A lot of my couples don’t really know where to start when they’ve decided they want to order a cake for their wedding (truth be told, it’s the best part of the wedding), so I’ve concocted a little list of what to check with your cake decorator and how to choose them!
- Registration and insurance
This is common sense, but you would be shocked to know how many people are in the food trade without being insured or legal. You don’t need to go through any training in the UK to be allowed to sell food – which is something I personally find quite scary – but some people don’t even go through the proper channels. Just make sure they know what they are doing. Food poisoning can be deadly!
- Allergies and dietary requirement
If you or your guests have any allergies or dietary requirements, talk to your decorator about them. And check they know what you or they mean. I cannot tell you how many bakers I see on Facebook groups who think that using gluten free flour means making a vegan cake, or dairy free means without milk but with butter, or… double check that you both understand what you mean, and that they have made similar cakes before. You don’t want them to test a gluten free cake recipe the evening before your wedding. (Trust me, I’ve seen it happen.) There’s no issue in having a full vegan wedding cake even if you only have one vegan guest – someone who knows how to bake will make you forget it is vegan and everyone will be able to enjoy it!
Go for someone whose style you fall in love with.
there are things that people – guests but more importantly brides / grooms – remember, and there are things they don’t. No one will remember the colour of your napkins or quality of the tablecloths.
A wedding cake is something special. It is a big feature of your wedding day. It should represent you. Not meaning that you need the biggest, most expensive, boldest cake; it doesn’t even mean that you need a cake, any cake at all. Your “cake” could be a tower of (vegan) cheeses if you’re not a cake person. Your “cake” could be a bake off if your thing is the sense of community. Your “cake” could be a massive hummus bar.
But if you do get a cake, make sure you love it. Make sure it represents you. Different decorators will make very different cakes based on the exact same theme. A cake designer is the same as a dress designer, as a tattoo artist: we all have our styles and our personalities which shine through our craft.
I have had a few enquiries from people who want very traditional cakes – and it’s just not my style! Even if I wanted to make them, they would not be amazing, because I wouldn’t be able to express my style – pretty untraditional if you ask me – through them, so it would be way better for them to have their cakes made by someone passionate about more traditional cakes.
- Style… but also skill
How many brides / grooms have I heard say they regret booking this cheap cake maker, or sister in law, or friend of a friend… cakes are like tattoos. Tattoo artists have different styles, but some of them just make bad tattoos. And you don’t want a bad cake for your wedding.
How many pictures have I seen of wedding cakes completely collapsed or not looking aaaat all like the inspiration picture or sketch?
Honestly, please do your research and know what you’re in for. You don’t need to hire a top notch cake maker, just don’t expect what’s not reasonable!
- Do they do the type of flavours you want?
I only make cakes I love to eat. So, i don’t make fruit cake (they are gross. Nothing is grosser. Nothing. Ever). If you’re dead set on having a fruit cake top tier, you definitely don’t want to be my client, because I’m aaaall about sponge. Ask your decorator what they do, but never be too scared to ask for more either: I always encourage my brides / grooms to tell me what they want if it’s not in my list, and I’ll do what I can to make it happen! Worst case scenario, they will say no, and you can decide if you still want to go ahead with them, or find someone else.
- The practical shit
All the boring bits. most will have the answers on their websites, so take a look before asking – it’s obviously okay to ask and then see that the answer is there but it does take a lot of time in the end!
So make sure you check that they do consultations / tastings (you want to be sure you’ll enjoy your hundreds pound cake), delivery and set up at the venue if you don’t want to pick it up, hire cake stands if you want one, make dessert tables or favours to save you time.
I hope this little article was helpful – do let me know if there is something you’d like me to tackle! Happy wedmin!