Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Slice of Advice

Choosing your wedding cake should be one of the most enjoyable aspects to planning your wedding. Here are a few details to consider before you get started:

Be prepared:

Before booking your appointment, you will need to spend a little time researching not only cake designers, but designs as well. Find out from recently married friends who they would recommend, get referrals from your other vendors, search wedding forums and blogs. Word of mouth is often the best way to find your ideal cake provider.
To help you figure out your design, search the Internet & clip pictures from magazines. Get a good idea of what you like and what you don’t. Make sure you bring along any images you find so that your designer can see what style of cake you are wanting. Also bring along any fabric swatches that you may want to coordinate, dress images - basically anything that inspires you. Your ideal wedding cake should not only reflect you as a couple, but should also reflect the theme and feeling of your wedding.

Know your limits:

Weddings can be expensive, and staying on track with your budget can be difficult. Make sure you have a budget in mind before meeting your cake designer. Designer cakes will cost designer prices. Our cakes start from $6.00/serving and can go upwards of $20/serving. Our average cost for cakes that serve 100 people is between $600-$850. If your budget is an important issue, make sure you discuss that with your cake designer. Then they can provide you with some options in order to try to reduce costs.

The Bait & Switch:

One note about saving costs: getting a smaller display cake (be it real or fake) and having additional kitchen cakes for the extra servings does not always save on costs despite what the magazines state. A kitchen cake still needs to be the same in appearance as the main cake (ie: same number of layers - it's not simply a single layer sheet cake like you can get at the wholesale food stores). Most private bakers only supply kitchen cakes when there is the need for the additional servings above and beyond what the main display cake will yield, and in most cases they will not supply the additional cakes if the main cake serves 100 people or less.

It’s all in the details:

Order your cake as early as possible. Anywhere from 6-9 months or more in advance is preferred. Some months are busier than others – prime wedding season will book up early – so plan ahead!

Know how approximately how many guests will be attending and be sure to have a good idea as to how you will be serving the cake: as the main dessert or later with coffee on the sweet table. These details are important to determining the size of the cake.

Think about how you will be displaying your cake. Today the cake is seen as the centerpiece of your reception, so proper display and placement should be considered. Most cake designers do not include table arrangement, decoration or design in the costs of the cake. So if you want something special for the display, be sure to consult with not only your decorator and florist, but your cake designer as well so that the ideal presentation can be created on your wedding day.

Decide if you want to save the top tier. This tradition was fine during the days fruitcake was the common wedding cake choice. But with today’s butter cakes, buttercreams, and other finishes, the idea of saving the top tier has become less important. If you still want to keep with tradition, make sure to tell your cake designer. They will need to size the cake accordingly.

Be prepared to pay a deposit once you decide upon your cake designer. This is necessary to guarantee your date. Due to the amount of time involved with custom wedding cakes, many cake artists will only take on a few bookings per month, so they book up early. If you want a custom and unique wedding cake, be sure to book early!

Make sure to find out if there are any delivery fees, set up costs, or other additional fees. Delivery fees are common, especially if the baker needs to travel a great distance from their studio. Set up fees are sometimes needed when the cake design is one that must be set up on site. Additional fees would pertain to cake stand rentals or other display materials that must be secured with a deposit and returned. Please note that in Ontario, there should never be any taxes applied to the sale of your wedding cake. Therefore you should not be charged either G.S.T or P.S.T on the sale of any whole cake in Ontario.

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