Here are 10 tips to help you choose the right wedding cake
Get started early. You can have an impact on the design and aesthetics of your cake by choosing the right venue. For example, delicate buttercream icing won’t withstand heat as well as stronger fondant at an outdoor summer wedding. So once you’ve settled on a location, start looking for a baker.
Find your bakery. Word of mouth can be a good way to start looking. However, attending wedding fairs could be a better option. Couples can have a chance to meet local bakers to see their cakes and taste them before they commit to a private consultation.
Get Social. As many creatives, my cakes are posted in real-time across social media so that brides have a better idea of what I do and which cakes I prefer. Do not be seduced by the gorgeous images. To complete the picture, you can look online for reviews and testimonials before scheduling a meeting.
You can align your style. Some bakers have a very specific area and others offer a wider range of styles. I specialize in fondant cakes that have a contemporary aesthetic. Although I don’t make buttercream or rustic cake, there are other bakers that do. You can even find bakers who create only naked cakes. You can find the best styles by looking at photos of cakes. Whimsical? Geometric? Romantic? Rustic? Glamorous? Are you seeing a pattern?
Set up a meeting. After narrowing down your search to two or three bakers, or even The One, the cake journey starts! Before you even start thinking about red velvet or vanilla bean, your baker needs to know all the details like wedding date, venue, estimated head count and estimated guest count.
Basics. I am a wedding planner who helps couples determine where their cake budget fits. A professional cake designer can make suggestions that will help you to stay within your budget while still meeting all your aesthetic needs.
Take into account the cost. The number of cakes to be made and the complexity of the design will determine the price. Sugar flowers can be costly because they require a lot of time and are expensive. I was approached by a couple who wanted a spiraling flower cascade like the one they saw online but couldn’t afford it. I devised several solutions, including using real flowers or adding bold sugar flower accents.
Get inspired. Having a general style for your wedding will help you start the process with your baker. Your wedding colors, your mood board, images of cakes that you love, and your dress are all elements that will help to set the wheels in motion for your cake design.
Fearless with flavor. Some bakers will charge more for premium flavors and fillings. Other bakers (like myself) don’t. It is important to discuss all cost upgrades with your taster so that you don’t end up paying unexpected surcharges. I encourage my clients to push the boundaries of flavor. You don’t have to choose between red velvet, chocolate, and vanilla when there are praline and Hazelnut cakes that can be topped with chocolate mousse and drizzles caramel. The beauty and taste of your cake should not be compromised. Remember that this is your wedding cake.
Good vibes — consultation 101. I love to meet couples for a 45 minute tasting and design consultation. The couple will pay $50 for the tasting and consultation. This fee is non-refundable. I send the couple a menu before the event and let them choose two flavors. These are then served at the tasting with vanilla bean cake or red velvet cake. The couple can choose four fillings to try. I also provide samples of Swiss meringuese buttercream (both can be used as frosting) and chocolate Ganache (both can be used in place of the filling). It is designed so that couples can mix-and-match the different elements. The tasting is a great way to start the design process. After all, who doesn’t love cake? I ask clients to bring any relevant design inspiration, such as images of cakes they like. And I also ask them for examples of things that mean something to them. After we have had a discussion about the budget, we sketch out some ideas together and then work together to create a final design.