This week the team at WQ HQ were sampling wedding cakes (we did mention we love cake!) we were discussing all that you have to consider when selecting a cake maker and realised there was a little more to it than we first thought!
We started to chat to some of our supplier friends and were shocked at the amount of time and work which goes into creating the perfect cake; suddenly we started to understand the numbers.
The team decided to put their heads together and came up with some top tips for how to find the perfect cake artist and the cake of your dreams!
1. - Research is key!
When it comes to looking for cake companies, research is paramount.
We would recommend starting with your venue as they may have a list of preferred suppliers, their recommendations are likely to be based on the ease of working with the supplier, their reliability to deliver when they say they will, on time etc. They also deal with dozens of weddings every year so they should know the best companies to work with.
Chat to friends, family members, members of Facebook groups and anyone else who has attended a wedding recently, as they will be able to advise on that all important taste test!
As we always advise a Wedding fair is a great way to find many suppliers, as you’ll be able to see their work on display and discuss potential idea’s in person.
Always ensure you, look at online reviews and their portfolio, this can often be found on their website/ social media accounts and will give you a good clear indication of their historical work.
2. - Are they qualified for the job?
There are masses of cake companies however we also discovered in our research that scarily there are some of them aren’t operating with the correct certifications.
The best way to ensure you’re approaching a legally operating, registered and insured food business is to ask. Home-based businesses must be registered with environmental health; after all, you want to ensure the cake is safe for your guests to eat.
You can check that any business holds a current Food Standards Agency pass here, we recommend you use this for anyone supplying any food items for your event.
3. - Preparation
Once you’ve completed your research and found a cake company who shares your vision and taste, the next step is to make contact.
During the initial inquiry you should ensure that your wedding date is available.
Once you know they have the availability they’ll require the following information:
- Address of your venue for delivery, along with the contact name and details at the venue and access times for delivery
- Is the cake intended to be served as dessert after the meal or in the evening?
- How many guests will be in attendance at the time of serving (this will help guide the portions & size required).
- Do you have a preferred flavour? If you’re unsure don’t stress this is the fun of the taste test!
- Do you have an idea of designs and styles of cakes you like. As per our previous blogs Pinterest boards that you can share with your suppliers can help align the vision for the perfect design.
- If your event style has a theme be sure to share this was they may be able to create something you are yet to imagine!
4. - Know your budget.
Oh we hate budgets we want it all, sadly for some of us we do need to consider them!
Like all other suppliers, they understand that a budget are involved, if you are clear from the start how much you’re happy to spend on your wedding cake, then they will be able to advise what is achievable.
There are options out there to suit all budgets. As we mentioned earlier some businesses offer special rates if you book at a wedding fair or if you book well in advance, it all comes back to that key research piece.
5. - Your Style, Your Way!
The mantra of Wedi-Quette is Dare to be Different, a wedding should be about you and your better half and your day should be reflective of this and not conforming to the expected.
Back to our good old Pinterest boards, allow your Cake Artist to be inspired and see what ideas they can develop from this source of inspiration.
If you are not sure of design ideas that are produced to you, do not be afraid to state this, it is far better to be honest in the early stages rather than months down the line, where a lot of time and money has been spent.
6. - They are Cake Artists for a reason!
With all suppliers we never fully realise on first glance all that is included.
Did you know the average 3 tier cakes for 100 people actually takes around 6 hours to bake .That’s before they’ve even started to mould style and create.
The simplest of cakes can take 16-20 hours to ice and set and with the more complex created over a 4-day period. .
This shows that why when you buy a wedding cake from a cake artist, it’s not just a cake it’s a work of art!
7. - Consultation Time
Our favourite time, Cake Glorious Cake! Time to taste and work out exactly what you are looking for!
Rather annoyingly like many other suppliers we are finding there is an increase of an upfront fee for the consultation time. This is usually redeemable against the order balance, due to this we recommend hunting them down at a Wedding Fair first to check that they are a great baker and artist (many are one or other). This way when you have your consultation you know for sure their baking and artistry skills are at the level you desire.
We know it’s annoying paying for consultations however we actually agree with these fee’s so much of suppliers time is wasted by no shows, or indecisive couples. Time is a precious element so we support suppliers in dedicating time to those who are serious.
They are more than happy to chat and answer questions on phone or at events, however 1 on 1 sessions can last a couple of hours which during busy season they just don’t have to waste.
When you do go for a consultation, remember to take all the information you have on your wedding, location, theme info, etc etc as this will help with the design discussions.
8. - Booking!
Have you found the supplier who has the design of your dreams?!
Like other wedding suppliers, cake artists are booked many years in advance. During our research on this subject we called 5 local companies, 2 had books open up to 2021, 2 had opened the diary for 2022, and one 1 even taking bookings up to 2024, that’s a whopping 5 years in advance!
Like everything else for weddings we’re afraid if you want it, book it or loose it!
9. - On the side!
Like all other services there are add on’s! Have you considered…..
How are you are cutting the cake?
What will it be displayed on?
Do you need anything else, Flowers? Figurines? Sparklers or Toppers?!
The sky is the limit when it comes to additions, sometimes your venues or stylists/ prop hire companies will be able to provide this and again some Cake Artists offer this.
When Pamela in our office was hitched in 2005 she was telling us that her and her other half used a sword they curated from the venue (by curated her brother borrowed it off the wall when no-one was looking!) – we would never encourage such behaviour!
10. - Leave a Review!
Like all your other wedding suppliers, remember to include your cake company in your recommendations, they will appreciate it. As always remember to include sending your supplier recommendations to your venue so they can share these with other brides and of course most importantly remember to leave reviews on your supplier’s social media accounts.
Word of mouth is the best advertisement for small businesses and when they do a good job, they deserve to be recognised for it.
Wedding Cakes like everything in a wedding can be weird, wonderful, extravagant or modest; all that is important is if you are having a cake it is to you and your better half’s style and taste.
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog, please do share with your friends if you have found it useful, meanwhile at WQ HQ we love the feature creation by WQ Partner Company – Mademoiselle Macron in collaboration with The Sweet Crumbs, so much that we’ve just ordered some more macrons!
Enjoy the process after all in the words of Marie Antoinette – Let Them Eat Cake!
Photo Credits: Turner Studio WP, Mademoiselle Macron, The Sweet Crumbs, Kate Dixon Photography, Wedi-Quette