Vicky meets... Giulia O’Lorey, Wedding Cake Designer
Tell me a bit about yourself and how you became a cake specialist
I live in Chichester but I am originally Italian. I moved to the UK when I was 16 and started off as a generic pastry chef, training at the West London College and then moving on to work for the Dorchester Collection and other high end establishments. It wasn’t until four years ago when all my friends started getting engaged that I discovered how much I love making wedding cakes. I went on courses in Italy and at the Dawn Welton School in London to really hone my skills in cake design.
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?
Definitely cake consultations! I invite couples over for a cup of tea and a slice of cake and we discuss what they want. It’s a very personal experience, with couples really allowing you access to their lives. It is the friendliest part of my job.
What are the hardest elements of the job?
Finding time is a challenge. Sugar flowers take a very long time to make so I only take a limited amount of orders each month. We always make it work but I get very little sleep on Fridays.
Which cakes stand out on your memory?
Every cake has its own story, which is what makes this job so fun. But this summer I made a cake for the Final Edit issue of Brides Magazine, which will be their last ever printed issue, so that was quite emotional. I’ve also had a cake where the couple asked me to hide little elephants in between the flowers, so that was pretty special.
Are there trends in wedding cakes?
Hand-painting is definitely hot right now. The naked-cake trend seems to be coming to an end now and people are really putting a lot of personality into their cakes. A few years ago I only made white cakes with maybe pearls and lace, but now people want all sorts of personal touches. It’s not unusual now to have colour and metallics in wedding cakes, and the hexagon is definitely ‘in’.
How long does an average cake take to make?
It varies, but for a cake due on a Saturday I usually start preparing on a Wednesday. I made a cake once for a bride who wanted 100 daisies, so I started making those the month before. Sugar flowers can be made in advance and keep forever.
What advice would you give to a bride or groom thinking about their cake design?
Your cake obviously has to taste amazing, but it is also a giant photo prop for your big day. I really recommend getting a professional to make your cake, to avoid any cake disasters. And whoever said you can’t have a rustic-chic cake at your Gatsby-themed wedding is lying. You should have what makes you happy. Find out more about my cakes at www.harbourweddingcake.wixsite.com/home or on Instagram @harbourweddingcakes