by Sherry Nixon
As a wedding cake designer and decorator, clients routinely ask me dozens of different questions about their wedding cakes. Some of them are crucial – others, not so much. The main reason to ask questions is so you’ll feel comfortable and confident with the cake designer you eventually choose. Ask as many questions as you need, but make sure you include the following Top 10:
10) Do you allow tastings? It’s surprising how many brides never ask this question. Certainly, how your cake LOOKS is a primary concern. But, shouldn’t you also be concerned about how it TASTES? Everyone has their own likes and dislikes when it comes to cake and icing flavours, so this should really be a big part of choosing your designer.
Something else to consider is the huge variety of flavours available today. Many of them look exotic and tempting, but are your guests going to enjoy something “unique” – or would they just prefer the standard, time-tested white cake? Certainly, if you do decide to try something “unusual”, you’ll want to taste it beforehand and, perhaps, make it one of several options on your tiered cake.
9) How far in advance do I have to book and what do you require for a deposit? Couples choose their wedding date and book their banquet halls more than a year in advance, but booking your cake early is just as important. Typically, cake decorators are booked up everywhere from several months to two years in advance and certain key dates always fill up fast. Therefore, it really pays to start thinking about your cake designer early and be sure to have them save your date.
Most decorators ask for a fairly minimal deposit, just to hold the date (ours is $50.00). It certainly pays to shop around, ask what’s included in the deposit and find out when the final balance needs to be paid.
8) I want to use real flowers. Can you coordinate with my florist? Here’s a question a lot of brides completely forget about – but it’s so important. Most cake designers don’t consider themselves to be floral arrangers, so they need to be able to coordinate the colours, floral layout and delivery time with the florist beforehand. If you’ve got your heart set on a cake with real flowers, you definitely need to confirm this with your decorator first.
7) Do you make sugar paste, gum paste, chocolate or fondant flowers or accessories? If you’re not planning to have real flowers on your cake, perhaps you’re considering some alternate decorations. Creating artificial flowers or accessories on cakes is a service that some cake designers may not be prepared to offer. It’s best to find this out right from the start, in case you need to source out this part of the cake or talk to other designers.
6) How can I maximize my budget? Many brides seem reluctant to ask this question – but they shouldn’t be. Times are tight, wedding budgets are going through the roof and many brides are looking at ways to economize. Experienced designers can give you some simple ways to keep your costs down, like including one or two artificial tiers in your cake.
On the other hand, no one wants to feel they’re being taken advantage of, whatever kind of service they’re providing. So, by all means ask for the best way to get a beautiful cake within your budget. But, don’t put your designer in an awkward position by asking them to lower their prices, just to save a few dollars.
Next time, don’t miss the Top 5 Questions You Should Ask Your Wedding Cake Designer. These are definitely the “must-ask” questions you can’t afford to forget!