Step 1: Check Availability & Budgetary Estimate.
calling or emailing, you can get a rough (budgetary) estimate for your
cake. You don't want to schedule a consultation, spend an hour or so
discussing cake flavors and your design, only to find out the bakery's
price is not within your budget. An experienced bakery can provide you
with a price range based on a simple description over the phone or via
email. Final pricing can then be established at the consultation when
the design if finalized.
You will want to ask if the bakery
charges a fee for the consultation. Some bakeries charge an upfront fee
of $100 just for the consultation. Some bakeries offer free
consultations and then others charge a consultation fee, but will apply
the amount to your wedding cake if you make a purchase. Bakeries do pay Pastry Chefs to conduct cake consultations, so if you can't make
your scheduled date (and unforeseen events to occur) please cancel your
consultation as far in advance as possible.
The other piece of
information you will want to know is does the bakery have an opening for
you wedding date. It's a waste of time to schedule a consultation, find
a design you love and then find out the bakery does not have an
opening. How much time should you book your cake in advance? It really
depends on the bakery and the season. For example, here in Florida our
bakery can be booked several months in advance during busy wedding
months. Because Florida is so hot April, May, September and October are
extremely busy wedding months. Other times of the year, we can typically
schedule a wedding cake with 3-4 weeks advance notice.
Step 2: Wedding Cake Consultation
typically include a tasting and the design of your cake. An experienced
bakery will be able to draw your design during the consultation through
an interactive dialogue with you.
How do you prepare for the
consultation? It is a good idea to bring pictures of various cakes that
you like, swatches of your wedding colors, how many servings you will
need, and a list of flavors that you like. An experienced bakery can
take this information and create your design "on-the-spot" for your
review, edit and final approval. We've heard stories where some
bakeries charge a cake design fee before designing your cake. Perhaps,
it is just our opinion, but we would not recommend paying in advance for
the design. If the bakery creates an awesome design, you will want to
purchase the cake. If you decide to wait before making your contract
decision, don't expect the bakery to allow you to take home their free
design. In fact, premiere bakeries pay higher wages for people who are very creative with designs. This is a competitive advantage and
additional value some bakeries provide.
The consultation is
where you will decide how the cake will be set-up at your venue. Will
your cake creator be placing fresh, cut flowers on the cake at your
reception hall? Will your bakery be creating fondant or other flowers
for the cake, etc? The location of your venue and time of delivery
should be specified in the contract. For more information, visit 3 Sisters Chocolate & Bakery's Wedding Cake Consultations
Your cake contract can be
completed at the consultation if you are ready. Most reputable bakeries
will require a deposit to schedule your cake. Our advice is to have all
but the simplest wedding cake delivered. The bride has a lot going on
the day of her wedding. Do you really want to risk having a friend
transport the cake and damage it?Step 3: Create Cake
one is easy. Minimal effort from you. If you are providing the cake
topper (which is quite common) then you will need to make sure you
provide the topper 1-2 weeks in advance of your wedding date. Your cake
creator will take care of everything else. At some point prior to your
cake date, the bakery will require your final payment (assuming you only
placed a deposit when you finalized your cake contract). Every bakery
is different. At 3 Sisters Chocolate we require the balance to be resolved 14 days prior to your
wedding date.Step 4: Delivery and Set-Up
should take care of everything. Reputable bakeries will coordinate
direct with your on-site wedding planner or other designated contact
regarding placement of the cake and if any fresh-cut flowers are to be placed with
the cake (if your contract calls for fresh cut flowers).
Any reputable bakery will provide instructions for you and your new husband when cutting that special first serving. If you are having one of your friends cut the cake, just ask your bakery prior to the big day. Most cake creators will gladly provide you or a designated individual with details on how to cut and serve your wedding cake for all of your guests.
It is also possible that your venue or caterer may charge a plating fee (to cut and serve the cake). This fee varies based on venues and geographic locations, but can range from $0.50 to $2.00 per serving. This is something you will want to investigate when selecting your venue/caterer.
your beautiful wedding cake at your reception.