Your wedding cake is one of the centrepieces of your wedding reception and planning it is an important part of your wedding. It doesn‘t actually have to be made of cake - plenty of couples get married with “wedding cakes” made of cheese, cheesecake, cinnamon rolls or even pork pies! If you do decide you want a cake made of cake, read on to find out more about the consultation process…
1. Do your research!
Use Instagram or Google, or wedding planning sites like Hitched or BrideBook to find local wedding bakers in your area, and get an idea of what their style is like - some cake artists will create predominantly buttercream cakes, like me; or some will work with sugar paste or fondant. If you have your heart set on a specific style, try to find bakers who make similar designs, but be open minded too - some bakers will make a whole range of styles, and its about finding out if they are right for you.
2. Make a shortlist
Once you’ve done your research, I would recommend shortlisting about 2 or 3 cake artists, with whom you meet. Check that your cake artist has public liability insurance, is registered with their council and has a food hygiene rating, or rating pending.
Get in touch with them by making an initial enquiry, and find out about their consultation process. Some bakers will offer in person appointments, but some might prefer to consult through video call or over the phone.
Some bakers will charge a small fee for the consultation, which is normally deductible from your order if you choose to commission your wedding cake from them; others will offer this service for free. This has no bearing on how good they are or what their cakes will be like - this is just the way they choose to run their business.
3. What to expect at your consultation
At the consultation, your cake artist will ask lots of questions to get a good idea of your likes and dislikes, and they will want to hear as much as possible about your wedding, style, preferences, personality etc. If you have a mood board or samples of colours, flowers, invitations etc, these all help the baker to ensure the general style is carried through. You will also be given some different cake flavours to taste - sometimes you can choose what flavours you would like to try but often it will be a selection of the cake artist's most popular flavours.
I’ve created a couple of documents to help you during the consultation process - feel free to download them to use with consultations with any bakers!
Your cake artist will discuss initial design ideas with you. Some bakers will come up with a few draft designs at your consultation session whilst others will do this afterwards. The design is then tweaked until you are happy with it. Normally you will be able to make minor changes up until between 4 to 12 weeks before your wedding but check each cake artist's terms and conditions on this.
4. Receiving your quote
Most cake artists will quote your cake price in your consultation, and give you the option of paying a booking fee or deposit there and then; but please don’t feel pressured into going with them immediately. It’s absolutely fine to go away and think about it, especially if you are going to visit a few other bakers in your shortlist.
If you’ve chosen to take some times to think about it, you should expect to receive a follow up email with your quote within a few days, and details of the next steps you need to do to make sure that you get your cake booked in if you do decide to go ahead.
Your quote will normally be valid for a specific amount of time, so make sure you follow their next steps to ensure you get your cake booked with your favourite baker!
I hope this guide is helpful for your wedding cake consultation - let me know below if you have any questions, or I can help in any other way!
Happy wedding planning!
Miss Helen x