What Do You Want Every Bride To Know About Wedding Cakes?

Business By PieceofCakeAZ Updated 25 Feb 2009 , 7:27am by PieceofCakeAZ

PieceofCakeAZ Posted 22 Feb 2009 , 7:23am
post #1 of 23

I know it's a general question, and having worked with hundreds of brides myself, I have more than a few thoughts on this but... as a wedding cake artist what do you think is important for brides to know about wedding cakes?

I have recently been selected to be an expert at WeddingAces.com (a WeddingWire.com project) and every week I will be blogging about weddings, mostly about wedding cakes. It's a wonderful opportunity to help brides get exactly what they want in a wedding cake and helping the cake world by dispelling some of the crazy "bridal magazine myths" that we are all so tired of hearing. I have made a decent list of potential topics (I'll be blogging twice a week, so I'll need it) but I thought Id throw it out to you guys in case there is something specific that you would like brides to know that I hadn't planned on covering. (perhaps something regional that I wouldn't know about being in AZ.)

I have a few already entries posted and a few more in the works (Im writing one right now on those crazy cake toppers that have a small base and a poor weight distribution leading to toppers that fall off of cakes). I am not tackling the bridal magazine myths just yet, I thought I would ease into that one and make sure they like me before I make anyone mad.

Here are a few topics already in the works ( I know theses are broad but I have very specific ideas for each)

toppers
team logo (copyright)
cake supports
choosing a baker
grooms cake
how early to book
scratch vs mix
fake cakes
flavor selection
outdoor wedding cakes
cake design
delivery
fondant
sizing
cake pricing
tasting charge
mini cakes
wedding magazine myths (this could be 10 blogs entries)
cupcakes

I already have a couple of entries up and a couple more waiting in the blogger queue. You can see them here: http://www.weddingaces.com/

22 replies
indydebi Posted 22 Feb 2009 , 12:11pm
post #2 of 23

I'm heading out for a bridal show in a few minutes, so I'll send you some ideas later tonight.

I've given speeches/presentations on stuff like this, so I should have a good arsenal of info to share with you. I'm actually speaking today at the bridal show on a similar topic.

Congrats on being selected for this project!! thumbs_up.gif

jillmakescakes Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 2:54am
post #3 of 23

Can you talk about cake slice sizes? There are a few issue associated with this, such as:

Each baker may have a different "slice size" in mind when quoting a price
Do you need a birthday cake size piece after a huge meal and in fitting formal clothes?
If a family member cuts the cake, how many pieces will be lost to poor technique (or dropping for that matter)
Make sure they know WHO will be cutting the cake--and when in the evening

classiccake Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 3:40am
post #4 of 23

Mention licensed and insured bakers please.

indydebi Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 3:44am
post #5 of 23

This might fall under "how early to book" but today I had a LOT of Sept and Oct brides, so I told them, "You have to be a decision maker. You are competing with all of those other brides who want YOUR reception facility, YOUR photographer, etc. The one who decides first, will get her first choice." So it's not so much a matter of "be sure to book your cake 6 months in advance" but more a matter of "how popular IS the date you've selected?"

Remember 6-7-08? My nephew booked it over a year in advance and I turned down something like 25-28 brides for that date.

-------------------------------------

I HATE the Ten Questions to Ask Your Caker/Caterer lists!! So .... to address a couple of those .....

Will you book other weddings on my date? It's the wrong question. The RIGHT question is "what is your capacity for weddings on a given date? Do you still have room in your schedule for my wedding?" I get so ticked when a bride thinks I can pay my rent and overhead on JUST her $300 cake!

How far ahead do you bake the cake? Be sure they understand that baking the cake a few days ahead of time is not just NORMAL, but it's pretty much a "have-to" case. This AIN'T your mama's kitchen where we can churn out a cake in just 30 minutes.

