Supplier Series: Q&A with Luxury Cake Designer Emma Stewart
Welcome to my series of blogs seeking ideas and advice from wedding industry experts.
Emma Stewart is a luxury wedding cake designer working throughout the UK and internationally. Emma creates show-stopping, elegant cakes with a focus on flawless design, detail, and exquisite sugar work. She is a multi-international award winning wedding cake designer.
What practical information do couples need to know about working with a cake designer and what should they share with you to ensure your visons align?
The most important information to start with is guest numbers, this gives the designer an idea of the size of cake that will suit. The next would be all the inspiration images they have, ideally a vision board or folder that can give the designer a feel of the wedding style and the type of things the couple like, this can include other cake images although designers don’t like copying other designers’ work.
How would you describe your cake design process?
It’s all about making connections with my couples and creating memories that last a lifetime. The initial consultation is about getting to know my couples, their likes and dislikes, and learning all about their wedding planning and inspiration for the different elements. Their wedding cake is such an important and personal part of their wedding day, it should have them at the heart of it. Once we have an idea of the sort of styles they like and inspiration to use, I can then create some sketches to give them the visuals to help pick their favourite design. It’s not all about the aesthetic of the cake, it needs to taste as good as it looks. All my couples receive a beautifully boxed cake selection they can be enjoyed in the comfort of their own home. Ultimately, I want to build a connection with my couples that allows me to design something that is unique and resonates with them, and in the process create an experience that feels exclusive and is far more than “just cake”.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I love working closely with my couples to pull inspiration from the whole wedding. I often look at the venue style/decor as this can influence the sort of cake we go for. The wedding stationery can be a great source of inspo especially for fonts/monograms and maybe patterns. I really like being able to look at the wedding dress and bridesmaids’ dresses to see if there’s any detailing that we can pull out and incorporate, if we are going to do this it’s done away from the groom so that we don’t give anything away. I often work closely with the florists too, as my couples tend to go for sugar flowers which I always try to match as closely as possible to those in the fresh bouquet.
I do like looking on Pinterest too for inspiration, but not at cakes. I would look at colours, textures, interiors, and fashion. Looking at other cakes will make you naturally gravitate to something that has already been done before, whereas if you look outside of cake, you can get much more creative.
What is your favourite cake style, and have you noticed a current trend?
Anything elegant with sugar florals! I love a flawless finish and attention to detail. So bringing in elements of custom lace piping and monograms etc that are bespoke to my couples are something I really love, it just makes the designs so personal.
Illusion tiers are an definitely an ongoing trend for 2022. These are tiers that can look like they are floating or clear acrylic tiers, they can be very impactful and give that extra wow factor.
What would be your top piece of advice for newly engaged couples wishing to create an impact with their wedding cake(s)?
First and foremost, find the right cake designer for you, you should love their work and know that you can trust them to not only design the perfect cake for you but to actually create it too. If you trust the designer it makes the creative process flow.
How far in advance should couples enquire with you about designing their wedding cake?
If they want to have that amazing wedding cake and the exclusive experience that should go with it, then they need to be looking and booking their designer early on. Many top cake designers will only take a limited number of weddings; I typically do 20-25 in a year, working on one wedding per week maximum and I only work on these weddings (no other cakes).
What are your most popular flavours, and have you had any unique requests?
I would say I have a 3 core flavours that are popular all year round. White Chocolate & Raspberry is probably the one I make the most of, closely followed by Millionaire Malteaser and Red Velvet. Though in the Autumn/Winter I would do a lot of my Warm Spiced Carrot & Orange; this is my favourite, it’s such a moist light cake and full of flavour and fragrance from the mixed spices combined with the orange.
What would be your dream design brief?
I’d love a couple who give me free reign to design without limitations. They’d be working with a planner to give their wedding a completely coordinated style…lots of fresh florals and candles. They’d want an elegant showstopper…a really luxurious feel.
Finally, how can couples book you for their wedding or event?