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Wedding Cake Bakers: Before You Book

Your wedding cake is the centerpiece of your reception. So take as much care in choosing one as you would in picking out the perfect wedding dress. Here are some key questions to ask your cake baker.

Do you customize wedding cakes?
Will the cake baker create a custom cake, or are there set styles to choose from? Look at photos and actual cakes, if possible. Be sure to bring pictures, fabric swatches, and other resources if you have a custom style in mind.

What are my filling choices?
Find out what filling choices are available and what ingredients are used. Whether you're looking for a fruity filling like strawberry or orange; or a heavier mocha or chocolate, the type of ingredients used will make all the difference in taste. Some common filling ingredients: fresh fruits or purees, Italian buttercream, and farm-fresh buttercream.

How far in advance are wedding cakes prepared?
Keep in mind that cake bakers often have more than one cake per weekend to prepare. So don't be surprised if your baker makes your cake three to four days prior to your wedding day. Of course, the closer to your wedding date the better.If you want to garnish your cake with fresh flowers, find out whether your cake designer will work with your florist or you are responsible for the blooms.

Who will bake my wedding cake?
Some bakeries house a baker and a designer; at other places, one person creates the entire cake from batter to sugar flowers. Find out how many people work with the baker and who exactly will be making yours. Whether it's a single person or a team of people, however, the number involved should have no bearing on the quality of your cake.

How are your wedding cakes priced?
It's common for wedding cakes to be priced by the slice. And the price will increase depending on the complexity of flavors and fillings you're after. This goes for custom-designed cakes as well. The more intricate the details, the higher the cost.

Does the wedding cake price include the top tier?
Depending on the baker, the top tier may or may not be included in the overall price. Find out the cake baker's policy, and whether having a top tier will add dollars to your bill.

What is the delivery process?
Some cake bakers will deliver your wedding cake to the reception for an added fee, while others ask that you have someone pick it up the day-of. Ask the baker how deliveries are usually handled, and if you're planning to order a large, delicate, or at all complicated cake, know that delivery is well worth the peace of mind.

Is the baker licensed by the state?
It may seem like a silly question, but it's worth verifying that your baker is licensed by the state health department.