Finding a baker to make your wedding cake is an easy task, but finding a baker who will create a "cake to remember" requires a little more thought. You deserve a cake that will not only dazzle the eye, but tempt the taste buds as well.
Finding the Right Baker
Depending on the time you are getting married, you should start searching for your wedding cake at least one year in advance. It is a misconception to do so only three to six months prior to the wedding date as some literature suggests. Most quality bakers will be unavailable if you wait that late to book their services.
Interview vendors in person, ask lots of questions, bring photographs of designs that you like, and then determine if they are qualified to create the impression you are looking for. As you view their portfolio, make sure that you are looking at cakes that they have made personally--not just pictures in magazines and books. Although other references are helpful in gathering new and exciting ideas, you need to see the baker's workmanship and level of expertise.
Questions to Ask
- How many years have you been in business?
- Do you have references?
- Is your health department licensing up to date?
- May I see your working facilities?
- Have you made all of the cakes in your portfolio yourself?
- How do you determine the cost of your cakes? Is it per slice?
- Do you charge additional for each layer of the cake being different flavors? Do you charge additional for fillings?
- Is there a delivery fee?
- Do you rent equipment? If so, what is the charge?
- What type of retainer fee do you require?
- When is the balance due?
- How soon do you bake before the wedding?
- Do you ever freeze cakes? (If they do, do not book them!)
- What time will you deliver the cake on my wedding day?
- Do you customize cakes, or do I have to pick a design in your portfolio?
- What days are best for me to reach you?
- Do you have cake tastings? Can I participate more than once?
- Do you provide fresh flowers? Or do I get these from my florist?
- Have you won any awards for your talent?
- Do you specialize in any a particular technique or art form?
Now that you have found your baker, do not chance losing them. Sign a contract and leave a retainer so that someone else doesn't book your day and time. Get copies of receipts and keep them in a file for your records. Continue to maintain contact with your baker and update them on your most recent ideas. This will help orient the cake designer to the style of cake you are envisioning. Collect photographs of cakes from magazines, websites, and books so that you can give your baker a visual representation of what you want. It's possible that the baker even has a website that showcases their work online. If so, use cakes they have made as a resource as well.
There is unlimited freedom when it comes to designing wedding cakes. Virtually anything is possible! The most recent trend, however, is elegant, stacked (without columns), smooth corners, delicate borders, and edible art work. It is also becoming increasingly popular to incorporate a pattern from the bridal gown into the theme of the cake. Perhaps the accent of a French apron, a satin band of rhinestones, or a floral patter will definitely set your cake apart from all others. The addition of a subtle blush-tone is also a must for many.
There is a dream cake for every couple. When you find it, you will know that "this cake is perfect... it is exactly what we wanted." As you reflect back on your wedding day, you are going to remember key moments that your photographs cannot begin to capture. You will remember the feelings you had when you first saw your family and friends as you journeyed down the aisle, when you were first pronounced husband and wife, and when you entered the reception and caught sight of your cake. This magnificent confection was the result of many notes, drawings, and photographs that were brought to life by the hands of your cake designer. This is the wedding cake you have pictured in your mind since you were a little girl playing dress-up as a child.
But this is not a dress rehearsal, and you're not a kid anymore. It is your responsibility to find the perfect cake designer. It is your cake designer's responsibility to grasp your dreams and make them a reality.