Having a cake at my wedding was pretty much a no-brainer for us. My mom loves, LOVES, wedding cake. We joked once that she should put it in the contract that she gets a slice of cake from every wedding hosted here (we resisted). I'm not that big on cake but I am big on making my mom happy and Corban loves cake too so it was a win-win.
However, I definitely learned some lessons on the whole process that I wanted to share with you all! So here are my do's and don'ts when it comes to desserts!
Don't just rely on their reputation
We went with a local, big name brand for our cake. They have amazing cakes and cupcakes and have a reputation for making gorgeous creations. I ended up choosing them because we trusted their brand to live up to their reputation. I do not regret choosing this company - however they went through several ownership changes over the last few years and I think some things slipped through the cracks because of this. Namely, our communication was very stilted and I had to follow up several times to get things confirmed. I should have made expectations clear and asked for examples of their work because I wanted something stylistically that was very difficult to achieve. That being said,
Do ask for photos or drawings
When you choose a bakery for your cake, definitely ask for photos of work they've done that's similar and even ask for a drawing of what they're thinking. Don't assume they can read your mind! I wanted lush palette knife florals in my wedding colors (jewel tones) and they ended up using a base tone of yellow-green for the backdrop. Definitely NOT what I would have chosen. If we had had another consultation besides the first or if they had submitted a drawing to me beforehand, I might have caught their idea and stopped it. Not that my cake wasn't beautiful - it's just not exactly what I wanted.
Don't forgo the tastings
One of the best parts of choosing a bakery for your cake are the tastings! Definitely set up a few. Just watch out because they generally aren't free anymore. A lot of time they will build it into your final price when you book with them but if you have a few bakeries you're trying that means you won't book with all of them. It helps to go with companies that are on preferred vendor lists because you know you can trust that they'll do good work.
Do have a family member pick it up
This was a big one for me. They wanted to charge me around $400 for a delivery fee! Now I know some other bakeries out there don't charge that much but still, even a $100 fee could be easily avoided if you have a family member go to pick up the cake. They help load it into their car and honestly this was such a huge budget saver for me. We sent my brother and it went smooth as silk.
Don't throw out the sliced cake
This one was on me. Towards the end of the night, my coordinator came and asked what I wanted to do with the sliced cake. She said there was plenty left in the kitchen and I did not confirm what plenty meant to her. We had different definitions. There was a good amount of one flavor left but we had five flavors that we didn't really get to enjoy. There was a huge amount of cake thrown away - I should have asked for the sliced cake to be put back together and boxed up. I didn't want to be a bother and I regret that now. That being said, be prepared by bringing Tupperware to the caterers so they can box everything up easily!
Do make it a big celebration
One of my favorite things about our reception was how we did our cake cutting. I spent a lot of money on this thing so I put it front and center in the greenhouse - that way EVERYONE would see it! Then, when we did the cake cutting, we had everyone gather around and cheer us on. It was such a fun, sweet moment! If you're going to spend this kind of cash on dessert -don't let the moment slide by silently. Yay cake!
Do consider other options
My only other piece of advice is to be creative! You don't have to get cake for your wedding - I've seen so many creative ideas and they aren't all "cookie-cutter" (pun intended). You could have a donut food truck, or serve mini pies, or even pass out ice cream sandwiches! There are tons of fun ideas out there to satisfy every sweet tooth and I'm sure you'll find the perfect fit for your big day.