There are tens of other cake makers within a few miles of my kitchen.
Some specialise in weddings, and others create cakes for all types of celebrations. We are all completely different in terms of styles, flavours, and price range. But we might have other differences that are not as positive - some cake makers operate without EHO approval and without any insurance.
I’m sure you’ve heard horror stories about the wedding cake collapsing mid-ceremony, no cake turning up or the completely wrong design!
So, how can you be confident that you are booking a professional who will deliver everything, as promised, on the day? Here are some tips and questions for finding a cake maker who is professional and reliable.
First things first…
Before you even think about enquiring with a wedding cake maker, make sure you ask about:
Their food hygiene rating
Food Hygiene Rating
You will probably already be really familiar with food hygiene ratings - your favourite cafes and restaurants will have green signs in their windows with a rating from 0-5. These tell you how confident the local authority is about this supplier’s ability to produce food safely. It focuses on 3 things:
How they handle/prepare food
The layout/cleanliness of the property
The processes they use to ensure food safety and cleanliness
The higher the rating, the better. Lots of wedding cake makers will advertise their rating on their website, or studio window, but if you are in any doubt or you want to check it yourself, you can always check the Food Standard Agency’s website. These food hygiene ratings don’t tell you anything about how delicious a cake is, or how beautiful it will look, but it is the best way to ensure that your wedding cake is safe to eat.
There are 2 types of insurance you should be looking for with a wedding cake maker - public and product liability. Most cake makers will have the first, and some will have both. Public liability insurance for cake makers essentially insures them, should their cake or business cause any damage to a third party e.g. their cake stand falls over and damages a wall in the venue, or they trip someone up whilst setting up a cake. Most venues will expect public liability insurance from your suppliers, and they might ask to see certificates. Product liability insurance is there in the event that the wedding cake itself injures someone or makes them sick.
Choosing the best wedding cake maker
Once you know that your wedding cake maker is operating legally, the most important thing that you need to know is whether they can deliver a delicious cake, that will be beautiful, look as good as you imagined (and talked about) and still be standing by cake cutting time! Now, this all sounds like a given, but everyone’s standards and skills will differ. So here are some top tips, things to look out for, and questions to ask of your wedding cake maker:
Make sure you have a consultation and taste samples with your cake maker. Everyone handles these differently, with some being free (once you have booked) and others being paid for. Some cake makers offer samples in a set choice of flavours and others let you pick. You want to sit down with your wedding cake maker and have a conversation with them. You want to know that they are someone you trust to be a part of your day, and that their cakes taste absolutely delicious.
As you’re talking through wedding cake designs, make sure you ask to see some of the cakes they have made for ‘real couples’. You can probably find these on their website or Instagram page before you meet them. Why should you ask this? If they have made cakes, for real couples, you know that they are being booked regularly by other people. The more information they can give you about each wedding cake (e.g. couple, venue, flavours, sizes), the more likely it is that they actually made the cake they are showing you – remember those unscrupulous cake makers? Lots of cake makers will produce dummy cakes – these are what you generally see at wedding fayres and styled shoots. These often look perfect as you can spend forever decorating them. You can learn about a cake maker’s ability from these, as well as their style and the techniques they use, but you can’t tell how perfectly they can create a simple, structurally sound wedding cake. Asking to see photos of real cakes will fill in that gap for you. You might also want to see examples of real cakes that match the wedding cake designs you thinking about. You might not see an exact match for the cake you want, especially as new techniques evolve all the time, but you are looking to see examples where they have created a similar style on a cake.
Ask around! If you’ve been to weddings where you’ve loved the cake, ask the couple who they used, and what they thought. Lots of venues also have preferred or recommended supplier lists of wedding cake makers that they have worked with before, who they trust and would be confident in recommending to other couples. Have a look at your own venue’s list, or have a look on the cake maker’s website to see if there are any venues where they are recommended.
Have a look at their online presence. Your wedding cake maker should have a website that looks professional and is informative, easy to navigate, shows lots of photos of the cake maker’s work, and is visually appealing. Decorating a wedding cake requires some strong artistic skill in terms of coming up with a creative vision, and turning that into a reality. If they aren’t able to do that on their website or social media, you might have picked the wrong person. Have a look at the cake maker’s Instagram. What pictures are they posting? Do they match the skill and quality of pictures they’ve shown you? Do they match the style you’re aiming for? What do their reviews say? What are the comments saying?
Finally, think about the customer service you receive during the initial enquiry stages. You’re looking for a professional wedding cake maker, so you should expect the process of booking to be professional too. You should expect to receive polite, courteous and prompt emails. If you ask a question, you should expect the cake maker to answer it clearly, or point you to the right answer. You shouldn’t be pushed into making any payments. Most cake makers will charge a small deposit to secure the date, and/or for a consultation. However, without having met the cake maker or tasted their cake, you shouldn’t be expecting to pay out large amounts of money upfront. Most importantly, a professional wedding cake maker will have clear terms and conditions. These protect both you and the cake maker, and help you to clear up any issues, should they arise.
Weddings are stressful enough, without you having to worry that one of your suppliers won’t deliver on the day. If you do your homework in the beginning, then you are going to feel relaxed and comfortable throughout the process. Hopefully these tips will help you to pick reliable professionals who will make your wedding planning less stressful!
If you are looking for a reliable wedding cake maker in Yorkshire, please head over to my contact page and drop me a message!
Happy wedding planning!