the bride and groom’s initials. Fashions come and go, and it’s always exciting to try new styles and techniques. You never stop learning in this trade.
As a company, we also pride ourselves on taking sole responsibility for the setting up process of the cake at the reception, with added attention to detail such as providing the cake stand if required. We find it just gives the bride one less thing to worry about and that’s always appreciated. I also like to send a photo of the finished cake to the bride a few days before the wedding – it’s just a nice touch so that the couple can see their finished design.
What Advice Can You Give A Bride On the Perfect Wedding Cake?
I’ve had over 30 years’ experience of cake confectionery, and can’t count the number of wedding cakes I’ve made! That means I’ve got the experience needed to make a pretty good judgement on how a particular design will work on the size of cake someone wants. I’ve designed cakes from single tier to 4-tier and each one has its own characteristics to consider when advising brides on their choice of design.
Once I know how many guests we need to cater for, I can help with things like:
a) the size of cake needed (how many tiers we would need);
b) the type of cake (eg. fruit/sponge/chocolate/lemon/carrot, even toffee – or variations of these) and;
Many Of Us Get Married In The 40+ Age Group. Have You Dealt With Brides Of All Ages?
Goodness yes, from 17 to 70! Actually my most mature bride was a fabulous 73 year of age. I’ve certainly noticed more people getting married in the 30-40 plus age bracket nowadays, more so than when I first started out in the wedding confectionery business, whether that’s a first or second marriage.
What Happens In An Emergency – Who Will Create My Wedding Cake?
I’m glad you asked this question because it’s really important, and many brides perhaps haven’t considered what they’d do in this situation. You should always check with your wedding service providers that delivery is guaranteed.
It’s never happened yet for me, but with something this important you need to be prepared for any eventuality. I have an excellent assistant who has worked with me for the past 8 years and she’s very capable of stepping in. She knows my work very well and can take over at a moment’s notice.
What Do You Think About The FortyPlusWeddings Blogsite?
For brides over 40, I should think it’s quite difficult to find things that you feel are suited to your tastes, as much of the wedding market is aimed at the 20-somethings. A dedicated website for such a niche market is a great idea and I’ll be sure to direct my 40 plus brides to it. I can see how someone who wants a small wedding can save precious ‘school run’ time by having lots of relevant information in the one place.
What Are Your Contact Details If Someone Wants To Get In Touch?
I’m happy to have a personal chat and can be contacted via our website where you’ll find the telephone number.