Sampling cake flavours and choosing from a rainbow of icing colours make working with a cake designer a truly delicious task. To be sure you’re just as satisfied with the end result, follow these steps.
1. Ask Around
Begin your search for a cake designer about three to six months before the wedding—even sooner if you want an in-demand pro. Some bakers’ schedules start filling up about a year in advance.
Where do you begin your search? Word of mouth is the most powerful tool. Ask recently married friends and family members for their recommendations. Many caterers, reception sites, photographers and florists have favourite bakers.
2. Narrow The Search
Most cake designers showcase confections they’ve created on their websites; you can also get an idea of whether you’ll like their work from a phone conversation. Ask how they would define their style. Is it traditional, simply elegant, modern, whimsical, intricate? Don’t forget to ask for an estimated price range. In your initial meeting, look through a portfolio of the cake designer’s work, and double-check that the details you know you want—say, intricate sugar flowers—are part of his or her body of work. If not, does he/she show versatility and an experimental spirit? Do they have the resources and background to do what you want? Some small bakeries may not have the manpower or know-how to create the grand, geometrical structures in which others specialize.
Also, be sure to taste the samples of the baker’s work which could be the major deciding factor.
3. Keep Talking
After you’ve booked your cake designer, you will begin to create the cake. Share with your pro photos of cakes from magazines that have caught your eye. Provide the baker with as much information about your wedding as you can: the location, the level of formality, your dress, the colours, the flowers, the menu. Price will be based on the size of the cake, the amount of work needed to create it and the cost of its ingredients. More experienced or reputable pros are usually pricier.
4. Put It In Writing
To ensure you get exactly what you want, check that all the details, including the date, place and time of the wedding, plus the style and flavour of the cake, are in your contract with the designer. Your baker should update the contract anytime you change your mind, and as you choose further details. Whether it’s with a written description or a sketch, it should be clear exactly how your cake will look on the wedding day.
According to the major wedding magazines Brides and grooms are no longer afraid of colour on cakes. Apple green, orange, hot pink and deep, orangey browns are popular choices. Colour is also a great way to convey the season, along with sugar icicles, pine cones, flowers and fruit. Cakes are being covered in stones, crystals, pearls, even embroidery, all made of sugar. Some designers are combining stacked, round tiers with square ones, or monogrammed tiles made of sugar can be applied to the top or sides of the cake.