This was a fantastic experience for me as I had not attempted a structure like this before. It required a lot of forward planning as well as working closely with the bride, wedding planners and event organisers at the London Royal Exchange.
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First off, I had to do a set of drawings to present the lovely the bride-to-be. Once the drawings were signed off, I was ready to get started. The wedding was for 300 guests; the theme, “Enchanted Forest”. Both the bride and groom are keen Scuba divers and have a love for dolphins; a merge of these 2 elements was how the design was done. Sea World meets Fantasy. The Groom has a love of dragons, hence that addition too. The colour palette I was given was blues, pinks and purples.
These were rich, boozy fruit cakes that had been left to mature for 3 months. They were then covered in marzipan and royal iced. Only 2 of the cakes were part of the actual cake as dummies were used in assembly to keep the weight to a minimum, thus avoiding the risk of anything going wrong or the structure collapsing. The other cakes were delivered to the caterers kitchen as cutting cakes, all royal iced. These were used to palce into cake pouches and added to the favour boxes for the guests.
These are all hand made in sugar paste and coloured with edible colours. I made my own moulds from shells I picked up off the coast of Dorset in the UK. In the end, over 400 shells in total of varying designs, shapes and sizes were made.
The dolphins, scuba divers, turtle and octopus were all hand modelled in pastillage and coloured afterwards. The coral I made with royal icing, left to dry and carefully assembled at the wedding venue.
It was specified that the bride and groom would like to see themselves in 4 different scenarios from the bottom up. It was expressed they wanted them to be quite cute, so I modelled the characters with a fun element to them. I linked their personalities and activities from scuba diving, cooking, triathlon training and reading and love of outdoors. These were all handmade made from pastillage and coloured in edible colours. I then designed the bride and groom in as near to what they were wearing on the day.
This was made using a polystyrene inner and then built up with pastillage and sculpted to look like a trunk with roots and branches. I coloured up in edible colours. There are additional branches made separately along with individual leaves made and coloured, which later were built up onto the trunk and upper cake on assembly.
This was such fun to make, but took some working out to do as it has to fit around the tree. This is also hand-made from pastillage and sculpted in pieces which were all joined up. The finer details like scales and spikey bits were added later at venue on assembling the cake. I also used royal icing in places to paint in some detail.
This was made from pastillage and the brickwork was hand cut. The pointed roofs on turrets were hand modelled and I used royal icing to add detail to them in stages and left to dry and then assembled. I then coloured it up in soft blues and greys and pinks.
I did an assortment of butterflies in different shapes and sizes to add to the enchantment part of cake. All of these with two techniques in royal icing; flood icing and filigree.
The cake was transported in 3 sections and then put together at the venue once the table was set up. This took 6-7 hours as a lot of the work on the cake could only be done once the cakes were in a stationery position.
“Cake was AMAZING !!!! Thanks so much. We had non-stop compliments throughout the evening and multiple flash bulbs when guests first entered the venue. Best of all however was the taste. Our cake went down a treat at the brunch on Sunday morning. If you ever need a reference or I can help in any way please let me know. You’ll certainly be hearing from us next time we need a cake. Thanks a million.”