I thought I might write a blog entry on my top tips for those in the market for a wedding or indeed, any custom cake.
Tip #1: Basic can be beautiful.
Ok, this has been said before, probably because it is true. You don’t have to spend a lot to get a beautiful wedding cake. Share your budget with your baker, they have the experience to guide you to a solution. There are always options – maybe that fondant cake can be rendered, with a few tweaks, into a lower cost buttercream cake, or perhaps you can have your dream cake in a smaller size and supplement servings with a kitchen cake or cupcakes purchased from your baker. Keep in mind, however, that a cake with minimal decorations must be perfect to look good, ie. level and smooth, so hiring an experienced person is key, especially with a “simple” cake!
Tip #2: Communication is the thing!
Find a baker you have a rapport with and listen. They know what they are good at, a wedding cake is not the occasion to push someone out of their comfort zone. Don’t, for example, go to a baker who specializes in fondant and expect them to do a great job on the all-buttercream cake you want…or expect someone with little experience in carving cakes to be able to produce that groom’s cake in the shape of a helicopter.
Tip #3: Be prepared with information; Information is power!
Treat your cake consultation like the business meeting it is and come prepared with pictures of cakes that you like, color swatches, venue/coordination information, invitation designs, dress details – anything and everything that is relevant to the purpose of the meeting, which is to find the cake for your wedding. How and when will the cake be served? Will it be plated and served to guests as the dessert or served later in the evening (less cake needed), will it be placed on a buffet table for guests to help themselves?
Tip #4: Do not bring more people to the wedding cake tasting than necessary -
Yes it’s a fun occasion but you don’t need to invite your whole wedding party. It’s a huge distraction from the task at hand. Seriously, I’ve had a bride break down in tears from too many opinions. Too many opinions makes decision-making harder, not easier.
Tip #5: Consider your location
Yes an outdoor location is beautiful but not for your cake! Even a fondant cake can start to melt and slide in very hot temps (95 F. plus), buttercream has an even lower melting point (if made with real butter that is). Bugs love sweet things too If possible it is a good idea to have an indoor location for the cake. If not possible choose a shaded location and have the baker deliver as close to serving time as possible and plan on taking your pictures with the cake and cutting it soon after delivery if it’s a hot day.
Stay tuned for more tips!