The Wedding Cake Conundrum

by The Wedding Music Planner

How sweet love is. Wedding cakes are serious business, from the number of tiers, to the type of flowers and decorations, flavor and fillings, right down to the decision to choose a cupcake arrangement in lieu of traditional wedding cake. You will also have to decide whether you will hire a baker, caterer, the reception location, or simply bake the cake yourself.

The Wedding Cake Conundrum can pose a few challenges, but with a little patience and your sweet tooth, you can find a wedding cake that is right for you.

Remember to Ask Your Baker: 

Do you have a wedding cake portfolio?

Photographs of previous cake designs are essential. This will help you determine if you like a particular baker’s creative style. You will also want to find out if the baker can create a cake design from a photo that you provide, or if they offer custom design services.

Do you offer cake tastings? 

Unfortunately, a smaller bakery may not offer tastings. If the absence of a tasting is a deal breaker, asking this upfront will save time.

Will you accommodate alternative requests?

Some bakers may not be able to accommodate a gluten-free or lactose-free request.

How do you price your cakes?

Keep in mind that the price of the cake will depend on many factors including the size, shape, complexity of flavors, filings, decorations, number of tiers, and number of slices. You will also want to inquire about pricing for extras such as delivery and setup.

When will the cake be prepared? 

Many wedding cakes are premade several days in advance and then frozen. Make sure you determine how far in advance. You will want your cake to taste as near fresh as possible, so the timeline should not exceed three to five days. Partially thawed or stale wedding cake will leave a lasting impression on guests for all the wrong reasons.

Savings Tips: 

  1. An independent baker’s pricing is typically more affordable.
  2. Rent a faux Styrofoam cake for display and photos, and serve your guests a less expensive sheet cake.
  3. Use a faux Styrofoam cake as the top tier, and serve your guests the edible bottom tier cake.  As mentioned above, renting a faux cake will be cheaper than having your baker design one from scratch.
  4. Circular shaped cakes will cost less than square cakes.
  5. Keep it simple rather than overly ornate.
  6. Use real non-toxic flowers rather than sugar flowers.
  7. Decorate a premade wedding cake yourself.
  8. Consult with your baker for other price-savings tips.

Delivery & Setup Notes: 

If you choose a baker other than your catering company, keep in mind that the catering company may be uncomfortable setting up a cake they did not prepare. Although it may sound sweet when Aunt Martha offers to pick up the cake, she isn’t trained in cake transportation and assembly. You will want this task in the hands of the professionals, whenever possible. However, if you must transport your wedding cake, the following are some helpful tips:

  1. Do not assemble a multi-tiered cake prior to reaching the venue/reception hall.
  2. Pack each tier separately and use flat surfaces and non-split mats during transportation.
  3. Pack assembly utensils and extra frosting and decorations.
  4. Keep the vehicle cool.
  5. Drive with care. Consider an alternative, less-traveled, route.
  6. Give yourself plenty of time. Cake assembly is something that shouldn’t be rushed.

If the stress of cake assembly is something that you would rather not contend with, ask your baker about their delivery and set-up process before you commission the baking of your cake.

Happy Wedding Planning!

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