Have your cake and eat it too
One of my favorite parts of wedding planning was researching cake companies and bakeries and scheduling our cake tasting. However, I wanted to give you brides the scoop on what to expect and how to make the most out of your cake tasting experience before you book your next appointment.
Just like any part of the wedding planning process, it is always extremely helpful to be prepared and cake tasting is no different.
Here are 5 things to consider before doing your cake tasting:
Where is the bakery located? A lot of bakeries will charge a delivery fee if your wedding venue is outside their delivery zone. Or, depending on the company, they may charge a drop off fee regardless where you’re venue is located. Some venues require that you use an approved bakery (or cake vendor) or they’re own in-house bakery. It’s important to make sure you are aware of this before scheduling your tasting so you aren’t hit with a crazy fee that you weren’t expecting. Make sure you can make the most out of your cake budget so that you aren’t spending unnecessary money on your delivery rather than on design and flavors.
I loved looking up all the fun cake flavor combinations on websites. Be prepared that most places limit how many cake flavors you can taste and they start charging you additional fees for added flavors. I love when bakeries are accommodating and let you do as you choose – but I don’t want you ladies to be disappointed. Some bakeries are extremely particular on what you can and cannot taste. Some places are eager to hear if you have any customized ideas – our bakery made us a champagne flavored cake to try. So don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Do your research before you plan a tasting so you know ahead of time how lenient the bakery is. Will they let you do multiple flavors? How about cake fillings? Different frostings? Keep all of these things in mind.
Booking Your Appointment
I was so excited to book a cake tasting appointments for my wedding. However, don’t be alarmed when it takes some places quite a while to get back to you. Have patience, but I believe the best vendors to work with are those that get back to you quickly and have your best interests in mind.
I would suggest working with a bakery that gets back to you in a timely manner and really hears what you have to say. For one of the cake tasting appointments I tried to set up, the bakery makes you fill out a questionnaire about how many people you were feeding, style, theme of your wedding, location, etc. They even wanted you to attach an inspiration picture of what you wanted your cake to look like. So I did what they asked. However, there was also a comment section where I specifically said that we would like to speak with someone because the picture we attached is a very vague idea of what we were trying to do. In the comments, I wrote that we would like to know more about pricing and details, but, for now, we attached something we thought went with the vibe of our wedding. What happened next, realllly annoyed me. (Side note: brides some vendors just suck, so please don’t get discouraged). A week or so later the company sent a snarky email saying that cake we sent would be literally over a thousand dollars. Mind you, we only needed to feed 100 people, so I don’t know where this crazy number came from. Also, the design wasn’t that involved – in my opinion. We obviously didn’t go with that company. The funny thing is we showed that same picture to the company that ended up doing our cake and it was WAY less. Book your appointments with vendors who are truly listening to what you want and shop around for someone who can bring your vision to life (and within budget).
It’s also worth pointing out that some bakeries will charge for excess people at your tasting. It’s not uncommon to only offer complimentary tastings to the bride and groom. If you bring your parents, MOH, etc., there may be an additional fee for your appointment. Make sure you know ahead of time before attending your tasting.
Bring Your Notebook
You read that right. Bring your notebook. We took notes during our tasting and we each wrote down what we liked and didn’t like about the many different flavor combinations we were trying. At the end of the tasting, we each selected our favorites and talked about what we enjoyed (and didn’t enjoy) about the flavors. This was especially helpful, because you can refer back to the notes if you are interviewing several companies and trying cake at multiple locations. It will help refresh your memory so you can make the best decision.
We also took notes on the prices, delivery fees, and brought prices from their website. You want to be more prepared than your vendors to ensure that you are getting great service for the right price!
Details, Details, Details
We chose a local bakery in Lakewood Ranch called Pastries by Design. The owner, Alex, was so thorough and at our first tasting (unlike the first tasting we went to at another company) and seemed genuinely excited to work with us. This is what you want brides!
You want your vendor to care and make sure what you are envisioning in your head is what you will get. Since our cake was gold polka dots, the baker actually brought out five to six shades of gold for us to preview.
Even during our meeting she made a clear point to go over cake stands designs and what color we wanted the board to be, what kind of topper we would be interested in using, and, at the end of our meeting, we felt very comfortable working with her.
Details like this are important to pay attention to because it’s a good way to preview for how working with your bakery will be on your wedding day. Alex was so helpful along the way and continued making sure we were happy with everything.
I loved how quickly the owner replied to our emails and scheduled our tasting appointment with ease. The tasting felt fit for a king and queen; she had everything laid out on silver trays, as well as a pitcher of ice water, and politely asked if we needed anything else. She gave us privacy to discuss our thoughts, but also gave us detailed explanations on what we were tasting and was taking lots of notes during our meeting. She was knowledgeable, accommodating, and detail oriented – something we couldn’t have asked more out of as one of our wedding vendors.
Andy and I chose two flavors that we really loved, one being a chocolate cake with a cookies and cream cream cheese frosting (seriously sooooo good) and a white chocolate cake with raspberry filling (as delicious as it sounds)! Alex was very helpful in understanding what we liked in our flavors and helped us pair the best combinations for our wedding!
When you are wedding planning it’s easy to forget that you are paying your vendors (cake baker included) and it’s nice when your vendors treat you like a valuable client rather than just some other customer. I felt very brushed off by other local bakeries (I mean I know businesses are busy, but a good business will always be prompt). It’s so important to hire vendors you feel comfortable working with on your big day! It’s extra special when they are excited for what you are envisioning and want to bring it to life.
Bubbly Wife Tip: Some brides quickly rule out a cake thinking cupcakes are the cheaper alternative. Make sure you do your research for bakeries near you. Originally, Andy and I were dead set on cupcakes. However, we ended up decided a cake would be a better fit for our wedding. I love how beautiful our cake turned out and looks in all our pictures. I think I would have personally regretted doing cupcakes (I have been to plenty of beautiful weddings with cupcakes though). Just something to consider!
Happy wedding planning!