What you should do before you meet your wedding cake designer
If you are a bride whose dream wedding vision includes a towering, magnificent and spell-binding masterpiece cake, detailed wedding cake plans are on your list of must-do’s!
Your cake designer is the single person who can bring your perfect wedding cake to life. However, she needs your ideas and inputs to execute the plan to perfection. Although she may have her own suggestions and ideas, it may not meet your expectations unless you provide her the blue print to plan her cake around. This simply means that you cannot start with a blank slate. You need to first do a list of things, before you meet with your cake designer and discuss the cake design. Let us take a look at this list now.
Just like with wedding dresses, there is a whole world of fabulous wedding cakes waiting to be discovered. You will find drool-worthy pages and pages on Pinterest, in bridal magazines, on cake websites as well as on our own wedding cake gallery. Your first step to planning your wedding cake, is identifying what you want. Begin by setting up a wedding inspiration board (read all about it on our previous post here), and adding pictures to it. If you find interesting pictures in magazines, collect them too. Begin at random, by just dragging any picture that appeals to you onto your inspiration board. Once you have a number of pictures, edit out the ones that do not seem as interesting as they did initially. As you do this, you should see a pattern emerge, and this will help you identify the factor that appeals to you. It could be the color combinations, style, texture, the decoration used, shape, size or any other factor. Once you recognize what it is, it will be easier to refine your board and eliminate those that do not feature this factor. This will bring you closer to your final idea of how your wedding cake should be.
Research your options
Once you have narrowed down your choices to just those that would be ideal for your cake design, it is time to research and identify what would work. For this, consider the various details about each of the cakes you’ve shortlisted. Some questions to help you in this direction are
- what are the ingredients used in the frosting—fondant, buttercream etc?
- What techniques may be involved in making the design?
- Is there any special work involved?
- How are the special touches done?
- Are the accessories you like ready-made or custom created by the baker?
- Why do you think you like a particular detail?
- What would be the features you could eliminate, if required?
Match it to your wedding
Your wedding cake, as much as it is an entity on it’s own, still has to belong to the wedding. For this, you should match it to the wedding theme. This would be in terms of colors, features, style and size. Where cakes are concerned, your options are numerous. You can have a wedding cake with as many layers as you want, without all the tiers actually being “cake.” Or, you can have a couture cake that is impressive, and serves for the cake cutting, while the guests are served with sheet cake slices in the same flavor. This brings down the cost, which is a very important factor in making your final cake decisions.
Determine your Budget
The quantity of cake you need depends on the number of guests at your wedding. Before meeting with your cake designer, you should compile information on the guest count, and calculate your cake budget. This will help you decide on the possible options, so you have enough cake for all your guests, while also meeting your expectations. Once you know the maximum you can afford to spend on a cake, it will also put you in a position to shortlist a suitable cake designer who will do the job for you within your set budget. This also gives you a general idea of the little extras that you can afford to have, without eating into other aspects of your wedding.
Consider aesthetic aspects
The main factor that influences your choice for the cake is how it will finally look. Here are the aesthetic factors that you should consider.
- Wedding theme: There are different ways in which you can integrate the cake into the wedding theme. This could be using the colors or similar details that are part of your décor.
- Wedding colors: A talented and experienced cake designer should be able to create your cake in any color of your choice. She may also be able to suggest colors that work together, or tell you if something you suggest will not look good when executed. While all colors are possible, it is best to remember that appetizing cakes are usually done in light, breezy colors. So, you may like to stick with the lighter colors in your palette, for your cake.
- Shape and Size: This article should help you understand the different cake shapes you can have at your wedding. This includes both traditional and contemporary styles, so you know abut all the choices you have. If you have a limited budget, remember that simple shapes like round and square cost less, while the topsy-turvy shape or irregular ones will usually cost more. Where the size of the cake is concerned, you can have a huge-tiered cake, with faux tiers in between as a budget-friendly option. Or, if this is one area where you don’t mind splurging, go with the real thing all the way.
- Cake accessories and decorations: You can dress your cake up easily, using suitable accessories and decorations. You have plenty of options, including fresh blooms, sugar flowers, plastic figures and other accessories. Think of what you would like to have on your cake. Would you prefer elaborate embellishments, ready made cake decorations or ones made from fondant or sugar?
