My design process begins well before meeting with the client; I like to keep abreast of the newest fashions of bridal gowns and accessories, as well as the trends in stationery and invitations. Having made so many friends in the industry, I like to visit floral designers and learn about their vision for the coming seasons. And I’m always tasting menus with chefs to determine how our cake flavors can work with their culinary offerings.
I ask the bride to bring everything to do with her wedding to the initial appointment. Inspiration is everywhere, and I work with the celebrants to find out what moves them.
After finding out the time of the year, I look for the atmosphere of the location. A gilded, grand ballroom, built over a hundred years ago, will be a totally different background than a beach tent.
The relationship with the floral designer are extremely important, because the cake has to work with their environment. Also, the bride’s gown (and even the wedding party’s outfits) can lend a major influence on the cake design. And we’ve been adding a lot of graphic and textural elements to the cakes, often by working with the creative team that designed the monogram and the stationery.
For the past few years, wedding cake trends for autumnal weddings have celebrated with deep, saturated colors. But these shades of burgundy, burnt orange, and hot pink are not only evident in the edible decorations. I’ve been producing exciting wedding cakes with red, burgundy, and eggplant-shade frosting! Those amazing colors work extremely well with the metallic sheen of gold and silver for added drama and glamour. Speaking about drama, I’ve been designing cakes with huge sugar flowers that draw a lot of attention with their boldness.
This seasonal flair also affects the flavors inside the cakes. Some favorite of mines are our spice cake and a delicious green apple filling, and adding layers of flavors and texture with gooey salted caramel, and spicy hot chocolate fillings.
For the bride who has no idea what she wants, I simply ask her to keep an open mind. When visiting my bakery, we let the client go over hundreds of photos and actual samples for inspiration. By looking at what appeals to the bride and finding out the other elements of her reception, I can start making design suggestions. Also, the personality of the bride is of great concern to me, and I want to present a cake for her that she would absolutely love and feel comfortable with. I never like to pressure the bride, and I strive for a comfortable dialogue. Usually, the bride will develop a sense of trust and rapport with me, and ideas will start flowing.
It’s always a pleasure to welcome a bride (and groom!) to my studio…
Ron Ben-Israel, RON BEN-ISRAEL CAKES