Posts Tagged ‘dummy cakes’

Picking the Perfect Wedding Cake

Courtesy of Damon TucciThis post is long overdue! I have a few words of advice on the topic of wedding cakes and I will try to keep it short and “sweet”.

There are many things you need to keep in mind when it comes to choosing the cake that’s right for you. My experience has been that Cost, Purpose, Flavor, Style and Size are the most important factors to consider, although every couple will prioritize these factors differently.

I coach my clients to approach the cake selection process like this:

#1 – Identify the purpose of the cake: Will the cake be the ‘dessert’ for the event? Or will you have other sweet treats, for example, a chocolate fountain or a plated dessert that will be served to your guests? If the cake is the singular dessert that will be served after the meal, you will want to pay particular attention to the size and flavor of the cake.

#2 – Consider the cost: Many of my couples are looking for ways to trim excess expenses from their wedding budget (especially in today’s economy!). Here are some money saving tips:

  • Simple = savings! Wedding cake prices can vary widely and oftentimes a large part of the cake’s cost can be attributed to the complexity of the design and how it’s decorated. Fondant icing and intricate designs will drive up costs; foregoing these options is cost effective and will not affect your guests enjoyment of this dessert. Likewise, a ‘kitchen cake’ (a simple iced sheet cake that’s kept in the kitchen) can supplement the number of servings at an affordable price.
  • What are you saving it for…? Make your cake go farther by serving the top layer. Honestly, you don’t want to eat that cake a year later! Here’s a fresh idea: consider using a bakery that offers an anniversary cake.
  • Grocery store cakes are not always cheaper! Set a cake budget and then look around for a custom cake baker who can work within that budget; chances are you will be able to find an independent baker/bakery who can make the cake of your dreams at a price you can afford. (Note: Always get references, taste samples and ask to see pictures!)

#3 – Make it flavorful: I always recommend serving the best tasting cake you can, especially if the cake will be the primary (only) dessert. And, whenever possible, order layered cakes in multiple flavors! Three layers of yellow cake with white icing screams ‘boring’. I realize that some people just prefer vanilla or chocolate, but when it comes to your wedding cake, why order something you can buy any other day of the week? Make it memorable! There are so many options available to brides today – why not take advantage of them?

#4 – Selecting the perfect size: As a general rule, some guests may decline a serving of wedding cake, or some guests may leave before cake is served. While bakeries seem to provide serving information based on very small pieces (my opinion), odds are you will not run out of cake if you order the cake based on your guest count. Here are some money saving tips:

  • When the wedding cake is not the only dessert, you can likely order less servings – up to 10% – 20% less!
  • If a Groom’s cake will be served in addition to the wedding cake, you should deduct an equal number of servings from the size of the wedding cake. For example, based on 120 guests and a groom’s cake sized to serve 40 guests, you would order the wedding cake to serve 80 people.
  • Another thing to be aware of is that bakers/bakeries that specialize in wedding cakes have perfected the baking methods that allow large cakes to be stable; this means that the cake is firm without being dry, and easy to cut. Cakes that are overly moist, undercooked, or filled with chunky fruit (such as fresh strawberries, for example) can result in a lot of wasted cake.

#5 – Stylish cakes rule when it’s all about the look: Style is the highest priority for some of my brides, and there’s not much that can top that joyous gasp of, “Look at my cake!”. In these circumstances, cost is less of a concern, but using ‘dummy cakes’ (iced and decorated styrofoam layers) to boost the height of the cake may save a few dollars over ordering more cake than you require. On the other hand, you can plan to use the extra cake at the wedding brunch or arrange to donate uncut cakes to a nursing home.

One last bit of advice: be sure that your baker/bakery provides boxes for leftover cake!

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11 2008
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