Wedding vendors often joke that we’re really in it for the cake. While I absolutely love my job…I also do really like the free cake! For those of us who having wedding cake often, we know a good cake when we taste one!!
Today I have the wonderful Heather, owner and baker at Blue Thistle Cakes! Heather not only makes some of the most stunning cakes I’ve ever seen, but they are also some of the best tasting in town. And, she’s just as sweet as her sweet treats! She was even Wed KC‘s Cake/Dessert Company of the Year; you really can’t get much better than Blue Thistle Cakes which is why I enlisted her help to make sure brides know what to ask when picking their perfect baker!
10 Questions to Ask When Booking Your Wedding Cake Baker
1 | How far in advance should I secure my wedding cake order?
Most cake designers run a small operation and can only take on a limited amount of orders per week so it’s a good idea to book as soon as you can. As a general rule, it’s best to book at least 4-6 months in advance in off-peak wedding season and 8-12 months in advance in peak wedding season.
2 | Do you provide a cake stand?
A lot of bakeries will offer cake stand rentals but not all, so check with your baker first. If they do not provide this service, be sure and ask them what you will need in regards to size and where you might be able to find a sturdy cake stand to either rent or purchase. My favorite cake stands to purchase online are found at Sarah’s Stands; their stands will hold the heaviest of cakes and are absolutely beautiful!
3 | How will the cake get cut?
Typically you’re caterer will offer this service but if you plan on having a friend or family member do this, make sure they know how to do this BEFORE the big day! There’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to cutting and disassembling a wedding cake. Here’s my favorite tutorial on how to do this: Cutting & Serving a Wedding Cake
4 | What influences the final cost of the wedding cake?
In addition to ingredient cost, the final price of a wedding cake is determined by a combination of the amount of time spent creating the cake, the level of detail incorporated, and the shape/size of the cake. Most bakeries will price tiered cakes by the serving and will take all of the above into consideration. Understanding the pricing structure of your cake baker will help you be prepared for how much your dream cake will cost.
5 | Who provides the fresh floral for my cake?
Typically you will need to order those through your florist. Most bakers will arrive with the cake after the florist has already come and gone so you will want to make sure that your florist and baker have coordinated delivery time. Most florists will leave a vase of flowers on the cake table for your baker to place on the cake upon arrival.
6 | Can I order sheet cake in addition to my tiered cake?
Not all bakeries offer sheet cake so if you are planning on having a larger wedding and are wanting to cut cost, be sure to ask if this is something they offer. In addition to saving on cost, it’s super practical and allows for you to have cake plated and ready to take out to your guests immediately after you and your partner have taken your first bite together.
7 | Will my cake hold up for my outdoor reception?
This depends on several things such as humidity, what type of icing is being used, etc. but most bakers will HIGHLY discourage this especially if it is a summer wedding as it’s a huge liability for them. If you’re determined to have an outdoor wedding, stay away from whipped cream, meringue and buttercream (they melt FAST). Ask your baker about summer icing options or opt for a fondant-covered cake, which holds up much better against the heat. NEVER have your wedding cake placed in direct sunlight (even indoors).
8 | Does the baker provide boxes for any leftover cake we may have?
This might seem like a small thing but it’s something that is often overlooked. Be sure to ask your baker if this is something they will provide or if this is something you will need to provide. Also, if you you plan on saving your top tier, make sure you have a box to transport that home in as well.
9 | What is the booking policy?
Talk to your baker about what their booking policy is and be sure you read over ALL details in the contract. Make sure you understand when your final payment is due, what the booking deposit is, if you are allowed to adjust the amount of servings should your guest count change, etc. [Meghan here –> This is good advice for booking ALL of your wedding vendors!]
10 | Are there any additional fees?
Sometimes there may be a additional charges. For example, the contract may cover a 10-mile radius for delivery, with a per-mile charge for longer distances. Also, your caterer or venue will most likely charge a fee for cutting a cake that is brought in from an outside vendor. There may also be an addition fee for extra flavors chosen so make sure you discuss all of this so you’re not surprised with unexpected fees.
Heather also wanted to share her tips on how to make your cake look PERFECT, “When you’re planning where your wedding cake will be at the reception, take lighting into consideration and also what you would like your backdrop to be. This is something that is often overlooked. Think about what would look nice in a photo. If there is no spotlight on your cake when the ballroom lights are dimmed, your cake will be lost in the room! Sometimes I will spend a considerable amount of time making the perfect shade of blue (ie: to match the bridesmaids’ dresses) and then the ballroom lights are dimmed and what was blue, now looks grey!'”
For those out there who are engaged or married…what questions did you ask (or wish you would have asked) your wedding cake baker? I’d love to hear other questions that you found to be helpful while picking the perfect cake baker!
10 Questions to Ask Series:
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Each month there will be a new post from a new vendor, so keep checking back!!
<div style="display: none;"><figure><img src="https://spencerstudiosphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/questions_to_ask_wedding_cake_baker_2.jpg" alt="10 Questions to ask when booking wedding cake baker. Spencer Studios. Kansas City Wedding Photographer."></figure></div>