My big peeve .... cutting the cake as the very last thing in the evening will guarantee you'll overspend on cake and have lots left over ... because a lot of guests will leave long before the festivities are over. Wedding cake should be cut and served soon after dinner ... when dessert is SUPPOSE to be eaten. Not last thing at night when people are walking out the door.

littlecake Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 6:30am
post #6 of 23

Congrats on being selected as a wedding cake expert...FINALLY they are getting someone who knows what they are talking about.

I don't have any suggestions for you other than what you already have listed...I just wanted to say I think you are a brilliant writer and have always learned a lot from your posts....you'll be helping a lot of peeps with your advice.

PieceofCakeAZ Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 9:21am
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

Congrats on being selected as a wedding cake expert...FINALLY they are getting someone who knows what they are talking about.

I don't have any suggestions for you other than what you already have listed...I just wanted to say I think you are a brilliant writer and have always learned a lot from your posts....you'll be helping a lot of peeps with your advice.




I'm blushing... and far from a brilliant writer... but thank you very much! You're probably just saying that because I own 2 pugs. icon_biggrin.gif

PieceofCakeAZ Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 9:28am
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

This might fall under "how early to book" but today I had a LOT of Sept and Oct brides, so I told them, "You have to be a decision maker. You are competing with all of those other brides who want YOUR reception facility, YOUR photographer, etc. The one who decides first, will get her first choice." So it's not so much a matter of "be sure to book your cake 6 months in advance" but more a matter of "how popular IS the date you've selected?"

Remember 6-7-08? My nephew booked it over a year in advance and I turned down something like 25-28 brides for that date.

-------------------------------------

I HATE the Ten Questions to Ask Your Caker/Caterer lists!! So .... to address a couple of those .....

Will you book other weddings on my date? It's the wrong question. The RIGHT question is "what is your capacity for weddings on a given date? Do you still have room in your schedule for my wedding?" I get so ticked when a bride thinks I can pay my rent and overhead on JUST her $300 cake!

How far ahead do you bake the cake? Be sure they understand that baking the cake a few days ahead of time is not just NORMAL, but it's pretty much a "have-to" case. This AIN'T your mama's kitchen where we can churn out a cake in just 30 minutes.

My big peeve .... cutting the cake as the very last thing in the evening will guarantee you'll overspend on cake and have lots left over ... because a lot of guests will leave long before the festivities are over. Wedding cake should be cut and served soon after dinner ... when dessert is SUPPOSE to be eaten. Not last thing at night when people are walking out the door.




We apparently think a lot a like Indy! icon_smile.gif I didn't have the last one though (since I have never actually cut a wedding cake, I usually drop them off and go) I will definitely work a blog entry about that in!

I actually started one about popular dates and the horrible "3 month in advance" advice but then one of those blasted infinity cake toppers (with the bride being held by the groom... you know the ones, top heavy with a poor center of gravity on the tiny base) fell off a cake on Saturday and the topper selection post jumped to the top of my list. icon_biggrin.gif

Thanks and I hope I can write something that will be helpful!

PieceofCakeAZ Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 9:31am
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jillmakescakes

Can you talk about cake slice sizes? There are a few issue associated with this, such as:

Each baker may have a different "slice size" in mind when quoting a price
Do you need a birthday cake size piece after a huge meal and in fitting formal clothes?
If a family member cuts the cake, how many pieces will be lost to poor technique (or dropping for that matter)
Make sure they know WHO will be cutting the cake--and when in the evening





Quote:
Originally Posted by classiccake

Mention licensed and insured bakers please.




