How to Choose your Perfect Wedding Cake Maker
Choosing your suppliers for your wedding is a big task. With so many people to choose from it can be a bit of a minefield.
I’m working on a series of blogs with some of my favourite and trusted suppliers to help you with these decisions. This first blog will be all about the wedding cake……….
I met up with the lovely Gayle from Where the Ribbon Ends to get her advice and top tips for choosing your wedding cake maker. And obviously she fed me with delicious cake while I was there! – win win 😋
(All the cakes pictured on this blog were made by Gayle)
Use Pinterest and Google to get some ideas of what you think you’d like. And have a good look on cake makers’ social media pages and websites to get a good idea of the style of their work.
Your cake maker will then work with you to help shape and develop your ideas. It’s not a great idea to ask them to copy someone else’s work but showing them elements that you like in other cakes is a good idea.
As with most suppliers, the best ones get booked up pretty quickly so it’s always best to book as soon as you can. You shouldn’t need to confirm the details at this stage, it’s more a case of getting your wedding in their diary.
Gayle’s solution for this is to allow you to ‘Save the Date’ with a small deposit to secure your date in the diary.
This service works well as you don’t need to make any final decisions until much nearer the date of your wedding when you know about your colour scheme, décor details and the flowers you are having.
Remember most cake makers are a one (wo)man team and will only take on one wedding cake per day, some even limit this to one per week.
Agreeing your design later on means you cake can be designed to complement all the other details of your day.
Whenever possible, have a consultation with your cake maker before you confirm your booking.
It’s important to taste the cake – it needs to taste good as well as looking great. This is also a chance to test out a few different flavours.
The consultation should also give you the chance to see their work up close as well as chatting through your initial ideas. Cake makers have their own style and they don’t all do every type of decoration so it’s good to understand all this during the consultation.
You can also talk through how much wedding cake you will need for your guests.
Remember, face to face communication is the best. You need to gain trust in your supplier as well as see and taste the cake!
It’s not unusual to have different flavours for different tiers of your cake. This makes narrowing down your choices a little easier but can still be a challenge with so many fab flavours available.
You also don’t have to have fruit cake but obviously you can if that’s what you’d like. If you have fruit cake for one or more tiers, it doesn’t need to be the bottom tier.
Many people think it needs to be on the bottom as it’s heavier but this isn’t the case. The tiers actually rest on wooden dowels which go through each tier rather than on the tier below.
Most venues have a cake stand and knife which they will allow you to use. But ask them for pictures of it before you confirm it’s use.
Your cake may be more suited to a different style of stand. Many cake makers have a choice of stands which you can hire from them.
Don’t spoil the effort that’s gone into the cake by just leaving it on a dull plate or stand that doesn’t complement the cake.
The size of your cake as well as the level of decoration will be the main influencers of the price of your cake.
A guide price should be available on the makers website and will give you a ball park figure to work from.
What questions to ask before you commit?
Gayle and I did a bit of a brainstorm to come up with this list of questions to ask your cake maker before you confirm that booking:
Will you deliver our cake?
You want your cake to be delivered to your venue on the day of your wedding. This isn’t a job that you want to be doing yourself or asking anyone to do for you. Imagine the pressure of transporting a wedding cake!
Will you set it up in the venue?
Again you don’t want to be doing this yourself. Depending on the design of your cake, it’s likely to be transported in tiers and stacked when it arrives at the venue.
Last minute additions and tweaks may also take place once your cake is in situ so ideally your cake maker can set it up in the chosen spot in your venue. It’s much better if the venue don’t need to move the cake at any point.
Your cake maker will also advise the venue about where to position the cake. If it’s a semi naked cake for example, it shouldn’t be placed in the sunlight.
How early will you deliver it?
You don’t want your cake being delivered too early, especially if it’s a naked or semi naked cake. Hopefully it can be delivered and set up just a few hours before it’s needed. ( iA naked cake doesn’t have an outer layer of frosting, which shows off the cake’s natural texture and filling but can make it dry out more quickly)
What happens if the weather is really bad, for example, what if it snows?
Bad weather is bad news for all suppliers. Gayle has a 4×4 vehicle to minimise the impact from snow and always leaves lots of extra time to get to your venue.
What happens if you’re too ill to make our cake?
Most suppliers will do whatever they can to make sure they don’t let you down. But illness can affect anyone so be sure to ask what their contingency plan is.
Gayle has her mum and sister who also bake so you would be guaranteed to have a cake on your day. Depending on the design you had chosen, they may have to provide you with a display cake for show and the actual cake they bake would be used to serve your guests. But they would always make sure you had a cake.
Make sure you know what your chosen supplier would do in this scenario. Their back up plan is likely to be different to Gayle’s but they should always have one.
How do you cater for allergens?
By law, cake makers have to show if their cakes contain any of the 13 key allergens. They should also provide that information to your venue along with a cutting guide.
Gayle has a separate ‘free from’ area in her kitchen where she makes cakes such as gluten free. She will suggest that you have some mini cakes made for those guests with allergies to keep everything totally separate.
You could have one tier which is gluten free for example but you’d still have a risk of cross contamination so this is a much safer option.
So following your consultation, cake tasting and quizzing your potential cake maker, you should have a pretty good idea of whether this is the right person for you. Check their reviews on social media and trust your instinct.
If it all just feels like too much to do, I can help you to choose your suppliers. I can recommend suppliers for you based on your criteria and budget. Get in touch if you’d like to know more about this service, I’d love to hear from you.