Did someone say dessert??
If you have followed me for any amount of time you know I am a HUGE lover of ice cream! But on a wedding day? I am totally fine putting down the spoon and picking up a fork and a big piece of wedding cake! It is the perfect end to a wedding night as you celebrate the marriage of the couple and dance the night away. Of course you need extra sugar for that, right?
But knowing you need a dessert is not the struggle for most couples as they plan their wedding day.
Its the fact that you have to figure out what dessert to have, who to have make it, and how you want it all to look. These questions can be pretty tough, unless you can find a cake designer that can walk you through all of these decisions. That is why I am soooo excited to have Blayre from Flouretta Sweet on the blog today with me as this months vendor spotlight! She is so sweet and easy to chat with, but the real kicker is that she creates some of the most beautiful wedding cakes I have ever seen for couples! I seriously have no idea how she creates these pieces but they are incredible! They are almost too beautiful that you don’t want to ever cut into it.
That says a lot when it comes to a dessert!
She has made cakes of all different sizes, shapes, and themes; and has definitely seen her fair share of questions in regards to this topic. That is why I am so excited to have her on the blog today, to answer some of the most frequently asked questions she receives from couples as they plan their wedding day. She touches on all the topics, including budget, timeline, sheet cakes, fake cakes, and so much more! Grab your cup of coffee, and maybe a sweet treat, because this blog post is bound to make you a little hungry!!
XOXO ~ Heather Marie
Hey friends! I’m Blayre, and I’m the owner of Flouretta Sweet. I specialize in boutique Wedding Cakes, Miniature Dessert Displays, and custom Special Occasion Cakes. Whether your cake and desserts are one of the top priorities on your wedding day, or you just want something sweet to end your night, I am here to answer all of your questions about how to find the right Cake Designer to fit your needs!
PC: Taylor Glessner Photography
“What should I be looking for in a cake designer?”
First, take a look at their social media and website. Instagram should give you a really good idea of their design aesthetic, along with their personality (which may or may not matter to you; but this person needs to be able to make your vision come to life, be good at communicating back and forth, and make you feel confident that they will show up and deliver on the day of your wedding!). Their website should have lots of information regarding policies, FAQs, basic pricing, and answer all of your preliminary questions.
A good cake designer should have the perfect blend of experience, a design style that you enjoy, prices that will realistically work within your budget (I’ll talk you through this below), and the ability to guide you throughout the cake design process with ease. Also, be sure to check and see if your baker has insurance and the proper certifications through the Health Department (especially if they create product out of their home)!
“What is the difference between a small, boutique cake designer, and a larger cake bakery? Why do the smaller businesses tend to charge more? Which one is right for my day?”
With every wedding vendor you book, you’ll have a wide range of choices. There will be vendors who operate on a larger scale with the ability to cater to more couples in one weekend, and some who operate on a smaller scale with a more tailored experience.
Cake designers and bakers are the same way! Let’s look at this in terms of an analogy.
Say you’re in the mood for a burger and you’re weighing your options. When you go to McDonalds, their burgers are mass-produced super quickly with lower quality, more accessible ingredients and a MUCH larger scale of operation. This is why they can afford to charge you less money for your meal.
Now, consider your local gastro-pub. There, your burger is most likely made from locally-sourced, more costly and potentially specialty ingredients. They have to pay the cook who ground the beef, made the brioche bun, and cut the local heirloom tomatoes. They are most likely paying a lot more money for overhead and ingredients; PLUS putting lots of time and effort into the quality of your burger, which ultimately drives up the cost of your meal.
Overall, neither one is inherently good or bad, it’s just about which option best fits YOUR needs!
So how does this translate to cake?
The majority of local boutique bakers are single-member-owned businesses (like myself) who wear all of the hats. I’m the one sending you the e-mails, making the buttercream, stacking and decorating your cake, and delivering and setting it up the day of your wedding. I’ve taken the time to get the proper education, certifications, experience, and training to make sure your cake isn’t made cheap or fast; but rather with quality (and so it doesn’t fall over the day of, am I right?!). This is precisely the reason why my prices cost more than that of a grocery store or large format bakery.
When considering your cake, think about how important of an element it is to your day, and find a vendor who matches your enthusiasm!
PC: Brianna Wilbur Photography
“How far in advance should I be booking a cake baker?”
Friends. I know that The Knot and Wedding Wire gives you a specific timeline; and sometimes it’s easier to compartmentalize your wedding planning based on what they say. But if you come across a vendor you love (no MATTER what they do), inquire with them! For cake designers specifically, some of them book up to 1.5 years in advance, and others can sometimes accommodate you with 4-6 months notice! In my opinion, 10-14 months in advance is a great time to be looking for your cake designer (and booking them if they fit within your budget).
“I found a cake designer I like! How can I figure out a general ballpark budget for my cake to see if I can afford them?”
The first thing you need to decide when you are coming up with a cake budget is HOW MUCH cake you’d like to serve. I give my couples a golden rule that 80% of their guests will eat cake. This can fluctuate depending on whether or not you’re providing them with other desserts, or if you have a cake-loving family (in which case you might want to get cake for all of your guests!). Once you have this number, you want to check the starting price-per-slice of the baker. Multiply the two numbers, and you should get a starting point for your budget! Don’t forget that this most-likely includes JUST your cake. You’ll need to build in a buffer for design, delivery, set-up and any other “extras”. Be sure to check on the baker’s website to see what is included in their pricing so you can budget more accurately.
“But what about ‘sheet cakes’? I’ve also heard some people have a fake cake too- how does that factor into the cost?”
There are definitely things your cake designer can do to help you fit within a budget. The price-per-slice I mentioned above usually only applies to the cost of a slice of cake WITHIN your tiered, stacked wedding cake. If you don’t want a massive tiered cake, you can get a smaller one and opt for additional cutting cakes that will be given to the kitchen/caterer to serve the rest of your guests (which are usually at a lower price-per-slice). Be respectful to your baker though, and get your cutting cakes THROUGH THEM (not COSTCO…yeah, I said it!). This will ensure the same quality (and many bakers have a clause where you are required to get all of your cake through them anyway, so if you’re going to go for it, do it all the way!).
You can also save money by offering cupcakes or a miniature dessert display in place of a slice of cake. For example, my price-per-slice is $7, but a miniature dessert package per-person can start at $3.50/person- there’s a 50% savings right there! Either way, pick a realistic budget based on what you’re looking for, and the information provided by the baker you are inquiring with. If you have a good vendor, they will be able to help you crunch the numbers to find exactly what will work for your budget (within reason).
PC: Juliana Tomlinson Photography
Want more tips from other vendors? Check out these Vendor Spotlights: