Your wedding cake – one of the most traditional (and photographed!) parts of a wedding. It is also a place for great expression and tying together your whole wedding aesthetic. When preparing for your cake tasting, there is so more to think about and consider that you might expect. “Make sure you think about your guest count, number of tiers, flavors and most importantly the design! It is also important to consider how you are displaying and serving the cake – will your venue assist with that or do you need to have a plan set in advance!” says HoneyFitz Events. We’ve loaded this post with all the planning tips and tricks you need to make sure your cake tasting goes off without a hitch:
1.) Picking the right vendor partner
Like most wedding vendor selections, you want to start off with a little research. Have an idea in mind of the style of cake you want and be sure to bring inspiration photos for your baker as well. But also go into this meeting with an open mind. You baker can take the inspiration photos but make your cake into something unique for you and your overall wedding design!
Be mindful that a cake tasting may come with a fee, so this may not be the time to invite your entire wedding party with you. Be sure to important key decision makers are in attendance for the tasting. That may be your significant other and the person footing the bill for the cake as well. Also let your baker know what your favorite flavors are, as well as the flavors you don’t love. But be open to their suggestions as well. They know what flavor profiles can work together, and you may end up with something totally unexpected but still just as delicious! – Krisy Thomas, Southern Sparkle Wedding & Event Planning
2.) What to bring to the tasting
Who Should I bring? I highly recommend bringing your partner! A cake tasting is such a fun part of the wedding process – you get to indulge in yummy cake, champagne, and coffee. Also, if someone else is gifting the cake to you, like your parents, it is a great idea to bring them along. Oh! You’re bridesmaids are always welcome!
What should I bring? Your Story – . I absolutely love the idea of infusing your wedding with your love story. Maybe it’s a shared love of Star Wars, or you own two adorable puppies, or maybe you met over a game of cornhole. All of these are really adorable ways to infuse your cake or dessert table with your love story.
Design Elements: I always encourage couples to bring items like a copy of their invitation suite, their color swatches, or even their secret Pinterest board (the one that every bride has, including myself). You can even bring a photo that shows just a peek of your dress – I promise we’ll hide it from the groom.
Your Dream Cake: Maybe you already have your dream cake picked out and that’s fine. However, we won’t be able to make an exact replica due to copyright infringement. If you can’t pin down one design, that’s OK too! We can pull elements from a few different designs to create your dream cake. – Randi Smith, Sugar Euphoria
3.) Consider the ingredients and temperature
When deciding on your cake style and decoration, be sure you consider the time of year and the conditions of your venue. A naked cake under a clear top tent may not hold up if it’s a really hot day! – Jamie & Stephanie, Event Planners, Cape Cod Celebrations
Something else to note, food allergies. Not just yours, but your wedding guests’ as well. I suggest steering clear of any flavors that incorporate nuts into them. A nut allergy can be deadly. You may not know every allergy for every single guest attending, so avoiding it completely if a safe route to take. To help with other unknown allergies, I suggest asking your baker for a full ingredient list as well. You can work with your calligrapher to create something cute and fun for the cake table that displays the ingredients. Or you can provide it to your wedding planner, so he/she can let guests know when they ask! – Krisy Thomas, Southern Sparkle Wedding & Event Planning
4.) Bring inspiration photos & do a bit of research
Whether you print and bring photos or have them easily accessible on your Pinterest app, be prepared to share photos of your ideal cake at your consultation. This will help guide the discussion, especially when it comes to pricing.
Know your frosting options. Do a bit of research and be sure to understand the different types of frosting options available. For example, some cake designs can be achieved with buttercream and others cannot. Also, does your venue have refrigeration available on site? If you get a buttercream cake, you’ll need to store it somewhere cool since it will likely be delivered hours in advance of it being served. Your main options will likely be American buttercream, Swiss buttercream, Italian buttercream, or fondant. It will also help to research the bakeries you’d like to taste to see what frosting options they offer. Not all bakeries offer multiple options. – Brooke Avishay, Orange Blossom Special Events
When prepping for your cake tasting, be sure to come with design ideas that you love for inspiration. Bakeries will have photos of cakes they have done, but you will want to be prepared with your favorites! – Jamie & Stephanie, Event Planners, Cape Cod Celebrations
5.) Decorative Details
Sugar flowers versus fresh flowers? Sugar flowers are a work of art; however, they’re very labor-intensive which makes them very expensive. It’s helpful to know this in order to avoid sticker shock. Also, if you plan to use fresh flowers, the consultation is a great time to discuss who will be decorating the cake on wedding day – either the bakery upon delivery or the florist. Also, consider a groom’s cake! Some consider the groom’s cake to be an outdated tradition but I love it! Whether it’s a surprise for your groom or a collaboration, it’s always fun to give a nod to the groom and his specific style and tastes. – Brooke Avishay, Orange Blossom Special Events
6.) Consider Cake Alternatives
The tradition of a wedding cake stems back to early Europe when loaves of bread were stacked upon each other and represented fertility. Clearly it has evolved over time into a decadent and beautiful creation. The best way to start the process of hiring a baker is setting up tastings, and taking a look at portfolios to see what is or is not possible in your aesthetic and budget.
We always love utilizing different flavors on different tiers to give guests a bit of variety. Behind that, the growing talent of bakers today means the world is your oyster. You can incorporate sugar flowers, toppers made in the likeness of the couple (including pets and kids!), or the baker can even customize and design or color scheme inside the cake that is visible after cutting! Don’t want the big presentation cake or does the thought of everyone watching you cut make you cringe? Consider presenting each guest with their own mini cake!
If cake isn’t your thing, or you have a major sweet tooth like I do, there are many alternatives to cake. This is a great opportunity to personalize your event by incorporating the couple of family favorites. Also pies, ice cream sandwiches a sundae bar or a gelato cart, doughnuts or a display with a various of minis will ensure all of your guests are happy. – Nora Sheils, Founder, Bridal Bliss
Simply cake or a dessert bar? – It’s helpful if, before the tasting appointment, you decide if you’re looking for a cake only or if you’re looking for the cake to be part of a larger dessert bar. This will certainly come up at the consultation and you should be prepared to discuss, even if you don’t have an answer beforehand. – Brooke Avishay, Orange Blossom Special Events