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Buying Wedding Cakes: Tips and Advice

Choosing your wedding cake is a very fun decision to make!  This should not be a stressful task, but it can be difficult because of the numerous choices to make, for example, deciding upon cake types, filling flavors, frosting, and decorations to name a few.  Because purchasing the wedding cake is quite an expense in your wedding budget, these tips will assist you in making the best choice for your wedding.


1. Check on the length of time required for ordering your wedding cake.


Time is such an important factor when making wedding plans.  Typically, a wedding cake should be ordered X months ahead of your wedding day.  This way, you can have time to do a few cake tastings, you can ensure all the details of the cake are to your liking, and you can also match your cake design to other wedding details.


2.  Before you book your baker, discuss cake options with your caterer.


Often times, your caterer will factor your cake as part of your dinner package cost.  You don’t want to end up paying for more cake than you’ve received.  Also, often times the caterer works directly with a baker, and this will eliminate hassles of choosing a separate vendor.  However, if you know of a specific baker you want to utilize to design and make your cake, this can be a negotiation tactic with your caterer.  Perhaps they can offer another side dish in lieu of the price incorporated for cake, or just reduce the plate cost because of the elimination of the cake from the menu.


3. Verify the details of the cake and its cost.


A lot of couples are so fascinated with the luscious treats or decorations that adorn their wedding cake that they may not consider the price.  What they may not know is that each embellishment added to the cake has a price.  Therefore, it is important to discuss with your baker, the costs of each decoration to be embedded as special features to your wedding cake, prior to signing any contract or agreeing to a certain cake.  You should also consider asking whether or not there is a cake decorator’s fee on top of the cost of the cake, as well as the cost for delivery.  Some shops may offer free delivery, with the purchase of a groom’s cake or any purchase at all.  Most bakeshops have a standard number of servings for each cake type.  Know how many guests will be attending your wedding so you can estimate how large of a cake you will need.   Having an estimated budget beforehand will help you make better decisions, and will allow the baker to show you how to get the most for your budget.


4. Tell your baker about the details of your wedding.


In today’s modern world, wedding receptions are held in a variety of different venues.  Therefore, it is important to discuss the details of your wedding plans with your baker.  Plans for your wedding cake may vary if you’re not having a traditional reception.  For instance, if you are having the reception on a beach, at an outside venue, or at an intimate ceremony, you may not want or need the traditional wedding cakes that are displayed.  You may have to consider environmental factors, and where the cake will be stored if you are having an outdoor wedding.  In addition, if you are having a very small, intimate dinner, you may just request exquisite individual desserts for each guest rather than a large cake that will not be eaten.  Ensure you choose a baker you feel comfortable with, and that you trust will know how to deal with your wedding plans.


5.  Ask for samples from the baker in order to choose flavors wisely.


Most bakers, cake vendors, or catering halls will offer cake tastings in order to allow couples to choose their favorite tastes for their wedding cake.  This way, you can try things you may try fillings or flavors you may not have heard of, or get a better understanding of the bakers specialty flavors.  Most couples choose different flavors for each tier of cake.  This way, they can choose their very favorite, but also incorporate flavors that are more general, or that they know most guests will enjoy.


6. On a budget? Think about purchasing a smaller cake.


We see how cakes have become massive in size over the past decade.  Cakes are almost more of a decoration or centerpiece than just a wedding dessert.  However, if you are on a tight budget, don’t miss out on ordering a cake because you don’t want to incur the high cost of such an extravagant cake.  Rather, try discussing options with the baker or caterer regarding a smaller cake.  Many bakers will be willing to create a gorgeous smaller cake that can be used in the cake cutting ceremony, and then have sheet cakes on hand in the kitchen for passing out to guests.


7. Consider something unique for your wedding.


Many brides are tailoring their wedding cakes to their own style.  Rather than going with one large wedding cake, some brides choose a cup cake tiered dessert.  Others have displayed an entire dessert area, offering guests some of the couple’s favorite desserts, or desserts from a specific culture.  Some brides have used cakes as center pieces for each table.  This is a lovely display, and this way, the guests can either try the cake on their table, or get up and mingle with other tables to try the different flavors and types of cakes.


Whatever you choose as your wedding cake style or dessert arrangement, make it your own!  This is a celebration, and what better way to celebrate than with a wedding cake to share with your friends and family!