Planning your wedding? 👰
I have got you covered with my new series, snappily named “Supplier Spotlight”! I’ll be chatting to different wedding suppliers and getting lots of top tips for you to help you plan your wedding.
I’m starting off this new series by chatting all things wedding cakes with the lovely Gemma from Gemma’s Cakes. 🍰
I’ll be going all Oprah and asking the important questions for you, like “What’s more important, the taste of the cake, or the look of the cake?”🤔
Want to know Gemma’s response? Read on to find out more!
Welcome, Gemma! Thanks for chatting with me! Why don’t you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
Oh let me see, I’m a 37 year old Mum of two and Wife of 1! Olivia (12) and Jack (9) and John (40). We live in Castledawson, a village near Magherafelt and love how central it is. It’s handy to everywhere and will be even handier to Belfast once the new road system is complete. We have a pet rabbit called Ralph who after three trips to the vets we found out was actually female, but “Ralph” had already stuck! I had always said no pets but when we moved the business out of our house and to the workshop I no longer had an excuse! I gave in almost two years ago and we have managed to keep her alive since!
What did you do before you started making cakes?
I was actually a wedding planner at Galgorm Resort & Spa, I loved it but when I made Olivia’s 4thbirthday cake I found myself in the cake business and within a year both myself and John were full time in this business. We now supply Galgorm with wedding cakes as well as taking bookings for private weddings in various venues throughout Northern Ireland and also in the South of Ireland. I gained so much experience working for such an exclusive venue. I know how weddings are planned, timings and what the venues expect from outside suppliers. I have picked up so many tips that sometimes at my appointments it’s not just the cake we talk about!
How would you describe your design style?
Hmmmm my design style is definitely ‘Simple & Elegant’! To me ‘less is more’ and it’s all about the class. However, if you look at my social pages you will see we have made cakes in such a variety of styles, not just the style I love. If someone asked me to do something that really wasn’t me, I would have to say no. I don’t think you can execute something well if you don’t love it and it would be doing them an injustice as well as me. I do find that people are attracted to a designer that has the same taste as them so there is someone out there for everyone.
What one piece of advice would you give a bride looking for a wedding cake?
Ask around, check social media, taste the cake, meet the people behind the business! Ok so I think that was four but they are all important. We get a lot of business through word of mouth, people who attend our weddings, lovely past couples and social media. I encourage people to come and meet us and try our cake at a show. Then if they would like to go ahead and book they can secure their date and have their tasting consultation closer to their wedding. They can of course have the appointment before they secure their booking instead if they prefer.
How far in advance do you need to book a cake designer?
It’s funny, the answer to this question is different depending on who you ask. If you check the timelines in magazines they will usually say 3-6 months before. We will always try and work with people who come to us at that stage, however you are never guaranteed we will be available. My advice is when you book your venue, book all your main suppliers eg photographer, band, cake etc. Then you can sit back and relax knowing everyone has you in their diary. It doesn’t mean you have to know what you want when you book them, just secure your date with a deposit and you can go through the finer details nearer to the time.
Where do you start when choosing a cake design for your wedding?
The first thing I would say is take the advice of your designer. When someone books their cake with us I don’t recommend they have their appointment until the year of their wedding. This way they have a better idea of colours and will have chosen wedding stationery etc. Come to your appointment armed with these and have a wee look on your designer’s Instagram page and see what kind of styles you like. You can also check out Pinterest and save some ideas to show. However, you do not have to do all of this, your designer will be able to come up with something just from chatting to you about what your plan is for your big day. So don’t panic!
Which is more important, the look or the taste of the cake?
HA HA, who are you asking, me or John?! He bakes, I decorate! Honestly, BOTH!!! We wind each other up about who has the most important job but our tagline from the beginning has been “They taste as good as they look”. There is no point in spending money on a cake that looks amazing if it tastes like… I don’t know…. Wheaten bread!
On that note, what is the most popular wedding cake flavour?
I think the flavour we are most known for has to be our Chocolate Guinness cake! Raspberry and White Chocolate is a great all-rounder and closely followed by lemon & elderflower gin, Red Velvet, Biscoff and Chocolate Ferrero. We have a huge list so please don’t ask my favourite, it’s like asking me to choose my favourite child. Ok, it’s carrot cake!! lol
What’s next for Gemma’s Cakes?
We have just recently launched our “Sister” Gemma’s Cookie Co (website coming soon). For the last year or so we have been making decorated shortbread cookie gift boxes and wedding favours. People will be able to order these online and have a personalised cookie set posted to friends/family members, eg Bridesmaid Proposal set, Get well soon etc. Very excited to get going with this!
Gemma, thank you so much for taking the time to chat to us! Now what do we need to do to get some cake samples?!
If you want to find out more about Gemma, here are her details:
Get more wedding planning in Northern Ireland tips here: