How to choose the right wedding cake and baker

Start looking into a wedding cake after all decisions about dress style and reception decor and colors have been made. These will serve as a blueprint for the design and structure of your wedding cake. A lot of brides choose a cake that’s compatible with the style of the venue, the season, their wedding dress, the flower arrangements and even the menu. If you want colorful accents, give your baker fabric swatches, so your cake truly becomes part of your wedding.

how to find the perfect wedding cake and baker on a budget

A wedding cake tells a lot about your big day. From the flavor, coloring, elegance, and taste, it must radiate who you are as a couple.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT WEDDING CAKE AND BAKER

  1. MAKE A LIST

First, you need to make a list of wedding cake bakers you know, starting with referrals from friends. The idea is to narrow your search by identifying the available bakers around you by price and location.

  1. WORK WITH RECOMMENDATIONS

Stick with bakers having great reviews online. Do a simple google search. Type in the bakery name followed by the word “reviews.” This is one of the most popular, simple and effective ways to find a baker, or anything else you may be looking for. One bakery we love, and have used a few times in the past, is Alliance bakery in Chicago. Check them out. (773) 278-0366. 1736 W. Division street in Chicago. Photos of cakes on this page are from them. Their cakes are delicious works of art and the staff is outstanding.

  1. CHECK OUT INSTAGRAM PAGES

Professional bakers are now harnessing the power of Instagram and other social media to promote their businesses. You can get a feel of the professional bakers on your list by visiting their Instagram page or their website. Check out their baking videos, check out their samples and most important, read comments and reviews about them.

  1. CONSIDER YOUR BUDGET:

If you cannot afford the double high-class bakery, choose from the efficient and relatively cheaper bakers. Generally, three tiers will serve 50 to 100 guests. You’ll likely need five layers for 200 guests or more. If the reception is in a grand room with high ceilings, consider increasing the cake’s stature with columns between the tiers. (A “stacked” cake is one with its layers stacked directly atop each other, with no separators.) Know what you want and don’t stress yourself about a brand name if you can’t afford it. Save money by ordering a small cake that’s decorated to perfection but can only feed a handful, such as just the bridal party. Then, order several sheet cakes of the same flavor to feed the guests. Garnish with fruit for an elegant (but less expensive) effect.

     5. GO FOR TASTING:

As you start setting up appointments, find out when each baker’s next tasting is scheduled. At tastings, clients are invited into the bakery to sample exemplary cakes, ask questions, and review portfolios. This is an excellent opportunity to meet bakers and fully understand the range of their abilities. Beautiful and expensive isn’t always tasteful.

6. THINK ABOUT THE WEATHER

If you’re having an outdoor wedding in a hot climate, stay away from whipped cream, meringue, and buttercream: They melt. Ask your baker about summer icing options. You might want to go for a fondant-covered cake — it doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

how to find the perfect wedding cake and baker on a budget in chicago

7. ART VS. REALITY

Bridal magazines have food stylists and photo editors working to keep the cakes looking perfect. These people spend hours fixing the sweating, dripping, leaning or sagging that can happen to a cake after it’s been sitting for a while. They have the luxury of creating cakes from stuff that isn’t edible — most cakes in magazines are iced pieces of Styrofoam, which certainly doesn’t taste very good. Most photos are touched up in Photoshop or some other photo editing program. Although a lot of cake designers are incredibly good at what they do, don’t expect them to replicate exactly what you see in print.

8. GET ARTISTIC WITH YOUR WEDDING CAKE

Your wedding cake will likely be on display before it’s cut and consumed. A round table is perfect for round cakes, but a linear cake design may call for a rectangular table. Once you have a designated cake table, have fun dressing it up. Drape it with sumptuous fabrics and decorate it with motifs, colors and flowers to match the cake (your florist can help).

9. WEDDING CAKE TOPPERS

A wedding cake topper should reflect what the couple is into. It should give some insight into what they are about, at least that’s what I believe. Out of all the wedding cakes I have seen, having been a wedding photographer over 10 years, the most interesting are the creative ones. I have seen anything from the traditional, boring elegant, to the Star Wars Darth Vader and bride cake topper. Use your imagination, get creative and have fun. Here are some wedding cake topper ideas to get you started.

wedding cake knife and server set options during wedding planning in chicago

     10. WEDDING CAKE KNIFE AND SERVER SET

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on an elegant wedding cake knife and server set, as it’s only the wedding couple who will see them. Most wedding cake server sets are very nice and not expensive at all. A lot of places you purchase from will include free engraving, which usually includes your names and wedding date. Check out these great wedding cake server sets. I like to buy most things online, as it saves tons of time. Wedding cake toppers and server sets are something you should buy online, as they don’t require taste testing or sizing.

Lastly, book an appointment and ensure that the baker is free to take on your task!

Hopefully this article has helped in finding your wedding cake. For more wedding planning tips, subscribe to our blog. Thanks for reading!

INFO AT A GLANCE:

Check out these great wedding cake server sets.

Here are some wedding cake topper ideas

Alliance bakery

1736 W. Division st.

Chicago, IL, 60622

(773) 278-0366

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