by Sherry Nixon
In Part 1, we talked about some of the preliminary questions you should ask your potential wedding cake designer. That was just a warm-up to the Top 5 Questions, which will prove to be invaluable in helping you make your ultimate choice.
5) Do you do custom designs and are you comfortable working with my ideas? Technically, that’s two questions, but they go together like fondant on buttercream. A wedding cake should really be a reflection of the bride and groom’s ideas, at least in my opinion. However, some cake decorators are more comfortable working with a set number of designs – and their clients seem to be happy with choosing from the available options.
If you’re more inclined to “have it your way,” though, you really need to ask your designers about custom options and see whether they’re confident and skilled enough to bring your ideas to life. A good way to gauge their abilities is to look at some of the previous designs they’ve created and ask them to describe the process of taking a client’s original ideas and transforming them into an actual cake.
4) Can you supply the decorations I need (cake toppers, pillars, stands, fountains, knife/serving sets, etc.)? When you’re ordering a cake, there’s a lot more to consider than just the cake. Most full-service cake shops should be able to provide you with all of the above. By having this option, it may save you a lot of running around, searching for all the separate items, something you may not have time to do with an entire wedding to coordinate. Just make sure you’re aware of any extra costs that may be involved and, if you’re renting, when the decorations need to be returned.
3) Do you deliver and set up? This is almost a multiple part question, because there are so many things to consider. In addition to knowing that your cake designer delivers, do they also set up and ensure your cake table is properly decorated when they leave? Will they coordinate the delivery with the hall decorator and, as previously mentioned, the florist? Are they prepared to make emergency repairs on-site? And, perhaps most important, what is the cost and what does it include?
2) Do you have a portfolio I can view? You can never spend enough time looking at a cake designer’s portfolio. It will give you a definite idea of both the quality and the flexibility of their work. Whether you’re thinking of a tiered cake, individual cupcakes or a slab cake, you should make sure there are plenty of examples of the type you’re planning to order. Ideally, there should also be a number of artificial cakes on display at the store, so you can examine the quality of the decorating work with your own eyes. The more of the designer’s work you see, the more comfortable you’ll be with choosing them to design your custom wedding cake.
1) How much will it cost? This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s crucial that you ask as many questions about the cost as possible. Does the shop price by the cake or by the slice (the former is usually more cost efficient)? Is the delivery extra? Are there any extra costs I should be know about? What’s the final total – and can I get it in writing? Any reputable shop should be able to give you an exact quote for the total with everything included, so there are no surprises when you get the final bill.
Of course, there are plenty of other questions you should also ask, especially if you have unique needs like recreating a family cake recipe or special dietary considerations. However, if you start with the ten most important questions listed above, you’ll be well on your way to having the wedding cake you’ve always dreamed of!