My mother often judges weddings based on their cakes. A bad cake always receives a full report and a good cake glows in her memory. She forever laments the wedding where they ran out of cake completely. I knew for my own wedding, I had to make sure our cake was up to snuff. Hiring a wedding cake baker is one of the most enjoyable vendor searches. Not only do you get to sample cake and its called a “meeting” but you also get to decide what will be the best design and flavors for your special day. A bad cake vendor selection can leave a poor taste in all of your guests’ mouths. To avoid being a wedding talked about for all the wrong reasons in the cake department, be sure to not make these mistakes when your hire your wedding cake baker.
Failing To Taste The Cakes of Potential Bakers
Of all of the wedding vendor meetings, this is the one where all you have to do is taste cake. However, some brides and grooms try to cut time and go with a baker that comes recommended. While someone may have recommended your baker, that doesn’t mean their cakes will taste good to you. You need to set up scheduled tasting with several different bakers.
When I was shopping for a baker, I assumed that I would go with the first one I tried. I set up a tasting with a baker, only to show up and they clearly had forgotten my meeting. Instead of having cakes prepared for me to try, they told me I could select three cupcakes they had sitting there. Clearly this company wasn’t the right fit merely from a professional standpoint. If they could forget our meeting, the baker could forget our wedding day. Also once I tasted their cake, I found it far different than the rave reviews I had heard. You need to taste several bakers’ cakes before you sign a contract. Couples should keep in mind that not all bakeries allow you to do complimentary tastings.
Underestimating The Number of Guests
Wedding cake bakers will generally estimate your costs based on how many mouths you are looking to feed. Some couples can try to save in this area by going with a smaller cake, underestimating just how many guests they need to feed. You also have to be concerned about how your venue will cut the cake. They might dish out larger pieces than your baker would, leaving you with a few hungry wedding guests. It is better to overestimate on guests or at least talk to your baker about how they calculate the pieces. Also, you will want to schedule your baker meeting once you have the guest list nailed down and the venue. This way you won’t overestimate too many extra guests and have to pay for excess cake. By communicating and breaking down the slices, you can avoid the mistake of having your wedding gets go home hungry for something sweet.
Selecting a Frosting That Doesn’t Melt Your Heart
If you are planning a spring or summer wedding, your frosting can be predestined. If your baker says it is no problem to go with a lighter and tastier buttercream for your July wedding, they could be practicing wishful thinking. Buttercream frosting is not always recommended for summer weddings unless the cake will be stored indoors and away from all heat. You might have to go with fondant, a thicker frosting that can hold up better in a heat wave.
Lack of Experience Transporting Cakes
One of the biggest challenges for your wedding cake is merely surviving its trip to your reception site. Hiring a baker with very little experience transporting cakes could be a recipe for disaster. When I met with my wedding cake baker, they outlined just how they transport the cake to the reception location. If your baker doesn’t have a plan in place, that could translate into a cake that looks worse for the wear.
Too Many Flavors in One Cake
Bakers can suggest doing different flavors for each tier of the cake. Even as my now husband and I discussed doing different flavors on each tier, it quickly became apparent that this would be a mess. We started trying to please those who like chocolate and those who like more fruit fillings. In the end, we weren’t selecting a cake we actually would want to eat. It is important for couples to choose a cake that isn’t a mess once you cut the cake. Also, you don’t want to give your guests too many choices and hear complaints when a more popular flavor runs out. Even if your baker seems to have the vision for several flavors, they should know when to pull back. Sometimes one is enough.
Neglecting a Balance Between Artistry and Culinary Talent
One of the bakers I met with as a potential wedding cake designer was certainly focused on the artistry of wedding cakes. While she had a whole slew of beautiful wedding cakes in her portfolio, when I tasted her cakes, they were dismal in flavor. Couples can sometimes get stars in their eyes as to what their wedding cake can look like. While it is important for photographs to have an appealing looking cake, its amazing outward façade will quickly be forgotten if it doesn’t taste good. The reverse can also be the case when you meet with wedding cake bakers. They might be culinary geniuses, but they have no idea about design. It is vital to find a baker that has a balance for both artistry and culinary talents. You want a cake that looks and also tastes good in the process.
Never Providing Examples For Your Baker of What You Want
When I went into my wedding cake baker meeting, I had a picture of a cake I wanted. My baker asked me right off of the bat how I wanted the cake to look. When I showed her a photograph of what I envisioned, she immediately asked to keep it. She would use this as a guide going forward. You have to consider that your baker will have countless meetings with other couples. When they do to make your cake, you want to make sure they still know what you want. If you don’t show your baker what you are envisioning, you could end up with a cake that isn’t how you pictured.
Did your wedding cake take the cake? How did you go about selecting the right baker?