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The wedding cake is one of the most important features of your reception. In fact, it is the centerpiece of your reception. You should begin shopping for a baker 6-8 months before the wedding. If you plan on having your reception catered, ask your caterer if they will bake your wedding cake. However, you do not have to choose the caterer to bake your cake. You can also buy cakes from commercial and boutique bakeries, custom wedding cake designer, a culinary school or someone you know who makes cakes from home.
Begin by calling bakeries or cake decorators in your area to check for date availability. If they are available, make an appointment to go in and check out the designs, taste and skill level of the business. Many specialty cake decorators require that you book six months to a year in advance to reserve your date, whereas commercial bakeries may require 3 months due to larger staff and their ability to do a larger quantity of cakes.
Since most weddings are on the weekends, baker's deadlines also coincide with that timetable. A phone call to make an appointment to visit with the individual or bakery about your cake will be appreciated. If you just walk in and expect undivided attention, you may be disappointed if they do not have time to visit with you at that time.
Ask the baker to provide samples of the cake flavors, icings, fillings, etc., during your interview. The taste, flavor and texture of the cake itself will be the most important decision you will make when you order your cake. The outside beauty of your wedding cake will be important for your pictures and your personal statement, but the inside of the cake is what you will be serving to your guests. You want a cake that is flavorful, moist and good to eat.
Before your meeting with the baker, collect pictures of wedding cakes that appeal to you. Be sure to take those pictures with you on your interviews so that you can give your baker an illustrated idea of what you are looking for in a wedding cake. Here are some key questions you need to ask them:
When interviewing the baker, make sure you know the number of servings required, your desired type and design, and your budget for the cake. Be up front with the baker about the maximum amount you are willing to spend on your cake and ask them if they are willing to negotiate. Click here to see how you can save money on your wedding cake.
After you have decided on a baker and all the details, make sure to get everything in writing. Your contract should include the following:
If you do your homework, buying your wedding cake will be a smooth process. Remember to be realistic, and don't spend your entire wedding budget on your wedding cake.
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