How to choose your Wedding Cake Maker
Along with choosing the perfect dress and romantic honeymoon destination, the wedding cake is often one of the most important elements to consider when planning a wedding. So how do you know who to trust to make your dream cake?
How do you go about selecting someone, usually a perfect stranger, to be given the responsibility of playing such an integral part to your Wedding Day? How do you know that they can realise your dreams and create a cake that looks and tastes good enough to be served at your wedding whilst remaining within budget and being delivered on time?
I am not going to answer these questions by recommending a particular Cake Maker, instead I propose to layout and discuss some of the factors that you should be considering when choosing your Wedding Cake Baker.
Location – Ideally you would want your Cake Baker to either be based local to yourself (in order to make attending consultations easier) or else close to the reception venue (meaning that your cake will have less distance to travel on the day and less chance of being damaged or delayed, it will also cut down on any delivery charges).
Familiarity – Are you the sort of person who would prefer to get to know your cake maker before you entrust them the responsibility of making your cake? If so then you have two options:
Get a friend or relative to make your cake – this has the added benefits of potentially cutting costs, however if the person you are asking has never done it before you may be putting undue pressure and stress on them. Logistics can also become an issue, especially if you have also invited them to attend the wedding (as depending upon the cake a lot of setting up may need to be performed on the day which may jeopardise their attendance at the service). Another consideration is that unless the person is particularly experienced or skillful you may be somewhat limited in the style of cake that they are able to create (remember that trends have changed a lot over the years – so what was seen as fashionable in your parents or grandparents day is often not seen as being stylish today. However if you are a relaxed bride that doesn’t worry too much about the specifics and budget is a more significant issue then this is definitely an option to be considered.
The alternative is to try and get to know your Cake Baker in advance. Initiate a rapport with them and if they have a blog or participate in social networking or writing articles (such as this one) then read what they are writing and get to know what drives them and whether their goals and personalities align with yours. You need to feel that they take pride in their work and that they will treat your cake with the importance and attention that it deserves and that they want to make your dreams a reality and not treat it as just another cake that they need to make in order to pay their bills.
Recommendation – Other people’s weddings are a great opportunity to see examples of a Cake Makers work, so ask yourself have you been to any weddings recently at which you truly loved the look and taste of the cake? If you did then your search might be over if you can get the bakers name. Otherwise do you know of any friends or family members whose judgement you would trust to give you a recommendation of a cake that they may have tasted or seen?
Reliability – An indication as to how reliable your Cake Maker is going to be can be gleaned from their reputation or testimonials and reviews that may be posted on Internet forums and review websites. However take any testimonials that a Cake Maker may offer you or display on their own website with a pinch of salt (they’re not likely to publisise any negative testimonials). Normally professionalism and reliability go hand-in-hand so try and assess how professional your cake maker is. Some Cake Makers take on so many bookings that a delay to one cake or an unexpected illness could jeopardise the delivery of your cake, however other cake makers deliberately take on fewer bookings in order to give themselves some flexibility.
Competence – Is your Wedding Cake Maker skillful enough to make the cake that you want and with the professional finish that you dream of? The easiest way to determine this is to take a look at examples of their work, nowadays most Cake Makers have websites which are a great way of reviewing a prospective bakers work and you can often get a sense of how experienced and professional they are from how they present themselves.
Delivery – Most Cake Makers will offer a local delivery and setup service, but it is worth checking just how local and whether they charge. Alternatively if your budget is tight then ask whether they allow you to arrange for a friend to collect the cake.
Tastings – The look of the cake is only half of the story the other half is how it tastes. Along with how beautiful a bride’s dress looked one of the other things most remembered or commented upon by wedding guests is how the cake tasted. So it is important that you are confident that the Cake Maker can deliver on taste as well as looks. One way of doing this is to ask for a taste testing (which is often combined with a Consultation) – be aware that some Cake Makers may make a small charge for such tastings.
Flavours – An important consideration in the overall taste of a cake is its flavour. Some Cake Makers (for instance Masie Fantasie) offer a wide selection of flavours, however even if not explicitly offered, specific flavours can normally be requested.
Consultations – A face-to-face meeting is important to ensure that your cake maker understands your specific requirements, also it can be an opportunity to discuss the finer points and details regarding the cake’s decoration or whether the cake maker can suggest any alternative options that you may have overlooked. So check whether you Cake Maker offers Consultations and book one for a chat today.
Deposit – It is a reality that most professional Cake makers will need to take a non-refundable deposit at the time of booking in order to reserve them to make your cake, this is usually a token of goodwill as once booked the Cake Baker may have to turn-away business if approached for another wedding on the same day (which becomes increasingly common during the summer months and especially at weekends). While we are talking about deposits it is also common practice for the remainder of the bill to be settled upto four weeks in advance of the wedding.
Availability – Be aware that good Cake Makers (like reliable tradespeople) can get booked up early, especially for particularly busy times of the year (such as weekends, the summer and especially weekends in the summer). So avoid disappointment and reserve your cake maker as soon as possible.
Price – Probably the biggest consideration is how expensive is the cake. Some Designer Wedding Cake Makers charge in excess of £1500 for a three tiered cake whereas other smaller and less well-known wedding cake makers can often create equally good cakes for a fraction of the price.
Budget – Is your Wedding Cake Baker able to work with you in order to make your cake within budget. I’m not talking about the crude process of haggling but rather, if necessary, whether the cake maker can use their skill and experience to suggest small modifications or alternatives that can bring the cost down.
Hopefully having considered these questions you will now how some further thoughts as to what to look for in a Wedding Cake Baker and possible questions to ask them.
Author: Adam Spear, Derbyshire Wedding Cake Maker
We are a leading Cake Maker in the Derby, Derbyshire area creating cakes that not only look fantastic but taste simply divine. We take a great deal of pride in our creations, so if you are looking for a reliable Cake Maker that you can trust to create your dream cake then take a look at our website to learn more about how we can make your dreams a reality.