How to style a cake table of dreams!
Updated: Jun 7, 2020
If it's one thing we like doing here at The Rustic Wedding Company, it's creating wedding cake table displays to blow your socks off! (As seen here at Mythe Barn Wedding Venue in Leicestershire last year!)
We believe so strongly that having an over the top cake display is hugely important - especially if you are one of these super cool brides who is looking for a Pinterest-esque wedding or are one of those extroverts who is secretly hoping your guests will want to get a bit instagram happy to show off your wedding!
We do hear from some couples sometimes who feel like they don't really need a big display for their cake because the cake itself is beautiful on its own - I mean, I totally understand where these guys are coming from and know that there are some incredible cake designers out there... However, just have a little think about how long it has taken your cake maker to design, bake and decorate your cake... and think a bit about how much the cake has actually cost you... do you really just want to plonk it onto a plain and boring table in the corner of the venue for nobody to see and admire? No of course you don't! You want everyone to be looking at it and taking pictures of it!
You want to be making a statement with your cake table!
You really should be adding decorative items that complement the cake and that work cohesively with the rest of the wedding venue styling. You should be creating a whole area to show off your cake and be thinking outside the box - There really is absolutely no need to stick to the small round cake table that your venue provides just because they have told you that that's what other couples do!
If you aren't quite sure where to start, take a look at these three cake displays below that we have recently created for published shoots. Each one is slightly different but each one has got some very important elements to the design that make them work so beautifully. (and by the way, just because these displays were created for published magazines & blogs, really doesn't mean that you can't achieve something like this on your own wedding day.)
1. think about colour scheme
Make sure you pick a colour scheme for your cake table or display and stick to it. Each one of these displays above is using a very focused colour palette. Each one is totally different in terms of design and yet all of them certainly make a statement on their own.
The totally rustic display with the barrel on the left is following a neutral colour palette using mixed wood textures, greys, golds, whites and greens and the table in the centre is using a much brighter selection of colours. It has white as its main colour but also incorporates a mixture of colours that complement each other. And the final cake table on the right sticks to a simple copper, ivory and green theme to follow a bohemian vibe.
You don't want to be using an array of colours that don't work well together. Think really carefully about the colour of your cake, the venue itself and the main colour of your wedding (i.e. bridesmaid dress colour!) Pop over to your local hardware store (where they sell paint) and grab some colour swatches!
2. Use different height cake stands
In order to create a display that really draws in your audience, you need to be thinking about using a selection of different height plates and cake stands in a variety of colours to match your colour palette.
If you have got a variety of different flavoured cakes, which lots of you are opting to do these days, instead of having one big cake; then choose the one which you think should be your main focal point cake. Put this in the centre of your table and on the highest cake stand available. Add more foliage or flowers to this cake and try to make it stand out from the rest. Add smaller cake stands on each side of the main focal cake and try to create a pyramid shaped design.
Top Tip:You don't always have to use cake stands! Try small crates, glass plates or even chopping boards to create interest!
3. try to include sweet treats
An interesting cake display is not just about cake. Try to incorporate some sweet treats into the design. I am not talking about adding sweeties from your local newsagents here, I am talking about beautiful hand made sweet treats and deserts make by your cake maker. If you haven't got any of these booked or can't see the option for this on your cake makers website then just ask them! These guys are total baking enthusiasts and absolutely love making things that are slightly different to your average wedding cake. Tell them your colour scheme and send over some inspo pics you can find on Pinterest and give them free reign to create something interesting and bespoke. I promise you they'll love you for it!
Natasha from The Sweet Stuff in Nottingham, (who is regularly featured on the likes of Rock My Wedding might I add), prizes herself on making modern and cool wedding cakes and sweet treats. She says...
" Working your own favourite flavours into your cake or cake table is really important and makes for a memorable day. By adding your favourite sweet treat, it will make your cake table different from the rest. Maybe cake isn't your thing and you'd prefer a macaron tower or a croquembouche? Or maybe you love cheese and would prefer something savoury? There are wedding professionals who can provide all of these! "
You can find some amazing sweet treats & cake display inspo pics on our Pinterest board here. (There are currently 145 different tables to look at on there so do take a look if you get time!)
4. create a fabulous backdrop
The backdrop behind the cake is hugely important! It is what set's the tone for the cake area and helps it to stand out from the rest of the venue and not blend into the background. (especially important if your venue has got fussy wallpaper or a brightly coloured wall behind the table).
When we designed the boho inspired cake table we really thought about what was going to be behind it. We knew the cake that was going to be a semi-naked white cake and we wanted to create something behind it to make it stand out and not blend into the background. We hung a large macrame wall hanging with a tapered edge by Clove & Hitch on a sturdy frame and added some large laser cut 'cake' signage in a gorgeous modern calligraphy font on top of it. We chucked in some boho elements in the form of dreamcatchers and feathers to match the wedding breakfast table centrepieces and added some textured foliage to create even more drama.
We knew from the planning stage that the white of the macrame would really help the copper cake stand and signage to 'pop' against the venue background.
5. use candles wherever you can
I am a little bit obsessed with candles and like to include them in all of my wedding styling plans. They just create such a beautiful ambient atmosphere unlike no other form of decoration.
Try to stick to the rule of three and use a selection of three candles at different heights together wherever possible. It is no accident that this number of items works well together and is a well proven fact. It creates more interest than just one and is more satisfying to look at than two. If you can't do three candles then two candles will work given that the other decorations are on point. Make sure that one of them is taller than the other and try not to put two identical candles next to each other.
If your venue doesn't allow open flame candles then choose different sized lanterns or interesting tealights holders instead.
6. add Flowers and foliage
Flowers and foliage really help to make your cake display look pretty. They help to fill up the space around the cake quite nicely and can even add a refreshing aroma to the display.
Don't feel like you have to put a selection of long stems in a simple vase though, get creative with your designs!
Here we have used an old drawer unit to house some foliage and a pink rose and it works so well.
And that's it really!
We hope that has given you a bit of an insight into how we create our show-stopping cake table displays and has given you a bit of inspiration to create you own.
If you have any questions about colour schemes, layouts or prop hire for your cake table then do not hesitate to get in touch. We'd be more than happy to help!
Cake makers & designers - do feel free to share this post with your clients and get them thinking about creating a fabulous display for your hard work that you can show off on your website!
The Rustic Wedding Co. Team