“The icing on the cake is when other people enjoy your vision and support what you do." - Cise Star
Congratulations!!! You are newly engaged, just starting wedding planning, and can't wait to place an order for the wedding cake of your dreams.
Where do you start? How do you find a baker who can bring your cake vison to life? What is your cake going to look like? What will the cake taste like? Keep reading to find out what happens during a wedding cake consultation.
Do your research!!! Search for a baker who you feel will design your wedding cake with the aesthetic you want want to convey at your reception. Visit the websites and social media pages of several bakers/cake artists baker's to view dessert offerings, cake design/style, pricing, and customer reviews. Referrals are always a plus! Once you have narrowed your selection to one to three bakers, contact them and schedule a consultation.
During the consultation, you will meet with the baker/cake artist to discuss your cake/dessert ideas, wedding logistics, baker guidelines, and possibly taste cake samples. Expect detailed questions about your wedding (for example, wedding date, venue location, theme of the wedding, cake details, etc.). While meeting with your baker, ask if they are licensed and have liability insurance.
Keep in mind that all bakers have their own format in regards to wedding cake consultations, especially with the change in landscape due to COVID. I like to schedule a call with the bride/couple to meet them and find out what they are looking for in a wedding cake. After the initial call, a cake tasting can be scheduled to sample various cake, frosting, and filling flavors.
Cake tasting is probably the best part of the wedding cake consultation. During your consultation, you will sample a pre-set number of sample cake flavors that you or the baker have selected. The cake samples can be complimentary or paid for based on the bakery's policies. The purpose of tasting the cake is of course to see if you like the cake flavors, but also to determine flavors your wedding guests will enjoy.
The sky is the limit when it comes to wedding cake flavors. I encourage you to have fun and select flavors that are your favorite, and represent your style. At August June Desserts, we allow the couple to sample three cake and frosting flavors of their choice, with optional fillings (for an additional cost). This tasting style is encouraged so that the cake, frosting, and filling flavors can be mixed and matched to determine your perfect flavor combination.
I find that most couples tend to stick with more traditional cake flavors, like Vanilla, Wedding White or Lemon. A popular option is to have different flavors for each cake tier. Note: Your wedding guests may not be as fond as carrot cake as you are, so I always suggest selecting a standard flavor (such as vanilla) as your largest tier, and the less popular flavors for the smaller tiers.
Given the current environment, due to COVID, August June Desserts conducts all of our cake tastings one Saturday per month via Zoom. Cake samples are delivered to the couple the day before the tasting.
Do you want an over the top lavish and luxurious cake or do you want a simple, yet elegant style? Is your wedding theme, modern, rustic/bohemian, or romantic? Are you having a large wedding or a microwedding? Do you want a five tiered cake or a small cake just for photos/cutting?
Your cake design will be discussed during the consultation. Provide inspiration photos of the cake that you have in mind. Be detailed and descriptive with your baker to ensure the cake design is tailored for your wedding day. Your cake artist will utilize all provided details to assist in the design of the cake. We like for all of our couples to have their own unique cake and do not copy another artist's designs.
Your baker/cake artist will also work with you to determine the best cake size based on the number of guests you are expecting. We always recommend ordering a cake that serves 70% of your guest list so that you are not left with extra cake. All invited guests may not attend the reception, or could have dietary restrictions.
Of course the big question at the wedding cake consultation is: "How much will the cake cost?". Wedding cake prices can range from miniscule to way over the moon. Most wedding cakes are based upon price per serving ($5.00 - $15.00, or more). For example, if you are expecting 100 guests, and the baker's price per serving starts at $7.00, expect that the base price of your cake will $700.00, with the final price dependent upon design complexity, and other factors such as fresh flowers, cake stand rental, and delivery and set-up. Try to have a realistic expectation when it comes to your budget.
So much more goes into a wedding cake order than just cake and design. Other details discussed during the consultation are delivery and set-up, cake placement at the reception, dessert stand rentals, linen/table decor, the background behind the cake, and cutting the cake. These are small, but important details that your cake vendor needs to know in order to ensure the final set up of your cake is perfect.
Wrapping up the Consultation
What happens next? After the cake has been sampled and cake ideas discussed, retainer, payment, and contract details are reviewed. A quote will be sent to you outlining cake details and pricing. If you decide to move forward with the wedding cake, a contract and invoice will be sent for execution.
There you have it - a brief overview of the wedding cake consultation process!
Visit our cake tasting page for details on how to schedule a cake tasting with us!
Also - check out our cake tasting box reel on Instagram.