I will definitely post about these topics!!

cfao Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 1:17pm
post #10 of 23

With everyone having cable tv and how popular the cake shows are, could you enlighted the brides on the cost of these cakes. The brides have NO idea of the cost of the cakes they see on ace of cakes, food network challenge, etc. I was at a wedding show yesterday and I had a couple who said they knew exactly what they wanted, her mother had even looked up Duff's number & were going to call to see what delivery to New Hampsire would be for a carved cake, but since they were at the show they figured they would get a price from me. The cake was for 100 guests, I quoted them $800 plus $40 delivery. They said that was WAY TOO MUCH for a cake for 100 guests and they would be calling Charm City for a price quote. Wait until they find out the minimum order is $1500 and certainly not delivered to NH.

marmalade1687 Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 1:30pm
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfao

With everyone having cable tv and how popular the cake shows are, could you enlighted the brides on the cost of these cakes. The brides have NO idea of the cost of the cakes they see on ace of cakes, food network challenge, etc. I was at a wedding show yesterday and I had a couple who said they knew exactly what they wanted, her mother had even looked up Duff's number & were going to call to see what delivery to New Hampsire would be for a carved cake, but since they were at the show they figured they would get a price from me. The cake was for 100 guests, I quoted them $800 plus $40 delivery. They said that was WAY TOO MUCH for a cake for 100 guests and they would be calling Charm City for a price quote. Wait until they find out the minimum order is $1500 and certainly not delivered to NH.




Same with the bridal mags - they never list prices under those beautiful cakes! People bring these photos to me (usually a big 5-tier cake) and say "That's EXACTLY what I want, but I'm on a budget"! The wedding cake is supposed to be for 50 people - a 5-tier cake, designed by a nationally renowned designer, on a budget?? Ya, right!

leah_s Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 1:32pm
post #12 of 23

CCC's website still lists $1k as their minimum.

indydebi Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 1:36pm
post #13 of 23

Along with cake slice sizes, add into that how to cut a wedding cake. This suggestion came to me after reading this thread, http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=6263821#6263821 , where the CC'er shares a story about a caterer who butchered a cake.

Just because they work in the food industry, doesn't mean they have any idea on how to cut a cake!

cfao Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 1:41pm
post #14 of 23

Hi Leahs,

Even at $1000 minimum, they are going to get quite a surprise for what those cakes on the show go for. Their mouths were wide open in awe when I said $800. I didn't tell them any price quote they could expect from CCC, I figured it would better for them to get it directly from them, oh, and delivery to NH wil be...

I also agree about those cakes in wedding magazines, it would be nice to see some prices listed next to them also. They have the cake designer sometimes, but very few brides go to that person's web site to see pricing for that type of cake.

indydebi Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 1:48pm
post #15 of 23

I got a few "i LUV the Ace of Cakes!" comments yesterday at the bridal show. I immediately tell them "So do I .... did you know he has a $1000 minimum for his cakes?" Their mouths drop open ... they have no idea. And then when I tell them "none of the cakes you see on TV are even close to $1000. I've seen a cake he does for the minimum. No where even close." Then I pointed to all of my cakes on display and said, "Every single one of these cakes would be WAY over $1000 if they had been made by Duff Goldman."

Closing with my "comforting" line of , 'But the good news is that I'm not QUITE that expensive!" icon_biggrin.gif

miss_sweetstory Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 2:03pm
post #16 of 23

Fresh flower Dos and Don'ts (or why your cake artist might have certain rules about where your flowers are sourced and what varieties are used)

Kevin, your blog entries look great!

*edited for typo

tx_cupcake Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 2:22pm
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Then I pointed to all of my cakes on display and said, "Every single one of these cakes would be WAY over $1000 if they had been made by Duff Goldman."

Closing with my "comforting" line of , 'But the good news is that I'm not QUITE that expensive!" icon_biggrin.gif




icon_lol.gif So in other words, you punch 'em in the gut, then offer them a seat. Brills!!! icon_lol.gif

misserica Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 2:31pm
post #18 of 23

I was engaged at one time (before I started cake decorating etc) and when I was shopping for reception facilities my question was "who does the cake", maybe you can do a topic on facilities that allow off premise baking and the cake cutting fee associated with this or in some cases the $ credit the reception site will give you if you chose an outside baker. I just thought it was unfair when I went to a catering facility and the $ per guest was huge and I had to use their boring cakes when I knew the bakery I had wanted to use, in some cases it was a deal breaker.

juleebug Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 2:32pm
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Quote:

