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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How to plan your own wedding

HOW TO PLAN A WEDDING ON YOUR OWN

Congratulations! The man you have always wanted to spend the rest of your life with just went down on one knee to pop the big question and you are basking in euphoria. Your big day is a few months away, and you want to handle things by yourself because you can never trust someone to oversee things the way you would or you are trying to cut cost by employing a professional wedding planner. If you are the bride to be, relax! You can handle things yourself and plan your dream wedding just the way you always envisioned it.  No jokes, planning your own wedding can be really overwhelming. Here are some very helpful tips that will ensure the success of your wedding. After the euphoria of being engaged has toned down, you may want to inform your folks and closest friends about the big news. After celebrating with them, you have to get to work on planning your wedding. Since you are the only one planning everything, it’s advisable you start very early. Planning early helps to avoid setbacks associated with last minute plans. Churches and especially reception halls get booked way in advance, as in months, so you need to act fast. These are some helpful tips;

how to plan a wedding on your own in chicago

Talk ideas about your wedding

Drag a seat and rub hearts with your fiancé. Remember, your wedding involves the both of you. Let him know what your ideal wedding will look like and ask him how he would want your wedding to be. This is also very important if you and your man are of different ethnicities. You both need to have a safe landing to avoid the clash of interests. Discuss the type of reception venue you want, the number of guests, the food, the colors, the type of music and also where you will like to say your vows. Just exchange ideas so it can give a picture of what you want to bring to fruition. Don’t bring the financial implications of all these yet.

Mark out your wedding date

Bring out a calendar and highlight the date you will like to have your wedding. This might not be finalized, but it is important you do this so that you know the particular date you have to plan around. Do you want to tie the knot during the winter months? Or you want the brightness of spring to usher you into a new chapter of your life? Circle the date you want and organize things within the planned date.

Wedding To-do list

This is the biggest step.  Get a wedding journal, as it will be very important to write out your to-do list and ask yourself questions to help narrow down your options. Questions like, where do you want to exchange your vows? In front of a clergyman or just a court wedding with a few witnesses? Who are your wedding vendors? What kind of décor do you want? Do you want an elegant ballroom reception décor or an intimate reception with just family members and close friends in attendance? What kind of wedding gown do you want? A mermaid gown or a ball gown? Which brand of wedding gown would you like to wear on your wedding day? Are you buying or renting your wedding dress? Do you want a buffet wedding? A three-course meal? Do you want to employ the services of a make-up artist or you would rather opt for a close friend who can apply lipstick here and dab face powder there? When all this is done with your wedding date set in place, write out a planned budget for each wedding vendor and tailor from there.

how to choose a wedding vendor in chicago

Take action

After writing your wedding to-do list, swing into full force. Get in touch with a videographer and photographer. Get recommendations from friends or family members and pay upfront if possible to secure your date. Contact your caterer and see how you can work around your budget. Have a taste of the meal and peruse the menu to see if you can strike out some extras. Visit the venue with your wedding decorator and let her know how you want the space to be arranged. Have follow up dates with them. When shopping for your wedding gown, remain stoic. Go with your mom, sister or best friend or all three of them so they can decide what fits you better. They have an idea of what suits your personality. It’s advisable to set aside some money for miscellaneous costs like transportation and lunches during the whole wedding planning time.

Avoid impulse buying

Wedding budgets expand bigger than you can ever imagine. Monitor how you spend. Do not be tempted to buy what you do not need. Avoid buying that extra flower that looked ‘bored’ on the shelf where it sat. If you really need something last minute, you can borrow from a loved one or let it go completely if they don’t have. You will do just fine. One thing that saves a lot of money is not including the folded cloth around each chair at the reception. Although the colored cloth – draped chairs look beautiful, they charge a lot per chair. You don’t need them.

Thanks for reading this post and have fun planning your wedding. Subscribe to our blog for more wedding planning tips.