The cutting of the cake is probably one of the most traditional activities and photo ops during weddings, so having a beautiful, tasty cake is oftentimes a priority on many to-do lists. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect person to make your dream cake a reality!
Unless you have a specific bakery you want to work with set in stone, consider all your options by searching Project Wedding’s vendor reviews and forums. These are avenues for honest feedback from other brides just like you, which will help give you an idea of some places to look into.
If you attend many other weddings yourself, take note of any cakes that might catch your eye (or tongue!) and find out where they came from. There’s nothing like firsthand experience to tell you if the baker is for you or not.
Keep in mind the local bakeries and patisseries you may frequent. You don’t need to overlook a shop just because it doesn’t have five-tier cakes in the storefront! If a shop’s pastries are good, chances are that its wedding cakes will be good, too!
If you’re working with an event planner, your search for a baker may be a short one! Planners oftentimes have vendors whom they consistently work with because of good relationships and experience with high-quality products. If you trust your planner, his or her baker recommendations should be in good taste and will only make things easier.
Narrowing It Down
After you’ve created your list of potential bakers, narrow it down to a small number. You may have all the time in the world to visit them and work off those cake tastings, but many places have tasting fees that can add up if you don’t cut that list down.
What are your non-negotiables? Cost is commonly the number one factor for brides-to-be. Is the price range in your budget? If you’re only allocating $4-5 per person, but you’re considering a baker who charges upward of $15, don’t waste your time! Although budgets shouldn’t always dictate your wedding choices, make sure to be rational and realistic when deciding who you’re going to spend your time visiting.
Tastings and Trials
Like all things wedding, image is key. Experienced bakers should have a portfolio available for you to look through. If you look at enough pictures, you should be able to tell what the skill set of the baker is. Another good indication of expertise is if the portfolio contains photos of cakes you haven’t really seen before. Some bakeries may not have a portfolio, but they might display actual cakes in their storefronts where you can witness firsthand the intricacy of their detailing abilities. By the time you’ve rifled through a baker’s entire career’s work or have gotten good looks at samples, you can gauge how successful he or she will be in achieving your desired aesthetic.
If you’re considering a novice baker or someone without a portfolio or displays, it might be a good idea to request not only a cake tasting, but a design trial run as well. If your design is simple, that might not be necessary. However, if you’re contemplating an intricate design using rolled fondant and gum paste flowers, you may want to make sure that the baker is capable of creating those details to your standard. The last thing you want is a cake you weren’t expecting!
Don’t be afraid to negotiate. If you tell the baker your budget up front or ask for alternatives and discounts, you might be surprised with his or her flexibility. Does the cake fee include delivery? If not, it doesn’t hurt to see if it can be thrown in for free!
Can a baker do a small cake to put on display, but have some simple sheet cake in the back to cut up and serve to guests? This is another great way to save money and still have a beautiful cake to cut into.
Ultimately, what is most important to you? Is it price, taste, experience or something else? Once you find someone within your budget, it really all just comes down to trust. The baker or designer for your wedding cake should make you feel comfortable and assure you that you’re in good hands. With these things in mind, you should be able to find a baker who can make your dream cake a reality!