Wedding cake tastings 101Planning
12 Jul 2016 IGW TeamEveryone knows that cake tastings are meant to be delicious and exciting sessions where your prospective wedding cake maker brings you many delicious bits o baked-for-your-pleasure cake, and that from this you can arrive at your perfect wedding cake.
However, in reality it can be complicated. It can be hard to remember which cake was which, and which one you liked the most. Then there’s the worrying about whether what you tasted is what you’ll actually get. And this is cake we’re talking about, so it’s A BIG DEAL.
Sure, there are no laws restricting you to scoring wedding cake only through a specialist wedding cake supplier, and there are certainly some good alternatives. But if you are thinking of going down the traditional baker route, then the following tips will help you bag the cake of your sleep-drooling dreams.
Be selective. It might seem fun to court as many bakers as possible in order to cake-sample your way through a weekend. True, there are far worse things to suffer than a series of delicious mouthfuls of baked goods, but when it comes to decision time, you’ll be hard pushed to settle on one choice. So do some research upfront.
Shortlist only bakeries that do a visual style you like – most have a specialism or particular strength in one particular area. Okay, so stunning visuals don’t make up for dry, tasteless cake but that’s why you’re going to test-drive several bakeries – but several, not 25. That’s the key.
Be prepared to pay. Bakeries are small businesses who can’t necessarily absorb the cost (time and ingredients) it takes to host a tasting for someone who may or may not become a client. Yes, you might end up placing a lucrative order with them (in which case some bakeries may actually knock a bit off in light of the tasting fee) but then again you might not. At least if you pay, it’s easier to not feel any obligation to book that baker – not that you should feel obliged following a free taster either!
Follow your heart. Don’t be swayed by anyone, from the baker to your mum to Pinterest. If you both want courgette cake with blueberry icing, do it. And if your guests don’t like it? They’ll live! Or if you want to keep everyone happy, ask your baker to make a Victoria sandwich sheet cake to cut up out back. Same goes for decoration – there is no law about a wedding cake being white.
And follow your gut. if the baker makes you flinch or your eye twitches every time they laugh, are they a good match for your wedding? The cake will be a central part of the celebrations so find someone who gets you and is pleasant to be around.
Sure, so you’re not marrying the baker, but if you’re paying big bucks to have a delicious wedding centrepiece, you don’t want to feel uneasy about whoever it is that’s supplying it.
Have specifics in mind. Tastings are about the inside of the cake, but they also serve as an opportunity to home in on what exactly you want, and a chance for your baker to plan out how that would become reality. Having a ballpark guest total and budget will help your baker price up your dream cake.
Some businesses will draw a design for you right there and then, and others may take a few days to get back to you, and the same goes for pricing. Get your ideas firmed up beforehand and you’ll be doing yourselves and the baker a huge favour.
Take some time. Much in the way the baker might take a couple of days to get a price to you, it’s only fair you get some time to think. Plus, you might have other tastings booked in.
Before you leave the tasting, make sure you ask as many questions as you need to, and thank the baker for their time and efforts and let them know when you hope to make a decision. Then make that decision and let them know.
So that’s it, our top tips. Like many parts of wedding planning, they involve being true to yourself and narrowing things down to what’s really important for YOU. With these tips, the experience of choosing your cake and baker will be fun and exciting, and will result in a masterpiece almost too good to eat (ALMOST!).
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