Before you visit a potential wedding cake baker, pastry chef or designer, you'll need to do a little prep by culling together some important questions to ask the vendor at your appointment.
You want to make sure you cover all of your bases, avoid disasters at all costs and create the wedding cake of your dreams. Ideally, you will have booked a consultation and/or tasting with the baker during which you can have all of these questions answered.
Questions to Ask Your Pastry Chef
- Do you have a portfolio of previous wedding cakes you've made that we can look at?
- Will you be having a tasting soon that we can attend? (If your meeting doesn't include a tasting.)
- Can you supply references?
- Are you willing to create a custom wedding cake or is there a set number of designs for us to choose from?
- Are there certain cake styles that can be adapted to work with a tight budget?
- Do you provide anything like cake toppers, stands, tiers, fountains, and cutters? Are they available to rent or purchase?
- If I want to use fresh flowers on my cake, would you be able to coordinate with my florist or would you like me to get the flowers to you?
- What ingredients do you typically use? What kind of icing do you use?
- How long before our wedding will the cake be prepared? How long does it take to make a cake?
- How are your wedding cakes priced? By the slice?
- Do you have a price list I can take with us?
- Is there an additional cost for any special fillings, details or designs?
- Could you write up a proposal for us to take home?
- Do you deliver? What does the delivery cost?
- Will the delivery person be able to arrange the cake table and make emergency repairs?
Do They Require Pick up or Offer Delivery?
If your pastry chef doesn't deliver -- pick a new pastry chef! Getting your wedding cake delivered is always going to be the best option. It might cost extra, but you can rest assured knowing that the delivery person knows what they're doing. They'll be able to get the cake from Point A to Point B safely and in a timely manner.
Don't send your dear Aunt Ruth to pick up the cake. The last thing you want is a smashed 150-piece cake at $8 per slice on the day or your wedding.
The Quality of Your Wedding Cake
Your guests are most likely to remember the quality of the food served at your wedding above anything else, and that includes cake to a certain extent. If you're working on a budget, it's smarter to invest more money into the actual meal instead of the cake. Cutting corners on cake costs will definitely save you a nice chunk of change, but if you've got a roomier budget, you may not mind spending a little extra money on higher quality ingredients and an intricate design.
The closer the cake is prepared to your wedding day, the better it will taste, but the process usually takes between three and five days. Any pastry chef who tells you they can make a cake in a day is lying -- it's a wedding cake, not a supermarket cake.
If you do your research, you will most certainly wind up with a quality cake, no matter how much money you spend.