Your cake is one of the centerpieces of your wedding reception, and a stunning cake will be remembered and talked about by your guests long after your day is over. Choosing a cake can be a daunting task because there are lots of decisions to make, including flavors, fillings, frosting type, color(s), toppers, and decorations. Here are some tips for choosing a baker and getting started on your cake.
Finding a Baker
Start looking for a cake baker at least three months before your wedding, longer if the baker you want is in high demand or only does a certain number of weddings per year. Most bakers limit the number of wedding cakes they do per weekend; if there’s someone you love, get on their schedule as soon as you can.
Find Southern Maryland wedding cake bakers at bridal shows, where you can often taste their wares, or ask friends and family for their bakers’ names. Got a bakery you love? Ask if they do cakes! If you want something simple, ask if your caterer or reception location does cakes. Some will add a basic wedding cake to your package for less than going to a full-time baker.
While you’re looking for bakers, be on the lookout for cakes you like. You can find tons of pictures in magazines and online. Bring these pictures with you when you meet with prospective bakers.
Questions to Ask
Here are some questions to ask when you meet with prospective bakers:
- How long have you been in business? How long have you been making wedding cakes? How many wedding cakes have you done?
- What are your specialties?
- How many weddings do you do in a day? Weekend?
- What flavors and filling combinations are available?
- What types of icing do you offer?
- Is there a set-up or delivery fee?
- Can you provide someone to cut the cake? What is the cost for this?
- Do you provide a cake cutter and server?
- Ask to see pictures of cakes the baker has made.
- Can I sample my favorite cake and filling options?
- Can you do cupcakes rather than (or in addition to) a wedding cake?
- Do you do groom’s cakes?
- How much of a deposit is required? When is final payment due? What is the refund policy?
- If you want to go organic, ask if the baker will work with organic ingredients.
- What size cake should we have for our guest list? Can you make a smaller cake and have sheet cakes in the back to ensure enough servings? (Doing this can sometimes save you money.)
- Can each layer be a different flavor?
- When do you need to set up the cake?
- Ask for references and then call those people.
Working with Your Baker
When you meet with your baker, have an idea of your guest list size. This will help the baker determine how large your wedding cake should be and whether sheet cakes will be needed to ensure everyone gets a piece. Keep your baker abreast of your reception plans – special arrangements may need to be made if you’re planning to display your cake outside during the summer. Certain kinds of icing will not hold up to the heat. Also, make sure your baker has access to your reception location when he or she needs to set up the cake and that the cake table is ready for him or her.