10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Wedding Cake Designer
words by | Eve Green
The wedding cake has been an important feature of wedding celebrations since ancient Roman times. It not only serves as a delectable dessert, it becomes a cherished memory! Before choosing the wedding cake designer who is right for you, do a little prep work before scheduling your baker consultations. Consider the following questions to ask your cake baking candidates.
1. Do you offer custom cake design or do I choose from a selection of select designs?
This should be the first question you ask any potential wedding cake designer. Brides with Pinterest boards full of wedding cake inspiration might be inclined to opt for a cake designer who can create fully custom designs. You may still have some creative freedom with pre-set designs but it’s important to be clear early on about your expectations.
2. Can you recreate a design from my inspiration photo?
If you have chosen to go the custom cake route, we recommend going one step further and showing your prospective wedding cake designer your inspiration photos before signing on the dotted line. Even custom cake designers have limitations in some areas. Avoid any potential future disappointment by expressing your wishes from the beginning and with lots of visuals! However, don’t forget that wedding cake designers worth their salt (or should we say sugar?) can come up amazing one-of-a-kind designs that, because they were created specifically for you, could be even better than your Pinterest ideas. Be sure to take color samples and photos that reflect the style of reception you are working toward.
3. Do you offer cake tasting appointments?
For most wedding cake designers it is customary to offer tasting appointments. Besides, isn’t taste testing the product the best part? It’s definitely a fun pre-wedding outing for the couple! No matter how beautiful the work may be, don’t commit to any wedding cake designer before having your cake tasting appointment. If a cake designer doesn’t offer tastings, you may want to keep looking.
4. What are your specialities?
Every wedding cake designer has specialities and cake design styles they gravitate toward, just like you as a bride have a preference for modern, traditional, or themed cakes - just to name a few general styles. You can usually get an idea of a cake designer’s favorite or most popular cake styles by viewing their past work. Brides who are inspired by more unique designs like the unfrosted naked cake might want to choose a designer who has shown they are capable of creating a specialty design like this.
5. Do you offer more than cakes?
Brides love options and many talented wedding cake designers also offer cupcakes and less traditional (but delicious) options like cheesecake, tortes, tarts, pies, brownies, and cookies. You may be interested in offering your guests one of these unexpected and fun desserts. Don’t let the casual nature of these alternative dessert options steer you away, with the special touch of a professional these won’t resemble your mother’s brownies!
6. Do you price by cake or by the slice?
Pricing will vary from one wedding cake designer to the next, which can make it confusing to compare cake prices. According to The Knot, “Wedding cake is usually priced by the slice, and the range is wide - anywhere from $1.50 to $12 a slice. The more complicated the wedding cake, the more you'll pay.” If you’re trying to stick to a strict budget, be aware that time consuming and labor-intensive custom detailing will cost you.
7. What do you charge for delivery and setup?
As with all wedding vendors and professionals, it’s important to get all the delivery and extra details (particularly the cost) figured out ahead of time. Ask this question at the start and be sure to factor any delivery and setup fees into your overall wedding budget.
8. Do you provide cake stands, cutting knives, and cake table decor? Is there a rental charge?
Most wedding cake designers have cake stands and cutting knives available to rent for the day of your wedding. They may even supply some cake table decorations you can use. Find out if they charge a rental fee for these items and determine if it’s less expensive to utilize their supplies or purchase a cake stand and cutting knives on your own.
9. Do you offer fondant and buttercream frosting? Which do you recommend?
We highly suggest seeking the professional advice of your cake designer when it comes to fondant and buttercream frosting. They will know which frosting choice is the best option for your desired style of cake and taste preferences. There are benefits to both options. Fondant can withstand warm summer temperatures better than buttercream. While on the other hand, buttercream is generally less expensive than fondant and many people prefer the rich flavor of buttercream over fondant.
10. Do you preserve the top tier of my cake for my first wedding anniversary?
As tradition goes, most newlyweds save the top tier of their wedding cake to be stored and frozen until the first wedding anniversary. If you’re interested in keeping with this tradition, be sure to get instructions from the wedding cake designer on how to properly wrap and store your top tier to ensure it’s still delicious on your first anniversary! If you don’t want to save the top tier but still want a dessert to enjoy on your anniversary, your cake baker might make you a small cake just for that special occasion.
Asking the right questions will help you find a quality wedding cake designer who will ensure you can have a beautiful cake and enjoy eating it, too!