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Planning for the Perfect Wedding Cake


Wedding cakes are the centrepiece for your wedding reception and are almost as iconic as the bride's wedding gown!  To plan for the perfect wedding cake, you'll need to ask some pertinent questions of your wedding cake maker as well as the reception venue or catering company.  Here's our best tips for planning the perfect wedding cake.

  • See three or four wedding cake makers before making a decision on which one is best for you.  Browse their work, get quotes and see if they are available on your wedding date.  You'll know the best one for you after meeting them in person, seeing their work and speaking with a couple of their customers.
  • Before you visit the wedding cake designers, let them know if you would like a taste test.  You will need to book a taste test in with most wedding cake makers.
  • Once you have made a decision, take lots of pictures, inspiration boards, fabrics and photos of cakes and inspirations for your cake to the designer to peruse.  Let the cake designer give you advice and ideas for your theme and price,  They are professionals who have been involved in many weddings and may have some ideas that you had never considered.
  • Let the cake designer know if you plan to keep parts of the cake for other special occasions, such as the top layer for the your first anniversary.  This will make a difference to the flavour of cake for these portions.
  • Before you agree to anything, ensure you get a written quote that details the size of the cake, how many guests it will serve, the decorations they will include, the flavours and layers, the frosting or icing details, and payment conditions.  Once you are satisfied, then you can go ahead and agree to the quote.
  • Ask when the cake will be made and when it will be delivered.  You don't want to serve a stale cake that was made weeks ago, nor do you want to forget about hidden delivery charges and set up costs.
  • If you want fresh flowers on your cake, make sure that your florist and cake designer know each other's details and have spoken to one another about how they plan to work together on the cake decorations.
  • If you have decided to include a wedding cake topper or monogram cake letters on your wedding cake, try and have them delivered about a month in advance and give them to the cake maker so they can simply decorate the cake on the day without any stress from you.
  • Check whether the cake maker will include a cake knife and serving set or whether you need to provide one for yourself.  Most couples like to provide their own as they can purchase an engraved cake knife and serving set for their wedding cake that they can then use at home for special occasions.
  • Check with the reception venue or catering company about serving the cake for guests, or cutting it and placing it into cake bags for guests to take home.  There will probably be a charge for this, but you don't want to forget to factor this into your budget.
  • Chat with your wedding photograher about what photos you want to have taken of the cake on the day.  Don't forget to let them know if you want them to stay for the traditional cutting of the cake ceremony.

As a general rule, you should plan to work to the following timeframe for your wedding cake:

  • 6-12 months out - Visit potential wedding cake designers, browse wedding websites and wedding magazines for great ideas on wedding cakes, talk to other brides about their recommendations for wedding cake designers in your local area.
  • 6 months out - Book appointments with wedding cake designers and get quotes.  Make your decision and book your cake designer.  Give your cake designer all of the applicable contact details for florists, photographers, cake topper providers etc.
  • 3 months out - Pay the deposit now which is usually 1/3 of the full amount.  Order your cake boxes, cake toppers and cake serving sets now.
  • 1 month out - Confirm with the cake designer that everything is going to schedule and confirm all delivery details with the reception venue.
  • 1 week out - Confirm again with the cake designer, reception venue, catering staff etc about delivery times and their roles with the cake.  Pay for the remainder of the cake.  Relax, it's all in hand!

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