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7 Tips When Choosing A Wedding Cake With Expert Cake Baker Jasmine Rae

“Play is the free spirit of exploration- doing and being for its own pure joy.”    
-Stephen Nachmanovitch

Jasmine Rae was born sensitive and playful in San Francisco in 1981. After a formal art background, a mural-painting business, and a B.A. in Cognitive Science, she started my cake studio in 2006, then concurrently returned to school for a M.A. in Psychology. She states that studying phycology influences the creative process both in making cakes and working with real people. She states that ‘the cornerstone of my work is the natural process—relying on experienced skills to set up my materials and revel in their surprise; to surrender to the contortion of a rice paper petal as it dries; and constantly be responding to the cake as it forms. I hold you in mind, replaying the parts of myself that overlap with you, your vision, your celebration, until we have an outcome that is personal and authentic and that she ‘believes art should reveal the hand of the artist.’

Jasmine Shares her top tips when choosing a wedding cake. 

A couple should start to look for cakes and book it in. .  asap. For example: by January of 2019, I was 80% booked for the rest of 2019. But it depends wildly on your area, cake-maker, and time of year.

When selecting a particular cake. .  I focus less on “Style” and more on evoking a feeling. I want to hear about the couple’s vision for their wedding, the styles THEY think will be referring to, but I’m more interested in aligning the cake design with my sense of who the couple is, then incorporating stylistic details.

 

It isn’t necessary to book in a tasting. . but I do so love designing with, and in the presence of, my clients. Sometimes I never even get to meet my clients, so in those cases the designs are based purely on aesthetic and the ‘feel’ as interpreted by the planner/designer. I also love to watch people experience novel flavour combinations for the first time. Some couples care little about the taste of their cake. If the taste is really important to a client, they should make a point to do so. 

I am not an expert on the average cost of a wedding cake. .  but apparently, it’s pretty high in the San Francisco Bay Area. I don’t think there’s a predetermined amount that is right for every couple. This year, I have a couple with a very small budget, who is getting married at a small restaurant, but splurging on cake and flowers. For them, that’s what matters. And I’ve had couples who are spending 6-7 figures on their wedding, barely willing to meet my minimum, because the cake just doesn’t matter enough to them.

Having a ‘mini cake’ . . . depends on each couples’ interests, but I know that sometimes a couple may just want a little jewel of a cake, or a veritable art piece, but can’t justify or aren’t interested in something larger. For some, it’s about the rejection of being a princess, or perceived as ostentatious, so they want the cake to be more modest, still yet refined. For some, they’re more interested in using the cake as a symbol of their privacy or intimacy, so the cake may be just for them or their family. 

 

When organising the logistics of organising a wedding cake . . . I always encourage delivery. My team and I are professionals and there’s so much more that goes into the delivery process, from start to finish, than industry outsiders realise! I’ve sadly seen cakes ruined by mishandling, however well-intentioned. It’s also extremely stressful for the guest who takes on the job. I don’t refuse it as an option, and I do my best to insure their success by designing a sturdy cake and packing it well, but I definitely recommend sporting for the professional delivery and saving yourself the stress. 

I don’t find that cakes trend or are more popular at any certain time and. . .I hope cakes are considered more personal or artistic. However, an easier way to answer might be to speak to some popular techniques. Obviously, I see cakes derived from my own techniques a lot (such as rough stone, rice paper flowers, and torn paper ruffles, because I get tagged in the photos–ha!), but I can also say that I’m generally seeing more textural finishes on cakes, moving away from the smooth clean fondant of yesterday. Painterly buttercream finishes are in, cakes with sharp edges that simultaneously look more roughly handled, palette-knife techniques, with chaotic details. It’s common for cake-makers to be allowed to copy artists from other media–though I don’t generally agree with the practice, I’m happy to see people referring to more esoteric and contemporary artists…as long as they’re credited 🙂

 

 

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