How to Order that Perfect Cake
First I would like to express how honored I am to be invited to post on Shannon’s website, she is an amazing artist and I admire her work, and also not so secretly jealous of her eye for Photography. Back in high school I took photography among many art courses, but photography was my weak point. Though I can develop some film like anyones business!
After the wedding dress, the next important reception detail is often the cake, it is the center piece of what may be the most memorable and momentous day of your life. I don’t know about you, and maybe it’s because I am a cake designer, but the first thing I look for at ANY soiree or social affair is the cake. So answer me this question, why is it the cake becomes one of those last things ordered! I mean, from the second you think about planning an event as soon as you think food, cake should be commingled with that thought. The problem with waiting is you end up with a cheap and crappy cake, because everyone in town is booked.
So allow me to share with you 5 tips on ordering an awesome cake. We at Cakerator often miss many opportunities to design and create a spectacular cake for someone, because many a time we have had people call us 3 days before the actual event. It really sucks when we get that call to make a battlestar galactica ship and “oh can we get that delivered tomorrow afternoon?” Most professional cake designers are usually booked well in advance of the event, and if they are not, they still need time to prepare for a major cake requiring lots of details.
Tip #1) If you know you are about to schedule a wedding, keep in mind that most cakers ask for 3 to 6 months in advance notice, and possible 2 -3 weeks for custom celebration cakes. At least we do at Cakerator.
Tip #2) The next thing you must think about is the budget for your cake, make sure when your shopping around for a cake, that you have an idea what a custom cake will cost, and don’t expect it to be at Wal-Mart prices either (unless you are actually ordering from Wal-Mart), small cakeries that specializes in more detailed custom cakes are generally cost more, once you have that understanding you will not experience sticker shock as most people who have never ordered a custom cake from an independent cake designer before. Generally custom cake prices start at $200 – $250 and up, and wedding cakes starts at $500 and up. Also most cake prices are based on servings.
One of the biggest mistakes brides and some event planners make is cutting the cake servings to save money. Imagine you’re at a wedding and everyone is enjoying a nice slice of cake and shortly there after there is no more cake to serve. It’s quite embarrassing when you run out of cake.
Tip #3) Never skimp on the cake servings, instead the best way to not go over budget on the event is to keep your invitation list under control, by doing this it will allow enough money for everything else like food, décor, and of course the cake. Think about it, do you really need to invite you second cousin on your mother’s side twice removed? Keep it small intimate and fabulous, leaving you very little to compromise.
Tip #4) When choosing a cake designer keep in mind that in North Carolina they’re tons of “cake decorators” and just a handful of reputable professional and legal cake designers. Have you checked Craig’s list lately? Tons of “cake decorators” welling and ready to sell you a cake for cheap. Make sure the person you choose has a kitchen that has passed inspection and a licensed baker and that the cake pictures that they are displaying are actually cake they have done. If you found someone to do this amazing100 serving cake for $200 that seem to good to be true it probably is. Be careful in choosing your cake designer, I can’t tell you how many horror stories I have heard about cake order gone wrong, check out www.cakewrecks.com to see what I speak of, funny stuff.
Most cakeries provide cake consultations with the bride and groom, some are free and some charge a small fee that is applied towards the balance of the cost of the cake. These consult are usually only for weddings which includes a tasting of cake and filling flavors as well.
Tip #5) when attending a cake consult always bring your ideas to the table, décor colors, themes, picture of other cakes you really like, swatches of the brides maids dresses, a picture of your wedding dress and your invitations. All of these elements are great for the cake artist to pull ideas from to create a cake design to tie in and compete the concept of your reception.
I hope these tips come in handy when venturing out to find your confectionary show piece to wow your guess. And come on over and visit us at www.thecakerator.com if your craving something sweet! Until next time Keep Caking!