I have been a cake decorator as well for about 9 years now. In the years I have been doing this, I have written down some key points that all couples need to know when choosing their wedding cake! Here are the main tips:)
1. Inspirational photos , Colours and theme for reception .
The first thing you want to do is gather inspirational photos for your wedding decor. Collecting swatches and narrowing down a specific theme helps the professional design your cake . For example if it's rustic chic or elegant bling , vintage lace etc. communicating what you need helps the process go a lot smoother when you meet your baker .
2. Choosing a baker / decorator
When shopping around for a cake decorator , there are a few things you should keep in mind . Asking the right questions and looking at their work is key . It also helps if you can talk to others who have recommendations .
Is the baker making the cake in a licensed kitchen ? You are feeding many people and the last thing you want is for someone to gag on a piece of cat or dog fur.
Do they have a portfolio you can look at online ? Read reviews from other customers.
Have they done tiered cakes before ? What kind of supports do they use ?
Doing your research on this will save you a lot of hassle down the road and after the wedding too.
3. Your personality needs to fit the design - you may have simple in your mind but your decorator may have elaborate and over the top in their mind. So speaking with your chosen baker about what kind of person or couple you are helps determine the amount of detail that goes into the cake. What others like is not necessarily what you like.
4. Fondant vs buttercream -
This is crucial sometimes especially during a hot summer day and your venue has no air condition.
First figure out if your venue has air condition and then figure out if it's going to travel in air condition . Heat and humidity is the devil of cakes. Buttercream is great but not so great if it melts into a pool on the floor. That's a different kind of party .
Most decorators will have buttercream in the middle of the cake layers so going with fondant isn't going to take away from that luxury . Fondant is smoother and does lock in the moisture of the cake for much longer . It also keeps the cake in tact for the most part in extreme heat .
A lot more designs can be done with fondant as well vs buttercream but if you are stuck on that traditional icing then make sure you won't regret it .
5. Cakes vs cupcakes
I would say 50% of couples go with cakes vs cupcakes now. Traditional cakes are far more elegant and luxurious then a cupcake tower however cupcake towers can also be beautiful and luxurious nowadays. Add a small cutting cake on top and a beautiful arrangement of matching cupcakes and you are set. Cupcakes have more pluses than cakes . Cupcakes are cheaper usually , you can dress up the cupcakes with designer wrappers , there's no cutting fees , guests are served easily and there's usually less wastage. Tiered cakes still find some couples wanting that traditional feel and cupcakes just don't cut it for them.
6.Ask for a tasting - If you have not had any cake from your baker before , now is a good time to ask before your meeting of you could have a tasting. This also gets you excited in the process and gives you a taste of what to expect .
7. Fresh flowers vs sugar flowers
Fresh flowers can be beautiful and a cheaper option if your florist can do them . Just making sure that they are not poisonous and chemicals are not used is key. Your florist will make a few bunches or one for the top at which time your decorator can put it on at the venue making sure it looks he way you want it .
Sugar flowers are great for a more modern style cake but they do require a lot more work petal by petal. Compare the two with your professionals so see what works best with your budget and design of your cake .
8. Topper or no topper
This is just a matter of preference again . Personally I like the monograms or flowers vs the traditional bride and groom but sometimes you can get really romantic or even funny ones that will make your guests chuckle. Always make sure the topper fits the design and also fits the top of your cake. Asking your decorator what they think is also a great idea.
9. Delivery and set up
After all is said and done with this beautiful piece that took hours of hard work and dedication by your decorator , the last thing you want to do is throw away all that money . Always make sure to ask your decorator if they deliver and usually the answer is yes . If you feel you cannot afford the delivery charge , always get the tips on how to travel with a cake . Cakes need stability and an extremely careful driver as it's friend. Cakes need to be cool and sitting straight up. Strapping a tiered cake into the car seat is not going to get it there in one piece unfortunately . At the end of the day there's only two people you can trust with this masterpiece , that's you and your decorator .
We hope you found this useful
Have a sweet day ! :)