Congratulations on your engagement! I know you have lots of things to plan, book, and finalise, so I wanted to put together a comprehensive list of how to choose your cake designer so that you receive the perfect experience for your special day. Cake designers, like dresses, florists, and photographers, are part of the intimate experience of planning your reception. As such, you want to make sure that you do your research, and give it some thought.
Below is my top 5 tips for how to choose your cake designer.
1. Find the style that you love.
There is nothing that says that you can’t have a rustic wedding cake at your Great Gatsby-themed wedding. However, if you’re having an elegant soiree it’s unlikely you’ll be looking for a more rustic cake. Once you have your theme and date, I’d recommend getting onto Pinterest and really looking at what style of cake matches your theme. Remember that in the summer months you’ll probably want a fondant-covered cake to minimise any heatwave disasters. Some things you could look for are:
Blush pink wedding cakes
Elegant barn wedding cakes
Modern geometric wedding cakes.
As you can see, these are some options that give Pinterest (or Google) a chance to show you the styles to match your colour scheme, theme, or personality. I wouldn’t worry about location just yet (that’s Point 2!) but really find the style that suits you. A mood board can be great to put all these images together, as you’ll soon start seeing what is cohesive and what just doesn’t fit.
At Cakes in Bloom we specialise in romantic but modern wedding cakes, with realistic sugar flowers and an eye for dramatic design. If this is what your moodboard looks like, please get in touch or book your discovery call with us.
2. Think about your budget
I’ll write a whole other post about how to budget for your wedding cake, but it’s important to be clear with your cake designer about what the budget is. If cake is important to you, because you’re a foodie, or maybe because you want the breathtaking pictures, then it’s important that you allow for the expense. Some people will prioritise their DJ over their cake, others will prioritise their cake over their flowers. It all depends on how you value your cake.
Primarily, budget should be affected by the amount of decoration that you need, and the amount of people you’ll be serving. Cakes can cost anything from £5 to £15 per serving, depending on the skill of your cake maker, what flavours you choose, and how niche your design is.
At Cakes in Bloom we have a minimum order value of £500, which allows us to dedicate ourselves to a few cakes every month.
3. Location, location, location
Once you’ve found your style, and thought about your budget, it’s time to narrow the search. This is particularly relevant if you have chosen a venue that is quite self-contained: most beautiful manor houses or walled gardens are miles away from any town. Therefore, I’d recommend starting close to your venue and then expanding your radius by no more than 40 miles. Point 4 will expand a little bit on getting recommendations from your venue, but I’d always type into Google (or Instagram) your location and see what comes up. A few examples of how to expand your search:
Bicester wedding cake
Oxfordshire wedding cake
Cotswold wedding cake
Bear in mind that many cake makers will be reluctant to drive a cake several hours to a venue, though many will.
Instagram can be a great tool for this, as location-specific tags tend to have fewer posts and the same cake makers will come up over and over again. If your styles match, it’s also a very quick way of getting in touch with them, though email is a lot more reliable.
Cakes in Bloom is an Oxfordshire-based cake business, covering most of the South Central, from London to Bristol. However, we’ve also delivered cakes to Brighton, Bath, and on one memorable occasion we delivered a cake to Dorset. Therefore, do not hesitate to get in touch about your wedding cake plans.
4. Trust your venue
If you’re struggling to find something you love, or maybe you can’t decide on style, your venue is a great place to ask for recommendations. All their recommended suppliers are professionals with whom the venue has a good working relationship, who have provided a reliable and personable service. This also means that they’ll know their way around the venue, and they’ll be familiar with how to contact the events coordinator, which will take some pressure away from you.
Remember, the venue always has your best interest at heart: they want you to have an unforgettable experience, and will usually bend over backwards to give that to you. However, they’re not the only place to ask: photographers always know everyone, as do venue decorators and florists. We’ve linked a few of our favourites for you here to help you plan your details. Cakes in Bloom is the recommended cake supplier for: Conference Oxford Venues, The Bodleian Library, and Weston Manor. We look forward to working at these fantastic venues again soon.
5. Find a personality match
My final but not inconsequential point is about personality. If you absolutely adore a cake designer’s style, you might be willing to put up with some late emails or some brusque phone calls. However, I believe that your wedding should be the most wonderful day. As a 2019 bride, I know how stressful planning can be, and I think that the suppliers should do their best to ensure a seamless service for you. During summer wedding season this can be difficult as suppliers are busy. However, the planning process is so personal that it’s important that you get along well with all your suppliers. I would always recommend trying to meet them at a wedding fayre, or a wedding open day. At Cakes in Bloom we offer a free Discovery Call where you can get to know us and we can hear all about your wedding day. From there, we also offer Zoom consultations, to create your bespoke cake design. We are not offering face to face consultations at the moment, but hope to resume those soon.
I hope these tips were helpful for your wedding cake journey. Of course, your cake designer should be a registered business, should have insurance, and their cakes should be delicious. However, I felt like these went without saying, and hoped to provide a service for the more technical bits of finding a cake designer. Please let me know in the comments if you have any more questions about how Cakes in Bloom can create your unique cake design, and feel free to check my FAQ page for more resources and information.
Happy wedding planning!