Photo: Claire Marika
1. Choose your style:
Even before meeting with your baker, you can speed the process by choosing a cake style. There are so many options nowadays, ranging from naked cakes, buttercream cakes, fondant cakes, stacked cakes, cake table with multiple cakes, etc. Narrowing down will help your designer best fit your needs and show you options that fit your vision.
Photo: Pepper Nix
2. Venue in place:
Inform your baker/designer which venue you have chosen. Many bakes take on multiple cake projects for the same day. Knowing your venue may influence whether or not the baker is able to take on the project. This also helps provide a more accurate quote. If we know where the cake will be delivered, we can give you an idea of prices for that delivery. Some bakers charge by miles, others by complexity and some venues also have contracted discounted delivery rates. It is also important to check with your venue if they have a cutting fee. This will help reduce the chance of surprise charges.
3. Fresh flower vs sugar flower:
Knowing if you have a preference of fresh flowers or sugar flowers will help speed the process. Many bakers will not supply, nor add fresh flowers to the cake. You should consult with your florist on the cost of additional flowers and whether or not they will add those flowers to the cake. More often than not, fresh flowers are more budget friendly than sugar flowers. It's important to note that flowers, sugar or real, are generally not included in the base price of the cake. Sugar flowers are a work of art, and generally require a significant amount of time and talent. Expect this to be an additional cost. On another note, just because it's sugar art,it doesn't mean it's completely edible. Sugar flowers often have non-edible supports inside. By having reference pictures of the types of flower fit your event, the cake designer will be able to give a more accurate quote. As a point of reference, sugar flowers can add, on average, $150-200+ to the cake. The price increases significantly depending on the quantity and type of sugar flowers.
Having a budget in mind will help move the process along. Your cake designer will be able to show you designs in line with that budget. Many bakers will price a cake by cake servings amount, others will price the cake with a base price and then adjust it based on additional details.
Details which could add to the complexity of the cake may include: monograms, intricate piping, sugar flowers, painted cakes, handmade cake toppers and cake lace. Gourmet cake flavors can also add to the price. A budget will help focus your cake on the most important details to you. Also, decide if you are renting a cake stand or placing the cake directly on the table. Some venues will provide cake stands for free, also some bakers will have cake stands that you can use, however many bakers do charge a rental fee for this service which is in addition to cake.
Think about flavors ahead of time. Bakers may, or may not, allow you to choose flavors for your consultation. Others may offer their most popular flavors and charge for specific flavors outside of that offering. Keep in mind that some bakers charge for cake tasting, while others offer this complimentary. Don't be afraid to try something different than the usual white vanilla wedding flavor. Many bakers will allow you to choose more than one flavor for your cake, so mix and match if possible. Have fun with it. After all, a cake needs to taste just as good as it looks!
Wedding Cakes by Alessandra