Once you’ve locked down the perfect caterer, it’s time to start thinking dessert. Regardless of whether you’re leaning toward a three tiered cake, a tower of cupcakes, or a table full of your favorite pies, read our tips for a quick overview of how to choose your wedding cake and desserts.
SELECTING YOUR DESSERTS
Desserts – the cause and solution to all of life’s problems. Picking out your dessert(s) can be a great opportunity to pay homage to the special people in your lives or to carry on fun family traditions. For example, If your fiance(e)’s mother makes a killer carrot cake, incorporate it into one of your wedding cake tiers, or have some carrot cake cupcakes. This could be a touching gesture that makes her day!
Before you begin to look for a baker, spend some time daydreaming about your ideal dessert set up. Go back to your Top Three Things again and ask yourself what matters most and what tone you’re trying to set. Do you want your cake to reflect the formality of the event or do you want a homey dessert table that invites guests to pick and choose their favorite treats?
Donna Munson of Madison’s on Main asks couples to bring any ideas they have with them to the consultation. “If they have pictures of cakes saved (95% do…and they typically have a Pinterest board with photos as well), to bring those, color swatches, invitations, and a picture of their dress, if they want to use it as inspiration. I always ask if there is a certain feel that they want to convey. Most brides already have a vision when they come in, and then we use that to begin the conversation with design. If they don’t have any ideas, then I will ask to see the items I mentioned above and then I will pull ideas for them that I feel conveys their vision.”
If you’re on a budget, think outside the cake box! Even gourmet doughnuts can say ‘wedding’ if presented in the right way. And, heck, as long as you’re doing things your way, why not break the mold with a froyo or ice cream buffet. in place of baked desserts. Or a make your own cookie station (think sugar cookies, icing, and toppings of your choice).
When you’re visiting bakeries, there can be a lot of flavors and styles to choose from, and it can be easy to get caught up in choosing the best ones. If it feels overwhelming, take a deep breath and remind yourselves that your guests will have no idea if you had the option to choose between a chocolate buttercream or an amaretto filling. All they’ll know is that your desserts are delicious and they’re happy to be with you.
FINDING THE RIGHT BAKER
Award-winning cake designer Donna Munson of Madison’s on Main says, “I actually only do one consult with the couple in person. The rest we do through phone calls and emails. They do their tasting at the same time as we do the design process. (If a couple doesn’t know what they want beforehand) I will ask if they want to go with a traditional design or something more about “them.” That starts the conversation and the wheels turning!”
SIGNING THE DESSERT CONTRACT
Once you’re ready to sign a contract with a baker, look it over to make sure it includes the information below:
- Who: name and contact info (your’s and their’s)
- What: everything they’ll be providing (cake, cupcakes, etc.)
- Where: the location of your events
- When: dates and times of service
- How much: cost per item, delivery and set-up fees
- Receipt: the deposit paid, the balance due and due dates
- Uh oh: cancellation policies and emergencies
Once both you and your baker have signed on the dotted line, share your baker’s contact information with your caterer, venue, and wedding planner / designer. The more in-tune your wedding vendors are, the more seamlessly your event will come together. Then file your contract with the additional wedding contracts you’ve signed up to this point.
If you can’t afford to go through a professional bakery, find out if any friends or family members can provide smaller pastries or treats. Homemade brownies, cookies, or even cupcakes are perfect for weddings, especially if wrapped in a small ribbon with cute gift tags or stacked on cake stands and dessert trees. Have fun with it and let the dessert selection process be a fun experience, not a stressful one.
Now that you’ve read through our tips on how to choose your wedding cake and desserts, it’s time to start tasting! Print out the sample contract template above and bring it to your consultations. And above all, make sure you choose the desserts that mean the most to you and fit within your budget.