Top Tips For Choosing And Working With A Wedding Cake Designer
1. Be specific. Share what you know you don't want, so the cake designer knows what to avoid. Consider what you like on other cakes. Piping? Textured icing look? Make a Pinterest board or collect pictures of cakes you like so the designer can see them. If you see a cake at another wedding, take a picture of the cake so you can show your cake designer what you want. If the bride and groom want the same cake their friends had, usually the designer will use the friend's wedding cake as a starting point and then use it to customize a cake for you. A designer would never make the same cake. It would need to be personalized to you.
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2. Be comfortable with your cake designer. Spend hours on their website and looking at their past work. If you don't like what you see, then he or she is probably not the person you want to hire. Ask as many questions as possible. Most couples who are getting married don't know what questions to ask. This is usually their first time doing this. And get to know the cake designer's personality. To start: Talk by phone or send an email. Then talk about meeting in person. As a designer, try to be clear about the couple's experience and set their expectations (the tasting is only to taste; for the consultation, bring these items to reference so you're better prepared for the design discussion, etc.).
3. Know your style: formal vs. unconventional. You don't want a 9-tier cake for a backyard barbeque. Describe what you have already picked out for the wedding (the venue or the dress or bring pictures to help convey the concept) Help the designer understand what the designer is designing for.
4. Go in for a tasting with a designer. Most people haven't done this before. Here are some questions you should be asking the cake designer: When should we come in for a tasting? Four to six months ahead of the wedding. The florist and invitations have already been picked out. The cake should be a part of the décor. The flowers are part of décor and the invitations show the tone of the event. These are great to have in place when seeing a cake designer. If your deadline is shorter, such as one to two months out from your wedding day, first ask the cake designer about his or her availability for your date. Find out how far in advance the cake designer makes the cake. At Sugar Flower Cake Shop, they bake the cake the day before. If the cake designer you speak with says they make the cake earlier, find out if they freeze it and then thaw it for the wedding. The cake oftentimes doesn't taste as good.
Inquire about how many cakes the designer is making in a weekend. Find out if it is a one person operation and what type of volume the cake designer can handle in a weekend. Make sure he or she is competent to deliver your cake.
5. Pick what you like and what tastes good to you. Don't worry about your friends or family. Pick what flavors you like, not what you think other people will like. If you like chocolate, then you should order what you want: chocolate cake.
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Photo credit: Chellise Michael Photography