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Reserve your date
It’s never too soon to reserve your date. Calling six months to a year ahead is recommended if you plan on using a specialty cake designer. It’s not surprising that they get booked quickly, and many will limit number of cakes they’ll do. Larger bakeries have the resources and staff to take on more orders, so a few months notice is often sufficient. Seek recommendations from friends and family, then call and make an appointment for a consultation.

Consultation
Most cake designers prefer to meet with the bride in person to discuss the details of her cake. Be sure to take along any photos you’ve found of cakes you like, as well as color swatches. (A great place to find color samples is the paint department of your local hardware store.)

Deposit and Payment
Expect to leave a deposit to reserve your date and order your cake. There may also be a deposit required on any equipment (such as special plates, pillars or stands) that will remain the property of the decorator. Be sure you understand the refund policy, and what items will need to be returned. Final payment is usually expected two weeks before your wedding. If you must cancel your wedding cake, notify the bakery/decorator as soon as possible. Depending on their cancellation policy, you may be required to forfeit your deposit or even pay for the cake anyway.

Cost
Do some homework and know how much you can spend for your cake. Generally speaking, wedding cakes are priced per serving, and that price varies greatly. The more intricate the design, the more the cake will cost. Let your decorator know what your budget is, and he/she
can help you select a design to fit your wallet. Click this link for more details on pricing.

Fresh Flowers
Fresh flowers are often used to decorate wedding cakes. Keep in mind some flowers and greenery are toxic, or may have been treated with chemicals, dyes, and pesticides. Make sure it is understood who will be arranging the flowers on your cake. Some florists will not wait around for the cake to be setup, and some decorators charge extra for the service.

Sugar Flowers
If you choose to use sugar flowers on your cake, be sure they are removed prior to serving. Many sugar flowers are made on wires or toothpicks, and although they are considered edible, they are not intended to be eaten. Sugar flowers can be arranged and kept for many years when displayed properly.

Other Decorations
It is not uncommon to find artificial flowers, ribbon, pearls and other decorations on a wedding cake. Be sure the person cutting your cake knows what needs to be removed prior to serving.

Flavors and Fillings
There is no rule when it comes to cake flavors, just select something you will be happy to serve. Fillings, nuts and liquors are usually an extra charge, and some bakeries charge extra if the tiers are not all the same flavor. You should consider having at least one tier without a
special filling to accommodate your guests who may be sensitive to seeds.

Cake Table
Use common sense when deciding where to place your cake table. Outdoor weddings can be beautiful, but your cake may not fare so well in the elements. Many insects are attracted to sugar, and sunlight can melt icing very quickly. If your cake display requires electricity, be sure there is an outlet nearby. The table must be sturdy, level, and ready for the cake upon delivery.

Serving the Cake
Don’t assume your caterer (or reception site personnel) will be cutting your cake. Make arrangements in advance, and be sure whoever cuts and serves your cake knows how to do so. A 16" round cake tier only yields 100 servings when it is cut properly. You may also need to supply plates, napkins, forks etc. unless your caterer will be providing those.

 

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