Fresh flower Dos and Don'ts (or why your cake artist might have certain rules about where your flowers are sourced and what varieties are used)




Amen to that! I recently had a business associate who got their cake from another baker telling me how much they paid for it and what a great deal it was. Then they mentioned that they paid so little because it was plain and they put 5 silver butterflies (at $80 each) and fresh flowers on it. When they told me what type, I said "Do you realize you put toxic flowers on the cake you served your guests?" Of course he didn't. Neither the baker or the florist had told him. I guess that's what happens when you spend $400 on silver butterflies and $150 on a 5 tier cake?

indydebi Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 2:38pm
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by juleebug

Amen to that! I recently had a business associate who got their cake from another baker telling me how much they paid for it and what a great deal it was. Then they mentioned that they paid so little because it was plain and they put 5 silver butterflies (at $80 each) and fresh flowers on it. When they told me what type, I said "Do you realize you put toxic flowers on the cake you served your guests?" Of course he didn't. Neither the baker or the florist had told him. I guess that's what happens when you spend $400 on silver butterflies and $150 on a 5 tier cake?




omg, print this story word for word and that says it all!!! icon_surprised.gif

CoutureCake Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 10:07am
post #21 of 23

Portion sizes: There's nothing wrong with a REAL sized slice for wedding cake!!! (o.k. after being on the rubber chicken circuit, half the time you can't eat half of the plated meal anyways, so a full dessert is a MUST... Besides that, no one EVER complains that their wedding slice of cake was "too big")... But also, big box stores use a 1x1x3-4 slice versus even a Wilton 1x2x4 slice... That's a BIG difference when someone is quoting you $3/slice in what is getting gotten for the money...

Sheet cakes vs. Kitchen Cakes: Definitions... Sheet=unfilled portion cake max 2" tall Kitchen cake: Same layers/filling as the main wedding cake only no decoration and rough-iced... The ALL Guests being treated EQUAL!!! factor... There's nothing that sucks more after a dehydrated rice plated meal and get a piece of half-portioned kiddie cake when other people at my table get a filled slice of cake.

Cupcakes: size matters.... and if you don't like traditional cake, cupcakes are STILL CAKE... The fact that people eat more of them, OTOH, people also hate the fact that they have to get their fingers into the food when they're all dressed up..

Like a PP pointed out... The time of the cake service during the event. Suggest brides walk in directly to the cake table for their cutting photos before sitting down to dinner so the catering staff can do the cutting so when the first table finished with dinner is ready for cake, there it is. Half the guests leave the second they think dinner is over, cake or not. If the cake is late, there will be leftovers (and for brides/grooms to line up take-home boxes for leftovers and the caterers put them in boxes to go right away so guests can take them)

Ordering enough cake: FOR ALL of the guests!!! Some caterers tell brides to only order enough for 75% of the guest list. I've been the guest at at least FOUR weddings that hasn't gotten cake because of that idiocy... Let me tell you, I wasn't happy to be cheaped out on!!

The things guests remember most: Did they get enough to eat and did they have a good time. None of them care if the napkins matched the bridesmaid dresses. They care that their tummy was filled regardless of the restrictions they've got (Diabetic, Celiac's, allergy, etc.), and if they had a good time (aka the DJ didn't blast the music so loud they couldn't hear for the next week)...

indydebi Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 11:26am
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoutureCake

The things guests remember most: Did they get enough to eat and did they have a good time. None of them care if the napkins matched the bridesmaid dresses. They care that their tummy was filled regardless of the restrictions they've got (Diabetic, Celiac's, allergy, etc.), and if they had a good time (aka the DJ didn't blast the music so loud they couldn't hear for the next week)...



AMEN!!! (especially the DJ part!)

PieceofCakeAZ Posted 25 Feb 2009 , 7:27am
post #23 of 23

Thanks to you all! I will do my best to work in all of the issues you posted sometime this year! It should be no problem with the 2 a week dealio. icon_smile.gif

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