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Take the Cake

By Jenna Goff

Posted: Friday, Dec. 20, 2013

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Your wedding cake is a delicious aspect of your marriage celebration, but the process of finding—and selecting—the perfect cake can be a difficult one. In the hands of a good baker, though, the process can be easy as pie.

The Timeline
• Soon after the proposal: Begin researching cake bakers/designers. The most reputable are often booked up to a year in advance. Ask other brides whose cakes you’ve liked for suggestions, check out bakers’ websites, and meet with a few.
• 6 months–1 year: Select a baker; if you secure their services now, you can discuss details later.
• 4 months–6 months: Start thinking about what style cake you want and become familiar with a few basic terms. Meet with your baker to look at pictures and taste samples.
• 2 months–4 months: Choose the cake’s final design and place your order.
• One week: Review final details, including transportation, with your baker. Designate a place to put the cake once it arrives.
• Wedding day: Plan a special time to cut the cake and serve your guests; this can even be a great opportunity to request a specific song from your band or DJ, perhaps one that was “in the running” for the first dance or another key moment. Make sure you enjoy a piece, too!

Don’t Forget To Ask
• What options do I have in terms of flavor, filling, icing, and decoration?
• Can you describe your contract to me?
• How long will it take for you to make the cake? When should I place my order?
• How far in advance do you make the cake prior to the wedding day?
• How will the cake be transported, and how should it be stored until the reception?

Helpful Hints
• When searching for the perfect cake style, find pictures, fabric or paint swatches, and other resources you like and present them to your baker.
• Work elements of your wedding into the style of the cake, like wedding dress details or floral inspiration.
• You don’t always have to have a traditional wedding cake topper; pick something that speaks to you and your groom, or don’t have one at all.
• Don’t overdo a cake’s decorations. Too many flowers, for example, can create a cake that looks crowded and smothered.
• Take the cake’s flavor into consideration. Different flavors have different personalities and can correspond to your season, too.

True Story


“It’s important to note that a lot of home bakers are not licensed and do not have health inspected kitchens. While that might not mean anything to the bride at the time, I’ve had occasions over the years where a bride has called me hysterical a couple of weeks before the wedding because the venue will not allow an unlicensed person to bring the cake in. Additionally, people who might make a wonderful cake at home have no idea how to stack or transport a stacked or tiered cake, which can lead to disaster on the wedding day. These non-professionals also don’t realize the amount of people you must contact. For example, we’re in touch with the people who set up the linens and the floral arrangements so the cake doesn’t arrive at an inconvenient time. Hiring a professional really limits the sources you need to contact and provides the comfort of knowing you’ll have a great cake.”

- Gail Ciriello Buff, Cheesecake Etc.

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