Thinking outside the (cake) box

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Helen Thacker from Cottonwood Bakery talks us through thinking outside the box when it comes to choosing your wedding cake. Based in Leicester, her designs have been featured in Vogue and Perfect Wedding Magazine. She is also one of Rock My Wedding's handpicked suppliers.

So you said yes! Congratulations! I’m sure it was a perfect moment, under starry skies and a beautiful moon. Your heart pounding, while the world spun around you when you realised that he (or she) was about to ask that question.  

So the proposal might not have looked like a scene from your favourite rom-com but now you feel the excitement and pressure to put together a wedding that is just as spectacular.  Or at the very least, unique and unlike the other four weddings you’ll be invited to this year. The volumes of information out there can be quite overwhelming.  Your coffee table, bedside table and all other tables are buckling under the weight of magazines and postcards you’ve collected at wedding fairs.  And let’s not count the hours lost on Pinterest searching for something that is right for you and any other members of the wedding party you have to please.  Your other half probably can’t deal with any more wedding talk and comparisons with Sophie’s wedding last year, even though coming down the aisle on a flying unicorn was quite impressive.  In all, it can be a challenge.

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However, sorting out your wedding cake  is the tastiest part of your planning. Social media is a fantastic resource for putting together some initial ideas. In fact, I always ask couples to send me just a handful of photos before their design meeting, so that I have a starting point.  But I absolutely love to take your ideas, show you some other styles that you might not have considered, then create a cake design that incorporates your personality and is just for you.  Like all cake designers, I am inspired by amazing artists around the world, but I never reproduce a copy-cat cake.  Finding something that suits you and your wedding means working with a designer who can get to you know you a little, and who gets you to think outside the box.

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A unique cake does not have to mean something over-complicated.  In fact, my designs pictured here are simple and modern, which is my signature style.  I like to think of your cake as the centrepiece of the reception and it will stand out just for being a little different. I often get asked to make berry-covered naked cakes and, whilst these are beautiful, I try to offer ideas that meet that challenge of being unique to you.  The cakes here include marbled fondant, textured effects, edible gold, silk ribbon and interesting colours. 

So if you’re looking for wedding cake inspiration, have a think about some different cake styles before you add this magazine to that mountain of wedding info!  Good luck and enjoy all your planning!

You can see more of Helen’s work on or visit her Instagram @cottonwoodbakery