Taste options—what should you consider?
Just like with the aesthetics, the taste of your cake is equally important. Do this correctly by paying close attention to the following factors.
- Shortlist the flavors you like
You will be overwhelmed with the flavor options available. Avoid confusion by shortlisting a few of your favorites, before you even visit your designer. You can then look at these flavors and anything similar that may suit your palette. Once you narrow down your choices, your cake designer can arrange for the chosen flavors at your tasting session. Although you can always go with a bold and unusual choice, remember that if you stick to common flavors, it will most likely be liked by all. Your cake should also be soft, spongy and moist.
- Discuss your filling choices
The overall taste of the cake will depend on the filling that you choose for it. So, decide whether you want something fruity, creamy or chocolate. You can make this decision based on your personal preferences, or by looking at what is easily available and budget-friendly.
- Choose your icing options
The icing will not only determine the finish of the cake, but also the taste. Some bakers specialize in fondant, while others are experts with butter cream. It is best to choose a vendor who has enough experience in working with the medium you prefer, for best results.
Check with your venue for any restrictions
Some venues have restrictions on what you are allowed to serve at your wedding. Some of them require you to use their in-house bakers itself, while others allow you to bring your own cake designer for an additional fee. Considering health and safety requirements, it may be necessary to go with a licensed professional for your wedding day. So, you should check for this factor with the venue manager in advance, before scouting for a vendor.
How will the cake get to the venue?
Getting your cake to the venue without damage is very important. If your cake designer will not be working onsite, you will have to check for the transport arrangements to get the finished cake to your venue. Will your baker arrange for this, or will you have to make transport arrangements yourself. If it has to be transported, the size of the cake will determine whether it will have to be transported in one piece or, if it will be assembled on-site. An experienced baker will normally have the provision to supply your cake to the reception venue. If this isn’t available, and you have to transport it by yourself, make sure you will be able to do it efficiently. Discuss the details about how it has to be transported as soon as you settle on the design.
The flexibility factor
Cakes in magazines and pictures may not always be easy to replicate. Each baker will have their unique style. As creative artists, they will appreciate a certain level of freedom, so they can contribute in their own way. If you are very particular about replicating certain aspects of a cake, make sure that you look for a cake designer who is equipped and experienced in working on that aspect. Moreover, replicating a picture entirely doesn’t make the design your own. So, we suggest you keep your options available to discuss what can be done to make a cake design that is your own. Also, keep the actual logistics in mind when you choose to go for a cake design you pick from a picture. The replication may look different in color, or the details may differ to a certain extent. Your cake designer will give you a correct idea of the extent to which your ideas are practical, and what changes would give you better results. Be open to such suggestions, and it will be a lot easier for both of you.
Create your list of preferred cake designers
Based on reviews, recommendations and your own research, you should shortlist the vendors who would be good candidates for your job. Make sure you have more than just one option, in case the person you want is booked already, or you aren’t satisfied with what they have to offer when you actually meet. In all cases, it is advised to first start visiting with vendors you like most. So, if you find a cake designer who you like, you can immediately finalize the deal without having to check on any more vendors.
Discuss your plans with your fiance first
Unless your fiance doesn’t really care about how your wedding cake looks, it is necessary to gather his inputs as well, before you come to a final decision. Before you meet a cake designer, discuss the design together and come to an agreement on what you both like. Both of you should be happy with the design, flavor and other details.
Once you have a clear idea of all the above mentioned factors, you are ready to visit your cake designer and discuss your ideas. It is much easier for a cake designer to give you what you want, when you have a very clear idea of what you would like. Nevertheless, be open to ideas and suggestions, as your cake designer is an experienced professional, and can give you valuable inputs on making the cake that is just perfect for your big day.
For more inputs and great inspiration for your special day, visit our online cake gallery at Best for Bride. Apart from delicious and great looking cakes, we also offer brides many more wedding services. With an impressive inventory of dresses for the wedding party and an exquisite designer wedding dress collection, we are the one-stop destination for everything a bride needs, when planning the event of her lifetime. You can also find wedding stationery, wedding favors, décor accessories and beautiful accessories on our website. Visit us online today, to see what we can do to complete your wedding day.