Choosing a Baker

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Initial Consultation

What to Bring/Know:

 

  • Pictures/ideas of what you like (printed or on mobile devices)
  • Picture of wedding gown (if you want to match style)
  • Idea of your color combo
  • Idea of the theme or “feel” you want
  • How many guests will be invited/are attending
  • Wedding date
  • Reception location
  • Idea of your budget
  • If leftover cake is desired, and how much
  • Whether you want a first anniversary cake to freeze

 

What to Ask:

Are they state or county licensed? (if the baker is working out of their home)
Ask to see a copy of the license. If they are not licensed you have no recourse in case something happens to the cake (e.g., dropped, falls once set up, never delivered, etc.) and you would be liable if something happens to someone else (i.e., food poisoning). In addition, many reception halls will not let you bring in a cake or cupcakes from unlicensed bakers because of liability concerns.

Who will be baking the cake?
You will want to know if the person you are meeting with is baking the cake or if someone else on staff is – and taste test accordingly.

Are there references you can contact?
Unless you contacted the baker based on a recommendation, it is a good idea to check with other couples about their experiences.

When will they bake the cake? Will it be frozen?
Some bakers bake the cake a day or two before, while others bake earlier in the week and freeze for a few days. Both produce delicious cakes, but make sure when taste testing, the preparation is the same as it will be for your cake, as cake texture does change when frozen. Also, bear in mind that freezing for any longer than a few days is not preferable.

How many cakes does the baker book for a weekend?
The answer will vary depending on the size of the bakery and staff. You want to make sure they are giving adequate care and consideration to your cake, so if your personal baker has two to three cakes a weekend, that’s great, but taking on six to ten is cause for concern.

How large is a serving size?
You will need to pass this along to whomever is cutting your cake so you do not run out of cake or have too much leftover.

Do they supply decorative cake knives?
Some supply cake knives. As a keepsake, you may want to purchase a specialty cake serving set complete with engraved monogram and wedding date.

Will the cake deliverer put the floral decorations on or will the florist?
Both are able to provide the service, but make sure you pin down who is responsible so everyone is clear.

Do they have other rentals available?
Some bakers also have candles, towers, fountains and other decorative items available to complete the presentation.

Do they deliver? How great a distance? Is there a delivery fee? Do they set it up?
Wedding cakes are complex, delicate constructions that require professional handling. Usually bakers include the cost of delivery and setup, but within a limited distance.

How much is the deposit? What is the payment schedule? Is the deposit refundable?
Make sure to have these things written down and included in the contract.